At our first stop at The Ship Inn pub, Dan (AKA Don) asked if we had been “on a wander”. We had! There is a public way just across the street from our in-house apartment called Down Stream; all the houses in the small village of Burcombe (pop 50 +/-) have names for addresses in lieu of numbers .
Our wander took us between houses and then up hill through the woods where a clutch of rooks have set up residence. Rooks are as prestigious here as grackles are in Texas except they have the decency to call with a sound that resembles a bird rather than a misused car door. As a child in Houston I saw jack rabbit pelts on barbed wire fences on Jack Rabbit Road. I have heard of coyote pelts being hung in West Texas. Here they hang rooks along the edge of the grain fields.
Beyond the rook woods the public way follows the fence between pastures and grain fields and disappears over the hills. Helen could not resist channeling Christina by Wyeth.
Even though these fields were rye, I thought about all the fuss over the death of Sir John Barleycorn and was thankful for the renditions by Traffic, Steeleye Span, and Fairport Convention. I must have needed a beer…or a taste of something stronger.
Looking back we could see red rooftops of the few houses of Burcombe in our little valley along the Nadder River.
Did I mention that there are sheep here? This is the morning of our fourth day here and I have had lamb, in one form or another, every day so far.
We originally booked a week at Down Stream but have decided to stay an extra week in order to get organized and back to what seems more like living and less like traveling. We have loved having all our traveling friends and family visit us. However, we discovered that just as they had to adjust to the Spanish time zone and daily routine, we had to adjust to the demands of a traveling schedule that is more rigorous and focused than we were used to. Since we have been here we have seen a few local “monuments” but have also had a chance to go on a wander. Simply Wanderful!