So, we decided that we would remove ourselves from the mud for a weekend and head to the opposite end of the spectrum, we went to London. We followed Inca advice and stayed at an absolutely fantastic hotel opposite the Houses of Parliament, I can thoroughly recommend the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, absolutely perfect.
If that wasn't enough the day after we arrived the sun came out!
We had a weekend of exploring to do but just to be topical I decided that Gus and I would take a 'selfie', it is harder than you think with a phone. Especially a relatively new phone that is 90% beyond me.
The first attempt was disappointing to say the least, come on boys concentrate! Someone referred to the following picture as 'The great Muppet caper', not sure why!
Second try and at least someone is smiling.
The third and final attempt (we are easily bored and even more easily distracted) was the best we could do, Big Ben was supposed to be in the shot but it must have moved as I pressed the button.
Anyway that was enough larking about we had to switch on and prevent ourselves from being mugged, murdered or worse.
I like London, don't get me wrong, it is a great place to visit and in my opinion it is the greatest city on the planet but there are still more criminals and rip-off merchants in London than there are in Wiltshire, so I was on full alert for the duration, ready to spring into action, ready to rain lusty blows down on anyone perceived to be a threat to the three of us.
Actually we picked a useless week to go. Two of the things that Gus wanted to do were to take a trip on the London Eye and to visit the Imperial War Museum. However, this was the week that the Eye was closed for maintenance and the Imperial War Museum was closed for some other reason, dusting or something.
So we had to look elsewhere for our thrills.
The Shard, standing at 1,016ft tall, is the tallest building in western Europe so we headed for that on a bright Saturday morning. A forty minute walk along the Thames and we went up it like rats up a drain-pipe, at 13.5 mph to be precise, as the lady in the lift informed us, very smooth indeed.
Now if you want a fabulous view of London and have a suitcase full of money I would suggest going up The Shard. The view was spectacular (you look down on everything, obviously) and you could stay up there as long as you wanted, although I am sure that there would have been a loud "ahem" and a furtive glance at a wristwatch if we had set up for a picnic lunch.
You can see the London Eye way down below, but disappointingly I couldn't see our house from here. In fact I couldn't see a single field in any direction, it made me nervous!
Here is a view of 'The Cucumber', 'The Cheesegrater' and some other large buildings, oh, and some boats.
And of course, the birthday boy and some bridges, a river and some more buildings.
Anyway we had a great weekend, and we even went out when it was dark, twice!
If you can imagine ten levels up from a state of full alert, that is the level I was at.
I had to drink lots of wine to relax and finally, on the way home embarrassed the birthday boy the only way a loving father can!
Happy days, an enjoyable weekend but it was nice to get back into wellies and get out into that mud!