July 7th, 2013…
Friday was not all drama. Before the exploding coffee pot landed me in hospital.. again.. I had shared a perfect English summer’s day with friends over from the States. We had set off in sunshine towards the Cotswolds, heading for the stone circle of Rollright.
However, it has to be said, this time of year in that neck of the woods is about as chocolate-box pretty as you are going to find anywhere. So it was, perhaps, inevitable that Tracey, Darcy and I could not resist a few halts along the way.
Church Enstone, with its elaborate water trough, was the first of the villages that demanded our attention and Tracey pulled over into the tiny green below the church. Not surprising. The cottages were picture-perfect and the weather about as beautiful as you could imagine.
The ancient church of St Kenelm’s was just around the corner. We sort of had to visit. There is a lovely old lych gate leading to the church. Built on the site of an earlier, Saxon church the present building still has parts dating back to Norman times.
It was, of course, inevitable that there was a door to the little priest’s room, that it was unlocked, and that I was aided and abetted to explore.
The countryside was glorious. In full flower and bursting with beauty and life. Clover fields and cornfields, poppies everywhere, painting distant fields scarlet, punctuating the bright yellow of the rapeseed.
There are so many wildflowers that I remember now missing from our fields and hedgerows. Yet the profusion of colour and perfume would have you forget this. I have seldom seen a more beautiful summer’s day here.
The Cotswold villages give way to fields. The architecture becomes more incredible, small domestic vistas, it seems, hide around every corner, wearing the mellow, lichen-encrusted gold of the local stone.
Then, of course, there were the stones. the odd, oolitic limestone, ancient and weathered of the Rollrights. Very much alive still, seldom deserted and with a unique feel to the place. Sometimes, it seems, the ancient heart of the land just reaches out to remind you it is still beating, even if we cannot hear it beneath the noise of traffic and television.
Lunch at a glorious old pub in Long Compton was delightful and all in all, it was a glorious day with lovely friends.
Just a shame about the coffee…. 🙂