Our visit to Bristol at the weekend was not just an opportunity to visit our son but part of our research for our planned relocation. The grockles have defeated us; life here, once so idyllic, has become intolerable and we want to move. Until a couple of years ago, the holiday season lasted for 5 or 6 weeks, from mid July until the end of August, now there is no discernible beginning or end, just a slight change in the intensity of activity throughout the year.
Our search is still rather vague and general; we haven't even narrowed it down to a single county, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are all under consideration. We drove across country on Friday, in order to see a little more of Somerset but I'm afraid that we were disappointed. Earlier this year we visited the pretty villages in the Chew Valley, this time we wanted to check out Midsomer Norton.
We expected pretty, what we found was grim. I daresay lots of people make the same mistaken connection as we did between Midsomer Norton and the television series Midsomer Murders. They too will be totally unprepared for the slag heaps on the fringes of the town. The town centre is really a single street with the unique feature of a river running through it. This could be lovely but is, in fact, really ugly and made me think more of open sewer systems than Somerset rivers. What a difference a few flowers and seating areas could make. Midsomer Norton is not for us then, especially since a Google search shows it as the original home of the Chav!
On Saturday, Andrew and Anna took us to see Bradford-on-Avon and I fell in love with the architecture, the narrow streets, the river, the restaurants and just about everything. This is definitely heading my shortlist of potential places to live. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so the tourist board views will have to do for the present. Second on my shortlist is Chipping Sodbury. I would be happy to find a house on the outskirts of either of these towns, to persuade my daughter and her husband to move to the area in time for the birth of my first grandchild, to be less than an hour from my son and to live happily ever after.