Monday, 26 July 2010

Out of office

This is just a reminder that posting is sporadic at the moment, because I am in Bath making a last ditch attempt to do stuff to my dog eared, limp, manuscript. Notably, I need to wrestle my way out of various plot failures, fill other plot holes, change some names I now hate and do an unflinching check for Lameness (multiple instances detected already). That is why I am not posting. So far, there has been some wrestling, lots of staring into space and a trip to the public library for a little light wifi. Shortly there may be an ill-advised attempt to cut my right thumbnail, which is broken, with a kitchen knife. I will not let myself out to the Spar to buy nail clippers until I have reached a particular level of productivity. That level has not been reached, so for now it's just me, a bowl of stale mint humbugs, and the kitchen knife. It's ok, there's a first aid kit in the kitchen, I spotted it earlier when I was looking for a secret trapdoor back to London. I have no idea if this exercise is actually useful, or even character building yet. Ask me at the end of the week. So far it's quite restful, at least.

In the hope of ensuring I get at least something positive out of my confinement, I have bought a pile of hippy crap from Holland & Barrett and a mountain of vegetables, and am attempting a few days Clean Living, complete with Epsom Salts, body brushing, effervescent milk thistles capsules, brisk walks in sensible shoes, 1001 ways with ruby chard and those revolting Dr Karg crackers. Oh, Dr Karg, you sadistic ├╝ber-villain, your seed-based war on my palate rages unabated. There's a reason he sounds like an intergalactic war criminal. I imagine him to look a little like the Emperor Zurg from Toy Story, but with more hemp. I am, what, three hours into this demented health kick and have already had half a Lyle's Ginger Cake and two of the stale mint humbugs I found on the mantelpiece. It's going BRILLIANTLY.

Bath is ... lovely, actually. Warm. The oh so restorative spa waters make crap tea, but apart from that I have no complaints. It is oddly full of seagulls, but since I got a little distracted on the way here and ended up in Bristol, which had even more seagulls, I was prepared. M4, M5... Very similar when you're sweating terror from every pore and appear to be condemned to listen to Radio Malvern for all eternity. I was simply glad to be alive and in full possession of my wing mirrors (I am driving a car the size of Luxembourg) somewhere vaguely in the South West. Bath, once I finally found it, is beautiful and busy, and more importantly has a Waitrose. I am a little disappointed noone has asked me to dance a quadrille yet, but then I am very far past marriageable age and have entirely lost my bloom. Maybe all the milk thistle and body brushing will restore it? Unlikely, I grant you.

I will give you an update later in the week, I should imagine. If anyone knows lovely places I could go in Bath when I am not contemplating certain failure, eating industrial ginger cake or scratching my left foot, do let me know.

18 comments:

The Divorcee said...

The Sally Lunn bun shop (serving a humungous version of a teacake). I haven't been since idling teenage hours away on fare-dodging trips from Bristol (Bath's slightly more uncouth cousin). Comfortingly twee.

livesbythewoods said...

Yep, the Sally Lunn tea shop is definitely worth a visit. Also the Moon and Sixpence does nice food. The cafe on the corner of the Orange Grove used to do excellent breakfasts, hopefully they still do.

If all else fails, drive the 26 miles to my house and I'll make you dinner. Even with a fractured ankle. Email me if you get too stir crazy, you can come and stare at our fishtank and drink gin.

Em said...

I visited Bath in 1991 and somewhere on a corner near a bar I kissed a Canadian.

I don't remember having a Sally Lunn bun but I had a lovely time anyway...

Hope your time is fruitful. Don't think too much, just do it. (Like the Nike ad. But better.)

Anonymous said...

Nah, the Sally Lunn bun is a bit like eating a sponge with lemon curd. Best places for a hot drink and time out watching Bathites avoiding proper work are the coffee shops around George Street:

Jika Jika has lovely coffee, cake both wholesome and delicious, and free wifi, plus the thrill of spotting Bath rugby players and the risk of being overrun by parents and toddlers.

