but I have had no end of hassle getting online for the past few days and so I am trying to catch up. I am conscious that I am posting about architecture a lot, and there is plenty of it to write about too.
I'd like to post about other things but I don't have the photos to go with these words so I apologise.
We've stayed at B&Bs every night - now that can mean a bunch of things here. It can be someone's house, or a pub, or a hotel even. We've tried them all.
Initially we were going to wing it by going to the town information office when we arrived and getting lace that way but the first two times we tried this it failed miserably, so in the end we committed to a few days of stops and booked via 't'interweb a good forward supply of reasonably priced accommodation.
I've shown you the gorgeous Bell Hotel at Faringdon, run by the King and Queen of Lancre, just the loveliest people! From there we went to Plum Cottage, run by more lovely people who were laid back and intelligent and it turns out do a great deal of fabulous community work. From there we changed our mind about using the next booking as its position relative to where we needed to go the next day was all wrong so we headed East along the south coast to see how far we could get. I fixated on a town called Peacehaven because I had visions of the prettiest seaside resort, such a great name. It turned out to be a dump and a half! We are tired and fed up at this point but battle on to Newhaven, which was nicer, and finally got a room for the night from the lady who say No. No breakfast laundry, wifi, MILK - she was very friendly but cheerfully indisposed to put herself out at all. Still, a nice enough room.
And so it was with great relief that we ended up in Rye at Wish House, with the most delightful Rowena and Paul. A gorgeous mock Tudor 18th C house crammed with interesting artifacts from their travels abroad, but alas no wifi. We loved Rye for many reasons, and I will post about them soon I am sure.
And so here we are in Buckingham, or rather about four miles north of Buck at Lillingstone Lovell at The Gables with the lovely Nicola. This place is so fantastic! We were greeted with home made meringues and raspberries and cream and a cup of tea! This house is a tardis and there are a total of 7 of us staying here - us, two lads attending the motorcycle event tomorrow, two ladies attending a local spa resort tomorrow and one electrician working on a local project. I can understand why The Gables is so popular - Nicola is delightful and the house is so comfortable, and the prices very reasonable.
Anyway, there is a must have for any B&B owner: A Large Rescue dog. Everyone has had a rescue dog (i.e. one from the RSPCA or similar) that is a mutt of the most mixed lineage, and all have been attention loving softies. We love dogs so it's been part of the fun!
We have paid between 40GBP and 65GBP a night for a double room, including breakfast everywhere but Newhaven (50GBP without) which compared to NZ is outrageous, but as the only two things I can pinpoint as being MORE expensive than at home are accommodation/housing and petrol, I guess this is to be expected. And incidentally there has been only a loose correlation between cost and quality.
I thought I would feel a bit intrusive staying in someone's home but it has been a real pleasure. Meeting these delightful people, their pets and families and hearing their stories (Nicola had us all in absolute fits today telling us a few stories of her experiences to date!) has been as much a part of our holiday so far as the cathedrals, shopping and village snooping!