Little Ann, Hampshire, Saturday,
May 26 - Saturday, June 2.
More honeymoon pictures.
After our wedding on May 25 - which had been perfect, we should have known that the fantastic weather wouldn't last. In fact it poured hard for the first few days we were on honeymoon and then intermittently for the rest of the week! Rachel and I had hired a thatched cottage in the village of Little Ann in Hampshire, purely on its brochure description of having a river running through the garden - we thought it would be nice to sit out in the evenings, sipping wine and nibbling snacks. The weather soon put paid to that idea!
The cottage was also cursed with eccentric plumbing - but once we got used to that (one of the toilets didn't flush, a wash basin didn't drain, no running hot water in the kitchen etc), we had an amazingly relaxing time.
On Monday, we went to the Museum of Army Flying ...
... and Danebury Hill Fort (although Rachel stayed in the car for this one and I braved the wind and rain to explore the Iron Age fort on my own).
On Tuesday, we drove to the nearby - and awesome - Stonehenge. The last time I'd seen in person I'd been about four and, I think, at that time you could still go up to the stones and touch them. Because we could only see it from behind a rope barrier, Rachel felt it was "smaller than expected", but I still found the whole experience quite moving and can't recommend it highly enough for anyone wanting a sense of historical perspective and the insignificance of modern man.
Following on from Stonehenge, we drove to Bath. But because it was half-term there was nowhere to park, so after a futile hunt for car park spaces we turned round and headed back. This echoed earlier attempts to visit nearby Andover, where we were twice defeated by the impenetrable one-way system.
Wednesday saw us head for Basingstoke - to visit Milestones, Hampshire's Living History Museum, and then went to the cinema to see Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's End. On Thursday, we went to one of my old university haunts - Poole in Dorset - to visit my 'comic supplier' Andy at his shop, Paradox. Not only did this give me the opportunity to stock up on the latest deliveries, but was my first chance to introduce Rachel to someone as "my wife".
For the final day of our honeymoon, Rachel suggested a trip to Longleat Safari park - a stroke of genius! We had monkey's scampering over the car ...
... and leaving muddy paw prints across the windscreeen and bonnet; saw baby wolf cubs and meerkats; rode a boat out among the sealions and hippos; ate overpriced hamburgers; and generally had a great time. A brilliant end to a great week; I suspect we will be returning to Longleat soon to do all the things we didn't have time for in the five hours we were there.