Yesterday the Pink Shoes took me to my hometown of Warwick, I have not a drop of English blood in me, but I am a very proud Warwickian, I was born there, educated there. Lived there for 21 years and had my first kiss behind the water jump on Warwick racecourse.
Warwick is equally proud of its history, there is more history in just one square mile of the town than there is in the whole of York.
The jewel in the crown is the magnificent Warwick Castle, perched on its cliff overlooking the mighty River Avon (where I had my first swim) though it is sad that 90% of the visitors do not venture into the town.
The main entrance to the castle is to the west of the town just a mile or so from the M40 and once in the castle owners make every effort to keep you there with their many attractions and food outlets.
There is a very small gate in the walls that bring you into the heart of the town but sadly used by very few.
But I was not there as a tourist I was meeting a lifelong pal for our monthly chin wag, we grabbed a table in the glorious June sunshine outside The Rose and Crown in the marketplace and enjoyed great conversation whilst people watching, the town was buzzing.
Half a century ago my father warned me “Never go in The Rose and Crown, you won’t get out alive”, then it was one of the roughest pubs in the town though these days it is a great gastro pub owned and run by Peach Taverns, though it is one of many pubs and restaurants the town is blessed with.
Now the bad news, a couple of vodka tonics on an empty stomach coupled with two hours in 27degrees and constant sunshine is not an ideal recipe for a stroll around the mid-week market.
I bought bread from the fantastically named Norma Jean Bakery, Welsh cakes and steak pies from Llangollen based Welsh Oggie Co., olives from the olive stall, several folk commenting on the pink shoes….and then I got seduced.
We found ourselves in front of the stall of Country Styles Clothing and there slap bang in the middle of their display was a pink fedora, I have wanted one for years but never been brave enough, but the vodka tonics turned me into a superhero.
The lovely lady from Country Styles found one that not only was my size but could have been made to measure, encouraged by a member of the public and the adjacent stall holders the deal was done and the Pink Shoes have a new friend the Pink Hat.
Next week I shall be in Greece complete with my Pink family, I will tell you about it when I am back assuming I survive the ouzo and metaxa!