Saturday, 12 August 2017

Five nights in Mother Ludlam's Hole


As I was searching the desktop list for the above scan, I came upon a folder entitled, 'Stephenson - pub liability'. For a second I wondered if I had written a warning note to myself in a moment of forgetful drunkenness, then I remembered that I had scanned my Public Liability insurance certificate to show to clients.

As I am sure most of you can read, I will not tell you of what and where the 18th century engraving is, and I know you have seen it before anyway.

I am thinking of a holiday in Britain. Living in a very popular tourist destination, we normally get on a plane around this time of year, but I am going to try and convince H.I. that we should drive somewhere in this country this time. If all else fails, I am just going to tell her that I will have to go on my own. This will be enough to make her see sense. She hates missing out on anything, even things that she thinks she will not like. She spent the first 50 years of her life hating Scotland until I drover her around the Highlands in a rented Mercedes. "This is beautiful!", she finally admitted.

A few years ago, we were offered a flat for free in Bude, Cornwall, by the sister of its recently deceased owner, before it went on the market. We spent one night there. Bude is the arsehole of Cornish resorts and the weather was foul. We were trudging across the dunes in horizontal rain, when we both stopped, looked at each other, got back into the car and drove home.

We used to stay in a large and run-down house on the cliffs of St Ives, but the owners knocked it down and replaced it with a multi-million pound eco-dwelling which is now the most popular self-catering venue in all Cornwall. We can't afford it any more.

In Europe, there is a massive backlash against mass tourism right now and in Cornwall there is a massive backlash against non-residents with second homes.

I was speaking to a young Spanish man in Malaga last year, and he said that the Spanish have shot themselves in the foot by selling their houses to foreigners for what to them seemed liked stupidly large amounts of money, and now they cannot afford to buy them back.

The same situation happened right here in Bath, but the profits were more long-term in as much as we have this concept of a 'property ladder'. Spain jumped off the bottom rung and spent the money very quickly, with a little help from the banks.

Venice is sinking under the weight of the cruise ships, and hundreds of mainlanders have to be shipped in to cater for the tourists they disgorge. If I go back to Venice, it will be in the Winter.

I may make enquiries about booking Mother Ludlam's Hole for a few days.


24 comments:

  1. There is a Mother Shipton's Cave in N.Yorks. All sorts of stuff get wet in it and is petrified!

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    1. I had a girlfriend who was a direct descendant of Mother Shipton (she was a Shipton) in the 1970s. Sadly, she died when a two-bar electric fire she had balanced on the edge of the bath slipped and fell in one Winter's night.

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  2. It is very popular hereabouts for people to head for the mountains in Summer, for a 'cure'. But they never say what they wish to be'cured' of.

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    1. For the French, it always used to be perpetual 'liver' problems. Here in Bath 'the Cure' used to be for all sorts of things, real or imagined. For middle-aged army officers it was a cure from poverty when they married rich dowagers.

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  3. I have always wanted to travel around GB. I imagine it must be wonderful. All I see of it are in the British magazines. Maybe one summer, I'll be one of those visitors that come and stay a summer. I'd love that.

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    1. There is a lot to see and a lot I haven't seen yet.

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  4. If you don't mind being a tourist yourself for a day, and if you haven't seen it already, may I humbly recommend a visit to Snowshill Manor. Mr. Wade was a hoarder of stuff that makes my heart sing.

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    1. I just Googled it. Very near Morton in Marsh and not too far from here. Thanks. I will visit - hopefully soon.

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  5. Maybe because I love Venice in the fog I think it's beautiful in winter. During this season it's also easier to mingle with locals, watch them catch the vaporetto for work, listen to them speak in their 'musical' Venetian dialect. I think this shows the true soul of Venice and not the summer one.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. That is my hope. Go when you are not so unpopular. I looked into Christmas there once, but I think it gets packed then too.

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    2. When I say 'you' I mean you as a tourist, of course. You will always be popular with me.

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    3. Oh I understood that that the tourist is unpopular and not me :)
      Don't go to Venice at Christmas, old year/New Year and in February during its famous Carnival time. Leaving very little choice really. X

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  6. North Norfolk is nice. You should try Blakeney or Wells or Burnham Overy or somewhere along that coastal area some time.
    I like Venice in winter too, the only time I would go.

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    1. I always think of Norfolk, but in my head it's so far from here. No further than Cornwall though. There is London to get around (or above) which is a bit of a turn-off for me.

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    2. I know. I was thinking that when I wrote it. I agree.

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    3. We love Venice in the winter too. We go at the end of January for our Wedding Anniversary and often catch the early days of Carnevale. Not as crowded as you might expect. We have enjoyed a beautiful Palazzeti in San Marco but now prefer to stay in Cannaregio. So much to explore in the back streets. We have visited the Accademia gallery, the Correr museum, and the Ca'd'Oro with hardly another soul around. The dozens of churches filled with Titians and other magnificent art, are empty. The Palazzo Fortuny is another favourite. And those little cafes that serve cicchetti and ombre. We gather BA Avios at Tesco and get cheap flights.

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    4. I now hanker for a return trip. The little bar that sells little bites topped with porcini and glasses of Aperol spritz after several hours of visiting hidden paintings...

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  7. Five nights in Mother Ludlam's Hole sounds painful but Venice in the Winter is wonderful .... you just might have to cope with the flooding in St Marks Square !but that might be fun !!! XXXX

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    1. Oh I will be on the upper steps at one of the fancy restaurants. We stayed in the Palazzo Zenobio when there, owned and run by Armenian monks. Not much luxe (Darley...) but inexpensive and interesting.

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  8. A sweet reminiscence of how to book a holiday. I prefer off season, too. Your comment on Snowshill Manor brought to mind my sister-in-law's husband. He worked, after he retired, for the National Trust, "keeping things tidy for you visitors." I wonder if he has finally turned in his clippers. He certainly made grounds beautiful.

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    1. I really must get a membership to the National Trust. That would get me out to the properties just to get a return on my subscription. I have an account with English Heritage, but that is more of a professional thing - so they tell me.

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  9. If I had moved and was settled in my bungalow I would be delighted to welcome you and HI for a couple of nights - as it is I am sitting here, everything packed, surrounded by boxes and no will in probate yet. So frustrating.

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    1. That's a nice idea Weave. I hardly ever get up to your part of the country.

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  10. Five nights in Mother Ludlam's Hole sounds painful but Venice in the Winter is wonderful ....


    แคมฟรอก

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