October 28 – Halloween Street Parade, Warminster

Bath to Warminster

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We spent the morning packing and tidying up the house in Bath. We planned to leave about 1 so that would arrive in Warminster at about 2. When we were completely ready to leave we called Shabi for his lunch. Usually, he is like clockwork and arrives on time for every meal but today he must have got further away and did not come even after half an hour of calling. I was worried about leaving him with no food as his Mum and Dad would not be home until the wee hours so, in the end, we left his food at the front door. I hope it was him who ate it.

We had a nice easy trip to Warminster. It was definitely the shortest distance we have travelled between house sits. We arrived just after 2 and were warmly greeted by Tess. We spent the next couple of hours chatting away as if we had always known each other. Mike ended up on the floor playing an Italian board game with Jas. We also met Minuet and Domino, the two cats and made instant friends with them. Min is the older cat who is very friendly and spends much of her time sleeping. Dom is a white cat with a black tail and three black spots on one side and the odd black spot on the other side, hence the name. Dom is the newcomer and although friendly you have to watch her tail as she can go from your best friend to giving you an almighty swipe with claws out in seconds. She does the same to Min who she loves to torment.

Tess and Jas have a wild garden, that is, not untidy but as a habitat for three hedgehogs and also a bug box for various bugs to winter over in. The hedgehogs were fed dried worms mix. Hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30% in the UK in the last 10 years and there are less than a million left so a wildlife trust has been set up to help them. Tess has ladybirds and other bugs which make their home here for the winter and then in the summer she has the advantage of having helpful bugs to eat the nuisance bugs from the plants in the garden. I think this is a great idea to consider for the avid gardener. This is a new concept to us and we found some very interesting articles about ‘how to build a bug hotel’ including one by www.happydiyhome.com.

We were going to the Halloween parade that night and Jas had a great red and black lady vampire costume. Her trick for ‘trick and treat’ was to give people a cup with a very gruesome looking eye in it. It was very scary. We walked the short distance into the town, walking past the supermarket on the way so that we could get our bearings. We went to a food stall where we got some pork and chips. The best chips we have had in ages. Yum.

We stood in front of the Chapel of St Lawrence and chatted while the crowds gathered. The parade started at 7 but quite a way away as it was more like 7.20 by the time the parade got to us. Before that, traders went up and down the roads selling balloons and light sticks. It was not cold but was dark so very festive looking. It reminds me of Geraldine when the Winter Lights Festival is on. Shop windows had been decorated and the church and other buildings were festooned with Remembrance Day poppy displays. The chapel had a crocheted blanket of red poppies from the roof to the ground. Very impressive. Also in front of the chapel was a display of a horse, a pigeon and a dog all made out of what looked like grey poppies. When we went back in daylight it turned out that they were dark and light purple. A beautiful display. This display remembers the animals who were also important to the war effort.

There were lots of Majorette groups, mostly girls but a few with boys and some with adults. They twirled their batons and pom-poms and danced without tiring. The costumes for these groups were lovely. There also seemed to be a competition of some kind for individuals who dressed up in costumes (they all had numbers on). The use of LED lights has really enhanced these costumes. Our favourite was a young person who had a ball of wall costume with a pair of huge knitting needles sticking out the back. A lot of effort had been put into these costumes. Then there were the floats. Several floats had tableau’s where a scene was being acted out without movement. I am not sure I would have liked to hold some of those positions for over an hour. They were brilliant with faces that didn’t change or even blink.

Back at the house, we had a room downstairs with a big TV, Netflix and a comfortable bed. We also had off-street parking, one of the few in the street that does.