Greeting from the Cotswolds where I have been since Monday evening and which I leave on Friday to make my way a little further south to stay with old friends for the weekend before returning home via Somerset. When I booked my five-day stay here it seemed liked a goodly spell to spend in this ravishingly pretty corner of England but I now realize it’s only just enough time to get a quick peek at some of the many attractions the area has to offer.
I arrived late on Monday evening having taken the one thirty ferry from the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead. I had forgotten the joy of a ferry crossing: not mind the actual journey but the ability to throw the proverbial kitchen sink into my luggage without having to worry about said luggage being over an airline’s miniscule baggage weight limit. However I got a little carried away and I actually packed my iron as well as enough clothes to wear for a month of Mondays. Mad!
Before I set out I worried about driving from Holyhead to my destination as I don’t do a lot of motorway driving. There are a mass of motorways that snake up, down and across England. I used four of them on my journey and memorized in advance their numbers M56, M6, M42 and M40 and where they merged or crossed from one to the other so I didn’t get panic-stricken en route. The journey was surprisingly easy and has done much to alleviate my motorway driving fears.
I am staying in the charming village of Kingham close to the town of Chipping Norton. It’s a quiet spot and if it wasn’t for cars rumbling through, a forest of TV aerials on the chimneys of the village’s houses, and electric wires threaded around the place I could easily believe I had time travelled to an earlier century.
This part of the Cotswolds has: towns and villages where most of the buildings are constructed out of mellow honey coloured stone; undulating landscapes with patchworks of fields where sheep graze against backdrops of gentle hills and Constable-esque trees; houses and cottages with enchanting gardens filled with lavender, hollyhocks, climbing roses …
It’s also a land peopled by tall aliens with square yellow faces aka speed cameras. Seriously they are everywhere. I don’t drive fast and I do my best to adhere to the speed limits but I was so busy concentrating on where I was going that I think I may have missed some of the speed restriction signs but I bet those aliens didn’t miss me! When I get home I face a stressful few weeks watching the post for missives from the leaders of the yellow-faced tribe.
I have learnt a lesson and I would not attempt to drive again, in the UK, without Sat Nav so that I am not distracted looking out for directional signs and I can concentrate solely on my driving.