Kintbury, Hungerford and South Cernsey, Sun Dec 9

Trip Start Nov 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fiona's Comments:

The loo blocked up and at 5am poor Zed was trying to unblock it. No luck and we all had to use the downstairs loo and make sure the kids didn't flush the upstairs loo in case it overflowed. We were all joking about it - except for Zed - who hadn't enjoyed tackling the loo so early in the morning. Merle commented how they can put people on the moon but still can't sort out the loos in her part of the world.Merle was out for the day and was the first to leave so we saw her off, packed and then also left Kintbury.

 We went to Hungerford and went for a walk with Ray, Louise and the girls around Hungerford. There is an island in the middle of Hungerford which used to be a leper colony during the Middle Ages. Rows of houses have been built upon the island and on bridges across the river. One house had a fire and now the owners cannot lease, sell or renovate it as a stream runs under its foundations. Camilla likes to shop in Hungerford and on the High Street in front of one particular dress shop, double yellow no parking lines were painted so she could just pull up there and go into the shop.

Ray showed us one of their two garden allotments - they grow a lot of their own produce and he and Louise love working in their allotments. The girls... not so keen.There has been a resurgence in the popularity of allotments in the area as more and more people get back into gardening and growing their own stuff.

Whilst we were checking out the garden allotments, Louise was back home preparing an amazing Sunday roast lunch. It was a slow cooked pork belly finished in a roasting pan in the oven with a marinade of oranges, rosemary and some other spices. Absolutely delicious - wine, roast, apple pie and self saucing pudd on a wintery Sunday.

It was just a beautiful day and when we said goodbye we were all sad - but enthused that we may have talked everyone into coming over to Australia to visit. Amber had drawn a Christmas tree and they loaded us up with Christmas gifts to open on Christmas day.We were totally overwhelmed by their generosity and beautiful hospitality. I hope we do have the chance to reciprocate.

Following the beautiful blue line on the Map App we made our way to South Cernsey near Cirencester. Marg, our very dear Marg, who is like my second mum and is Bella's godmother lives in Cirencester. My mum and Marg have been friend for 55 years and when I lived in the UK (when I was 18) Marg was my mum - stressing about me setting off to the continent by myself, worrying when I would come into her flat late at night -all the stressful things 18 year olds who think they are invincible do.

We couldn't stay with Marg so she gave me the name of a nearby pub. Marg met us at the pub - last time we saw her was about 7 years ago when she came out to Oz and came down to Sandy Pt with us. Many tears and hugs and then we stepped into the pub and stepped back in time.

The heavy oak beams, white ceilings, old furniture. Our family room is so low and gorgeous - Zed hit his head on the way in and hit his head a couple more times on the angled ceiling beams. The room has a sofa bed and a four poster bed. Adorable. From our window we look over the back beer gardens and can see a very fast flowing stream rushing past. We dumped our gear and followed Marg back to her place where she had a light supper prepared. We sat, talked and then sort of wilted. Bella was having a sleepover with Aunty Marg so I sorted her out and by the time we left she was fast asleep. We piled into the car and drove home and flaked.

 Zoran's comments:
The pub is very old and it seems people were much shorter back then, about 4 foot tall apparently.  The setting is picture-perfect, very much the way I pictured old English pubs should look.
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