Playing tour guide

Monday 20 June 2011
The locals who often see me with Little L in tow or dragging bags of groceries home were somewhat amused at the sight of a camera loped around my neck for a change. My adventurous aunt had been traveling through various Eastern European countries stopped over in the UK to catch up with her son. It was a wonderful surprise getting a call from her. I'm always touched when people take the trouble to come and visit me. It was an eight hour return journey to my place from his with numerous train and tube changes. It was also the first time he has been to my place since he moved to the UK for his big O.E, a Kiwi acronym for Overseas Experience. My busy cousin has been averaging 3 weekend jaunts per month for the past 2 years. I chalked it down to his young age. I can barely cope with one overseas trip every 2-3 months.


I'm ashamed to say that I did little to explore the beautiful medieval town I live in unless I have friends or family staying over. It's only recently that I've started going for long walks to shift my unsightly muffin top. Anyway, this time I took my aunt and cousin through country trails along the river bed, up the hill to check out the panoramic view and across the meadows to visit a nearby almshouse.





b's house2

b's house4

Almshouses have been in existence for more than a thousand years. They provide residences for the elderly who can't afford a place of their own. There are a few near where I live but I've never had the chance to check them out. Cousin K was somewhat fixated with "Wayfarer's dole" dished out by almshouses to visitors and pilgrims alike. This usually consisted of a loaf of bread washed down by a tankard of ale but these days, the generous offering has dwindled to a tiny slice of bread and a small mouthful of ale. You'll have to ask or else you won't get it. I predict the next time I bring a guest here, we'll be getting doles the size of a pea, many thanks to the recession which plays a part, I'm sure.

There were only elderly men in residence, one of whom was complaining very loudly how he had to sit through a family dinner with a baby in attendance. Let's not get into what he called the poor kid.....

K-almshouse dole

Wayfarer's dole

K-dole happy man

The happy camper after getting his dole.


The old style kitchen which was used for 500 years until the mid 20th century. It was a rather hot, smokey and drafty place where the scullery maids, errand boys and cook spent the entire day peeling, chopping and cooking with dogs running in and out. Not a very appealing place back in those days.



Well maintained church with beautiful floral displays. The church is far too big for its congregation but nonetheless, it's a peaceful place to visit.

Lilies and roses wrapped around the vine along the doorway.


No visit is complete without checking out the eateries where the locals tend to hang out. This is my favorite cafe though admittedly, I much prefer their evening menu to their breakfast.



Off to the local pub for the traditional English roast beef with yorkshire pudding - my favorite!

K-roast beef


  1. Ahh it all looks so delicious! Yorkshire pudding is one of my favorites. I wish we could have caught up in London - hopefully we will have another chance soon in Europe or SF! :)

  2. Beautiful pictures, I'm very impressed, I'm a great fan of the English country. It is one of my dreams, to live for a while or even retire in English country... And I love English food, I find it delicious!!!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Katherine, for sure, let's catch up the next time you're over. I can't wait to see what you bought. I haven't ventured into Harrods, Selfridges or Harvey Nichols for the sale but I hope you got some great bargains.

    Lily, I can't believe the amazing scenery right in my backyard. I'm trying to appreciate it a bi more.

  4. Lovely scenery!

  5. Your village is beautiful! That picture of the hanging lantern reminds me of a similar picture that I took in Dresden, Germany. I love all the pictures on your blog - it's like taking a vacation when I visit here!

  6. Thank you, DA

    Funny you should mention that, Sam because the town is twinned with another in Germany.

  7. Just sublime - can't wait to visit you! I'd love to walk forever in your town!

  8. gorgeous shots! ive got so much to learn!

  9. Thank you, Lili. I've followed your blog for a while now so I'm thrilled that you took the time to write.



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