Monday, October 20, 2014

Cows??

I caught some flak last week on facebook when I referred to a cow as "him".  So today I am posting some cow/steer/bull etc pics because there were a lot of "he cows" around though I guess officially a cow can't be a "he', can he?

The walk to Naunton was gorgeous and the nice weather held.



 Definitely some bovine males!
 Some male/female action going on here!! Or perhaps male male sniffing? I think I see two sets of horns!

 A nice tidy field.


 I had to "steer" my way past quite a few ungulates but not a single one seemed to notice me :) Wrong species I guess!


 Glad I didn't have to work my way past this crowd!


 Very pastorale!


 Climbing over a stile while taking photos probably wasn't the best idea...


But I made it through ok...
 Hey...who turned the he-cows into sheep?
Smile!

 Cool tree trunk looks like giant toes!

 Does anyone know what this berry bush is called?

 Some nice farmhouses in the distance.

 My favourite sight of all - my signpost!!


Some farmhouses are quite large!


A wee bit of fall colour...
I had to find a tiny footbridge - here it is! No problems following the directions today :)
 The path was pretty evident! I had to turn to the right and climb that large hill however.
 Great views from the top!
 See that telephone pole way down there, that's where I turned to climb up the hill - now I'm almost at the top.

 I kept following this path til I came to a road. I crossed the road, went through a gate...

 and Naunton started to come into view!

 There it is!

 Having climbed some hills I had a great vantage point to see all around me.




 I moseyed on down the hill into the village of Naunton.

Getting closer!
 On the outskirts (by the manor house) was a large dovecote dating back to the 1600's (or earlier - no one seems to know its exact age) which kept the lord of the manor in dove pie, dove soup, doves on toast and whatever else they made doves into way back then.

 A very picturesque footbridge I had to cross...


 They sure knew how to build to last! I went inside to take a peek - I've never seen a dovecote before.


 AND it's still home to many doves - I could hear them cooing and rustling away.

 There was a gate preventing me access (probably just as well;) so I reached my arm in as far as it could go and snapped looking up towards the top. Tiny hotel rooms for hundreds of doves!



 I assume this horse was incognito? Flies bothering him perhaps?


The special top to the dovecote allowed the doves to get in but kept the nasty hawks OUT!
Naunton was very quiet but I heard the pub was good so I went off to look for it.

 And found it!

And of course I tried the Donnington Ales :) Plus salmon cakes, salad, spicy chili sauce for the salmon, a most excellent salad dressing and a nice refreshing pint!!

It was the best lunch yet!

 And since it was such a nice day, warm and sunny, I sat out back on their patio and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Pretty sweet eh?

 It wasn't long before a couple and their dogs took the table above and started eating bags of crisps. Potato chips are "crisps" and french fries are "chips". Both are eaten in great quantities!


Since the owners of my next B & B in Guiting Power didn't want us to arrive until 4pm I wasn't in any rush so relaxed and enjoyed my lunch. After lunch I had a nice walk along the stream and then went to view the village church before finding my way to Guiting Power.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bournton on the Water

Yet ANOTHER idyllic village I could move to in a heartbeat...that is, if I could afford to buy even a scrap heap over in yonder expensive England!

 The weather was on my side once again. After ditching my stuff at the B&B (my least favourite of all the 10+ places I stayed at) I headed downtown. I was looking for a place with wifi. My hostess at the B&B didn't exactly give me a warm welcome. "I wasn't expecting you this early" she said. (It was 3:30pm.) She was outside her house and went inside the front door closing it in my face. (I went in anyways). Again - "you're earlier than I expected..." I stood at the bottom of the staircase while she continued to vacuum upstairs. I was tired and wasn't about to go away. I spotted my suitcase in the kitchen so started hauling it up the stairs. The first thing I usually do is put something to charge on my international charger and also test the internet. I couldn't get the internet to work but my hostess didn't seem too concerned about it. I changed and got the hell out of Dodge!
 I was looking for someplace to have a spot of tea while using their wifi. I found a Tourist Info place and for 10p I purchased a list of restaurants/pubs and tea shops that had free wifi. I found a nice tea shop and had my first and last cream tea. Sorry, I didn't think to take a photo. But oh my, talk about creamy!! A large scone cut in half, a large bowl of clotted cream and another bowl of strawberry jam. It was all I could do to swallow all that richness down...thank goodness for endless cups of tea!
 I caught up on messages with Kazi (poor Tisky had been cremated at this point) and explored the village. It was filled with tourists, mostly Asian for some reason.  The light was heavenly shining on the limestone buildings and bridges.
 The entire length of High St. and beyond was bisected by the stream and connected to the other side by numerous bridges. There were ducks galore and benches under weeping willow trees and I sat for awhile and just enjoyed the ambiance.
 I had been getting emails from my tour organizer, Mr. Guppy, and he wanted to buy me dinner to make up for not getting the maps and route maps to me on time. He recommended a couple of swanky spots but wanting to stay connected to Kazi I chose a pub that had wifi instead. To be honest I knew that after that heavy cream tea I wasn't going to do justice to a swanky meal!
 Can you sense my love of these bridges??


 I had spotted something about a "miniature village" in a brochure and then noticed a sign while walking pointing back to this little alley behind the main street.

 Fortunately there was about an hour left before they closed so I paid the fee and went to have a look around.  First I was greet by these two little people :)

 Inside there was a miniature replica of the entire village of Bournton-on-the-Water. What an incredible amount of work and attention to detail!! These building were between 1 and 2 feet tall - they even had the stream flowing down High St.  The same limestone was used for all of the miniature buildings as was used for the real things.




 There were a couple of churches...
 There's the tea shop where I had my cream tea!!
Isn't it amazing?!?



 Tiny tractors...and horses...
 When I got close to one of the churches I could hear a choir singing...lo and behold a tiny little church service was going on inside :)

 What a great idea!



Scroll back up and you'll see that this is where I entered, right down to the statues of the even littler people!!
And as if that wasn't enough there was a model of the village inside the model of the village!!


 I think this was my only meal of fish and chips while in England complete with mushy peas, of course, and one of my favourite beers - Hobgoblin:) I was very pleasantly surprised to find a pub serving this beer - my lucky night!
 This is my B&B - beware!! Don't arrive "early"!


 This is the pub where I ate - you can see the sign for Hobgoblin beer!


 And another sign...can you tell this made my night?
 By the time I was finished dinner it was dark outside and had turned quite cool. I had memorized my way back to the B&B so I headed back. During the evenings I would always write up my journal and watch some BBC and get my clothes and toiletries ready for the next day.

My breakfast left a LOT to be desired the next morning. There was a HUGE black sausage on my plate that smelled rather RANK - it made me feel nauseous so I hid it on another plate under a bunch of napkins so I wouldn't have to look at or smell it.  Even the peameal bacon looked like it had been around for a few days! And the egg was undercooked! I moved things around a bit and ate some toast - that was the best I could do! I was really glad to be on my way!! (I'm sure the yucky sausage was offered to someone else the next day!)

So I am now headed out of the beautiful village of Bournton-on-the-Water. One of the landmarks heading down the road was this B&B called The Mousetrap Inn. I wonder if they serve days old black sausages!

 The directions to get out of town were much easier to follow and as you can see the sun shone down on me once again. I was feeling rather blessed once I got the smell of that sausage out of my nostrils!


 I followed the stream along the road...

 The view in the direction that I was headed was very green, lush and inviting...



 I'm definitely getting out of town now...

 Goodbye Bournton-on-the-Water!!   I'm on my way to Guiting Power with a stop for lunch in Naunton!