It’s official; this is the rainiest May and June in England in recorded history!
fluffy white sheep, (good for counting…) gentle green hillsides, lazy canals and ancient villages. In and around the Cotswolds you can find Blenheim Palace the birthplace of Winston Churchill, the World Heritage Site of Bath, and Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon and Chasleton
house where the rules for croquet were written. The infamous medieval Warwick Castle with its gruesome dungeon torture chambers is a “make your blood run cold just thinking about it experience”.
Met up with my intrepid traveling companion Barb and we decided to go see some of the famous gardens in the area. English gardens are spectacular and Abbey House was our first garden stop. To our surprise the day we went it was CLOTHING OPTIONAL day… A time for communing with nature in a more basic way…Thank god it was optional or I could have found myself stripping down to my natural nymph like state and slipping nymphily through the hydrangeas and foxgloves. NOT. Unlike me, many people DO want to do that and it seems that it is mostly men. I gave birth to two boys but holy cow there were many surprises in sight. One particularly tall
handsome and extremely well endowed guy, “Paul” asked Barb and I if we would snap his photo among the roses. “Sure” we stammered as we tried to make out like this is an everyday occurrence and no “big” deal. I did my best to act nonchalant. Then Paul asked me if I wanted to have my picture
taken with him. Well… Looking at the photo later I was struck by how I, fully clothed was looking extremely uncomfortable compared to him doing the full Monty relaxed and unembarrassed. I am not enclosing the photo…..
The next garden at Hidcote was much less “naturally”exciting but impressive nonetheless. And I AM enclosing some of the pictures. Even if it is raining a lot (ok constantly) we are getting out and about seeing castles and churches and even managing to do some soggy hikes.
Yesterday the 4 of us headed off on a Cotswold ramble. On the trail the mud clumped onto our shoes making us inches taller and made for precarious footing so it was essential we walk carefully lest we slip and fall into the copious amounts sheep shit that littered the footpath. We were picnicking on a bench overlooking the canal when the mosquitoes buzzed in like B52 bombers… Afterwards Barb was swollen, itching and bloody with all the horsefly and mozzie bites. The rest of the hike I was flapping my new French scarf trying to ward them off and lamenting my rather stupid decision to not bring my waterproof shoes. Somehow I even managed to cut myself a couple of times from who knows what on the dead flat path. As the rain was teeming down around us we straggled back to the hotel, a motley crew longing for a hot bath.
Having said all that…weather, pestilence, and injuries aside…we are having a marvelous time. I love England with all its history, pomp, and scones with clotted cream…
On to York and Scotland…. Cheerio.
Check out Traveling Pat’s previous post here:
Days of Wine and Roses and Biking in France