Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Green English countryside

Left the thundering streets of London and the unending streams of brightly clothed people, young and old; briefly taking shelter with family and friends in certain corners of the city. Such as Dulwich, where once I went to school, and yesterday swam in the wonderful school swiming baths with my nephew and family (delightful twins Oscar and Freya and the ebullient Runa). Encouraged Oscar to consider becoming our cabin boy on Stroemhella. He asked: How old do I have to be? And: What does a cabin boy have to do? I furnished him with suitably inspiring answers. He has already done a dinghy sailing course, so my hopes are high. Freya, meanwhile, wrote me a pencilled letter covering a whole page of A4, and expressing her delight in having found a great aunt. I like this title. Though they simply called me "Wendie". Perhaps I lack a certa dignity necessary for the grand title...

Thence to Clapham and stayed with more friends of almost 50 years... They have a fine Victorian house, thoughtfully furnished with objects which are a delight to anyone with a feel for history, and not least a fine collection of prints and engravings, tastefully lining walls from the basement to the fourth floor attic.
Here a picture showing part of the room where I spent the night.

And the early morning view from my window, looking towards Battersea power station-as was...
The following day rain returned to rejoice the sodden earth.
I followed my detailed instructions and after train, underground and more train, reached Ardleigh where David was waiting for me at the bus stop opposite the Red Lion.

Sunshine in Essex, here some charming views of the English rural scene.
And we have been enjoying excellent English food -- well, one day we lunched in an Italian restarant, but today a fine old hotel in Mistley, once the headquarters of Matthew Hopkins (Google him) a gentleman of the 17th century much vexed by witches...

It is very peaceful here. Sat in the church, built of East Anglian flint, today full of flowers after the autumn flower festival. And thought of many things, and why can one find soul's quiet in some places and not in others, and how words do not cover the stretches of the mind...

Good bye Essex, tomorrow back to the Low Countree.

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