England #19 – the Peasedown St. John Lodgings

Wow, two entries in less than a week! Work is bizarrely slow today, so I may as well make the most of it. I’d love to finish this by April 28th, the date we left on the trip last year. Not too likely to happen, but at least I’ll be one entry closer.

I’m making this entry all about where we stayed the second week — because it was so great! It was an Airbnb, that Kim actually spotted as we were searching for our second week’s lodgings. We wanted to be around Bath, but Bath is quite pricey. She just stumbled right onto this one, and it was perfect. Well, as evidenced by the previous entry, the parking wasn’t exactly perfect, especially when I couldn’t get the car turned around the first night we were there, but it was worth it. It was on special if you rented for the whole week -only $519 for both of us, and it’s a two-bedroom terrace house. We’d seriously considered one-room places where somebody would be sleeping on the couch for much more than that.  

OH! Here’s a view of the actual spot I tried to park in, from out of my window! There’s the van, and to the right of the van, almost out of sight, is the motorcycle. I tried pulling in behind the motorcycle, attempting to not block the van. You can imagine how well that worked, hence the trauma from last entry. Of course, looking at it now I’m wondering why on earth I couldn’t get turned around since the car was toy-sized, but I think I just got it in there at a very weird angle.   

And the next photo has basically nothing to do with this entry, but it’s a great example of England roads. I actually am not sure where this even was now, although I think it was somewhere between Bath and Castle Combe. Yes, that gargantuan piece of machinery appeared to be about to flatten us! It was a bit scary. Most of the roads we were on were not that bad, even the teeny little country ones, but we were on a few that were, seriously, one lane and if you met anyone, somebody had to back up. That was rare and thank god we never met anyone the few times we did find ourselves on a road that tiny. The huge piece of farm equipment was unusual too, at least for our travels. I think we were passing a farm when we nearly literally ran into it.


Back to the house. It was so great -it was originally a miner’s cottage, and was built around 1901. It reminded me a lot of my grandfather’s house, which was built 10-15 years later – it had a lot of the same features, like old metal doorknobs with skeleton keys.

The really fun thing – well, fun to ME, although if you had a problem with clutter it might drive you over the edge — was that Judy, our host, actually lives in the house part of the time. She’s an artist with a studio in Bristol, and apparently either stays there or with someone else when she has renters. I never did figure that out – I got the feeling she was nearby, and she was very responsive to texts, but we never met her. Which was a little weird. I see that her description says her next door neighbor is available to help out, so maybe that’s where she stays?? It was odd, but fine.

The house itself was absolutely crammed full of her stuff. Paintings, books, art, plants, antiques, cool old furniture, flowers – it was packed, but in such a good way. Everywhere you looked there was something fascinating. It was a huge contrast to the first week, where we were in the very clutter-free and also personality-free timeshare. I found it incredibly cozy, and would happily move right in for good. This very minute.


This was in the bedroom where I stayed. I didn’t get a very good picture of the bedroom, sadly – it was a fairly good size, with a view over the back gardens. And art and books and plants! The paintings are mostly hers, although she said her kids and her dad had painted some of them.

There was this really nice little area right outside the kitchen door – kind of an entry space, which I’m sure has an actual technical name in the world of architecture but I’m not sure what it is. An enclosed porch, almost. With plants and fun stuff scattered around!

More bedroom decor.

And the kitchen! I loooved the kitchen. It also reminded me of my grandfather’s house. And I loved all the stuff she left us to eat  – fancy bread, jams and spreads, lots of breakfast stuff, tons of fruit.

I adore this colander beyond all reason. After I got home I tried to find a similar one, but sadly had no luck. I did buy a copper one about the same size at Home Goods, and I like it, but…. it’s not this one.

Out one of the little windows. This faces the alley where we were not supposed to park but did, and I was occasionally startled by people’s heads appearing as they walked by the window.


The livingroom/ lounging area. Same room as the picture with the ten thousand books, fireplace and TV. The door opens out into a back garden, which was also really really nice. Pretty grown up and wild, with places to sit and potted plants everywhere. This was the couch I lounged on, and Kim would lounge on the one opposite. We really didn’t spend a lot of time lounging, although for the first few nights we did busily catch up with Facebook and upload photos since we hadn’t had wireless at our previous place in Cornwall. One of the very few downsides was that the TV didn’t work –or didn’t work a lot of the time, or if it did work we couldn’t figure it out. There were insanely complicated directions – a VCR was involved, and I think it was a satellite dish also and it was just impossible. I got it working by accident a few times but mostly no luck. And the TV at the timeshare didn’t always work either, so that was one kind of sad thing, since I love British TV! But it’s not like we didn’t have PLENTY to do.



Bathroom decor.

Another view of the lounging/ TV/ etc area. with art!

