Sometimes things don’t go to plan.  The weekend just gone has been interesting, if not quite the chill out planned.

Reason for travel:  feed the tigers at Longleat.

Accommodation booked:  posh hotels with hot tubs.

The good news is, we got our free Hilton breakfast this morning.  The credit card being cancelled months ago didn’t matter.  It would be possible to pay £450, earn 30,000 Avios or other points , cancel card getting a £412.50 refund and enjoy a year of free Hilton breakfasts.

But why did we never make it to the hot tubs?

Problem one was the loss of poor Minnie on Saturday morning.  That delayed our departure and took the edge off the excitement of a few days away.

But the bigger problem was an unexpected side effect of my chemotherapy.  Positively, I’ve been off the morphine pills for a couple of weeks.  They, along with naproxen, have been unkind enough to give me quite severe constipation in the past.  This time I can only attribute being Elvised to the chemo.

Without wishing to get too detailed, not being able to go is bloody uncomfortable.  Taking laxatives is also a dangerous game.  Take too few and nothing happens.  Take too many and you have to restrict yourself to a two metre radius of the nearest lavatory for a good 48 hours.  Sitting in a public hot tub is a risk not worth taking.  Feeling good about yourself in the before and after moments is also quite difficult.

Still, all sorted for now.  Just not in a way that left me confident enough to strut my stuff in hot tub city while we were away.

There were good times on the trip, but Minnie and my discomfort were always too close to mind for fun to be the order of the weekend.

We did, however, get to see Clifton Suspension Bridge without jumping, much of Longleat including the Chilean Flamingos who I think were different to the ones I’d seen with Chris in Chile itself, and today’s mini trip was to Tewkesbury Cathedral.  To discover it’s not a cathedral at all but an Abbey.  Useful Benedictine clarification.

The odd highlight of the trip for me was observing the ridiculous behaviour of drivers in the safari park.  Weirdest animals of the lot.  “Sound your horn if you’re in trouble” the signs say.  If your window is stuck open in the lion enclosure this strikes me as a good idea.

In the zebra enclosure half a dozen stripey horses wandered in front of a car a few yards ahead of us.  Docile, no obvious dange.  The driver decides they’re in his way and that the best way to hurry them along is to sound his horn.  Genius!  You’ve paid £34.95 each to get them out of your way as quickly as possible?

Back home now.  Pondering how Chris can be on the Isle of Skye with Internet access inferior to that we had on Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific.

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation – please give generously