April 3 – 9, 2023

On our arrival at Heathrow early Monday morning, we headed off by train to Moreton-in-Marsh, a pretty Cotswold town where friends and family had kindly agreed to travel to meet up with us. Our journey to Moreton took much longer than expected due to a damaged viaduct on the main line to Oxford – a consequence of a very wet English March – however, once there, we had a most enjoyable week. The train disruption did mean that we were unable to travel down to London to meet up with Lene and Freddy, old friends from Denmark who were visiting their daughter and family.

We visited Batsford Arboretum with Martin (friend of Paul’s from medical school) and Grace, Paul’s sister Liz, our niece Catherine and grand-nephew Nathaniel. Over lunch with Chris (another medic colleague of Paul’s) and Sally, we heard about their Eco-housing venture as well as rural pursuits such as hedge laying and pollarding, later visiting the grounds of Sizencote House. With Martin, Grace and Liz, we picnicked in the rain (!) before touring Chastleton House – another National Trust gem. We caught up with some of Lois’ International Studies classmates – Angela and Jane joined us for brunch at No. 1 Cotswolds in Moreton and we met Sarah and Jenny for brunch at Artist Residence in London. We really appreciated the distance that everyone came to see us. Martin and Grace journeyed from Dundee in Scotland!

Sizencote House

Arriving in Canterbury yesterday, after checking into the House of Agnes (the Wickfield family residence in David Copperfield) we wandered down to the Cathedral precinct and found the stone marking the start of the Via Francigena. Further exploration resumed today after espresso, including the Roman wall, Norman castle and the spectacular Canterbury Cathedral.

We bought our Via Francigena Pilgrim Passport and have received our first stamp! Our friends, David and Anne, who will walk with us to Dover will arrive soon and we will all attend Easter Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral this evening.

Wildlife Notes: Red Kites at Bashford

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