Back in the Wolds

Arrived back in the Cotswolds on Wednesday night for a few days of rural refreshment before a trip out to California then back again in time for the royal wedding. Enough royal wedding memorabilia to fill a small warehouse had been delivered in the post (tea towels for everyone!), including the Emma Bridgewater mug pictured from which I am currently drinking my morning coffee. I appreciate the way Ms. Bridgewater managed to make the helicopters (emblem of Will’s profession as a search and rescue helicopter pilot) look sort of like flowers if you squint, but it’s too bad the initials of the royal couple are the same as those used to indicate bathroom facilities in the UK.

Also awaiting me was the May issue of Cotswold Life magazine, a periodical in which I had pretty much lost interest when I was living here full-time. I preferred the New Yorker to say the monthly Cotswold Pub Dog column in which, yes, a local pub dog gets his own column in which to inform the public of his favourite pub snack, favourite spot in the bar, and favourite customer. But now that I am back living full-time in the big, bad urban-ness of Berlin, I sopped up Cotswold Life like it was some kind of life-prolonging tonic.

In typical idiosyncratic style, the opening article managed to both bemoan the cancellation for the second year in a row of Cheese Rolling down Cooper’s Hill, a nearly two-century old Cotswold tradition, and extol the virtues of smoking. The second article was a newish (well, new since I stopped reading regularly) column by a woman who calls herself Cotswold Mother. Very annoying since that is obviously the perfect spot for the American in the Cotswolds column. And then there was my favorite, the property pages, which reminded me how very rich this area is and how very rich I am not. The description in one ad for a manor and estate in nearby Withington included a minstrels’ gallery, bothy, and manège, none of which are architectural features with which I am familiar (although the first one sounds disturbingly, to an American, like a venue for a minstrel show). Like the old saying goes, if you have to ask you can’t afford it!

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