Same Same But Different is a bit less reliable on cake but is quieter and definitely has at least one other frustrated novelist on the go. Entertaining for its staff and regulars (says a regular)

Chandos has been up and down, but new management has probably sorted it out. Most excellent cakes.

Jaywalker said...

Ooooh. Thank you all. Excellent advice. Wifi, Canadians to kiss AND the prospect of a sponge with lemon curd tea thingy (this seems like a good thing to me). I may never leave.

enthusiast said...

i love blogs that reference luxembourg.

and have no useful suggestions on overcoming procrastination and consumption of cake. i encourage both.

luxembourg, cake and procrastination. all enthusiasms of mine.

Maxine said...

Top tip, seeing as you obviously haven't had the foresight to take an air rifle with you to exterminate those pterodactyl monsters. Sit outside the Abbey and feed the fuckers chips stuffed with Nytol. Good Luck.

So envious, love Bath.

karen said...

No advice, but I'm taking notes for our Big Trip in October. We've been considering what to do on a day trip from London, and Bath sounds like a fine candidate.

H said...

Nooo, I love Dr Karg crackers. They're ace. But then I do have a campervan, so possibly I have got some sort of hippy virus. I'm sure I'll clear it soon with a good dose of Top Gear and processed food.

The Foxymoron said...

Make sure you go for a walk in Prior Park - the ornamental Palladian bridge alone is worth it. And the view from the top of the ridge is lovely.

GingerB said...

I swear all I saw in Bath was the ancient Roman bath, then closed for meningitis being spread in the not so restorative waters. This was twenty years ago, mind you. I say follow the cake and you'll be safer with real nail clippers.

Dockwray said...

Prey sells such fabulous things that Vogue declared them the best boutique of 2010. And, if you desire books, seek out the delightful Mr B's, and the marvellous Topping's—strictly in that order.

sue said...

So glad you're channeling Jane Austen and can't believe you've lost your bloom. Hope you find some enjoyable tea shops.

Lindsey said...

Oooh, whilst you're there could you seek out my lovely friend Zoe and give her a hug - I haven't seen her for AGES!

Prey is a very lovely boutique, as is Mee, which handily shares its shopfront with Lux, an emporium of shoes so lovely they're almost pornographic. Mee is also on the same street as Toast and the aforementioned Same Same But Different.

For a slightly more civilised evening out, the Grappa Bar on Belvedere is stylish, has great staff and serves delicious pizzas from their woodburning oven.

If real-ale drinkers with beards are your thing, then the Old Green Tree is the place to go. It's handily next door to Green Street House day spa so you can knock back a much-needed drink when you realise how much you've just spent on unnecessary beauty products, again...

Sarah said...

Someone's already mentioned it, and I know I popped up on Twitter with it too, but Mr B's is glorious, and lovely, and dead friendly. Plus they have armchairs and a pot of coffee on the top floor and you are SUPPOSED to hang out there reading. It's the bookshop we all want to live in. Nic and Juliette, who run it, are great, and it's won all sorts of indie bookshop awards. Quite rightly.

Lisa said...

Doesn't manuscript wrestling offer some restorative qualities? Please say yes. Everything on my sags these days. Except for my ass. That's spread.

Bath Bun said...

So jealous, wish I was there. Can't recommed anywhere - all my old hangouts have long closed or fallen down along with all the seedy pubs and clubs I used to pick up impressively unsuitable men in. when there at Easter though, the kids and I hung out in a pasty shop at the bottom of Milsom street selling the sort of heavy weight pastry confection that would make a Belgium weep. When not there, we were in Waitrose buying trolley loads of battenburg and gorging. Forget the Bath buns - overrated. If you go up Lansdown far enough, please raise your fingers in a tawdry salute to my old schools. Enjoy it and on your return, I have shark covered trunks for you!

westendmum said...

The Museum of Fashion or Priory Park are quite lovely, sadly both involve walking, which you may not be wanting to do what with my left foot going on and all.
WEM xx