Monday, June 20, 2016

And So Forth.............or Fifth or Sixth

Of course we are only scratching the surface on what makes the English so English, one should never forget the Public Footpaths, Train Spotters or, indeed, Twitchers all of which add to the rich tapestry of life here. But one should not also forget the explorers, inventors, artists and scientists with which this fair country has given so much to the world. Oh and a drought has set in, it hasn't rained now for about 4 hours......whoopee, it is also a bit warmer, 18 C I think.
Yesterday and today we have continued our exploration of the area around Aston Carrant where our cottage is located. Came home last evening and the people who own our cottage were having a bit of a knees up for their daughter who had turned forty, they had an excess of food and were keen to offload some of it our way, we accepted some scones and cake and so had a wonderful supper. I am putting on all the weight that I lost before coming away, life can be so cruel sometimes. Ah well!
We were in Gloucester today and some people were trying to give pamphlets to passersby promoting the Brexit vote which takes place on Thursday. This is a very confusing issue and no one we have spoken to seems to really understand why the vote should be one way or the other, and it seems to come down to which side of the political fence you happen to be sitting on. The one issue which seems to be winning people over is that of immigration and the drain this is having on such things as the NHS. It appears, though that you are much more likely to be treated by an Eastern European in the shape of a Doctor or Nurse than to have one in the next bed to you. I'm glad it is the Brits who need to decide this one, it looks though as the Leave Vote is winning at the moment. Anyway this fellow giving away stickers and pamphlets wouldn't take no for an answer, wanted to know if we were French. People do have a spot of bother with our accent, I asked a lady in a cafe in Tewkesbury this morning where the Black Bear Hotel is. She looked at me blankly and then, after a while she says "Oh you mean the Black Burr". The Black Burr is a Pub, the oldest in Gloucestershire, so it is claimed, and dates back to the 11th Century, very rustic, we shall have to go there for our dinner tomorrow night.

The Black B......, an old Coaching Pub.

I love the old pubs over here, it is a shame that so many are struggling to survive in today's climate. I have yet to go into one that has not made me feel welcome and that is by the customers as well as staff. Many have wonderful food on offer these days as well.

The Old Swan ( c. 1445) in Minster Lovel and, above, The George Coaching Inn in Dorchester

Actually, Minster Lovel, proved to be an unexpected find on our trip around the district yesterday and has many beautiful cottages.

Cottages in Minster Lovel

Today we concentrated on nearby Tewkesbury and Gloucester and are both fully worthy of a damned good visit. Tewkesbury has a thousand year old Abbey which was saved from Henry VIII ravages when then townsfolk raised the 400 pounds necessary to buy the place  and it has survived to this day. It costs, it is claimed, around 8 pounds a minute to maintain the place and although entry is free you are encouraged to "Give a minute" by way of a donation. The pipe organ is from the 16th c., it is truly an amazing place.

Tewkesbury Abbey

Gloucester Cathedral is even more impressive and has an even bigger claim to fame in that it holds the remains of both Edward II and William I's (The Conqueror) eldest son. All good stuff, well it impressed me anyway.

Gloucester Cathedral

And so endeth the lesson for the day, a day which I am told is the longest of the year here in Britain. Only 3 more days until Brexit or RemaIN whichever is decided. Trouble is it is going to take at least two more years to negotiate an exit if that is the outcome of the referendum and there will undoubtedly be a flood of migrants in those two years and of course the terms for an exit won't be known until those negotiations are completed. What a nightmare.

Take care and all the best



Spotted in the corner of our bedroom

(It's only pretend)

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