Today is 2nd January 2022 and I have already blown my new year’s resolution. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the leftover mince pie I had for dinner last night. It’s far worse.
We haven’t done a road trip this month.
“But it’s only 2nd January,” I can hear you say. “Give yourself a break.”
That’s the point. We tried and failed.
Let me explain.
One of the main reasons for coming to the UK was to start exploring England’s mountains green (although we’ll pass on her ‘dark satanic mills’). And eventually – when COVID allows – more mountains, beaches, cities and vineyards around Europe.
Yet somehow, the second half of 2021 disappeared like a rug pulled from under our feet, and we’ve only managed a couple of forays out of Suffolk.
In our defence, it’s taken a moment or two to settle into our new home and find our work/life/golf balance. And let’s not overlook the time it’s taken to draw up the Wicks Shortlist of Great Suffolk Pubs.
Over the past few months, we have diligently researched and categorised each pub against a range of criteria including Sunday lunch menus, beers on tap, sunny gardens, warm log fires, and conviviality. It is a seminal work, for which our visiting Australian friends will no doubt thank us.
But I digress.
Sometime back in late November – as autumn took a menacing left turn into winter and we were enjoying the Twice Baked Cheddar Souffle at The White Horse in Rendham (Page 62 of the Wicks Shortlist of Great Suffolk Pubs) – Russell and I agreed we would do at least one road trip a month to explore different corners of the UK in 2022.
In fact, we made it our new year’s resolution.
Within a week we had booked Road Trip #1 for January. Seven days away in The Cotswolds and Somerset, starting on 30th December.
The first three nights were to be spent at The Trout at Tadpole Bridge, which looks as enchanting as it sounds. Cotswold stone walls, log burners, leather armchairs and big brass beds. An evening was booked with friends at the velvety opulence of The Double Red Duke, down the road in Clanfield; and then we were moving on to an AirBnB cottage in the middle of a village in Somerset.
Long country walks, roaring fires, cosy dog-friendly rooms, and loads of exploring to be done.
Let the games begin!
Or so we thought.
If I could bore you with a slide show of the trip we planned but never took, and the pubs we booked but never got to, this is what it would look like (sob):
You see, on Tuesday 28th December, our beloved pooch, Molly, was rushed to the emergency vet with pancreatitis, the treatment for which involved 48 hours on an IV drip.
The good news is, she’s now fine.
The bad news is, we had to cancel our road trip and spend New Year’s Eve in front of the telly.
The even worse news is, we had to spend our holiday money on the vet bill.
Roll on February.