Samstag, 29. November 2014

Roadtrip: Aldbourne, Wiltshire

It has been a weird day, foggy but sunny, and when all my Saturday chores were done I spontaneously jumped in the car and went for a drive.

Aldbourne is really just up the road, only three villages from Hungerford. The bus to Swindon passes through there and I kind of remembered that it looked pretty. I arrived around 3pm and the late afternoon light was extraordinary: hazy and brittle and somehow warm and chilly at the same time.

St. Michael's Church in Aldbourne, though mostly Gothic, curiously reminded me of the Romanesque St. Michael in Hildesheim (Michaeliskirche), one of my all-time favourite buildings and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. When I studied in Hildesheim, this was my go-to place on a rainy Saturday and even though both churches look nothing like each other, I instantly made the connection. Probably because both buildings look more like castles than places of worship and stand on a mound, overlooking the surrounding houses. Incidentally, Aldbourne also has the coolest bin on the planet. I imagine there are lots of them about, but this is the first one I have seen.


The coolest bin on this planet
The Goddard Monument in St. Michaels, Aldbourne

Yew tree in the churchyard

The pink library in the Old Forge

Sonntag, 23. November 2014

Hamish in Hungerford

A rainy Sunday just like today is the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa, each way too much caraway pound cake, read the new Terry Pratchett and post a few cat pictures.

Since Hamish has arrived in Hungerford in April I was meaning to post a few photos of him and they have accumulated over the last months. After a short settling in period he seems to be happy enough in the cottage.

As I adopted him originally from a Spanish shelter he now is (involuntarily) a very widely travelled cat. Weirdly, he seems more attached to people than territory and a lot of friends have remarked that he actually acts more like a dog anyway. Seeing him basking in the sunniest spots available always makes me happy.


"We have been expecting you, Mr Bond."

Donnerstag, 13. November 2014

Roadtrip: Milford-on-Sea

After the longest period of absence from this blog to date (sorry, sorry, sorry) I am resuming my duties with a seaside post. Since being back in the UK I hadn't been to the coast and always wanted to find the time to go. Even if it is November. Even if gale force winds have been forecast.

A friend of mine had suggested Milford-on-Sea as a possible destination while on a visit in Hungerford but when she was here we opted for going to Bath instead. So today I packed an extra pair of shoes, extra socks, an extra wooly hat, extra umbrella and extra cardigan, dusted off my map of Central Southern England and finally went to the seaside.

After getting a bit lost around Southampton I found my way via Beaulieu (where I had visited the National Motor Museum in 1997) and Lymington to Milford-on-Sea, driving through the New Forest National Park. Unfortunately I didn't stop to take photos of the famous ponies ... I suppose I just wanted to see the sea as soon as possible.

I have never lived as close to the coast as I do now and I definitely need to do this more often. On arrival it was raining and the waves lashed against the walls of the promenade. I cannot remember being near the sea in such stormy weather and the noise it made was almost deafening, together with the howling wind. You can see the Needles on the west coast of the Isle of Wight from the Milford promenade but all of my photos seem hazy, as the spray from the waves was all over the lense (and my spectacles) ...