Nostalgia, Cake and a Poem in The Cotswolds

Charlie aka Forages and Finds invited me and my family for a day out in the Cotswolds.

While I was looking forward to seeing her, I was really looking forward to seeing these.

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All 8 of us plus Truffle the doglet piled in and the adventure began.

When I was learning to drive in 1977 the two cars I had the pleasure of driving were a Mini Cooper and a Morris Traveller. This was a real nostalgia trip for me.

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Memories of when I was 17 flooded back. The smell of the car, the noise of the engine, the bouncy seats, no seat belts in the back, when motoring was about having fun, not about commuting, traffic jams and boy racers. When 50p filled up the petrol tank and 17 year olds could afford to insure a car. No air con, just wide open windows and the wind through your hair.

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Then, like today, a large group of us would set off  to Clent or the Lickey Hills in a collection of Morris Travellers, Minis, Jeeps and Beach Buggies. It was the 70’s, we were into Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and The Eagles. We had long hair, flared jeans and tie die t shirts. We didn’t have California but we did have Clent.

Back to 2014. Charlie and Dom drove us first to Whichford for lunch at The Straw Kitchen. We had a mooch around Whichford Pottery too. I can thoroughly recommend a visit here. The gardens are lovely, the ceramics on sale are beautifully crafted and the selection of quality gifts is very good.

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The main reason we were here was for the food in this quirky cafe.

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The tea here is English in the true sense of the word as it is grown on the Tregothan Estate in Cornwall.

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The ingredients are seasonal and locally sourced. The menu has an Eastern Mediterranean influence, think Yotam Ottolenghi, with a Cotswold twist. The food is very good.

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And then Charlie announced that we were off to Adelstrop for a walk and some foraging.

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Adelstrop. Just a couple of weeks ago I had read the poem I Remember Adelstrop at Make Friends with a Book, the shared reading group I go to. I had mentioned then that I would love to visit the village. And now I was.

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Later after a walk and some trespassing and foraging we stopped here.

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For cake, of course. There is always cake when you are with Charlie and co.

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And we listened as Dom read aloud ‘I remember Adelstrop’. The people on the next table also stopped to listen. Such is the power of shared reading and good poetry.

Go and make some tea, cut a slice of cake and listen to Richard Burton reading the poem by playing the film below.

 

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Still travelling

I started this blog to document my round the world trip with my husband. That was October 2011 and now we have been back in our home in Birmingham England, since February 2012.

So I have been back longer than I was away, yet my blog is still called travellingcoral and so it will continue to be. I was a traveller before my blog and I continue to travel. I may not be flying thousands of miles and living out of a back pack, yet I am still travelling. I carry my camera everywhere and look at my own country, my town, my city, as a traveller does. I have become a tourist in my own country. I see England and the UK differently now. And this is why.

When we were in Melbourne last year we met a man called Rob in Federation Square. He was in in 70’s and we got chatting as we sat on the deckchairs there. He gave us lots of tips about what to do and see in Melbourne. He told us of his work back in the 60’s and filled us in about the history of Melbourne. He was so proud of his English Heritage and of Melbourne. By coincidence we met him again the following day in the Botanic Gardens.

Now that place is huge, and the chance of bumping into someone are slim. We were meant to meet him I am sure of that. He then offered to give us a guided walk of the gardens and surrounding areas, which we were happy to do. Again his pride of Melbourne was impressive, sharing his knowledge of the history of the city and the country with us gave him joy. It was a brilliant day.

I struck me then that most Brits don’t seem proud of their heritage, are not very knowledgeable about the history of where they live, and are more likely to criticise the country rather than big it up. Rob wasn’t the first person we met who wanted to show off their city. Tim and Jo Anne who we met in Northland invited us to stay at their home in Wellington and took us to The Roxy Cinema after dinner at Coco’s. The next day they took us on the cable car to the Botanic Gardens. Tim also gave us an insiders tour of WETA.

Barb and Pete who we met in Haverstock took us to see our first Kangaroo in the suburbs of Lysterfield, Melbourne, picked us up to go to the Victoria Markets and invited us to share Christmas Day with their family.

Since I have been home I have revisited Weston, Stratford upon Avon, The Cotswolds, Winchester, Brecon and Hay on Wye. The family visited Sarehole Mill during the Tolkien weekend. I visited my daughter in London and went to a concert in Hyde Park.  I have started a list of places I have never visited in my own city including the Barber Institute. I visited the Love and Death exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery which also has the Staffordshire Hoard.

English: The Round Room at Birmingham Museum &...

English: The Round Room at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Source – FlickR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever possible I big up Birmingham  I met a family at a food festival in Birmingham who were here for the World BMX Championships They were really impressed with how beautiful the city is. And it is! They admitted that they had thought Birmingham was a grey and dirty city that they bypassed on the M6 to get to Manchester or the Lake District. When I told them that Birmingham hosted the biggest Christmas Market outside of Germany the mom was immediately making plans for her friends Christmas shopping trip. To Birmingham.

So I am still travelling….. are you?