It’s two weeks tomorrow since the UK General Election which saw Theresa May’s hopes of domination crumble into dust. Today was a shorter than short State Opening of Parliament with the Queen in her Ascot gear, eschewing the robes and crown.
She delivered a speech shorn of some of the nastiest proposals by the Tory party, though Brexit dominated and although some people are making hopeful noises that it may not, in the end, happen, I’m not holding my breath.
It was the defeat of Mrs May’s dreams that my cousin Russell and I celebrated on 9th June, a day we had planned to spend far from news and celebrating Tory voters, hoping walking and nature would be a balm to our European, Green voting souls. i have already written of our gleeful grins, of our alcohol consumption that lunchtime during a scrumptious meal where we toasted the many, not the few, but I have not got around to posting pictures.
This first might give you an idea of our route.
On the other hand, it may not.
Given the disappearance of so many of our post boxes – try looking for one near Leicester Square – this seemed an odd venue for one to be retained. Maybe there is a strong local adherence to snail mail. I think we should be told.
The countryside rolled under rolling white clouds in a blue sky.
There were vistas and views.
Before lunch we toiled up a shadeless slope and Russell distracted me from thinking how much I dislike long slopes by telling me about a book he’d read by Tony Bulliemore.
We reached a pub. Opposite a village green, on a bend in the road, it seemed the perfect location. But the pub was closed. I mean permanently closed, and will probably be yet another pub that becomes an Ideal Residence for someone with cash.
Almost as desirable as this one.
Or this one, which happened to be called Russell House, so we felt a degree of ownership.
There was even a post box nearby, and not just any post box, a proper pillar box which was painted gold, a sign that gold medal winning athlete from London2012 lives or lived nearby. Russell told me there are two postboxes painted gold to commemorate the same gold medal as locals disputed the site of the first one. It’s moments like this that make me love my country.
For some reason I didn’t take a proper picture with my camera of our pub, which was called the Sun Inn, coincidentally the name of the pub my parents used to run. Just this pic to show details about the food.
Visitors to the British Isles often think that pubs are all about drinking, but it’s food sales that keep publicans solvent. Establish yourself as a good lunch venue and you’ll survive. supermarkets can supply alcohol much more cheaply than pubs, which has lead to a culture of drinking at home.
I’m glad I took pictures in the afternoon, as two pints of locally brewed cider (Hogsback, a place I used to look at out of the windows of our geography room at school) mean my memory of the day is a little hazy at this point. I do remember it was fun, that we were more sober than i had anticipated, probably due to the enormous meal we ate, but all the same I couldn’t have driven a car. So a weather vane, an abandoned boot, a woodpile, foxgloves.
Then, wonderful – lambs! My primary school was next door to a sheep farm. every spring we would see the lambs being born in the field beside our playground, see them grow and spring and bounce. Maybe that is what makes me so susceptible to their charms. How can anyone eat such gorgeous creatures? Actually, how can anyone eat any creature when we have so much else we can eat to survive?
There were more desirable residences, a barn with holes for doves, eco edges, and then suddenly we were back on the edge of the town and walking towards Russell’s house. I stayed for a while, chatted with his wife and his daughter who has grown up so much since I last saw her, stroked the cats and failed to conquer the flush of the loo in the bathroom.
I’m hoping to go to das Boot tomorrow. I am working in the morning, and if I can get home quickly the journey is feasible, by which I mean I should miss school traffic and early rush hour. I still haven’t posted pictures from the last twice I have been at das Boot and Blousy, formerly so reliable, seems to have taken a dislike to uploading photos, so beware – there could be a lot of East Anglian photos to come. In fact, I already have one in kind for this week’s photo challenge. Maybe I’ll manage it before I leave home tomorrow morning…