Ahhhhh – the stairs! The bedrooms and bathroom were up these stairs. These very narrow stairs. Very narrow and very steep. They were unfortunately narrow and steep for someone with mobility issues– i.e. poor Kim and her injured knee. Since I started this like eight months ago, any readers may not remember that right before we left on the trip, Kim fell at work and really messed up her knee. She’s a nurse, and was going in 20 directions at once, as nurses do, and tripped over a pillow that someone had stuck partway under a patient’s bed. She landed full force on her knee and completely tore the big ligament (that has an actual name but I don’t remember what it is) and did quite a bit of additional damage as well. It hurt like holy hell much of the trip, I’m afraid, and her whole leg kept swelling up. And she DID go to the doctor several times prior to the trip, and the doctor thought it would be fine. It really wasn’t fine.

So it was especially painful when she had to bend it, and she really had to bend it going up and down these stairs. I actually had to go down them with my huge clown feet sideways, they are so narrow front-to-back, but she found them very painful and difficult. She had to go up using her hands on the stairs! And I’m sure they didn’t help her knee recover, especially since it certainly didn’t recover on the trip- except for one odd bit of time in Glastonbury.

There is happy news about her knee, though. Despite it still not being well, it’s much better and hopefully she won’t have to have surgery on it. In addition to the tear, she’s also got arthritis in it, made worse by the fall, and other problems from being on her feet for all these years as a nurse. Also not helped by being overweight, but she’d lost quite a bit of weight before it happened at least, and since then has lost more. But the really good thing is that she didn’t like her job at all – the floor nurse job- and had very little hope of ever getting out of it due to the good jobs always being snatched up by people who know people (this is at the VA Hospital). But since she fell at work and did all this massive damage, she got put on temporary light duty, then got put on permanent light duty, and just last week got hired for a VA job in an office where she goes around kind of overseeing nursing homes and doing assessments. Very different from anything she’s ever done (floor nursing for at least 20 years, special ed teacher before that) and she LOVES it. Her knee is improving since she’s not on it all day for 12 hour shifts, she works normal office-job hours, she likes her coworkers, and she is stunned by life in an office where you actually get a lunch break that you can actually leave the hospital for, and also she doesn’t have to ask off a YEAR in advance for vacations – she can ask off a DAY in advance now!! SO it was no fun for her but at least the outcome has been great.


This is going down! I wish so much I’d gotten a picture of the little display thing right above the door at the bottom – it was full of fun little antiques. Toy cars, mostly. I have no idea how I forgot to do that.

Out the back – there were such nice spots to sit all over the place. Sadly it was quite chilly so we didn’t hang out outside much- it was always dark, or near dark when we got in every day and too cold to sit outside.


This is the area beyond the alley, looking back at the house – our host apparently owned the yard space way up the hill, all the way to the next row of houses. It was a narrow area, but just kept going up and had little nooks and corners to sit in and was just SO nice. Lots of things starting to bloom, too.



Our entrance-way.



There were cats all over the neighborhood – my kind of place!








And horses! We could look out at this field from the top floor, and it’s by the road where we parked. There were also goats.



Our parking area again, from the other end of the street, with the terrace houses in the distance.



We walked by these gorgeous flowers every day-



And this is the front of the terrace house row we were in, although ours was 3 or 4 houses down to the left and I never did get a picture of the front of it- it was hidden by bushes along the road.

Well, that was certainly the overly long entry! Next stop, Bath – we decided on our second day here to have an easy day, after the Drive From Hell on Saturday— and so we did.

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April 18, 2018

Oh wow! Other than her badly wrecked knee and a staircase from hell, it looks very nice.

April 18, 2018

those stairs would scare but pretty cool old house… my boys are getting ready to tour Europe this summer. My youngest lived in Germany for 6 months and loves it he goes to Europe two or three times a year

April 18, 2018

I would love to go live somewhere else for a year or something.  This entry makes me wish I were braver.  Or that I was braver, younger – before becoming a grandma.

I’m glad your friend is in a better spot, but poor thing!  I know what stairs can be like to someone with knee problems!  I have arthritis in my knees (among other places).

Oh, and KITTY!!!

April 19, 2018

@colanky I wish I’d been brave enough when I was younger to go live in another country for a year or so — now I’m brave enough but I have to think about finances and … retirement. Baker B and I DO plan to try spending months at a time in England when we’re both retired, though. Which seems like a long time off but time does fly.

April 19, 2018

@ednamillion Hehe.  I need a travel buddy like you have!  I haven’t found one yet.

April 21, 2018

@colanky Kim is the best travel buddy ever, despite her tendencies towards draaaama and disaster! My husband is not nearly as good a travel buddy usually because he’s nervous and neurotic , although I have to admit when we all three went to England I was shocked at how well he did.