A Lovely Day out

Mrs Viper took me out for Valentine’s Day. She does that sort of stuff. She’s a lovely person. She can do so much better, bless her. Still, I’m onto a good thing here, so I’m keeping her.

I’ve been to Fountains Abbey before, but I have talked for years about wanting to go back. My last visit was with an ex-girlfriend, so I wanted to wipe out the memories of that particular deceptive, manipulative monster. Sorry, little bit of bitterness showing there. I should describe her in the terms Mrs Viper uses… unfortunately, my blog would be banned.

Fountains Abbey is in Yorkshire. What more reason do you need to visit? It’s got the ruins of an Abbey, it’s got beautiful gardens and its got an old Hall. Mmm, those are all my kinks. Well, not all of them. I’m not going to tell you the others. They would unnerve you. Fountains Abbey is also a National Trust property and our membership is still in date. Sadly, we will have to cut the National Trust from our budget soon. I’m sure they’ll survive.

We installed the children with the grandparents and zoomed off to our destination. We love a good road trip. We spent the journey discussing other Valentine’s Days and nostalgia. I’m ruled by nostalgia. If I have good memories of a place, I want to go back over and over. Maybe I’m trying to cling on to happy stuff so that I can balance the miserable things.


Started off with scones in the cafe, yay! No cream, slightly less yay.


There were loads of snow drops. Why is it so hard to show snow drops in pictures? There were masses of them. The abbey ruins are magnificent. I spent my time imagining the vaulted ceilings and the stained glass. I also imagined the monks, wondering whether their lives were peaceful and contemplative. Perhaps they were just as stressed, anxious and depressed as I am.

It’s so strange to imagine the thousands of people who lived in the Abbey. This was their world. It must’ve been easy to believe in God when you lived in the biggest building for hundreds of miles. Their world must have seemed so controlled, so ordered. I was pretty jealous. A world that makes sense is very tempting. Still, I’m sure the reality of their lives contained plenty of worries.

I wanted to film a movie here. Maybe I’ll bring a video camera and do some guerrilla film making next time. I see myself starring as a slightly camp version of Conan the Barbarian.

Look at me. Just look at me. I went with my “bit of rough” style that day. Black hat, bulky jacket and scruffy jeans. Almost too sexy, right? Mrs Viper’s a lucky girl. See the pic of the temple? As I was walking past, I heard them saying, “Is that a GOD?!” Bless them.

I’m not sure that I’m really showing you the majesty of the place. Trust me, it was majestic. Do you like those tree roots? I do. Gnarled roots make me feel like I’m on an adventure with hobbits. Mrs Viper is very small, but she doesn’t have hairy feet, so the illusion is not complete.

Water and snowdrops. Good, eh? That’s what you get on a Viperish day out.

There’s a Hall! Most of it is closed off, but there are places to sit and they provide books about gardening. If we hadn’t been following a tight schedule, I would’ve stayed for a read. I was tempted to sit in a chair and glare at visitors before yelling, “What are you doing wandering into my house? Out! OUT!”

I thought it was nice that they put out a bust of my good self, just to make me feel at home. It’s thoughtful touches like that which make a day special.

On the way home from Fountains Abbey, we went to visit my OTHER friend. It was lovely to see him. He gave me tea and cake. That’s nice, isn’t it?

There we go. I’ve shown you some pictures of my day out without getting misery-fingerprints all over them. I had a lovely day. I need to repeat that to myself over and over. I had a lovely day. I will have more lovely days.

Now, who would like to work on my movie? There will be no pay. There will be gratuitous nudity. The working title is “Viper the Barbarian”.

Inbox me.

Lots of love,

Valentine’s Viper.



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