Sunday, June 29, 2008

All done and Dorseted.


Thank you all who crossed fingers for us. It’s been lovely. We had forgotten how beautiful Dorset is. It’s the bloomiest, blossomiest, lushiest, rosiest, and honeyiest of counties and only the narrow back-roads prohibit perfection.

We were renting Dairy Cottage on a farm, a mile from Whitchurch Canonicorum which itself was a mile from the A35. We stopped for lunch at the local pub – the Five Bells.

‘I’m Pat,’ said the friendly land- lady.

‘Snap!’ I said.

We agreed that certain names labelled you to a particular decade and remembered some famous British Pats – Kirkwood, a musical comedy star and Roc of film fame but we drove ourselves dotty trying to remember the third Pat – also musical comedy. Granny P may come up trumps.

Over a cattle grid we found the farm and cottage in a wonderful open space with views in all directions. There were beautiful flowers everywhere, a large lily- bedecked pond with rare ducks, guinea fowl and two miniature dachshunds. The surrounding fields had lambs and goats that talked all the time and watched our every move. We were free to wander everywhere but were warned that sometimes the heifers are in one of the fields and easily get freaked and stampede. Occasionally a young farm hand from a neighbouring farm would tear round on his tractor ye- haarring like an escapee from the Wild West – which tickled us.

I felt sorry for the slightly grumpy dachshund - older and larger than his honey coloured, puppy friend who was simply adorable. The week before the people renting the cottage had gone out and left the French windows open; so Little Sunshine went in and removed the ladies panties – drying on the bath, and presented them to her owner. The owner then had to decide what to do with them; if she returned then round the bath and got it wrong it would look weird. In the end she told the panties owner exactly what had happened. All the animals had personalities – they were kept as pets and their antics kept us amused for hours.

I wanted to visit the church – ‘The Cathedral of the Vale’ – the Church of Saint Candida and Holy Cross. It shares the distinction to which only Westminster Abbey can lay claim of having the relics of a patron saint in the shrine (Saint Candida in this instance) and was a major centre of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.

Apart from Saint Candida, the famous journalist Sir Robin Day has his ashes buried outside the church door and Sir George Somers, who inspired Shakespeare to write ‘The Tempest.’ Sir George sailed with Raleigh and took part in the colonisation of Virginia and was ship wrecked on a coral island near Bermuda -Bermoothes in the play. He settled in Virginia but died in 1610, on returning to Bermuda for supplies. His heart was buried in Virginia but his body is buried in the church.

Some of you may remember a crime of the Cold War in 1978 when Georgi Markov was assassinated on Waterloo Bridge by a communist agent, using a gas gun disguised as an umbrella to inject the victim with a pin – sized pellet of the lethal toxin Ricin.

His grave is here and oddly on Friday June 20th – last week- Richard Edwards in the Daily Telegraph writes that the crime is being reinvestigated by Scotland Yard – thirty years later. That’s enough excitement for now. More later - with pics.

If you wish to see more of the cottage click on and put Whitchurch Canonicorum in Search slot.


Dandelion said...

Yes, I do remember the poison umbrella-tip. It was on the radio a few weeks ago.

Are you thinking of Pat Boone?

And are you by any chance a fan of Dennis Potter's last interview?

PI said...

Dandelion: you're right on the money with the homage to Potter -well spotted! But way, way off with Pat Boone who is male and American - last time I looked. This Pat was British musical comedy/ principal boy with - I think - a Jewish sounding name and I think an equally famous mother.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Is St Candida who you pray to when you've got a vaginal infection?

PI said...

Daphne; har har har! Just what I wondered.

Shane said...

Ok, all fine and dandy, but if I may...
Bloomiest - yes, nice word
Blossomiest - ok, get-away-withable
Lushiest - here, you're beginning to test me
Rosiest - fine, of fine and dandy
Honeyiest - honeyiest... just... no... that is gone too far... 'honeyiest', I mean, to such banana skins of vocabulary we say 'No, really no'.
That is it, for now.

PI said...

Shane: so you're not buying the homage to Dennis Potter? But did you get the picture?
I won't do it again. Not for ages:)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Pat, it sounds utterly Glorious..Sublime, really!
So happy you had such a great great time....! I look forward to Pictures and more!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dorset is the 'bloomiest, blossomiest, lushiest, rosiest, and honeyiest of counties' (and a lot more something-est I reckon) and I'm lucky enough to live there! Glad you liked it.

john.g. said...

Sounds wonderful! Welcome back! xx

PI said...

Naomi: I'll pop over before bed-time. More photos soon. I've strained my shoulder so am taking longer. MTL thinks I should do nothing but I believe in working through it.

Anon: welcome and glad you don't object to my adjectives. Where in Dorset?

John.g.: as a special treat I've put the dots in the right place. It's always nice to come home.

problemchildbride said...

I like honeyiest!

What an extrememly odd collection of people to find dead near each other! Very cool though. I remember when Robin Day died. Peter Sissons was fine but could never replace that twinkily astute old fellow on Question Time.

I always feel I've got to know my own country just a little better when you return with tales of your trips. Welcome back!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

"inspired Shakespeare to write 'The Tempest'".... Heck, I thought Bacon wrote all that stuff.

Eryl Shields said...

I remember the umbrella murder, I was still a teenager but it was such a James Bond sort of happening it's stuck with me.

Glad you had a good time. Must get to Dorset someday, I love a bit of bloomieness and blossom.

Anonymous said...

Pat - the other Pat - I seem to recall a jazz singer/dancer with short spiky hair - was she Pat something? As I think more, I rather think not. Others that came to mind (but not Pats) were Pip Hinton, Suzy Kendall …
Google found me:
Patricia Michael as an unsung heroine - never heard of her so for sure unsung!
Patricia Routledge (???????????)


R. Sherman said...

Glad you're back safe. I can't wait for the photos.


Zee said...

Hello, Michele sent me! Thought I'd poke around and say hello. :)

Nea said...

But you were on holiday, how can you have sprained your shoulder?

Was it an over-packed suitcase?

I'm with you on working through it, but do take something to ease the pain, a glass or two, for medicinal purposes, of course.

Welcome home.

PI said...

Sam: I thought you would approve.

Hoss: darn it! Did you have to bring that up?

Eryl: I'm glad it didn't really stick with you:)

Belleek: sweet of you to bother. I found a great website - contacted then and they gave me the answer:- Patricia Burke - daughter of Marie and Tom.
Terry Guntrip

PI said...

Randall: tomorrow - with luck.

Zee: welcome! We like z's.

Nea: close! Combination of heaving luggage (MTL would do it all but I tend to get there first)using shears- the jasmine is covering the balcony and family arrive Thursday and possibly a bit of computer work. It only really hurts if I move it in a certain position. It'll be fine.

Guyana-Gyal said...

You mean the gun-brella is not fiction? James Bondish and all?

You're right, from your pics. Dorset sounds glorious. I long for clean, pretty places.

Oh, was it Tony Orlando who sang oh my sweet Candida?

PI said...

GG; gun- brella was definitely fact and now we seem to becoming the murder capital of the world.

I'm not sure about the music but it sounds right.