Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - English Leaf Peeping

By guest blogger Pete.

We have been extremely fortunate throughout the past four weeks. My wife and I have been able to take two breaks of some five and seven days during which we have enjoyed some really great weather. September and, to date, October have both been lovely months for weather with hardly a drop of rain falling. The leaves on the autumnal trees, although not quite as picturesque as those in New Hampshire, have been an absolute picture. The oranges, reds, rusts yellows, browns, etc, set against the various greens of the evergreen trees have been quite spectacular. Sometimes rain makes the autumnal leaf season rather short for us but that hasn't been the case this year.

We returned yesterday, Wednesday, from a week's break in the Cotswolds. During that time we met up with an old friends of ours' for the week end. We had first met her in the mid sixties when we lived at Tilbury. We certainly got around during our week there. For me the only slight disappointment was our trip to Marlborough. This is a quite beautiful market town with the most fantastic buildings set out on either side of the town's main street. This is a wide street built to hold the regular markets. Unfortunately our visit coincided with that of a clamorous amusement fair leaving the whole of the street packed tight with stalls and rides and noise and the buildings hidden behind this wall of garish colour and no little decay.

Again for me, the highlight was a visit to Bath. It was a sunny day - better than many of our summer days - that we chose to make our visit on. A number of years have passed since we were last there. In the 80's we lived at Warminster so Bath became one of our favourite visiting places. Parking, though, could be quite a problem in those days. We've been to Bath and had to come home again without leaving the car. We soon learned that when visiting this spa town you had to be there by 9 a.m. if you wanted to be able to park a car. They now, however, have a first rate "Park and Ride" at Landsdown, to the north of the city, and arriving there, as we did, at 10.30 a.m. brought forth no parking problems at all.

I visited Bath Abbey. It's a glorious building outshining many of our Cathedrals. On display in the Abbey was an exhibition by an artist called Sue Symons. Sue's artwork is a combination of machine and hand embroidery, calligraphy and illuminated lettering. There must have been about 60 to 70 pieces of her work on display. That alone made it a well worth visit. I recommend it to you. Admission is free but they do ask for a £2.50 donation. Photography is permitted. Thus I not only enjoyed the architectural beauty of the Abbey but also the work of a modern craftswoman.

Keep on leaf peeping - it will be 11 months before you are able to do it again.

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