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Published: July 20th 2017
At breakfast we join the other guests who are staying in this country retreat for a variety of reasons. Some are here for a weekend of golf, others just passing through, and there is the bride with her entourage of bridesmaids for that special day. It looks as though it will be a grand day for everyone. The sun is shining and the temperature is quite pleasant.
We drive back to Canterbury, park in our favourite car park, take the bus to the city centre and walk to the cathedral. Gone are most of the market stalls, the streets are still busy, and shoppers are looking for the last summer sale bargains. Tour groups have arrived for their visit to the cathedral. We pay our entrance fee and start our special tour. We are welcomed by a “friend of the cathedral” who just loves New Zealand. We introduce ourselves to the chaplain who makes regular visits to New Zealand. Our tour takes us around this wonderful building that is full of so much history. The murder of Thomas Beckett and the destruction of his shrine by order of Henry VIII are just a few historic moments that are highlighted on
our tour. There is the ever present ongoing restoration. 30 full time stone masons are employed. Another staggering statistic is the thirteen pounds a second it costs to look after this magnificent structure. In the quire we get a brief recital by a local choir rehearsing for tonight’s concert featuring Hadyn’s Creation. Wonderful.
Tour over we return to the car and set the GPS for Congham, Norfolk. Just as we leave it starts to rain. Our thoughts are with the wedding party and the golfers. Perhaps they’ll be fine. They probably have a Plan B. You have to in England. We have decided on a three night stay in Norfolk to enable us to get a better look around this part of England. To us Norfolk is flat and wet. We are hoping to understand what the real Norfolk is like. Our hosts have a wedding to attend so we might need to let ourselves in. Our Italian phone number is struggling and communication is rather spasmodic. Not to worry we have instructions. The drive is on the motorway and being mid afternoon it is getting quite busy, especially around London. As we get closer to our destination the
roads get narrower with high hedges all around. Every now and then we glimpse vast fields of grain ready for harvesting.
On arrival we meet our hosts who have arrived home between ceremony and reception. We receive a warm welcome, have a chat and get a recommendation for dinner. The Anvil is the local pub a short drive down the lane. We are certainly in the country. Around us are fields of grain, maybe wheat but could be barley, and the smells and sounds of the country are everywhere. We are not in a flat wet area. The landscape is rolling meadows dotted with woods.
We arrive at the very busy pub. A birthday dinner is in progress, other guests are enjoying the rather delightful menu, and locals are keeping the bar busy. We join in. We decide on a Lite Bite meal, a smaller portion of the main course. When the meal arrives we’re pleased we made the right decision. Our serving is very generous indeed. Still room for a delicious dessert. Might come back tomorrow for another dessert.
After a country after-dinner walk we settle in for the night. Tomorrow we might go to the
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