So, on Sunday night they sent out a message to the students saying "The weather doesn't look too good...we're going to meet up on Monday and do mini-wing training.
While a nominally great idea, they were understating the case a bit.
The weather called for 8mph winds, gusting up to 45mph. Monday...Tuesday...in fact, the whole holiday. Nobody would be flying this week, not even the instructors.
I took credit for my course, and rebooked another course for 14 October, in Spain. Perhaps the weather there is a little more cooperative?
With a heavy heart I started off home. Just a couple miles from where I was staying, I caught this landscape out the corner of my eye, and had to stop and try to capture it.
I didn't get to fly, but a boy can dream:
There's no two ways about it, Sunday was wet.
That said, it wasn't an altogether waste, as I went to Stourhead, the stately home at the top of the River Stour (the same river we lived beside in Sturminster Marshall, actually).
The tl;dr: I saw Stourhead, and Shaftesbury, both. Here's the video Google made:
The photos below are just going into a (little) bit more detail.
I got there as the property opened up, so the first thing to do was wander the grounds and circle the lake.
Straightaway, I walked past the remnants of the village of Stour...
Spread Eagle Inn and grounds...
Then I walked down towards the lake...
Some of the temples were monumental, some purposeful ruins. Some of the "temples" were record-breaking trees imported from around the world.
This is the grotto:
This is the famed Stour head, where the river begins:
That last picture had what looked like a damp floor. I didn't realise it was under 6 inches of water...
I hear you ask: "Ken...how did you know it was under 6 inches of water?"
The answer, of course, Science! I "gathered experiential data regarding the excess humidity in the grotto using the cloth covering of an appendage..."
In other words, I stepped in it!
I was fascinated by the cascade and the water wheel still pumping up to 15000 gallons of water up to the house...
Then, it was finally time to tackle the house itself:
...and the back garden:
Of course, to protect the paintings, the rooms were very dimly lit indeed. The camera on my phone was able to really bring out the colours of the paintings, though:
And of course you have to see the "Pope's Cabinet", made for one of the popes. It has 1500 drawers in it, apparently. He must've had some *really* small tools to store in there:
That's was pretty much it for Stourhead. A lovely day, and I even treated myself to a cream tea at the cafe.
After that, I sent to Shaftesbury, and found Gold Hill. Here's the 1973 advertisement that is, apparently, Britain's favourite:
Here's what it looks like now:
Finally, I went to the Museum, where I saw many ancient relics:
I was tickled that the typewriter was one of the more popular attractions. This girl flatly refused to give me a go, no matter how much I cried!
When I told Deb that I was going on a two week holiday, this was not the reaction I'd expected:
Should I ask anyone to check up on her?
We spent the best part of the day talking about theory, meteorology, and land features and what not.
Then it rained.
The forecast calls for heavy rain tomorrow, so no class.
Guess I'll just have to go see Stourhead!