Dramatic title huh? Well perhaps it is a little over the top but like everyone else we are surviving the current worldwide situation and just trying to get on with life. With various health issues cropping up and travel restrictions it is still as challenging as ever but we’re striving to make the most of things and remain positive.
Leaving St Leonards
After a month on the Sussex coast in St Leonards on Sea we sadly packed our bags yet again and headed back to our old home town of Maidstone for a few days in our go-to hotel the Premier Inn. We stay so often that we should really have our own room now, the staff seem to recognise us but it’s tough to know with mask-wearing these days.
So with doctors and dentist appointments and lots of time spent with our youngest son Ryan we filled the days over Easter with lots of walks and sociable dinners. Lovely and relaxing until another twist of fate crept up and viciously assaulted us!
Sitting at Ryan’s enjoying some time on his PlayStation playing my new favourite game ‘Planet Coaster‘ (it’s less about building coasters for me and more about plating flowers and trees) I was rudely disturbed by the doorbell. Getting to my feet slowly I managed to stub the little toe of my right foot fairly gently on Ryan’s stylish coffee table.
What was not so gentle was the immediate pain! How did it hurt so much after such a little stub? Within minutes the little piggy was swollen and red and I was struggling to walk. Over the next few days the neighbouring toes bruised up and it became obvious at least one, if not two, toes were broken. Brilliant.
With a new Airbnb booked up in Hertfordshire in the garden city of Welwyn it was soon time to pack those backpacks and be on out way. Not quite that simple unfortunately. Jo was travelling alone as I had a hospital appointment down in Canterbury and was staying at Ryans for two extra days.
Welwyn Garden City
Back in 1920 there was a national drive for civic improvement after World War One and part of the plan was to create new healthy-living towns outside of the Victorian industrial cities of England. Created by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1920, Welwyn Garden City was the second of these garden cities after Letchworth.
“a town designed for healthy living and industry of a size that makes possible a full measure of social life but not larger, surrounded by a rural belt; the whole of the land being in public ownership, or held in trust for the community.”
Louis de Soissons, an architect from Montreal, was commissioned to design and plan the city in a neo-Georgian style and the first residents moved in at Christmas 1920. The town was designed with scenic parkland and wide tree-lined avenues and the view down Parkway was once bizarrely described as one of the worlds finest urban vistas! Seems a little over the top to me.
The strangest idea from my point of view was the original planners wanted all of the residents to shop in just one shop and the imposing Welwyn Stores initially had a complete monopoly before commercial pressures allowed other shops to move in. It is now John Lewis.
In 1948 Welwyn was designated a ‘New Town‘ and described by The Times as;
“a world-famous, modern new town developed as an experiment in community planning”
And do you know who is from Welwyn Garden City? I didn’t until I did some research but how about these guys?
- Alesha Dixon
- Lisa Snowden
- Una Stubbs
- Nick Faldo
- David James
Know who they all are?
Colourful Little Apartment
So here we are in our colourful, quirky little apartment on the outskirts of WGC, we’re here for a couple of months until June so it’ll be good to be able to relax for a while as the national lockdown really eases off. Comfy bed, decent shower, nice kitchen and smart TV. Everything we could possibly need plus a little bit of outside space if the weather improves.
The arty, stylish decor is a little over the top but really cheerful and homely. Lots of ideas for potential decorating whenever we end up getting our own place again. Particularly interesting is the enormous dolls house in the corner of the living room that was made for the owner by her grandfather when she was a teenager. Fascinating but we’re not touching just in case ………….
Under the Knife
Well not really as there won’t be a knife but you know what I mean. My kidney stone operation has now been scheduled for next Monday, April 19th. After loads of phone calls and a lot of semi-begging I managed to get it booked in earlier than expected so I really can’t wait at all for that. Be great not to be visiting the toilet 25 times a day!
Hopefully once the op is done next week we can get back to some serious JWalking and explore the parks, nature reserves and countryside of Hertfordshire.
06/04 – 13/04/2021