Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Our young friends, Dave and Jennifer invited us to spend 2 days where Jenny lives in Whalybridge, 400 kms north of Portmouth, close to Manchester. This trip gives us a good glimpse at the ever traditional and tamed British countryside. It is lovely and very green with rolling smooth hills and winding countryroads lined with stone walls. The villages are tidy with flowery gardens and well kept houses which reveal the love of cosy indoor life the British have.
An evening stroll under the moon to the local country pub was the finale after a nic
e barbecue dinner with our friends. They took us along a wooded path which like in the best novels followed an old cemetery lighted by a bright moon. The air was heavy with the smell of wet grass after the afternoon heavy showers. The 30 minutes stroll put us in a perfect mood for some good ale at the Shady Oak, the old traditional country pub. At 1 o'clock, when we left the still busy place, it was pitch dark. No flashlights, who needs any when our guide has a superb night vision and leaded us hand in hand through a short cut of the already short cut... crossing fences , down a creek, following a muddy path. Completely blind, we staggered down the path admiring stars and feeling exhalirated by this little adventurous episode in the tame Britain.
We returned to Portsmouth via Stonehenge, this magic place, cousin of the Carnac standing stones field in Brittany which I know very well. Although, as the latest, we cannot approach the stones, I felt the same power and mystery of a unknown past when those same hills were still wild. I would have loved to touch those big erected stones for ever witnesses of century of mankind who across time have always adm
ire and worship them.