November 2010 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

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  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Last-Minute Holiday (29th November 2010)

Cotehele, Cornwall is the setting for Elbow Cottage, a National Trust Cottage called which I booked on Monday 22nd November 2010. We arrived on Thursday and departed on Sunday.


  1. Got discounted tickets from WAT.
  2. Had coffee (Medium size is huge!) and a bacon muffin (also huge!) in Sloe, which is up some steps.
  3. Took our food to the train as the time was whizzing past.
  4. Departed shortly thereafter.
  5. Arrived at FLE.
  6. Mum drove us back to the family home.
  7. Faught with SatNav.
  8. Gave up and used Mum’s, re-routing it to take M4 and M5.
  9. Drove into Fleet and re-fuelled.
  10. Long drive to M4.
  11. Stopped at recycling depot and used the staff loo, as couldn’t remember how far back the Services reminder sign had been.
  12. The actual services were just a mile further along.
  13. Good progress along the motorways.
  14. Amazing views with Sun setting behind patchy clouds, sending rays of light through mist.
  15. Stopped at services for lunch/dinner.
  16. Night driving on M5 and dual carriageways.
  17. Roads got smaller and smaller, until single-track country roads.
  18. Local disputed a passing place with each other, eventually cleared.
  19. SatNav took us to National Trust centre, where we asked the gardeners for directions.
  20. Didn’t go far enough – it was pitch black and very hard to see what was alongside the road.
  21. Went back and they were heading out, so took us past it.
  22. Driveway was very steep and muddy but Car-Car made it up.
  23. Key safe was like a Crystal Maze challenge! Eventually got the main door one open.
  24. Found an exhaustive welcome pack, tea set ready and a box of biscuits.
  25. Everything was in order and perfectly presented.
  26. Started planning the sights we’d visit during the holiday.


  1. Woke up to glorious sunlight, shining down the valley our bedroom looked out over.
  2. Drove down to Cotehele Quay.
  3. Mist was rising off the water.
  4. Tea shop opens at 11am.
  5. Drove to the next settlement, where seagulls and geese were fed by a local.
  6. Big viaduct crossed this valley.
  7. Nothing was open!
  8. Crossed railway at a level crossing, took some pictures.
  9. Spotted a little café by chance, while driving.
  10. Swooped into a parking bay by the side of the road, further along.
  11. Got in, ordered soup and a cream tea.
  12. Sat at the back, where a broad double-glazed window overlooked a mesmerising panaroma.
  13. Owner was helpful and quietly spoken.
  14. Drove back down the road to refuel at a garage.
  15. Continued to Saltash.
  16. Stopped at a memorable building, then cruised beneath the bridges to the riverside.
  17. Drove up a road with 20% gradient.
  18. Challenging roads to Seaton and heavy rain started.
  19. Drove to Looe, now in light snow!
  20. Went to a tearoom and had a truly deluxe hot chocolate.
  21. Rain stopped.
  22. Walked around and found Trawlers, the restaurant recommended by the tearoom.
  23. Took some more photos and went back to the car.
  24. Drove back to the cottage to eat dinner.
  25. Watched some TV, had some snacks, then went to bed.


  1. Saturday we went to Dartmoor via (Gunnislake?)
  2. Lunch in the pub on the way out.
  3. Had an open fire.
  4. A club of men were having their hat meeting.
  5. A friendly local spoke at us (rather than to us) with bits of town news, tourist sights and local history.
  6. I had a cornish pasty.
  7. We then drove to Dartmoor and walked around part of Burrator reservoir.
  8. Drove back over the moor, via a hill with snow on it.
  9. Pulled into a car park near the summit.
  10. Tried to follow the ponies but they easily outmanoevered us.
  11. Jogged back to the car in bitter cold over wild snow.
  12. Continued to drive back, passing Princetown where there’s an old prison.
  13. Stopped in Tavistock at a big Sainsbury’s to get some food.
  14. Bought petrol later on, in the service station where we got our supplies from the day before.
  15. Finished back to the cottage for a dinner TV.


  1. Did a looped walk in a very cold, bright morning from the cottage to Cotehele Quay and back.
  2. Went to the tearoom at Cotehele Quay.
  3. Had a jacket potato with some interesting filling and side vegetables.
  4. 1 slice of Coffe & Walnut Cake for myself, plus 2 more as presents for parents.
  5. Drove back.
  6. Stored Car-Car at yard and transferred luggage to Dad’s truck.
  7. Were driven to FLE where we just caught a train back to WAT.
  8. Both had visions of the sights we saw drifting through our heads as we semi-dozed in the carriage.

Blood Donation Test (27th November 2010)

Did I go to a blood donation at the West End Donor Centre in London but had to take tests instead? Thought I did something like that in November but can’ pin down a record…

Supermarket Sweep! (11th November 2010)

Went to Sainsbury’s and then Tesco, buying 4 carrier bags of groceries, treats and domestic supplies. Was very cold outside but my coat and gloves make it quite bearable. Carrying that much stuff was making me feel quite hot by the time I got to my street.

Tesco Metro

Sainsbury’s Local

Family Reunion (7th November 2010)