One thing I am not too keen on is traipsing around shops buying Christmas presents. Its not buying presents that bothers me, over the years Lynnie has been spoilt with a wide selection of gifts that she never knew she wanted. I have become attuned to picking up the hints and then sourcing the required items.
So in the past when Lynnie complained that the ironing board would not stay up I surprised her at Christmas with a new ironing board and de-luxe cover. Another time I heard a curse from the kitchen and found Lynnie with her hand under the cold tap saying there was a hole in the oven gloves, of course that years present was sorted and along with it came a garlic press and pizza cutting wheel. Strangely these days Lynnie’s Christmas list is provided to our daughter Lolly and all I have to do is hand over the cash!
Another thing putting me off Christmas shopping are the hoards aimlessly wandering around seeking that special, “ideal” gift for someone. The recipient will doubtless make excited noises on receiving it before hiding it away for a while until it is deemed safe to surreptitiously donate it to a charity shop. To add to the pain of the Christmas shopping is accompanied by an incessant clamour of crappy Christmas songs.
So as it is December and I am told that Christmas is coming, we decide to find a location where Lynnie can shop whilst I keep out of the way and walk the dogs. Cirencester looks to be an ideal location. The Cirencester Park Caravan Club site is a short walk from the town centre and it is surrounded by good walking country.
It is a bright sunny afternoon as we set up the caravan but the temperature is only just above freezing. It does not take too long for the caravan to warm up and after a hot drink we make for Cirencester. The site is adjacent to Cirencester Park so we head through the park into town.
This is obviously a favourite dog-walking site and our progress is slow because Dexter and Crosby need to sniff everywhere and leave a mark to let others know they are around. In the park there are some fine Cotswold stone buildings.
We have no planned route and on leaving the park take a footpath alongside a stream and soon arrive at a blue plaque announcing that the site is the location of the of the Open Air Swimming Pool, it was built in 1869 and is one of the oldest public open-air pools in the country. It uses natural spring water and the pool became heated in 1931. Since 1973 it has been run by a charity, we are not able to look inside but a later internet search reveals a wonderful collection of pictures.
We pass a large sculpture of a blue hare, apparently part of a local hare trail.
Around the corner we arrive at another blue plaque, this one is outside the 1856 Baptist Church thought to be the spot where the widow Joan Peltrace lived and worshipped with other Baptists in 1651. Apparently it is significant for being one of the first Baptist groups in the country.
It will be dark by 4.00pm so we decide our wandering needs to be curtailed it is already getting dusky. Clearly Cirencester has a lot of interesting historical things to see and Lynnie has already spotted one or two small shops she wants to visit over the next few days.
Now it is time to head back to the Coachman and get tucked up in the warm. We are promised plummeting temperatures of -4 degrees tonight!
30th November 2016
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 169 – Cirencester and Swindon]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2016)