Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Supper was delicious fish and chips, served by a cheeky Romanian, who reminded me of a character in one of my favorite novels. We split a bottle of Australian Shiraz, and I splurged on some sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
My stomach is now proclaiming, in no uncertain terms, that I made bad choices for my last day here. So I write this as I sip some stomach-soothing herbal tea, preparatory to getting a shower and shampoo.
Tomorrow will be a new adventure with the shuttle bus to the airport. For those of you planning to fly to London via Delta Airlines be aware that you will be going in and out of Terminal 4. Terminal 4 is the red-headed stepchild of Heathrow. Nothing goes directly to, or from, Terminal 4. Just thought you should know.
I find myself strangely conflicted about leaving. Part of my heart is still back in Cornwall - a place I will definitely revisit one day. Part of me longs for my family, my home, and my bed! I can't wait to give lots of squishy-cheek kisses to my sweet Elizabeth, and hugs to Janine and Jason. Mostly, it will be nice to be back to a familiar routine, and the comforting rhythm of my life.
Tomorrow is the final leg of this adventure. Stay tuned...
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Normally, I look at rainbows as harbingers of good things to come. I was a bit skeptical, however, due to the gloomy forecast, and the weather we had yesterday at Blenheim. We arrived at Charlbury railway station in a steady rain, walked with umbrellas unfurled into the village, and spotted the Rose and Crown. The idea of a dry room and a hot cup of tea beckoned us, so we popped in and shed our wet jackets and brollies and settled in for a bit.
He fixed us some tea, and we had a lovely time chatting with him, as we warmed up and dried out. Tommy helped us out with directions to a lovely walk about the village. Following his directions, we did enjoy a nice walk, a respite from the rain, and ended up back at the Rose and Crown for a pint. Anne and I both agreed, that we would rather have stayed in Charlbury than in Banbury, as the village is absolutely lovely, and Cotswold to the core.
We arrived absolutely soaking wet from hip to toes, water sloshing about inside our shoes, and water cascading off our umbrellas and jackets. It was so good to be out of the rain and somewhere cozy, warm, and dry. Our lovely bartender fixed us up with two cold pints of Guinness, and we repaired to a lovely little nook to peruse our menus. A wonderful dinner followed, and we were able to walk back to the B&B without getting rained on again.
Now, clean and dry, we settle down for the evening, hoping that the wet things will be dry by morning. Tomorrow we travel to London, and then Thursday it's time to fly home.
Monday, October 5, 2015
We found the cafe onsite, and settled down to a cup of tea and called Anne's good friend Pauline. She lives nearby and met us as we were having a look around the Great Court. The house and grounds are truly massive, as befits the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough. They were no less impressive for being shrouded in gray and mist.
Visiting as we did, on a rainy weekday, off-season, offered a chance to enjoy the grounds without encountering a great deal of people. It is a peaceful place, inviting one to walk slowly in quiet meditation. The highlight for me were the trees. So many ancient trees, with gnarled roots, and craggy bark - measuring time in centuries, not years. Oh the stories they could tell.
After a lovely tea break (Thank-you Pauline!) we took a bit of a walk through the secret garden. It was absolutely lovely, and every turn in the path was a delight. We elected to stop our tour there, as we had to be mindful of catching the bus back to Oxford train station. I would love to make a trip back to Blenheim one day, when it's sunny, and I have time to tour the house as well as the grounds.
Now, home, fed, and showered, we can relax. Hopefully, we'll make it to a lovely Cotswold village tomorrow. Stay tuned...
Sunday, October 4, 2015
We alighted from the bus on Magdalene (pronounced maudlin) Street and waded into a sea of humanity. It was difficult to take in the sights since you didn't dare stop walking for fear of being run over. A very kind gentleman on the bus, corrected our pronunciation of the street we were on and directed us over a couple of blocks to what he referred to as the prettiest street in Oxford. He wasn't wrong.
Catte Street turns off the High Street and takes you to the quintessential Oxford. Walking along, we passed All Souls College, the Codrington Library, the Radcliffe Camera (not something you take photos with), the Bodleian Library, Hertford College, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Museum of the History of Science.
