Bath-Time Tales, Part 2 – Of Ska Bands, and Rugby Players and Johnny Depp (well, sort of!)

So, I think I left off when we took Mom back to the B&B and headed out to explore Bath with our new friend, Aves.  We found the war memorial which now includes a plaque to the over four-hundred civilians who died in the bombing raids in WWII.  There is a Book of Remembrance in the Bath Abbey which includes the names of the victims as well.  It was beautifully crafted but it really brought home the scope of the heartbreak to see very victims as young as two listed. 

A page in the Book of Remembrance

There was also a Book of Remembrance in St. Paul’s dedicated to the American men based in Britain who lost their lives in WWII.  (If we’d been able to look, we would have found the name of  one of my uncle’s brother who flew 98 successful missions over Germany in the war.  He never came home from the 99th.  My mom also had a cousin who gave his life at the Battle of the Bulge.)  You can see the book in St. Paul’s if you click here  (or you may have to cut and paste the link…I’m not sure if my live link is working!)

So, after admiring the memorial, we wandered the park for a bit.  We passed an amphitheatre that looked like a set piece and found a little bridge over a stream where a few friendly ducks enjoyed a cookie Aves happened to have.

A very Victorian little structure, don't you think? I love it!

A perfect spot for a game of "Pooh sticks" if it hadn't had a little brick dam!


Paula and Aves feeding the ducks

After feeding the ducks, we decided that we’d fancy a bit of dinner ourselves and wandered back to see what was to be had.  We decided on a lovely looking Thai place (The Thai Balcony, I believe) which was well recommended and it did not disappoint.  It was a bit difficult to explain my gluten-intolerance to the waiter but, once they grasped the idea, they were wonderfully helpful.  My Shirley Temple arrived with such a beautiful presentation that I just had to whip out my camera before sipping!

My beautiful drink!

When our appetizers came, I couldn’t resist another shot. 

Our appetizer tray

 The entire dinner was as lovely as it looked and I tried curry for the first time, definitely something that I’ll have to learn to cook!  After dinner, we decided to wander down to the end of town to find a pub that we’d been told about.  Apparently, Johnny Depp has a house in Bath and is known to occasionally jam with the band in one of the pubs.  We wandered down some lovely streets and I, of course, took lots of photos but I loved this one

Bath Cemetery at Dusk
Now, at this point, my 4GB card called it quits and my other card was back in our room so I used my daughter’s Ipod touch for back up.   I’ll be able to tell you if there are any good shots on that as soon as I figure out how to upload them!
We wandered all the way down to the far side of town in search of the pub (we couldn’t remember the name, which didn’t help.)  We were deciding to turn around when we heard music coming from a little, well, we’d call it a hole-in-the-wall place here.  No, there was no Johnny Depp but there was a wonderful ska band called The CCTV All Stars.  We settled in with drinks (ginger ale for me because I’m allergic to alcohol as well as gluten) and had a wonderful time!  The band was wonderful and the people watching was excellent, all though I could have done without the lady in front of us wearing low-cut pants who was putting the average plumber to shame!  (She finely wised up and pulled her shirt down and sat on it – suffice it to say, it was very nearly a full moon!)  If you’d like to check out the CCTV All Stars, you can cut and paste this link  unless I just managed to make the link work, in which case you’ll be able to click on it!
When the band finished, we bought their cd and wandered home.  We traded phone info with Aves (who was, I think, still shaking his head over been adopted by the American ladies) and slipped quietly into our B&B to rest up for a full day trip to Stonehenge in the morning.
Now, I’ve been promising and promising to get to the part about the rugby team so I’m going to fast forward and come back to Stonehenge and our Mad Maxx tour later (it deserves its own post.)  Just pretend I’ve told you all about Stonehenge and that we came home from our tour, rested up a little, and went to open mike night at another pub.  So, here’s the story….
My oldest daughter, when we went to Paris a few years ago, asked if I could bring her some photos of cute French men.  What she actually said is, “Mom, I know you can’t actually bring me a Frenchman, but you could bring photos.”  So I did.  My 1,200 Paris photos are littered with the occasional shot of a nice looking young Frenchman.  I have to explain to people that those photos aren’t for me when they look through them!  So, being that half the charm of English men is the accent, we decided to bring Sarah a few mpgs of nice young Englishmen saying hello to her.  (I know, most moms just bring a t-shirt.)  Our first night in the pub, we made our first video.  I say “we” because I’m not sure I really would have had the guts to do this if Paula hadn’t done it with me.  Luckily for me, there was one of Sarah’s senior photos on her ipod and, after seeing it, our new friends were usually quite happy to send her a hello!
Open mike night at this pub started with a long set by a gentleman who was sort of the host and we was singing a few rock classics and getting the  involved in singing, too.  At the bar was a group of guys in blue shirts who were singing with gusto.  My sister leaned over and said, “We should ask them to make a video now, before they are too drunk.”  As soon as the set ended, away we went ipod in hand to make our request.  Video made, we began chatting and found out that our group was a RAF signal corps rugby team stationed in Germany.  They had beaten all the service teams in Germany to come and play in the big tournament.  They hadn’t won, they told us, but they’d finished fairly in the middle which wasn’t bad considering they’d only played together for one year!
There was a bit of space in front of where the band played and when the next band started their set, it became an impromptu dance floor.  Here we were, two ladies way over forty dancing with this group of guys in their twenties!  One of these nice boys even did a dip with me!  Honestly, I haven’t had so much fun on a dance floor in years!  These guys also did an absolutely hysterical number when the singer crooned “My Big, Strong, Handsome Man.”  If I’d been able to video that, Paula said it would have gone viral on YouTube in about five minutes!

Paula with "our" rugby team

Ok, as promised, ska bands, rugby players and kinda sorta Johnny Depp in this post!  Now I’m off to get the July block of the month done.  With any luck, it will be up this evening!

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