Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Llangammarch Wells - Lake Country House & Spa

After checking out of the Best Western Hotel in Heathrow we commenced the long drive to Wales.  The traffic was light and we were free from disruption.  Checking in time at the luxury hotel in Llangammarch Wells was from three onwards and we had already arrived at the town of Brecon by 1.30.  I love this town with its historic buildings and close knit, but welcoming folk.  To kill some time we parked the Suzuki and took a stroll. 

The air was icy and even with the hats and the gloves it wasn't long before our bodies demanded some warmth.  What better way to warm up than with a hot coffee and a hot tea?  So we found a busy Costa Coffee and ordered the drinks and some cakes.  We both felt great - to be free from the home environment and to be in a place unknown.  I have always found travel uplifting and will always be a traveller.  It was clear that O held a similar view.

The weather report had predicted snow in the hills and so I hadn't seen this to be an issue on our long drive.  However, after leaving Brecon and driving the last 15 miles to Llangammarch Wells - our happy disposition turned to concern.  The road taking us to the hotel was leading in and up over the hills and the snow was falling with deepening thickness.  The road was salted and so the car kept its grip.  But there were dangerous segments and the driving was harrowing to be sure.


The entrance to the hotel was hardly conspicuous and we missed it and continued past the chequered flag on the GPS unit.  After back tracking and finding the hotel we knew we were in for a bit of elegance.  The garden and frontage were spectacular.


The concierge took us to our room - and it was more like an apartment.  It really does pay to visit such places in the off season because the value is outstanding.  This could have been a room within Buckingham Palace.

We settled in and decided to spend the hours before dining in the pool and spa complex.  This was a short walk from the room.  After the long drive it was nice to submerge into the depths of the lightly heated pool.  This was followed by a session in the sauna.  I know that some really love the sauna experience, O being one of them - but I have never really understood how sweat, steam and heat amounts to enjoyment.  A few minutes was enough for me and I gladly re-entered the pool, thankful that my sizzling body was returning to a less lethal temperature.

The sauna and the pool was followed by bubbles in the spa above the building.  The spa was outside and it was odd to be in the warm bubbly spa while the air above the water was icy cold.  Again this is one of those relaxations foreign to my character but indeed I was enjoying it.  The work during the week had been extremely stressful and the spa seemed to be doing its trick.  It relaxed us both and we returned to the hotel and prepared for the dinner.

The reception and bar area was as stunning as the room.

  The dinner was a four course deal - starting with butternut squash soup.  For the starter O chose a salad and I had to try the pigeon.  This was a first for me and I won't be hunting down pigeon to replace my staple diet of chicken or beef.

We both selected the lamb as a main -  and I thought this was very good.

 Desert was a chocolate treat with ice cream.

So with all the driving, strolling, swimming, bubbling and eating we were both worn out and eagerly retired to the bed and slept soundly.

In the morning it was all about packing then breakfast and then the long drive back home.  First to London to drop O off and then another couple of hours for me back to Hampshire to my caravan on the field.  This was a great weekend and what just we needed to distress from the pressures of daily life. 

Peace to All

Monday, 2 February 2015

Hounslow Best Western Plus Grand Hotel

Thankfully the Friday was very busy at work - otherwise enduring the time to finishing hour would have been a torture indeed.  I was looking forward to a weekend adventure.  Firstly I would drive to London and meet the nice lady I had recently began to date.  We would dine and stay over in a Best Western hotel near Heathrow airport - The Park Grand Plus. 

I have stayed in many Best Western hotels and like to collect the points on my membership card - and every now and then I will get a free upgrade for my loyalty to the chain.  There was no upgrade on this night but neither of us complained.  The room was as good as any four start room I had stayed at in the past - and I should know having virtually lived in hotels for ten years when working as a consultant.

Comfortable and Stylish room

Sixth Floor View

Under the landing path for Heathrow
After sorting out luggage and settling into the room we descended in the lift to the restaurant. A buffet was on offer and at 13 pounds a head this was a bargain.  Eat as much as you like and we made sure to do just that.  The selection was Thai, Chinese, Malaysian and India. The food was very tasty and the hotel had that relaxed Friday feel to it.  Hotels such as these cater for the business client during the week - and being a Friday the suits were no where to be seen, having done their business and flown back home.
In only a few weeks O and I had grown close and it was nice to be with someone sincere and calm, peaceful but with also with an eye to adventure.  We discussed many things including tomorrow's long trip to Wales - before retiring to the comfortable bed and a peaceful slumber.
The morning had us eating a cooked breakfast before settling the bill and heading off on the long journey.  On checking out I was quite embarrassed to have my credit card declined.  The receptionist tried a couple of times, and then tried another of my cards which was also declined.  So it was obviously a technical problem with their computers and I settled in cash.  The desk staff were in for a colourful morning checking out customers whose cards would also be declined.
Happy in Lift
Peace To All


Coming Up For Air

noun: a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people.
synonyms:hermit, ascetic

For the last six months or so I had been living the life of the recluse.  Apart from work my contact with others had been limited to my children and some family members over the Christmas break.

I had to look within and try and answer some questions.

1) Why had I isolated myself to the caravan on the field?
2) Why did I gravitate to partners with highly sensitive personalities and seemingly a thirst for drama and chaos?
3) Why had I allowed the protection of a mild melancholia to engulf me as it had?
4) Where had I gone to?

It was a Sunday not many weeks past and I had woken and at last it all seemed different.  Enough of this.  I would begin again.
I booked to see a mortgage adviser and he said I was good to buy a house.  I messaged a lady and she said we were good to meet. I practiced a mindfulness meditation and I was calm.

Yes, I would begin again.  I began to surface.  I was coming up for air.