Friday, June 11, 2010

Learning to Live in England, Part 03

Saturday, 05 June

Saturday morning, another gorgeous day, and we had just finished a leisurely, late breakfast, I in my nightgown and Demetrios in his skivvies, when he glanced out the window and shouted, 'OH!' I looked out the window in time to catch sight of what he meant, just as he said, 'Here come David and Julia!' So we raced into the bedroom and threw on some clothes in time to answer when they rang the outside bell. We only had to make them wait a few moments.

They had come to lend us David's mobile phone! He says he only uses it on shoots (when he goes pheasant shooting). How thoughtful! And what a relief, not to feel totally incommunicado. Our new phone won't be put in, and we won't even know its number, until the 17th. (I don't know the number of this phone, either, so don't ask. I'm not using it for any international calls, either.) It took David quite a while to teach us how to use it...

The other purpose for David and Julia's visit was to invite us to a fête later this afternoon. Of course we gladly accepted.

The fête, Julia assured us, was a typical English event. You could sit out in a garden and be served tea with a strawberry cream scone. You could buy homemade cakes and jams; we bought raspberry jam. there was an exhibit of paintings by local artists. We didn't see one we wanted, but now that I think of it, when we do get ready to put something on our blank walls, a local subject by a local artist would be perfect.

At the fête, we encountered some of Demetrios' Old Friends, the Rev. Michael Smout and his wife, Valerie. Michael was the Rector of St. Michael's Church, directly adjacent to where the fête was. He is also the one who married David and Julia.

While we were there, we took a peek into St. Michael's Church, which is lovely inside. Its oldest partes are Norman, dating to the early 1100s. There is even some evidence (part of a Saxon stone cross) of a wooden church haveing been here earlier; the cross is from the late 800s. The list of Rectors goes all the way back to Robert Blundell, who served until 1246; that's before Marco Polo journied to China.

After the fête, David and Julia had another party to attend, so they dropped us home.

In the evening, during an exploratory walk around the neighborhood, we solved the mystery of the bird that sits on the TV ariel across the street from us. This time, we got a sideways view of him, and he is, of all things, a duck! Yes, an ordinary, Mallard duck drake - who thinks he's a perching bird. It's evolution, you see, happening before our eyes: the bird is adapting to a new environmental niche.

Demetrios showed me the small creek I'd never noticed before that runs right beside our block of apartments.


elizabeth said...

sounds like a lovely time is being had!

DebD said...

sounds like such a fun adventure. I'm glad you're meeting new people too.