The best thing about staying at the university was that they kicked you out at 10am. No lazing about, up showered, packed and exited. Then we headed to breakfast which was amazing. I hadn't expected much but there was ENDLESS supplies of tea and coffee and juice, plus there was cereal, fruit, yoghurt, pastries and a full choice of traditional hot food. It was a pleasure to sit down and have a relaxed breakfast, and then head off into town. We could stay parked at the uni for free all day on Sunday, so we grabbed the bus into town and headed for photo opportunities. The evening before we had taken some shots down by the river, and I had taken Julie and Nikki to where Tom had filmed some of his scenes in the BBC adaptation of Dracula. As he had filmed his scenes at night, I was most insistent that it was important that we did the same!
OMG, I'm wearing a teepee!
I really wanted to go back to the Fashion Museum. If I'm ever in Bath I have to go there, and they had a new exhibition to the one I saw last Christmas. I headed towards The Circus and The Royal Crescent because I knew Nikki could take some nice photographs up there, and then I headed to the museum for an hour.
There were some wonderful dresses on show, and they gave me real inspiration to make some new clothes, and also ideas for a costume for the upcoming tea party The Burketeers are holding in aid of Operation Smile. During my sabbatical year, I dusted off my sewing machine, but it's really only in the last few months that I have made several items of clothing. Sadly though on my walk around Bath I noticed my latest creation resembled a teepee. I was so proud of that skirt...although I have to admit it was funny seeing the faces of some passers by as I had my photo taken next to the offending children's toy!
I met back up with Nikki and Julie at a tea shop (where else) and then we made plans of what to do next. As we headed back towrds town we came across a bookshop. Now I love bookshops so I was thrilled that my partners in crime share the same enthusiasm for them as me. It was an amazing place, if you're in Bath check it out, Topping & Company (The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS) I have never been in a book shop that has so many copies of popular books signed by the author. Having been told by Tom to read The Conspiracy of the Human Race, I had decided that I needed to read some more Lovecraft and Ligotti in the future.
I've read some Lovecraft short stories, but I saw a beautiful commemorative edition of Necronomicon and had to purchase it. There was also a copy of The Glorious Heresies signed by Lisa McInerney, it has recently won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, so I'm looking forward to finding the time to read it.
Like a moth to a flame...
We headed off down the road, but by now it was starting to rain. As we scuttled towards the Roman Baths I saw a book I have always wanted in a charity shop window; Masquerade by Kit Williams. I didn't know too much about it when I was a child, but essentially the book was an elaborate armchair treasure hunt. The book was published in 1979, and the treasure, an 18ct gold hare adorned with semi-precious stones, had been located in 1982. The book contained fifteen detailed paintings, riddles and puzzles featuring Jack Hare, who would help the reader solve the mystery of where the treasure was buried.
To me, the real treasure was to see the physical paintings, rather than pictures on the internet, but I hadn't been prepared to pay some of the prices I had seen in the past. Here, in a window in Bath, was a nearly pristine copy for just £1.50. It's my copy now!!!
I need a nice hot bath!
By now the rain was falling heavily, we could have done with some of the umbrella's used in an art installation in the city, so we marched quickly to the Roman Baths where it was warm and dry. We managed to scuttle through the doors before they stopped letting people in. The place was busy, but we didn't queue for too long before being able to look around. We walked around the remains of one of the paramount spas of Roman origin. The central point of the exhibit is The Great Bath, where Romans would have bathed in the warm waters, and wandered around on the 2000 year old cobbled pavements. Oh how I wish I could have dived into that hot water, even if there were signs saying untreated water, do not touch. By the time we had toured the baths, the weather had improved and surprisingly we noticed we had dried off so our journey's home wouldn't be that uncomfortable after all. We headed back to the bus stop to get back to our cars remarking on what a fantastic trip we'd all had. And to think...I nearly didn't go. Thank goodness I'm not above doing the odd reckless act!