From Village Life to the Big Smoke Again

Trip Start Mar 31, 2009
Trip End May 08, 2009

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Where I stayed
Margaret and Peter Walker's

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

While I was staying with Margaret and Peter Walker in Radcliffe on Trent they took me to Worksop, a nearby market town which has some significance as one of the lesser places my Dixon ancestors departed from  when emigrating in the 1850s. It was  a good feeling to visit the place but we really got no further than that. Neither Margaret nor Peter are great walkers (no pun intended).  Margaret actually is related to my mother so no Dixon and we also wanted to have a look through Sherwood Forest and the Robin Hood stuff.  As I remarked in earlier blogs the forest is remarkably open when viewed from kiwi eyes but there are still many very large trees, Margaret and I strolled in to the legendary oak. It is ancient, not particularly tall and many branches are very much in need of the props and wires visible in the photo but the trunk is massive in diameter.  It probably is comparable with Tane Mahuta in the Waipua Forest at home.
The next day Margaret and I walked the cliff path along the River Trent. After a couple of kilometres we came to a huge weir across the river. We worked out there was a lock on the other side so boats can move up and down the river.  I hope to do that stitching of a panoramic scene of the river and weir when I get home.I need the camera manual I think. Lovely at their place to be able to hook into their wifi network and be able to use my familiar laptop with all the keys in the right positions. I'm  told some real treats await me in Italy!

I really enjoyed their company and the short view of village life as opposed to the heaving swarms of humanity in the big cities. I see why so many Brits who can afford it choose to live outside the cities and commute for considerable distances to and from work.
I wrote this section in the East Coast express train moving down from Nottingham and back to Kath and Andy's in London. I will have about four days there playing tourist before heading by Eurostar over to Paris and points Spanish. First (moderately) fast train I've been on this trip and it is certainly quiet, smooth and fast. Great view of the as ever rolling green countryside, trees starting to go green and lots of tightly clustered together two storey brick houses every few kilometres. Lots of hedgerows which are left largely untouched so the wildlife can prosper. The Brits do that very well.
I caught the train from Newark rather than Nottingham. Getting into the larger centre is apparently quite a mission and Newark is a great looking market town with the remains of a medieval castle. Apparently it was under siege four times during the English Civil War and after Charles surrendered to Cromwell  the victorious general ordered the townsfolk to tear down the castle. What's left is mainly the gatehouse and surrounds. Dramatic sight if a bit like rotten teeth. More later dear readers.
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