Rainy days, gardens, tea, and old books

Rainy days hold pleasant surprises when you travel, yet you probably won’t see them on the Travel Channel. Another of my travel maxims is, “Don’t let the weather decide how much fun you have.”

Rainy days make a cup of tea taste the best. The Bath Bun tea shop in Bath, England is a wonderful place anytime, but on a cold rainy day tea upstairs in this building that is a couple hundred years old is amazing. A “Bath Bun” is a round roll, sweetened with sugar on top and bottom with currants or other dried fruits inside. We had tea, a pot of chamomile and a pot of English Breakfast. With rain outside, tea to warm the inside, and some good conversation it just does not get any better. Without the rain we might not have stopped to rest as we should, thank you rain.

The owner of a small used book shop gave us tickets to a book fair that was to be held at the Bath Assembly Rooms, part of the local government. The first benefit was free admission to the building, but the real treat was a book fair on a rainy cold day. Booksellers from around England we’re there with an amazing offering of old books. Bibliophiles such as us could spend hours and many Pounds with ease.

It was there that I was introduced to the Victorian Journal, two were offered and worth every penny of the £300 he was asking, unfortunately that amount did not sit well with my budget at the time so I resignedly passed them by. During the Victorian era one would have a blank journal, and when spending time with a friend they would exchange their journal and each would make an entry. Some entries were watercolor paintings, a poem, maybe a drawing, or a political comment. These two journals were a wonder, filled with memories of another time; a reminder that things did not always move so fast and that people took time to connect. Without the rainy day diversion we may have missed this wonder.

On the rainy morning of our last day in Bath we took a walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens. If you want to avoid crowds visit a garden on a rainy day, you will have it mostly to yourself, yet you will find a beauty in nature that the fair-weathered folks miss. Rain drops falling of trees, grasses with glistening drops, even a flower sparkling from the rain.

We met a friend, from behind a shrub a small white cat almost ran up to say hello, as if waiting for some company. He rubbed up against our legs and followed for a bit, then led the way through part of our walk.

A cup of tea, some old books and journals, a cat to guide us through a beautiful park – all on rainy days. Three of the most memorable moments of our time in Bath were in the rain. Some would complain bout the weather, I think the weather added to the day. On a rainy day a bit of imagination and a jacket are all you need to find memories to cherish.

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