Monday, 8 December 2008

A Sunday walk in the countryside

Yesterday we met up with Cath, Nick & Lizzie half way between Wycombe and Portishead (roughly!) at a village called Bishopstone, just east of Swindon. I'd found a walk on a website about the Ridgeway, and I'd booked us in for Sunday lunch at a pub in the village. We were half an hour late because our road map bore no relation with the reality of the A419 (if you've ever been there, you'll know what I mean) - visible roundabouts are a thing of the past in this part of Wiltshire, and it seems that only those villages that pay enough to the local council get their village added to road signs. I'm not kidding that Bishopstone doesn't appear on any modern road signs in the area, only on those older versions that were probably removed in the Second World War in case of invasion, then replaced afterwards.

It was a perfect day for a stroll though, and Lara and Lizzie enjoyed comparing their sedan chairs. We cut the walk short to make sure we got to the pub in time for lunch, although this involved passing through an organic pig farm. The piglets were very cute, but we weren't convinced the flimsy wire fence would prevent their mum from defending her little oinkers from Mishka if we'd let him get any closer! The enclosure containing the dads wasn't much stronger, but they didn't seem too bothered by us. It certainly seemed very natural and healthy for the pigs, although as Olga pointed out, "they probably don't actually like living in a muddy field".

The pub itself, the True Heart, was very nice. £9 for a two course Sunday Roast, they provided an extra bowl of veggies for nothing when we asked for some - Lara and Lizzie could have had their own kiddy-sized Sunday dinner but they just shared the grown-ups meals. We even went as far as having dessert too - how Nick has made it into his 40s without having Dead Man's Leg, I'll never know :-) (Jam Roly Poly for the non-Lancastrians)

Lara and Lizzie seemed to enjoy themselves, and we just loved Lizzie's words - "gotgot" for choccy or a biscuit, "meat" when asked what else she'd like to eat, and "Rara" for Lara. As Cath pointed out, it does help that Lizzie's other cousin is called Tara, so "Rara" works for both!

It was only an hour's drive for all of us, so it's something we'll have to do more often, especially if Cath supplies the coffee and cookies again!

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