Day Thirty Five

We wake to the news of the arrival of Kate and William’s baby boy.
The country is in raptures and its very easy to be caught up in the
joy of it. Westminster Abbey’s bells ring for three hours, the palace
guards play “Congratulations” when changing the guard and there
is a 41 gun salute to mark his birth.

There are four generations of monarchs with this birth, the most
direct line of succession since Queen Victoria’s time. Such a
formulated path for this little one. I wonder if Kate pinches herself
from time to time. Yesterday, she gave birth to a boy who will be
King. Bet that didn’t cross her mind when she was eyeing up William
at St Andrew’s the first time.

Baby celebrations out of the way, we set off to spend the day
visiting the Fountain Abbey and Studley Royal Park. The Abbey and
Park are World Heritage listed. When we arrive, there is a film crew
setting up to film a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. The Abbey was
established in 1132 by monks. Running a mill, it went on to become
one of the richest Abbeys in Europe. The mill survived the
dissolution of monasteries by King Henry VIII. Today it is in ruins, but
you can see from what’s left that it was vast. It includes a watch
house to greet visitors of the day and guide those needing
assistance, a church, living quarters, an infirmary, and even a prison.

It’s built over a river which adds to its charm as the walls have
become green with moss and lichen. It’s very romantic, washed
clean with last night’s thunderstorms.

At the other end of the property are the Studley Royal gardens,
created in the 1700s. I suspect this is where they will be filming as
the setting works for the period. The gardens are set around a series
of lakes and temples. They are tranquil and elegant. It really was a
very elegant time. In the main lake a statue of Neptune emerges
from the centre across from a temple. It’s beautiful setting.

We traverse the gardens to the deer park, but as with the other
Abbey,the deer are nowhere to be seen. Disappointing but there is
nothing that can be done, Oh well, no Bambi for me.

We arrive back at the car park to see the rest of the crew arriving –
the most magnificent horses, dressed for formal riding, sleekly
groomed. Lovely.

Dinner at home, with goodies bought in the village yesterday. I’m
going to make a Roquefort salad to go with it. We are spoilt for
choice with cheese here, with both local and imported product for
pennies. It makes our cheese prices at home seem quite criminal.

It rains heavily after dinner, the first real rain we have seen. The
bunnies hide from it, seeking shelter under want ever is available.
Can’t say I blame them – rain gives your curly whiskers.

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