We arrived in Heathrow at the early hour of 6 am after the long haul from Australia. And, our plan for the day was to drive to Beeley in Derbyshire. To my amazement, Accidentally Cultured announced that we would drive via Bath. Somehow he was oblivious to the perils of driving 7 hours, without maps and with full on jet lag.
Firstly, we had to hire a car at Heathrow. Taking the keys, he glared angrily at the tiny car Avis gave him. And in true Basil Faulty style, he nearly took a hammer to the innocent little blue Mercedes Benz. Clearly, the tiny vehicle did not deserve all the swearing and cursing he directed at it.
Bath Here We Come
Eventually we set out for Bath, suitcases perched precariously on the backseat of the tiny car. Then, he began frantically driving up and down Bath Road. First, he headed to Central London. Then he did a terrifying illegal U-turn at a traffic light to the tune of many vulgar words and averred hatred for the horrid little Mercedes Benz.
“I want my shit. You keep taking my shit.”
This was another way of saying he couldn’t find the right page from his pile of print outs from Google maps.
“Get the f..g seat belt on will you!”
I am looking for his ‘shit’ in the suitcase on the back seat.
Luckily I found a print out with a map and directions given to him by the Avis lady. So this enabled us to find a little turn off to Bath hidden behind a tree.
So What’s in Bath Anyway?
After 2 hours driving we arrived in Bath. But, here we encountered another problem. All I wanted to do was visit the Bath Fashion Museum. But the directions to the Museum were irretrievable in the bowels of a suitcase. Extremely lost, we toured the delightfully historic streets of Bath several times, to the tune of,
“So, what’s in Bath anyway?”
He made this statement while I was gazing longingly at the Jane Austen museum from my car seat. I must have looked extremely distraught because the gentleman on the left came out, gave me a smug grin and posed for me. The hated little vehicle is reflected in the museum door.
Finally, he extracted the required information from his iPhone. And to my delight a Google map with a blue dot leading the way. For the rest of our trip, I fell in love with the blue dot! And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that paper maps are now definitely archived into extinction.
In his usual arsy fashion, in a place notorious for no parking, he pulled up right outside the fashion museum, into a free parking space because the parking meter was not working.
Accidentally Cultured encountered his first bit of English culture right in front of the hated vehicle where he was astonished to discover a memorial to Governor Phillip. Odd as it may seem, our first cultural encounter with England was the home, 19 Bennett Street, where our very own first Governor spent his last years.
Bath Fashion Museum
Accidentally Cultured had complained bitterly about travelling all this way just to see a Georgian Fashion Show. But there you go; he accidentally parked outside the Bath Fashion Museum as well. Not only that, he thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Georgian fashions worn in the days of our illustrious Governor. And, I would have enjoyed it too except for being harassed into using the audio device. Being deaf, I have a marked preference for the visual, but he would not let up until I listened. I had been totally absorbed by the life-sized images of the King George’s staring into the glass cages of headless women reduced to mere decoration, as they were in real life.
The Museum is home to over 100 000 items of clothing, and has remarkable displays. Accidentally Cultured was keen to participate in the cultural experience of dressing up in period clothing. So, he convinced me to don a Victorian outfit, which was remarkably heavy, and difficult to walk in and with stays must have rendered most movements impossible. True to his taste, AC chose to dress according to his comfort zone.
Leaving Bath Fashion Museum, he bolted to the car exclaiming,
“I want to get the f..k out of here!”
I tried to explain that it would be a sacrilege not to visit the main feature of Bath, the Roman Baths.
“What have Roman Baths got to do with anything?”
Securing our tickets at the Bath Fashion Museum we proceeded downhill along the cute little streets of Bath, getting lost and seeking directions. Totally absorbed by my surroundings I nearly collided with the obese body of an opera singer whose booming voice resounded throughout the streets of Bath.
With relief we found the Roman Baths. However, there was an enormous crowd of tourists and school excursions standing in line. Gratefully, we had our tickets and went straight in to be greeted by a friendly Roman soldier. And, here I am not looking too worse for wear after the massive journey we had just undertaken.
AC could not believe what he accidentally discovered at the Baths. We both really enjoyed exploring the archaeologically excavations and history. And, we agreed it would have been great to spend more time reading the displays.
AC does view the world differently to the majority of us. Strange to say, I found him in this rather unusual viewing angle photographing the Baths.
His view of the Baths is shown above. But, the view below is what the rest of us see, standing upright.
Saying Goodbye to Bath
AC was beginning to panic about the rather long drive ahead of us to Beeley. So we headed back to the hated little vehicle.
“There is shit everywhere!”
This meant that the contents of the suitcases were strewn all over the back seat. Then, AC began swearing at his phone for running low on charge. So I decided to cross the road and say good bye to the home which our illustrious Governor Phillip must have enjoyed way more than the bare ground, snakes, spiders, ticks and leeches of Sydney Cove.
By 3 pm I was again glued to the blue spot! This is because, we left Bath behind us and headed to Beeley.
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