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Life on the Open Road

Jan 2, 2022 | Road Trips, The Grand Adventure | 24 comments

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):

Pubs in The Cotswolds

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.



  1. Very true!

  2. We hope to repeat the trip in March – we just won’t have the same amount of spending money!

  3. Glad to hear Molly is recovering and there is always next month xx

  4. Yup – have a dog, have plenty of drama and lots of vet bills. Thank goodness Molly has come through okay. Too bad about your trip though as it looked wonderful.

  5. Lots of love to you all.

  6. Yes, that was my second resolution:)

  7. Thanks, Patrick. And we’re glad to hear you’ve come out the other side with your tail wagging too!

  8. Great to hear the news Mel. Do hope Molly much better now – poor doggie! Great to chat on Christmas Day.
    Happy New Year to you both and big hugs from us all.
    Love, Jen

  9. Glad Molly has recovered well, sorry you missed your trip.
    I saw a picture of a Cotswold village covered in snow recently – it looked beautiful but will be even more so when you finally get there in Spring or Summer. Haven’t had a chance to make any New Years resolutions yet. One might be to try and reverse the effects of an indulgent festive season😏
    Happy New Year to you both! Xoxo

  10. Sorry to hear that Molly has been doing it tough and glad to hear she’s come out the other side with tail a wagging.
    All those wonderful pubs are still awaiting and no doubt once you start your travelogue it will be hard to stop. So many and each with a fascinating story to tell.
    I’m sure you’ll have no end of fun. Safe travels Mel and Morty.

  11. Win win!

  12. Goodness, that’s quite a list of things for us to do. We might have to plan for longer than a week next time

  13. Definitely!

  14. Lucky Sophie! I think Molly’s off Christmas ham for life

  15. You too John & Louise

  16. Thanks, Graham

  17. Yes, we’re definitely planning a repeat booking and maybe in March when the weather will be a little kinder. So, hopefully best all round!

  18. Best laid plans Mel!! You’ll just have to book it all again – the photos are great – you can’t miss out!!

  19. Sorry to hear that Molly was crook and you missed your planned trip.
    Happy New year to you both, I’m sure February will be much better.
    Omicron is spreading fast in Queensland now. There are a lot of cases here in Mareeba already.
    Glad you are well and surviving the cool weather.
    Duck your head Russell as you move about the house.

  20. Thanks for the update Mal
    We all hope you make the Feb trip ok
    Have a great 2022
    Cheers John & Louise
    Gold Coast

  21. Oh no, poor Molly and poor you😢. Another happier doggy Xmas: Our friends heading off to Perth for Xmas with family decided their dog would be one too many in the household, so decided to leave their dog, Sophie, with friends. (Sophie was on diet of dry biscuits because vet said she was overweight!!) They dropped Sophie off with dry biscuits plus huge beautifully sliced platter of ham for their friends to enjoy. However message got lost and on their return they found Sophie had been fed the sliced ham, Sophie had a very very happy Xmas.

  22. Poor old Molly, certainly not the way to start 2022! Big relief she’s now home xx Guess she gets to book Feb’s trip?!

  23. Aw, never mind, the health of Molly comes first and there’s always next month and the one after!
    Where will you go on your itinerary in somerset and the Cotswold? That’s my stamping ground before I left England, such beautiful counties. Check out Langley house, Langley Burrell and Lacock if you can, my old home and where I went to college…. The village is NT owned and is stunning. Many a film has been shot there and if you should venture near minehead, Selworthy is yet another picture postcard village-thatched cottages etc. I’m so jealous, stay safe!! Xx

  24. Worth every penny and we see you in spring!

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