During our week at Hutton Buschel we have enjoyed our time on the shore and in the lab. We have also shared conviviality around the kitchen table, something that has featured in all the houses we have rented in this first week in September. Mid-week we invite Simon, John and Ian to supper and our numbers swell to 11. There is lots of conversation and mild debate. Nick finds he has met his match in Ian when it comes to dialogue.
On Saturday morning we pack and vacate the house. It has been an amenable base, despite a shortage of bathroom facilities for a group of 8 people. But the chickens and guinea fowl have been fun to observe, all of these birds roosting in the apple tree just outside the front door. Their low murmurings and purrings have been fun to listen to late in the evening.
We set off with some scrumped plums and some purloined martagon lily seed heads. Before we start the haul south Nick and I swing into Market Weighton to pay homage. This is the birthplace and home town of William Bradley, known as the Yorkshire Giant. After some genealogical research which I have carried out with Maddy there is strong evidence, based on my grandfather’s line, that he is an ancestor. But I have yet to confirm this. However whilst in the area I cannot help checking him out: his wooden statue in the town, his former house which is now a gift shop, his place of burial under a section of the pews in the church, his footsteps. At 7ft 9ins he was the tallest known Englishman until 1999. The next step in my search for a definitive answer to my possible relatedness to this man is a trip to York to look up parish records.
After a quick café snack we resume our journey to Oxfordshire where we will catch up with the Cholseys. They are all based at Shillingford for the weekend and we join in with some useful activities: a recently constructed wood store is filled by the collective efforts of menfolk of all ages. Amelie introduces me to the piglets in the woods and Hug the horse. Hug and Wolfie now live at North Farm and it must be a real plus for Lukie to have the horses on site. Amelie helps with their care, mucking out, and is beginning to ride. Petite, like Lukie, I imagine she has the ideal build to be a horsewoman.
With some apples and pears from the orchard in the boot, we set off for Winterborne Kingston late Sunday afternoon; soon we will be on the road again……