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Thursday, August 18, 2011

A very full day


Wednesday:
This morning, I awoke at half-six to birds singing in the back garden & geese being very loud in the field beyond.
After dressing, I wandered down to the conservatory and was greeted by Michael who fixed me a cup of tea then set off to the market for fresh eggs & bacon. I was soon joined by Steven who, it turns out, beside being part of the management team of a not-for-profit hospice, does flower arranging on the side. We had a grand conversation. 
Breakfast was a marvelous affair in the dinning room with a cream Damask covered table laid for 9 with Blue Royal Derby and beautiful old silver. We had fresh fruit, followed by toast & jam then a buffet laden with eggs, ham & bacon & cereal. & fresh coffee & endless pots of tea. More stimulating conversation including the marvelous moment when himself said that Mr. Reagan & Mrs. Thatcher were both hard nosed bastards. He hadn’t noticed the very LARGE and several small photographs of Michael with her and when Michael said “actually, she’s quite a nice person” it was greatly amusing to several of us to watch Christopher back-peddle. 
After exchanging contact information with everyone, we gathered our things, said our goodbyes and headed off to Nottingham where we toured the museum in the castle which had a vast collection of mostly unrelated items from the 11th century to the end of the 20th. There were extensive silver collections, crockery, textiles and, in the cellar, all manor of bits from the excavations when shoring up the foundations 50 years ago. There was a great exhibit of military stuff from the Nottingham Volunteers & the N’ham Guards which kept Himself amused while Dennis & I went through the contemporary art, the historical paintings and then played with a group of children in an interactive exhibit where various wooden boxes, when carried through the exhibit, triggered something causing various notes & patterns of various musical instruments making a marvelous symphony as we moved around. 
We eventually headed out to the lower court for photos with the statue of Robin Hood and then down the road to The Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the oldest pub in the Empire repudiated to have been open on the same location in the caves at the bottom of the castle since 1189. We had a bit of lunch and a pint at the pub and are now in the car headed to the old walled city of Chester where, after checking in to Oddfellows, Himself & I will leave Dennis & Mark on their own for the evening & drive about 20 Miles to the town of Widnes, on the Mersey (which is why I can never sing “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”)  to have tea with Elsie & then go to Jonathan’s for a meal.
If we get back to the hotel early enough, which was pretty certain when we were going out but a bit more iffy now that Jon is entertaining us, I’ll try to get some of this posted before it becomes a novel. 

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