Monday, November 23, 2009

Walks: Beware of bull

Our car, in Northleach
Well, the big news is that we bought a car! It's an older, lightly-used Yaris with an automatic transmission -- key, since neither of us drive stick. It's small, which is great for parking and the narrow roads, but it's also a four-door, and roomier than you might expect. We're really excited about the weekend travel possibilities now, as you can imagine, particularly with our seat-of-the-pants (u'm, that'd be trousers for you local readers) lifestyle.

It was raining Saturday with no signs of letting up, but we decided to head to Bourton-on-the-Water anyway, eager to take the car out of town. The name suggests quaint to me, and it really was quite cosy and picturesque -- our good, waterproof shoes and raincoats made sure the weather didn't detract from that feeling. The River Windrush dominates the centre of town, and there was already a big Christmas tree on one of its little islands, which Tea particularly enjoyed. I love how all these towns have big war memorials to those they lost in the wars, still covered in poppies at this time of year, of course.

After browsing a local book sale, it was off for a walk on the local paths that surround the town. A couple was just coming off the public footpath as we approached, both of them covered in thick, wet mud to their knees. Tea gasped and exclaimed, by way of introduction, "Please tell me we won't get that mucky!" They laughed and assured us that we wouldn't. (To this day, I have no idea how they got so dirty; and we've been on some muddy paths, trust me!) We had a great time, and made it home before dark (always nice for novice drivers). Check out the latter half of our November album for some pictures from the walk.

"U'm, what's that
sign say?"
We slept in a bit late on Sunday, but still managed to make it to Northleach in the morning. (Unfortunately, I forgot to charge the camera, so we didn't get many pictures of this great day; the funniest part is that the clouds rolled in as my camera died, so the beautiful sun I did catch isn't really representative of the day.) We'd barely started the walk from our book when we both did a double-take by the "Beware of bull" sign. Tea, always sharp, was immediately out with, "Thank goodness I'm not wearing red!" You can't make this stuff up! Still, that's where the book directed us, so we pressed on.

Saturday's rain made for an extremely muddy walk; particularly in one bit that was like walking through a field of cabbage -- we were in danger of losing our shoes at times! (Wellies are on our shopping list now, incidentally.) So many wonderful sights, though: we saw this huge field of sheep -- marked with dye in what looked like that means of determining which ewes the ram has been with -- and just one black one; that's right, I met the black sheep of the family, and have no picture to show for it!

There was much high-fiving as the beautiful Northleach Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul appeared in the distance: this marked the first time we'd followed a walk from our book without getting lost once. Unfortunately we missed the carvery at the Wheatsheaf Inn, but we still enjoyed a pint in front of fire while playing with the three puppies that were scampering around. We stopped in a local bakery for some pasties before heading home, and any chill we still had didn't last long against the hot drinks we whipped up: rum hot toddy for me, and a Caramel Baileys hot chocolate for Tea.

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