Saturday, June 18, 2016

There is nothing quite so English as.........

There isn't I tell you. There couldn't be anything quite so English as the English. I know it sounds like stating the bleeding obvious but it is true.
Firstly there is the game of cricket on the village green, clapping politely as the chap you would love to see heading back to the pavilion gets another boundary or just a good ball that doesn't have any bearing on the outcome of the game, cricket is all that is English.

The Village Game of Cricket

Of course the village could not have the game if there were no village and some of these are very noteworthy themselves even without any cricket. Even the names could only be in England, Upper and Lower Slaughter spring to mind. We were staying only last week in Eyam and our neighbouring village was ""Stoney Middleton" don't know where they got that from.

Stoney Middleton and, above that, our cottage in Eyam

We have moved on now to Aston something or other, there are lots of Aston somethings around here, we are in the Cotswolds and the English village really comes into it's own in the Cotswolds. There's another thing, all cottages need a name, in Eyam we were in Hawthorn Cottage and now in Aston something or other we are in Roseberry Farm Cottage. Anyway every English village really really needs a pub that is several years old, if we had just one of these pubs in New Zealand it would be famous throughout the land, but here you expaect one or more in each village. We went to one today, the Fleece in Bretforton, and it was a cracker. The National Trust own this one but it is run on a purely commercial basis.

The Fleece at Bretforton

Another very English thing we happened upon today is the Narrow Boat, about 3 feet wide and twenty yards long, these were designed to ply the canals which themselves are not much wider. They are very popular and the canals are liberally sprinkled with the aforementioned pubs which I am sure adds to the attraction of narrow boating. I would love to have a go at this past time, it looks like a lot of fun.

A Narrow Boat Marina

The boats seem to be kept in very good condition and are painted ever so nice and bright, often with some advertising on the side to remind us of the commercial origin of the canal system.
The English cottage garden is admired by all who come by it, and justifiably so. They are full of colour and seem to thrive much to Mrs Currin's puzzlement, why do they do so well when they have such short and severe seasons or maybe that is why they do so well and of course there is the rain and plenty of it so watering isn't a problem. It has rained every day since we have been here, tomorrow is supposed to be "dry". Here's hoping! People just say "Well this is England" and that explains it all.

A Kiwi Rose in an English Cottage Garden

The English Cottage Garden

Yesterday we met and dined with my distant cousins who live in Burton on Trent. It was just fantastic, they are a great couple and it was a pleasure that I would hope that we can repeat sometime.

 Anyway Jane is very much into folk music, it is her hobby, probably almost a passion, so I must be very careful about my next very English topic so as to not offend her, but really I cannot get my head around Morris Dancing. We came across a troupe or three at the Fleece today. I shall say no more.

Assorted Morris Dancers. (I thought the middle ones were a bikie gang till they stared jingling)

Anyway a good time was had by all so I am told.
 We went back to Chesterfield before moving south and I managed a pic. of the wonkey spire on St Mary's church. This is another of England's little eccentricities, wonkey buildings. Some of then seem to defy gravity, they look as though they should just give up and fall over. Just look at the back wall of the Fleece!

Was this a wonkey design or poor workmanship?

I have by no means exhausted the list of things which are so peculiarly English but maybe I will add to it as we go on. I would just like to say that I congratulate the All Blacks and whoever it was that beat Australia today.

All the best


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