Category: London, 2019

Chipping Away

August 6.

Breakfast at the flat and a slow start to the day. Carol had planned to visit the Tower today, but when Nick told us that the drive to his house would take much longer than the rental car company had said, we decided to move the Tower to later in the week and set out for the Cotswolds earlier than we’d anticipated.

Enterprise Rental Car picks us up at the flat right on time and drives us to their office, where we do the paper work and go to a very cute restaurant across the street, which has abysmal service and fair food. After lunch, we set out for Nick and Margaret’s. Behind the wheel, I remind myself to stay on the “wrong” side of the road. Actually, I find driving on the wrong side much easier than crossing the street on foot. Driving, you just need to remember to keep the steering wheel next to the middle line of the road. Crossing the street, you need to look both ways, three times. We have been exceedingly lucky, so far, with the weather, only a couple very brief drizzles and very comfortable temperatures. Doing this in the heat we’d thought we might have would have been much more difficult.

It takes us about 2 1/4 hours to get to Chipping Campden, where Nick and Margaret live in a house built in 1705. There are several other “Chippings” around, Nick says, because it means market and the town name signifies that it has a market. The drive is not bad, though we run into some rain. I manage to keep the car mainly on the road though, inexplicably, it occasionally veers to the left and hits the curb, but nothing major, like a tree.

From the outside, the Wilson’s house is hardly noticeable, but inside it’s fabulous, blending original early eighteenth century wooden beams with beautiful modernization. Here’s a photo of the Wilsons in their wonderful skylit kitchen.

Margaret’s impeccable taste is apparent in each room of the house. Perhaps even more impressive than the inside of the house, though, are the gardens, which Margaret attends assiduously and takes justifiable pride in.

We stroll around town seeing the grounds of the house that Baptist Hicks, a 17th century wool and materials billionaire lived. The house itself was burned down

We visit with Nick and Margaret and enjoy an early delicious supper that Margaret has prepared, featuring vegetables and fruits from her garden. We then set out for Stratford, where we have tickets for “The Taming of the Shrew.” Nick, very kindly, offers to drive us the 20 or so minutes to Stratford and to pick us up after the show. I know I should turn down this offer, but, in truth, I’m very happy not to have to drive on dark and winding roads on the wrong side of the road, so I accept.

It’s nice to see the theater (which Carol and I have seen before), and the costumes and production are lavish, but none of us is thrilled with the play. In my characteristicly timid assessment I told Nick that I hated the play, thought it was silly and slapstick, didn’t care about the characters and did not think that the playwright would ever amount to anything.

After Nick drove us home, we said goodnight to the Wilsons and retired to our comfortable accommodations.

(All of the photos in the blog have been taken with my iPhone. I took my good camera along, but have decided that I don’t really need it for the type of photos I’m taking, which are merely intended to document the trip.)

2 comments to Chipping Away


    Wonderful update. I love this part of England
    Sorry the play wasn’t good….big disappointment. Hope your weather continues to be good.

  • D. J. (Jan) Baker

    Arnie – thanks for once again allowing your friends to look over your shoulder and vicariously enjoy yet another trip!

    This one – through its commentary and photos – more than conveys the sense of being there with you and Carol, just as your posts from other journeys have done as well. And, I assure you that your iPhone photos are more than adequate to capture the sense of place as you make your way through London and the surrounding countryside!

    It is particularly wonderful to see the juxtaposition of your “then” and “now” photos and hear about how long you have known the people with whom you are reconnecting once again on this trip. Friendships of the duration of those you are describing are increasingly rare, and you obviously recognize their value and work to maintain them.

    Of course, the most wonderful aspect of all for the whole trip has to be the fact that the two of your are doing it with Zoe and Phoebe. Imagine the photos and memories that they will have at an equivalent time in each of their lives!

    Your public looks forward to more posts and blogs!



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