… these are some of my favourite things found as Jenny and I journeyed around middle England. We also visited three other cousins of my mother’s vintage … which I enjoyed as it gave me a chance to catch up … and being the family chauffeur to Jenny helped her, as her home is in Vancouver Island.
First stop Peterborough … an amazing place … we stayed in the old coaching inn – on the main road to the north, and where Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, is buried …
The Abbey escaped Henry’s Dissolution to transform into one of the ‘new’ Cathedrals … probably because Catherine was buried there.
|Butter Cross - now Guildhall|
The Parliamentary soldiers in the Civil War in 1643 ransacked the cathedral, destroying the high altar and choir stalls, as well as the medieval decoration and documents.
This lovely building is the Butter Cross, on the site of the old Market Cross, now known as the Guildhall and was built from public subscription in 1669.
|Coat of Arms with|
interesting clock face
As we’d been late arriving due to motorway snarl ups and encouraging (yes for the gardens, not for us) rainstorms! We’d missed opening hours … so Sunday morning before we went on …
… we took ourselves off to have a quick squizz inside the Cathedral and listen to Choral Matins … wonderful acoustics … I’d have loved to seen more – but another day …
|Bakewell Church and village -|
even in the snow it looks lovely
Our next non-family setting was the beautiful Derbyshire Dales … except it was raining heavily with low-hanging clouds … so once again we have to return.
We did try Bakewell pudding the original precursor to our more modern Bakewell tart – that I love, when I dare eat it!!
|Bakewell Pudding according|
to old recipe
This was created when the cook wasn't concentration and muddled up the ingredients ... still that one mistake has stood the test of time!
|1837 Recipe for Bakewell pudding|
Also after Jane Austen had visited the village – she rewrote certain of her scenes, using the vistas of the Dales that Elizabeth Bennet described in Pride and Prejudice.
Thankfully we took Jenny’s route … I’d wanted to travel the lanes – but the newsagent had said to me if you go down to the woods today you will meet very large puddles and floods – and he would have been very right! There were local floods we found out later.
|Abbey Hotel covered in Virginia Creeper|
Next stop was Malvern … the Malvern of Elgar, the composer of “Land of Hope and Glory”, and ‘taking the waters’ … that was not funny! Desperate times I suspect … still Jenny and I noticed how incredibly soft the water is … de-soaping took some doing.
We drove round the Malvern Hills … just stunning countryside and definitely a return visit is due …
Next stop Jenny’s publishers just outside Stroud, at a port – another interesting historical snippet; that was successful – putting Jenny’s mind at rest over one new book, with a second likely.
|The courtyard garden at the pub|
Then on again towards Oxford … but some lunch first … why I waited I’ve no idea … but suddenly there was a village pub (The Village Pub) and in we turned to park.
|Twice-baked Cheese Souffle|
What a successful choice – very upmarket granted – but really delightful … and what a menu … Jenny had the twice-baked cheese soufflé, while I had the Cornish Fish Soup – can’t resist the Cornish bit … with some lovely home-made bread …
|Cornish Fish Soup with|
Saffron Mayonnaise and garlic toasts
We then walked up to the Church … before journeying on to Oxford … and our last night. Jenny was meeting the archivist for the Bodleian/Rhodes Library to make some final arrangements re handing over most of Emily Hobhouse’s (1860 – 1926) papers for research purposes: another successful accomplishment.
Jenny went to London by train as she is now in Germany visiting Berlin and Leipzig before coming back via London on her way home to Vancouver Island.
|Abbey Gatehouse with|
We had a very happy trip … no satellite navigation … but the brain works just as well! Lots of food … with some very enjoyable chats about all manner of subjects – mostly historical …
Frankly Jenny puts me into the shade … after two weeks in Iberia on a coach tour; over to England, down to Cornwall, as that’s where Jenny’s Hobhouse relatives come from, as do our mother’s.
Back via relatives, before we embarked on our round middle England trip – then as I mentioned she’s now over in Germany – as Emily was involved in setting up The Save the Children Fund … and is researching other details.
There’s a lot to tell you … but I’m wilting after just six days of travelling around … but Jenny was very happy having me as a chauffeur-chatterer-historian …
I’ve been to parts of England I’d never visited and by checking up things on the ipad we both learnt lots … now to return to a degree of normality … though I could happily repeat the experience!!
|Panorama of Malvern Hills with|
Little Malvern Priory taking centre stage
I sent a thank you letter up to our relatives in Newark, one of the sisters is in hospital after a stroke, and her niece and sister visited today – and read parts of the letter out … it engaged the patient, I’m pleased to say. Interaction is the key with elderlies and especially those who are sick.
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories