Saturday, June 20, 2015

London Day 5 – In Which We Leave London, I Spot a Celebrity, and Shutford is Beautiful.



Anyone recognize this fellow? He’s the actor who plays the dad on Broadchurch, one of my favourite series from the UK last year and the original drama upon which the ill-fated American version, Gracepoint, was filmed in Victoria last year. He was nonchalantly buying a cup of tea at Marylebone Station where we were waiting for our train to Banbury. I will admit here to being slightly star-struck for a moment, and perhaps acting a bit of a twit as I grabbed Zoe’s arm far too hard and had a bit of a spaz while I was trying to get my mum to figure out who I was talking about. It’s a good idea I didn’t actually speak to him as I would have said something extra-stupid like “I am so sorry about your son Danny” or “Is that David Tennant’s real hair?” Fortunately for him, our train was leaving in literally 1 minute so we had to bolt across the station. I left him surrounded by adoring fans all talking about who knows what while he looked on a nodded politely.

Our train ride was short: less than an hour, but that still left enough time to buy Jaffa Cakes. SO GOOD.



This is pretty much what the whole trip looked like….

When we arrived at Banbury Station, it was so small and quiet and not the least bit quaint, that I wondered if I had made a dreadful mistake. But then we picked up our rental car and made our way to Shutford, a tiny little village in North Oxfordshire and our home base for the next week, and it was so beautiful and quintessentially English that we all breathed a sigh of relief.


We are in a converted 17th Century barn that has been turned into the cutest of cottages, in the cutest of villages.



We unpacked and relaxed for a few minutes before heading back into town to buy groceries. Food is cheaper here than at home, by quite a bit. A huge loaf of bread is .80p ($1.60), a big chunk of cheese is $5.00, and fruit and veggies is half the price is it at home. We had bags and bags of groceries and it came to about $160. Our groceries did not include these chips, or crisps as they are called here:


I don’t mind trying new things but this is just not working for me at all. What is summer butter first of all and why the mint. What’s next? Ketchup and Lavender?

Back at Barton House Barn, the evening was just too beautiful to stay in so the girls and I walked up the lane (Church Lane, of course) and into the fields.




Here’s the entire village of Shutford:


Preparations were underway for the Village Fete, to be held the next day. Signage was everywhere, effectively warning us that we may be shot the next day by either an archer or possibly an air rifle. Great.


We have been warned.

I walked back up the lane to the village church. There is a pub there too, and of course it is called the George and Dragon and of course there was a phone booth just past the pub.

Sometimes I wonder if the entire of England is one big movie set.



We were all looking forward to spending the next day in Oxford, where we have plans to meet Terra’s cousin Cole who is studying there as a graduate student.  I will try not to nerd out at the ancient manuscripts room…

Ranks for teething,



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