July 3rd, 2009
I took the X53 bus to Chauldon Herring today. Well, not exactly Chauldon Herring, but to Osmington and Philip picked me up at the bus stop. There are three stops in Osmington so as I hadn’t known that, I settled on the middle stop to get off. That way, if I was wrong, I coulld just walk to the third stop and find him if he wasn’t at the first or second one. In retrospect it didn’t really make any sense, but it turns out Philip had picked the same stop as I had, and was waiting there. So, Chauldon Herring is in Dorset. Most people don’t know that, so I thought I’d tell you. It’s halfway between East Chauldon and West Chauldon, if that helps. It’s much like Devon. Dorset, I mean. There’s Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset and they’re all quite similar, and the West Country is the Land of Hobbits. Tolkien lived in Taunton or thereabouts, and I know for sure, his vision of the Shire was greatly influenced by the rural West . I can’t imagine Sam having any other accent than Devonian. Cornwellian? Dorsetene? And not far from Glastonbury. Anyway. The Land of Hobbits, Gandalf and King Arthur…
Philip and I drove out to Durdle Door, and walked about the bay. Later in the day, we visited a pub and had great fish and chips at a nearby pub. Very delicious!
Philip’s house is awesome! A thatched building that had once been three houses converted into a house and attached apartment. His garage has been converted to a business office and I met Alice there. She’s delightful and absolutely adorable! As an added bonus, thatchers were up on Philip’s roof replacing the thatch, so I spent the afternoon on the scaffolding with the thatchers and learning how thatch is attached. It is held together with Hazelwood staples. Absolutely fascinating. The top of the roof is covered with straw as straw is more flexible than the reeds that make up the rest of the roof. I am hoping I can use reeds to thatch my straw bale house.
Luckily, Philip is the only person in England who could use Yemeni Rials, so he graciously bought my extras which gave me enough money to get back to London on the 6th.
Turns out my visit to England was beginning to develop into a foray into Neolithic/Iron Age England as the next day, Philip and I visited the Iron Age Fort at Maiden Hill, the largest iron age fort in England. It was great! There were remains of a fourth century Roman temple there. A small chapel it seems, and foundations the only souvenir of it’s existence. Still the earthworks are quite substantial, and there I found out that sheep can use the gates especially constructed to keep sheep in, and allow people to go in and out. Sheep, as idiotic as they are, can actually go in and out of the gates! Without thinking. Which is better then I can do!
So, after a couple of days it was back to Exeter.
I had sent Nina an email about two months before and as I was in France to see if she could meet me in Exeter, but didn’t get an answer, but while I was online at Philip’s I got a reply from her and an email from Lorna to contact her. I phoned as soon as I read Nina’s email, and it turns out she had only just sent it, about two minutes before I logged on, so she we quite surprised to get a call from me so quickly. She didn’t sound any different from when I had last seen her, and we made a date to meet after I got back to Exeter.
I took the bus back to Exeter from Dorchester. I met Nina the next day for lunch. We met at cathedral close by the statue of Richard Hooker, a place where we hung out way back when we were “an item”. As I sat there, I played a game in my head of prettending every woman who came near was here and I kept saying “My, you haven’t changed a bit!” in my head (I hope it was in my head). It as great fun, and I actually made myself laugh, and I almost missed Nina when she actually did show up. We went for coffee at “The Boston Tea Party” ( I think that was the name of the place), and had agreat chat until she had to get home. It was hard to say goodbye and we kinda hung back after hugging, and somehow were able to wander away from each other. I had seen a guy that looked like a friend of mine from there (Graham Hoskins) but lost track of him in the crowd. It would have been interesting talking to him, and I’m sure it would have ended up with pints of beer, speaking of which:
I really like British beer. Not all of it, but the taste of a good bitter ale is enough to get me drinking beer again. It’s WAY BETTER than the lagers available in North America. Speaking of beer, Lorna and I went to the Countess Wear Inn for a beer while I was staying at her house, and later I stopped at Auntie Barbara’s and collected my Cousin Andy and He Lorna and I had some more beer at the Countess Wear Hotel. Lorna lives right by there, and it turns out where I had been dropped off from hitching to Exeter was only four houses from there.
My last day in Exeter, I went shopping for my pirate costume for Ian’s Pirate Party in Richmond. Found a great Highlander sword for £1.90 and decided I would take the bus to London. It’s only about £20. But I couldn’t get a ticket cause the office is closed until Monday.
So, a great vist all in all.