After we landed at Heathrow and got organized (which took a while because part of our group came by another flight and showed up late, and another person's suitcase went missing) we boarded buses and drove straight to Cirencester, which is just charming.
This could be a painting by Constable, but is actually a cell phone photograph taken from a bus window, can you believe it?
The money around here has traditionally come from the sheep business. "Cotswolds" means "sheep pen in a crappy location where the weather sucks and the soil is so poor that all you can do is raise sheep."
Naturally, they revere sheep. They even put up statues of them.
Don't you love that the sculptor's last name is Tweed?
"It's almost like a Tom Swifty," she mused slowly, while taking pictures of her shadow.
After some pub grub (I had steak and kidney pie! Without the kidneys. And a Pimm's Cup!
Which came with a Pimm's swizzle stick! That I forgot to keep, God damn it) we went window-shopping to admire many things that wouldn't fit in our suitcases
Including the cutest broom and dustpan I've ever seen
Where you revere sheep, you have wool shops. So you can knit a poppy purse. And tea cozies!
Sorry, tea cozies are not for sale.
And everywhere I went, I saw Miss Marple.
I even saw where Miss Marple would buy new clothes. If Miss Marple did buy new clothes. Except, of course, she doesn't.
No, not vintage. It's new.
Reason number 53,295 I love my son: he'll pose next to anything. He'll let me prove that in Cirencester, the guitar store that drew him like a fly to honey is next to one of those fancy toy stores where all the toys are wooden and from Italy--or based on an English children's book.
The metal fan and the giant wooden clown
And of course, we had to go to a bookstore. Because why would I buy The Cleaning Bible or Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany or the second Twilight series novel for my daughter from Amazon when I could buy them in England???
Maybe I should have bought something a little harder to find in America, like Beautiful Pigs or Ripping Things to Do
Then, a visit to the wonderfully-named Cake House for tea, Bakewell Tart, and Millionaire's Shortbread.
And a peek at our iPhone
By the end of the afternoon, we were feeling as worn as the local parish church
Seriously, I feel like a gargoyle, only crumblier.
Right now, I'm drinking a draft Long Bow. Which is hard cider.