After wandering through ancient, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and English artifacts, we decided to head over to the Lamb and Flag to try some Old Peculier which has been brewed by Theakston Brewery since 1890. We got their too late to order food, so we darted across the street and stopped in at the Eagle and Child pub.
Now it's time to read, relax, and then try to sleep. (The beds are very firm.) Tomorrow we travel to Blenheim Palace to visit the Park and Gardens.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
On the crowded bus ride over to Penzance, Anne and I could not sit together, but I was fortunate to sit next to an older gentleman who was born and raised in Cornwall. We had a lovely conversation about weather, farming, mining, tourism, accents (British and American) as well as Florida and Canada. What a charming man!
We arrived at the bus station and he got up, extended his hand, and told me he was pleased to meet me and that he enjoyed speaking with me. After wrestling our luggage off the bus, we proceeded to the train station, found our platform, and boarded the train. They were actually filming and episode of the ITV series Stranger on a Train on platform 1! So cool! Within minutes, my wonderful day turned sour.
Those who know me are aware that I suffer from chemical sensitivity. It makes going out in public a very risky business. Throughout my stay in England, I had been lucky to only have run into fragrance issues once or twice, and not seriously. But the young lady sitting across the aisle from us, changed all that.
Now I don't know why people feel like they have to finish their person toilette in a train carriage. This young lady hadn't been seated 5 minutes when she hauled out her lotion and started slathering it all over herself. My head started reeling, ice picks stabbed me in the brain, I couldn't breathe, and I was almost overcome with nausea. Even Anne found it offensive, but she gallantly offered to go through 6 railway carriages to buy me some water so I could take my migraine medicine. It took almost 2 1/2 hours for the scent to dissipate enough for my head and stomach to calm down. It was not the way I envisioned my travel day would unfold.
Nevertheless, the remainder of the train ride went better. We enjoyed the beautiful countryside through Devon, then Somerset. Unfortunately, the train was running about 10 minutes behind schedule, and we were worried that we would miss our connection in Reading. Fortunately, we only had to go over two platforms, and we were able to board our train to Banbury with a few minutes to spare.
Banbury is definitely a city. Their is a different vibe here and it makes me miss Cornwall even more. But the Banbury Cross B&B is a lovely place, and our room is very nice. We had dinner at The Exchange and have now settled in for the evening.
Tomorrow, the plan is to go to Blenheim Palace, if we can manage the buses without too much difficulty. Stay tuned...
Friday, October 2, 2015
We enjoyed cooking, and eating, our last meals here and spent a lazy afternoon just chatting about many things. Tomorrow is for traveling and getting situated in a new place for a couple of days.
Our last day was another celebration of the remarkable weather we have enjoyed since coming to Marazion two weeks ago. I look out the window and see a soft pink sunset, leaving a blush on the castle that tops the Mount.
Time to do some last minute scheduling checks, and then bedtime. Tomorrow we head to Banbury.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
The harbor is small, and sheltered, surrounded by cottages, shops, and restaurants.
This one stood proudly at the edge of the harbor.
I am always moved when I see these, since they can be found in even the smallest villages. A reminder of how their way of life was never the same after the wars.
Anne and I took a short hike down a public footpath, and were amazed by the flowers growing along the path. Nasturtiums in yellow, orange, and peach colors sprawled along an ancient wall.
Fuschias, tall as small trees, grew in abundance along the sloping side of the path.
Sea pools were very popular in the UK in the 1930's, and can still be found in Bude, Polperro, Priest's Cove, Perranporth, Porthtowan, and Portreath.
Fish and chips filled our tummies, and revived, we made our way to the bus stop for the ride back to Penzance and then Marazion.
We walked over to the Mount when we got back from Mousehole, so Anne could buy some booze. What a lush! Ha ha, just kidding! It was another excuse for a walk in this wonderful Cornish weather! Once home, I attended to some bill paying, we washed clothes, relaxed with our books, and had a light supper. Now it's time for a shower and bed.
Tomorrow we start packing up, and saying goodbye to this very special place. I am going to miss it!