We spent the weekend of October 30/31 with Alan and Maggie Brooker in Ubley, a small country village in Chew Valley about 10 miles south of Bristol in Somerset. My niece and Alan's daughter, Jenny, drove us out there Friday night in about two and half hours on the motorway. It's due west from London close to the Bristol Channel, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Alan was married to my sister, Klara, until her death in 1986. They had three children. He married Maggie, a widow with three children of her own, a few years later. They've been together at Brown Trout Cottage ever since.
|Alan picking up the pork loin he ordered for the luncheon on |
Sunday at the New Manor Farm Shop. They raise and butcher
almost all the meat they sell.
|Sheep in a field of Manor Farms|
|Erika was attracted by these colorful Wellington boots. Alan picked up the|
latest free issue of the Chew Valley Gazette here.
|The last stop was pick up some milk from the local dairy.|
|Alan, did you pay up the 40p you owed for the milk?|
Our first stop for the day was Wells, only about 20 minutes away along hedge-lined roads and lanes and regarded as the smallest city in England. The title of 'city' used to be reserved for towns with a cathedral and a bishop, though as I understand the criteria for an English town to be given a city patent has expanded. Wells received its city status because of its magnificent cathedral.
|An American connection.|
|Where Penn preached.|
|It's sunny now, but we're going to get a drenching later.|
|Clock on the outside of the cathedral. The knights above the clock face knock on the bells.|
|Vicar's Close, said to be the longest continously occupied street in Europe.|
|The cloisture leading into the cathedral.|
|Clock inside the cathedral. The seated man in the photo above the clock strikes the hour while four characters scurry around the platform above the clock.|
|Entrance to the garden.|
|The Bishop's palace.|
|The swan on the right is pulling on a string that rings the bell, resulting in a hand extending through the window to drop some food on the water. Worked every time!|
|Escaping a sudden storm and waiting for lunch.|
|Wells Cathedral after the storm.|
|Glastonbury Tor, home to Gwyn ap Nudd, King of the Fairies and the island rising above the mists of Arthurian Avalon.|
|Alan and Maggie trudging up to the Tor behind Benedict.|
|It was very windy on top.|
|View from the Tor.|
|Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, where King Arthur is supposed to be buried.|
|The town of Glastonbury is filled with New Age-type shops.|
|St. John Church, CofE. Celtic cross.|
|The following day we took a walk around Ubley. This is the |
|St. Bartholomew, the village church whose origins can be traced to the 13th century.|
|The ropes in front of the stained glass window are for ringing the church bells.|
|These two fixer-uppers were auctioned off together for about |
After our lovely walk about the village and its environs, we waited for the arrival of my nephews and niece for lunch. Maggie prepared a lovely and delicious lunch.
|There's Oscar! Between his dad and mum and auntie.|
|Alan, Maggie, Kate, and Chris.|
Oscar and his mum.
|Chris, Toby, Benedict, and Jenny investigating the latest in|
mobile phone technology.
|There is always something new to learn, isn't there.|