Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FROM CIRENCESTER, ENGLAND

It still astonishes me that I can wake, one morning, to palm trees and succulents and warm, warm air, and the next to lush green trees and endless lawns, gray skies and a distinct chill in the air...

So here we are in England, the land of my birth.  More precisely, we are in Cirencester, the largest town in the Cotswolds--a lovely landscape of gently sloping, ever-so green hills, clears streams and delightful villages of stone cottages clustered around their churches.  We are staying for two nights at my sister, Flora's house--a Cotswold stone cottage set on a street so narrow that even a small car has difficulty passing anything parked curbside, and then often has to run up on the opposite curb to make it through. This is Coxwell Street.  Around the corner toward the marketplace at the center of town stands the church.  Around the corner in the opposite direction, the entry to the grand park of the Earls of Bathurst, with its magnificent mansion and miles of wide avenue beneath ancient chestnut trees from the town to the distant polo grounds.

England, then.  Flora and her friend met us at Heathrow and drove us west to get here in the early afternoon.  Drooping a bit--for not having slept much more than an hour on our Air New Zealand--we enjoyed a great lunch of soup and cheese around my sister's kitchen counter, then took off for a walk into town to do some necessary banking, and out again into the good Earl's park for a refreshing breath of air.  I spent some time, early evening, rifling through huge piles of family documents and photographs that Flora had recently unearthed, including a fascinating letter mailed in the early 20th century from an American Clothier in Ogden, Utah, who together with his father had served in the Civil War.  His father was killed, he himself wounded--a proud American who was proud, also, of his family.

I slept, with a few breaks through the night, for twelve hours, waking this morning to spend some time in good conversation with my sister and, later, to write these words...


2 comments:

robin andrea said...

Hope you have a wonderful journey in the "old country." Looking forward to your photos and descriptions of the countryside.

Anonymous said...

Your vivid description triggers mind wonderful images. I also am looking forward to some od your photos.
We are having a bit of lightening,thunder and a flooding watch. Not serious stuff yet. Laguna stuff. Walking in the rain this morning was a wonder. There is a feeling of relief from the fearful fire season. Ironic to rollercoaster from the fear of fire to the appreciation of flooding.