Cotswolds for a week
Lechlade Travel Blog› entry 3 of 18 › view all entries
We are headed to a little village called Filkins to stay at my Aunt and Uncle's house. They are going to take a weeks holiday and we have been offered the house for our base and we get a cat too. Baldrick is black and his age is uncertain (probably about 15 years) and was around when I visited 7 years ago. On our way we spot a farm shop and stop for a cream tea with clotted cream. Dawdle through places like Lechlade and Burford showing Andrew BGS where my father went to school.
We arrive in Filkins following my cousin's directions and have tea in the hot sun in the garden and meet Baldrick. Do a tour of the house and one bedroom is referred to as Kate's room (my youngest daughter stayed in this room when she visited last year).
Next morning I drive Pamela and Neville to the bus stop and we spend the next couple of days just chilling out. Pamela leaves us two tickets for the Filkins Feast on Sunday and tells me that there is to be a pig roast and entertainment which includes a Mummers Play. I am very interested in these plays as they are traditionally done by the Morris Dancers and last time I was over she took me to a guy who recited the whole of a Mummers play for me, doing all the parts.
Our week is spent gently, visiting the noteworthy villages and include Bourton-on-the-Water, Minster Lovell, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Brize Norton, Carterton, Bibery's Arlington Row. One of my cousins is the gardener at Asthal Manor and the gardens are open for a couple of weeks so we go there meet him and look over the lovely gardens.
Now the story goes that he was told that in order to do the chicken farming option he had to have a wife and did he have one? No, says he, he didn't.
Back in Filkens, making use of the oven I make a roast beef dinner with the works. Old Baldrick nimbly steals the last slice of beef from the cupboard bench and we are amazed that he can jump that far at his age! On Friday we arrange to go to Eynsham to visit another Aunt and Uncle and one of my cousins comes over too. It is lovely to see them again after 7 years. My Uncle is not well and this is the last time sadly that we will see him as he passed away in October. Once we leave in the late afternoon we go back to Burford where there is to be a Dragon Procession and it is to be led by the Glouscestershire Morris Men. This tradition began in 752 AD when Burford was in the kingdom of Mercia which was defended by King Ethelbald. King Cuthbert of Wessex invaded, raised his standard of the Golden Dragon and continued annually to parade the standard through the streets to remind the people who their new leader was. One of the Morris Men has a brother living in Wright's Beach, Jervis Bay near us!
A week passes and we tidy up the house and water the garden by watering can for the last time ( there is a hose pipe ban on at present), say goodbye to Baldrick and move off. Today we visit Stratford-on Avon and visit Ann Hathaway's house and garden and William Shakespeare's birthplace. Hear the stories which include the annual bath ritual which generally occured in spring and probably gave rise to the popularity of spring weddings. The camp site is a place called Great Burton and is near Cropredy and Banbury. It is cheap at £8 per night and the facilities are good.
Sunday we are going back to London to do some travel arrangements but we call in at Banbury to see the famous Cross and a very fine statue of the lady in the nursery rhyme. Back in ample time to watch Australia play at 3 pm. This time after a scoreless game Italy score in the final minute and the commentators say that on match form and some contraversial referee descisions, Australia was robbed.