Monday, 9 April 2012

What makes a holiday?

According to several people I know it is not a holiday unless:
 a) you leave the country, preferably on a cheap airline like Easyjet or Ryanair where the unbelievably low prices somehow helps you to forget the unbelievably high amount of pollution you have just generated. I mean, the plane was going to fly whether you were on it or not so why not enjoy yourself and go somewhere foreign?

 b) there are beaches and sun and sand and evenings of excessive drinking and partying. I suppose if you are the one drunk and falling all over the place it is not annoying because everyone else is as well.

 So I guess with those parameters in mind, we haven’t had a holiday.

 Spiderman and I are very conscious of our carbon footprint. Living in England there are plenty of things to do, places to go, events to attend where you need not destroy the planet (and your liver) to have a good time. Every time I tell someone we’re going on holiday their face lights up until I say what we are doing and then their faces fall and they look at me pityingly as if what we choose to do is less than what they choose to do.  Remember the week we spent in the Doctor Who themed cottage?  Everyone laughed at me when I told them--but we had a smashing time. That’s what we like to do, find an interesting place where we can take lots of day trips by bus and rent a place to stay for the week. That way we can save on meals as well as be sure they are all vegan since we‘ll do the cooking.

 This time we opted to stay in a WINDMILL. Seriously, a windmill!!! It wasn’t too far from where we live (another thing that seems to be part of the criteria for qualifying as a holiday is it must be far away and hard to get there. People actually sniggered when I said it was near Dunstable.) I’ve always wanted to stay in a windmill since I am a huge fan of the show Jonathan Creek. For my American peeps who don’t know this great programme Jonathan Creek is a quirky reclusive introverted genius who works designing all the special magic tricks for a conjurer but then becomes an amateur sleuth solving impossible “locked room” sort of crimes. Did I mention he lives in a windmill? It would be easy for his character to be a weird reclusive wanker, an irritating stereotype of someone on the autistic spectrum, but the writing makes him human and interesting. And did I mention he lives in a windmill????
Alan Davies as Jonathan Creek

Spiderman found this fantastic place to stay that was close enough we could take a taxi (SERIOUSLY!) so we could pack a whole suitcase full of food with us and just top up on some chiller ingredients like salad and yogurt at the shops. I plan for weeks before hand looking for meals that are cheap and easy to prepare that don’t require specialty ingredients. Then we measure any dry ingredients we need like ¾ cup lentils into ziplock bags to take with us. But I’ll do another post all about food later this week. You’re dying to see the windmill, right? Who wouldn’t be?

 Here is the glorious windmill from the outside. It’s not a working windmill as you can tell by the absence of sails, but it was cool none the less. It is an awesome way to have a space saving home as the floors go up not spread out. 

The Windmill, Edlesborough, Dunstable - sleeps 2 people
view from the front

The Windmill, Edlesborough, Dunstable - sleeps 2 people
view from the back
 Check out this cute wooden froggie on the doorstep.

there was a general frog theme to the decor here
The ground floor was the spacious kitchen which had a radio and we tuned into a local station who was playing all number one hits. We got to hear oldies like the Clash (Should I stay or should I go?) and Bon Jovi (You give love a bad name) as well as new hits by Jessie J (Domino) and Emeli Sand√© (Next to me)  so now I feel I am up on pop culture and so am down wid da kidz as they say. Spiderman would like it pointed out that just the use of the phrase down wid da kidz means I am clearly not. Sigh…
The Windmill, Edlesborough, Dunstable - sleeps 2 people
the cooking bit

the eating bit
Then if you climb 11 stairs you are to the equally spacious living room. This had plenty of space to sit and relax and large screen telly so we could watch rubbish. Spiderman and I don’t have a telly as it seems ridiculous to pay a TV licence of £145.50 per year just to watch Doctor Who. Seriously, £145.50 gets you 4.5 channels (channel 5 is really fuzzy) and there is just not that much interesting to watch. But that’s what holidays are made for--slobbing about in your jim jams and watching crap telly. We stayed up and watched a dreadful horror film about a bunch of sorority girls who get picked off one by one by some crazed revenge killer after a prank went deadly wrong. That’s what happens when you accidentally let one of your sorority sisters die and then dump her body down a well and pretend nothing happened. 

Then if you climb 11 more stairs you get to the bedroom. It was a lovely room, slightly smaller as the windmill starts to narrow at the point. My only complaint was the bed was really soft and we kept rolling toward the middle and squashing each other at night. Oh and the fact that it had feather pillows! Not only unbelievably cruel (they pluck the feathers from live birds and then make then regrow the feathers and then pluck again. Horrible!) But they make me sneeze like nobody's business. Thankfully there were non animal pillows as well so I got to sleep with those whilst my sweet Spiderman took on the feathery ones.
feather pillows already moved to my side

Then if you climb the final 12 stairs (one more for good luck) you get to the bathroom. It was a lovely bathroom with a big oval tub big enough for two and what I excitedly hoped was a bidet, but turned out to be a urinal.

There was also a wee attic room outside the bathroom where you could store your empty suitcases so that was nice.

It was lovely inside and out and the grounds were just as picturesque. Here’s me next to a disused mill wheel. I love it because one of my favourite fairy tales in Hans Christian Anderson’s The Tinder Box which features three dogs--one with eyes as big as saucers, one with eyes as big as mill wheels and the third with eyes as big as the round tower of Copenhagen.

 Well that’s the windmill. Stay tuned for the tale of the day trips! 


  1. What delightful pictures! It was a great narrative of your vakshun digs. I could not have handled the stairs and would have had to sleep on the couch and have a portapotty, but I adored the whole idea of the windmill as living quarters!

  2. What a beautiful Holiday!!! Love it!

  3. Loved seeing the pics and your detailed descriptions. Your mom (Mum :)) had regaled me with her version of the lighthouse vaca story last Saturday when we had lunch, and as good as I am at visualizing things, my imagination did not do it justice. Thanks!

  4. Love the windmill ! The kitchen & tub were gorgeous. Stairs must have been a bother, but the view, I'm sure was lovely. Why not pix of the view?

  5. Which windmill was this? It looks charming, I would like to visit it myself sometime!