A short trip to Swindon

Swindon Travel Blog

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The stolen dance floor

It had been a long time since I had time to visit my friends in Swindon, and here I was, with a spare weekend. I had a Friday meeting in London, a Monday meeting in London, and Iain was working all weekend. Even better, it was the run up to Christmas and most of my friends were free.

On the Friday, I took the train from Paddington. I had a coffee in the Cafe Ritazza. Cafe Ritazza seems to hold a monopoly on station cafes, and is in a few motorway service stations. Once, just once, I would like to go and not be bitterly disappointed. Either the service is slow and grudging, or the drinks are horrible (today was a grudging service, nice drink day) and the cafes are never, ever clean.

I can only assume that getting the contract involved setting the price at a level that means they can't afford enough staff. The modest queue of three people in front of me took so long to clear that I had to take my drink to the train, where I promptly spilled it right down my front (my fault, at least, rather than the cafe!).

So I was very glad that despite the snow, I got to Swindon on time and without further adventures. Once in Swindon, I settled down at my friend Kate's house. Her daughter Sophie had given up her bedroom for me, and so it was going to be a comfy stay. We went to Cricklade, to what is still my favourite curry house in the South West, and had a lovely time.

The next day we had a nice long lie and then went to the outlet village. The outlet village was good, although I didn't get as many presents for people as I'd hoped.

That night, we met up with some different friends in the Tawny Owl and stole a dance floor. It happened like this. We were all having a bit of a drink. There was a wedding on in the function room of the Tawny, and they had obviously had a lot more of a drink. By about half past nine, all the wedding people were getting tipsy and sleepy and the bride had vanished completely (apparently she had gone to bed). Half past nine! That's about the time I start thinking about starting having fun! The wedding had a dance floor, and it was deserted. Half the wedding people were going home. The groom, on the other hand, was still up and drinking. Kate was up for a dance, but the dance floor was in the wedding part of the pub. Now, normally, I would have left it at that.

But not Kate. She wandered over and asked the groom if we could borrow the dance floor, and he said yes, so she went to ask the barman to take the partition wall away. When he said no, the groom came over and pretended Kate was his niece and he wanted the partition down too. Now there was no barrier to us dancing the night away! Well, other than the fact that there were only seven of us and only three of us were up for dancing. But the three of us danced around on our own and went a bit silly. We took off our hairy winter boots so that we could do the twist, we bounced around to the Black Eyed Peas, and when we finally left, we giggled our way home through the snow.

The next day was a slow start too, but we had a nice quiet day at home and then went for a walk in Stanton Park, near the big Honda factory. The park was pretty magical at dusk, although I think Eva, who is three, was a little worried about monsters in the woods. Luckily, there were no monsters, and we had really nice tea in the hotel.

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The stolen dance floor
The stolen dance floor
photo by: sarahelaine