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Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Alternative Property?

The Landmark Trust office phones. They are concerned that the gas used for cooking and heating will run out during our stay. The work on the cattle grid had prevented the gas tanker from getting to the storage tank last Friday.

Would we like an alternative property, a few miles to the south?

We deliberate. Yes it would give a free Landmark to put under our belt, but we do like the Priory.

We decide to stick it out.

Ghost

Ghostly artifacts"Oh yes!" says Bernie, remembering. "There is a ghost. Heard it last night. Walking... the sound wooden floorboards make. Not slow creaking with thermal expansion, but deliberate creaking when someone walks."

Farmer

Woodspring PrioryTowerThere's a farm next door.

Jennifer and I locate the farmer. We wanted to give him the opportunity to get acquainted with his new neighbours. 

He appeared with a splattered Barber coat and plastic smock.

He was affable and friendly. There was no shotgun or "Get off my Land!"

He pointed out where the footpaths were, and resumed his work, shoving his arm up a cow's backside.

Headland Walk

"It's a bright sunny day!"

Gavin and friendJennifer, Bernie, Gav, Rick, Dave and I put on our walking shoes, gloves and woolly hats, and set of towards the headland.
HeadlandGavin on Beach - volcanic outcropWe walk up a short made up track, climb a gentle slope, and we're by the water. 
HeahlandGav
Enjoying the viewGarmin old and not so old. We are at ST 33998 66603Naturally, all the true Nutters bring their GPS receivers along for the walk.
JenniferWhere are we?Half an hour's walk along the coast finds us at Sand Bay.
PubRick and HorseWe found the New Inn at Keystoke. Beer and food are ordered.

The landlord is pleased to have the custom.

February is not tourist season.
Bus StopA muddy walk backWe find a very muddy path back to the priory.

Priory

Prioy with infirmaryA five mile walk is good for you. Makes you hungry!
KitchenGavin fixing his rattling radio

7MHz Radio

RadioBernie has brought along his amateur radio gear. I help erect the wire aerial.

Bernie talks into the microphone. Gavin and I look on

"Yes, you're 5 9 plus" Bernie shouts, transmitting to Jenny in Cambridge

Gavin look at me aghast. "That's utter crap! I can barely hear her! Use the phone for Pete's sake!"

Evening

Priory at sunsetThe others start looking for secret rooms. I attempt to capture pictures of the buildings in the sunset glow.
Gavin in dominant pose
I spot the concierge.

"Evening!" he calls, rattling his keys.

"Evening. How about a trip up the tower?" I ask, half expecting a rebuttal.

"Good idea. It will be very clear tonight. Come on up!"

I call the others. The concierge leads them up.

The others are made of sterner stuff. I resume fiddling with my camera.
 

Tower Tour

Concierge and BernieTower View. Infirmary
Old exposed timbersA secret room is revealed. Old exposed timbers support the roof.
Tower view. BarnTower view. Farmhouse
The view is magnificent!" exclaimed Jennifer after climbing down from the top.
The stairs are dark and steep.

It took her a careful 15 minutes to get down from the tower.

Evening Meal

We meet up with Laura and Andrew. They spent the day with Laura's cousin Graham and partner Nicky.

Laura has organised our evening meal. Beef has been stewing all day. A favourite recipe involving Guinness. Gavin and I peel a massive swede and 24 potatoes. Andrew does the mashing. The oven is somewhat slow - finally at 21:30 the pasty is deemed to have cooked, and of the correct crispness factor.

We all sit together along the huge kitchen table, four either side. The table could easily seat twenty.

Kitchen FireGavin with your webmaster.
Wine and beer flow.

We end the evening talking, crowding around the kitchen fire.

previous   next   Entire Holiday N G Hubbard February 2003

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