First Day!

Only in Britain can you have a regular old house that has no number. This is the Bennett's temporary home while their old one is getting fixed from the floods last summer. The UPS man came by for the neighbours and had me sign for it instead. When he looked for the house number he just said oh, Four Seasons then?

I took this from the end of the common park that their house is beside. I had walked out hoping to get pictures of horses in the field on the other side of that, but they had gone elsewhere by the time I got there.I decided in the end not to go into Oxford for the day, since my stay would be pretty short and I'll definitely go in tomorrow to see people. However, I did still have to go out somewhere to day, so I decided to just go into Steventon early. Steventon is the small town where the Bennetts usually live, and still work in. Their temporary house is in Drayton, which is only a little bit bigger.

The very different thing about small towns here is that they are not only near farms, they often have farms in them. I think there are two farms on the walk from their house to the bus stop, though they might have been the same one. There will be a row of houses, with field's behind them, then a house facing a barn with a very large driveway full of tractors and pick-up trucks. I saw ducks in a pond.And just beyond it, there was a barn, and a bunch of cows.

I don't know why, but I have a bit of a fascination with how different countries do post boxes. This isn't the same as the ones in London, but I saw them all over in the small towns today. Edmund told me last night that a lorry (delivery sort of truck) accidentally backed into this box a few weeks ago.I walked down the main road in Drayton for a bit, wasting time before the bus was to arrive. I didn't quite go down to the main section, since I was worried about missing it, which I needn't have, since it was over 10 minutes late. The bus ride to Steventon is only about 10 minutes anyway, so I was there quite quickly.

Steventon is a quite old town, with many things dating back 500+ years still in use. This is the Causeway, an elevated cobblestone path that ran through the town, used especially when there was flooding. It's a rather lovely walk from the bus stop to the farm where everyone works, probably 2/3 on the path. They don't actually work on the farm, the farmer decided to fix up and rent out a great number of his barns to businesses in order to make the farming itself lucrative. It's rather genius, since it's a lovely place to work, especially if you live in the village.

I found these snowdrops by the side of the Causeway while I was walking. Snowdrops! In January! I also saw daffodils today.

The one thing about Steventon is that the western half of the town is separated by a high speed railway. The trains are constantly going past, sometimes the gates are only up for 10 minutes at a time.

It really means that if you have to cross them on any sort of regular basis, or if you have to catch a bus or anything really, your life ends up being ruled by the train schedule. I had to wait for two trains to go by, a commuter train and a freight train to go by before the gates would go up and let me go by.

This is the house the Bennett's usually live in. The inside is almost entirely gutted due to the foot of flood water that they got. The white half of the house is over 500 years old, and the brick part was built by them. What's that I see in the corner?

Why, it's a post box! The mail truck will back into the driveway to pick up the mail, which really confused me the first time it happened while I was there a few years ago. It is literally in the wall, and can apparently be seen from the other side, now that the plaster and such is down from the walls.

This is another really old house down the lane. People do actually live in these houses!

This is St. Michael's and All Angel's Church (or something like that). I think that someone told me that it dates back to Norman times, which makes it something like 900+ years old. Still used and everything. Can you fathom anything that old still being used for it's original purpose in North America? Impossible!

I ended up just hanging about on the farm at Edmund's book shop for a bit, though I forgot to take any pictures of the buildings on the farm. At one point a bunch of people came over and we went up to the top of the hill and pointed at things for a bit. I did take this really lovely picture of the sunset around 4:30 from the top of the hill.

Later Edmund and I drove into Oxford to see a much abridged all girl's high school version of Hamlet with Deborah. Edmund and I got my first fish 'n' chips on the way home. I did take a picture of the place, but it's still on my camera, and I'm too lazy to plug it in again. I'll add it tomorrow.

I did knit a bit on my Conwy, but I think I'm going to rip it all out tomorrow. I'm just not digging the way the colours are going. That's what I get for picking a pattern without consulting the yarn.

1 comment:

laura said...

ooooh I love reading about your UK adventures! Keep it up darlin'!