Swan bottom byway

Trip Start Jun 20, 2012
1
23
62
Trip End Aug 05, 2012


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, June 29, 2012

Arwen and I had lunch at The Bell hotel in the village. I had Koppergard strawberry and lime cider and Krabbies ginger beer. We were joined by Tom Seaman and his black labrador; Ben. He's quite an opinionated and grumpy man, but Sarah seems great so there must be something to like about Tom. He told us stories about seeing his now unfortunate looking exes at a funeral that morning and went into detail about why this was a good sign he had made the right decision in choosing Sarah. He told me it wasn't proper that I was 22 without being already on a clear career path. He bought extra chocolates and salted crisps for Ben despite knowing how bad they are for dogs. 

On the walk back we took a detour up a very thin dirt lane sided by wild strawberries, brilliantly coloured thistle and stinging nettles. The lane was sign-posted 'Swan Bottom Byway'. I found an old white and blue scarf which I collected from the thistle patch and took home to wash. I had Arwen take a heap of photos of me in front of doorways, trees, bushes, houses, fences, benches, stumps, signs, flowers and walls. It was fun.

Around 4 in the afternoon we went to Littlecot house and gardens. It was very beautiful and interesting; with tales of hauntings; an orangery I have fallen for and some impressive stately rooms. There was ivy growing over the ceiling and tall glass window panels along the walls of the conservatory. Outside a long row of older greenhouses we dared venture through despite the possible 'private' signs, were raspberry, boysenberry and elderberry bushes. The raspberries were perfectly ripe and delicious. I thought of you as I picked and ate them fresh. The boysenberries were strange and the elderberries not ripe.

We spent a long while ambling through the gardens because I was getting Arwen to take countless photos of me again. I was able to; cling to a tree-branch over a small river; play a giant-sized game of Connect-Four; walk through a short forest-walk filled with gnarled and twisted log formations; pose in old wooden stocks; cross picturesque bridges; cartwheel across a lawn-bowls green and snoop inside old sheds, backyards and stables. 

On the grounds a short drive away were also ancient roman ruins which were fascinating and in good condition.

Another short drive away on the property a gentleman from the town leases a paddock where he has over 30 breeds of breeding chicken. He had a pair of Golden Pheasant and whilst I would need their enclosure to be much bigger, I pictured us having our own someday. I imagined only seeing them sporadically as they darted out of their ample shrub-cover, maybe to pick at a particularly juicy grub or to catch an extra few sun rays in early spring. There was also a breeding flock of white calling pigeons which circled above us before alighting on their bird-house once more. It seemed so foreign coming across such a peculiar setting. The eclectic collection of hobbies accessible throughout Europe is pretty great. 
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Comments

withintheforest
withintheforest on

You are the most adorable man. I loved the stories of flowers, animals, walkways, jumping fences, scrumping fruit. Raspberries from the vine... The stuff of dreams. I wish that I were with you and we were able to explore these adventurous journeys together, but the photos will have to suffice. How I love you.

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