2 months, how neglectful.
I’ll tell you, the peonies have bloomed, and it’s rose season. I am going foraging for Elderflowers to make cordial tomorrow. My sister came; we drank Roman Bath water. I chased a cat out my bathroom window. We went to Brighton; it was windy, we camped and froze; but we saw Buck 65, a shoeless Finish folk singer who hated Bruges, and a seagull stole our cheese dip.
Never mind all that. This one, this is for Chels.
Remember when I decided to move to England and we procrastinated looking up quaint English cottages? Roses, stonework, thatched roofs, sheep, homemade jam and the like – I found them!
The Cotswolds are the epitome of our searches. Located west-central, they are sometimes called the “Heart of England”. My parents rented a cottage in Chipping Campden, a town where the buildings are required to maintain heritage architecture. As soon as we arrived, the supermarket burned down, so everyone was that much more reliant on the local Butcher, Baker, and Grocer (Mrs. Peterson made a rabbit stew on Thursday, by the way). You could order a pint from a window. The cottage itself was covered in massive roses, tasteful modern-traditional styling (brickwork and a snazzy induction stove top included), it was only missing a clawfoot tub for a perfect little home.
We took numerous walks through the English countryside, stopping whenever a pint or a scone and clotted cream beckoned. Every town was bursting with locals who would point you in the right direction for the best ice cream or cider and with instructions on how to properly lock me up in shackles.
There are even an Olympicks. The Cotswolds Olympicks (“k” is in the official title) were on, complete with mushy peas on chicken and chips, Morris dancers, a marching band, bonfire, torch procession into the city centre, and the main event: Shin Kicking. Where two large men with straw down their pants, grasp shoulders, and kick til one goes down. Best of 3.
So I reckon, we gather up our stylish Wellies, buy a few sheep (and a sheep dog), get ourselves a cottage with some room for an orchard, teach part-time at the village schools, and set up shop: jams, quilts, jewelery, etc. via Etsy and local markets.
We stopped by a few cities around the way. We journeyed into Oxford so I could see the lovely architecture and pointy buildings of Christ Church; and we punted! I always wanted to go punting on the Thames, so away we went. It was easy to steer, hard to push. And the Thames kept dripping on me, so surely I need some sort of disinfecting shot.
We also made a stop by Gloucester to see the historic dockyards and the above. If anyone can guess what movie these halls are featured in, you will receive a baked good of your choice (upon my return, of course)!