I woke to hear rain on the window pane…no worries, the garden really needed it after such a hot spell.
After breakfast Julie and I went into Monmouth. She wanted to show me around her favorite town where she’d often thought about moving to if the garden became too much for her. I had also planned to treat myself to some Hereford steak.
We pottered around the town checking out charity shops (kept seeing blue china for you Marie) and bought a couple of art books on skies as I shall be joining a painting workshop on the subject next week. We also went round an art gallery which was quite inspirational. Some details of paintings below which were quite stylish.
Julie was dying to show me a very special door (knowing my love of old doors for painting purposes). This one was in miniature, like a hobbit door into a tree! It was so cute and there was no reference to it anywhere nearby.
By now the hot sun was beating down on us again and we enjoyed a coffee and some yummy Welsh cakes outside a street cafe before heading back through the Friday market stalls to the car park.
We returned to Julie’s cottage for a bowl of homemade mushroom soup before I packed up the car for my return journey. But first over to the paddock behind to see if there were any mushrooms to take home. Sadly not one! However I did meet the neighbour’ chickens whose eggs I’d been enjoying in salads. I also tried to photograph a huge buzzard high in the tree, but he flew off just as I focused him.
After saying our goodbyes, I headed up to Garway Hill. From here you can see seven counties blended in an awesome panoramic view of patchwork dotted with tiny tree blobs disappearing into a blue haze in the distance. The skies were huge with summery fluffy white clouds gathering on the horizon all around, a fitting finale to the first part of my mini UK road trip. I think I will call it “Wye to Wales?”.
As I made my way back down the hill path which was like green velvet, closely cropped by the ponies and sheep, I heard the occasional “baa” but couldn’t see anything (one popped its head up above the bracken occasionally, startled by me no doubt.
It was a steep and narrow drive back down to the main road, and not without incident! First I met a 4×4 whose driver clearly expected me to reverse back up the hill to a passing place. I rather thought he had the advantage but who was I to argue.
Next I came face to face with a sheep coming up the hill in the centre of the track. He had that defiant look. He even looked back down the track and baaed “No way”. He definitely had the advantage but I found myself reversing yet again FOR A SHEEP! I then noticed a warning light on my dashboard. Oh no what now and 100 miles from home!? I stopped to check my manual to find that it just referred to indicator malfunction. As both indicators appeared to be working fine, I chose to ignore it!
I set the set nav for Ross on Wye as I had become somewhat disorientated on the hill. However it was not a good time to stop in Ross as the traffic was so heavy, so I decided to continue home. I will definitely take a run out to Ross again some time soon and spend longer there by the River Wye as it really isn’t far.
Just wanted to add a final image, that special scene across the Chadlington Down whenever I return to Charlbury from the west…. the harvest had all been done here and it was looking somewhat brown, but a wonderful view nevertheless!