Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day with Ian and Ann

IMGA0024 We drove over to beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon today to spend the day with Ian and Ann. We arrived around 12 and had a light lunch before heading off for the National Trust property – Upton House.

IMGA0022 IMGA0016

Wow! What a gorgeous place – can’t think how Ann and I haven’t been there before. The terraced gardens especially, were beautiful, and the inside of the House, was so interesting. The place originally belonged to Lord and Lady Bearsted who haned it over to the NT in the 40s. Our visit started off by us watching the introductory film there that was made to look and sound like a piece of undiscovered film-footage about a weekend house-party there in the 1930s.

IMGA0018 IMGA0003

There was a garden shop (Ann bought a strawberry plant) and a really spacious tea-shop – both of which got our attention! Ian and I discovered an outdoor chess-set and we couldn’t resist a game. I wish I hadn’t! :) 1-nil to Ian! After wandering around the gardens we had a return match – err, 2-0 to Ian!
We had a great time at Upton House, it really was one of the best properties we’ve been to (they’re all pretty good though!). But perhaps the best was yet to come!

On Ian’s suggestion, we drove a few miles to a village called Oxhill. A typically English village until we noticed the scarecrow outside someone’s house – then another – then another!

IMGA0025 It’s called the Oxhill Scarecrow Festival - an annual event, where the villagers create scarecrows in various ‘situations’ and display them outside their houses for the weekend. We saw scarecrows in kayaks; scarecrows sitting on gates even a scarecrow driving vintage car – they just got better and better as we drove around the village. What a laugh!!!

If the day had been slightly warmer, we probably would have walked around the village and studied them more closely, but there was a nip in the air, so we did all our scarecrow-watching from the car.

After lifting our jaw from the floor (the scarecrows were just amazing!!) we headed back to Ian and Ann’s for a quick read of the papers and then sat down to the evening meal. An hour later, we were all fed and watered and we’d also put right the world-to-rights in between :)

The evening passed really quickly and it was soon time to say our good-byes. Strangely, there was nothing on the road and we were indoors by about 10.15.

What a great day – the best bit for me was the scarecrows – and the less said about my chess-playing skills, the better!!!