At the end of June, the beautiful clematis was in full bloom
We stayed out in The Cotswolds in a village, now apparently a small town,
called Charlbury where my dad lived as a child.
After a day or two in London, I'm really happy to get out into the country
and to a place where I feel I have some roots
even though I have never actually lived here
I feel great affinity each time I visit, almost every year.
Don't you just love the atmosphere?
The stonework is so lovely and typical of the area
thanks to the beautiful Cotswold stone.
As the stones age, they take on a more greyish hue which hides
their original honey-colour.
I travelled with my son this year and we were not blessed with sunny, dry weather
However, early mornings were always dry and sunny and that is when I went
on my long walks.
Don't you love this very early morning deep blue sky when the birds,
I think they may have been starlings, flew across the sky in noisy excited flocks!
Sometimes they settled on the rooftops and that was my cue to get dressed
and outside to breathe in some country air and go for long walks with my camera.
We stayed at the very lovely Bull Inn.
It's a place I've stayed in many times, but now there is new
ownership of a young, dynamic and friendly team.
There have been many transformations and we stayed in beautiful
new refurbished rooms decorated comfortably and creatively.
I can recommend the very good meals served there as well.
Looking through the bathroom area of my room onto a terrace
where drinks and food are served.
The same window seen from outside
My open bedroom window.
The bed was huge and so comfortable.
The vines growing in front of the window
provided a beautiful spectacle after the rain.
but let's go for a walk
past a red door with matching geraniums
through the churchyard
I even passed the house where my dad used to live with his parents and sister.
I love how the poppies grow randomly between the house and the path.
I'm going the long way round to the cemetery
where I can take some flowers to the family grave of
my grandparents and my dad.
Here's the entrance
and the graveyard has such a peaceful atmosphere
as the first rays of sunlight caress the tombstones on my early morning visit.
If you're not tired yet, we can walk another way back.
The lavender is in full bloom and the bees are waking up.
A row of houses and climbing roses.
A red letter box in a wall of the corner house next to the church
Milk bottles delivered at home.
Now that reminds me of my childhood!
We'll turn back at the crossroads
and admire hollyhocks against blue painted doors
A five-bar gate leading to green pastures
We're nearly there...
Here's the clematis again - looking fresh and vibrant after the rain.
I wanted to make a collage which represents the very essence of England as I know it
I hope you enjoyed this very long walk,
I think it's time to stop and have breakfast now.
How about brioche French toast with bacon and maple syrup?
Coffee made in a cafetiere
served by friendly and smiling staff.
That's what I had at the inn
and mighty tasty it was too!
Link to The Bull Inn