|Anne Hathaway's House|
Today I took the train to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the home of my boyfriend, Billy Shakespeare. The train left from Marylebone train station located down very close to Baker Street. That's right! The mythical home of Sherlock Holmes. I walked down a street that looked just like the one in the Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett. I could almost hear the sound of the Hansom cabs and horses hooves clicking over the cobblestones. The area and the train station were lovely examples of good Victorian architecture.
|William Shakespeare's birthplace.|
|A statue to honor Shakespeare's fool, Faustus.|
Old Bill's birthplace was surprising. For one thing, I had heard that he did not live there as an adult, but the latest research shows that he did live there on and off. He also expanded the house and used part of it as a financial enterprise to provide for his two daughters after he died. It was big even by today's standards; not big rooms, but lots of them. The gardens were lovely! There is no better word for it. They were filled with so many lavender plants and roses that I could smell their scent inside the house over the bus exhaust!
|The gardens at Anne Hatheway's House|
The house was so Tudor it could have been a stereotype.
Thick oak beams, huge stone fireplaces and hearths, and scary narrow twisty stairs which have taken out more than a few ankles. But the best - ah - was the gardens! They were breathtaking!!! Hollyhocks taller than me. Roses as big as my head. And, 37 varieties of sweet peas!!! The aroma just sent me over the edge. The calm reserved British people must have been amused to see me stopping and smelling ALL the roses and sweet peas and lavender.
I had a chat with the head gardener who was originally from Italy. He bemoaned the drought they were suffering. It hadn't rained for three weeks, he said. Everything was drying up, he complained. My mouth just dropped open. The garden, the grass, the orchard looked lush and fresh and green to me. But then again, this is a country where people never water their grass and seldom have to water the plants. That is almost unimaginable to me. He told me that he took a trip to Miami once, and that was the first time he saw lawn sprinklers. It's a different world!
|Mary Arden's Farm. Look at the buckling walls. That's what |
400 years of foundation problems will do for you!
|The gorgeous rolling hills of the Cotswolds during a drought!|
|A working well in the middle of the cutting garden.|
Ah. A lovely day in a lovely village in lovely countryside!
|English Longhorn Cattle. Who knew?!?|