From Warwick to Malvern my dog ‘Angel and me are staying in a quirky little wooden cabin in the middle of nowhere. Perfect for writing, reading, all things pensive. There’s a poor internet signal making it idyllic. No distractions. Focusing only on travel, food and photography, whilst enjoying life alfresco style. Malvern Hills being right on our doorstep together with many local attractions.
It’s a strange transition as normally we’d be with Foley – Tibetan Terrier who died in my arms a couple of weeks ago, age 21. I had to get away. To reflect and remember. Plus, I wanted to get Angel used to being without him as quickly as possible. He’s sorely missed but I can only treasure so many fond memories. In particular travelling, finding quaint places and retreats in the United Kingdom. We have a glorious country and much remains unexplored by so many.
First day we drove from Welland to Little Malvern. I noticed signs saying ‘Open Gardens.’ It was like a treasure hunt. On finding what I assumed was the house (where the last sign was located.) I drove into a lavish driveway then parked the car. I could see the superb topiary to the side of the big stone dynasty. Angel cocked her leg up a well sheered ornate hedge folly in full view of her audience. A group of posh type people sitting in the study, each wall top to bottom in leather backed books. They reminded me of ventriloquist dummies. Rigid. There wasn’t much I could do to avoid our introduction. She was desperate. My only relief, she didn’t follow with a poop.
Watch this video then keep reading … it gets better.
We entered the garden, the views incredible. I began to fumble around for my camera. A lady came to the side door. She wore an apron. Had immaculately set dark grey hair with a well lacquered quiff to the front. A stern look upon her face. I smiled, expecting her to greet me. As the ‘Open Garden’ event was for a charitable cause I assumed she’d come for my donation.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked. I thought it was obvious. I’d come to admire the garden and get into the community spirit. I am sucker for fundraising.
“I’ve come to the ‘Open Garden’ day I told her.
“Well … it’s not here and anyway dogs aren’t allowed.”
My immediate reaction was to explain I’d simply followed the signs. Then I wondered why she didn’t advise me where I had gone wrong and to guide me in the right direction? Clearly, there was not going to be any banter other than to ward me from her property.
I decided rather than stoop to her level I’d better leave. I was trespassing in her back garden with a dog that couldn’t stop weeing on everything. We sort of meandered off and drove away, parking directly opposite in the Church car park that was well signed yet, I’d missed it on the way in.
Leaving Angel in the car I took a tour round Little Malvern Priory. It was exquisite – the Vicar had just finished a sermon. The congregation just leaving. There’s always those that saunter to be acknowledged by the Vicar on exit, as though they’ll be nearer to God if they do. I noticed many of them resembled the woman whose garden my dog showered upon in abundance.
The Vicar told me I could spend as much time as I wanted, take photographs – as long as I closed the door. He was a jolly old soul. An air of sincerity about him. I liked that. There was just me in there and for ten minutes or so I took time to reflect on this year’s events. I thanked the universe for all the mishaps, as it had made me grow as a person. I spoke with Foley then left. Not sure whether he heard me, but I felt better for it. Churches are good for things like that.
We continued our drive to Great Malvern town, then walked down the promenade. It was a lovely day. Even the rude woman made it more colourful. I hope she reads this, if so, thank you.
Arriving back to my log cabin, I watched a movie then did some writing. There’s more to come. Spring is here and the weathers on our side. I’m doing what I love best – being lost in new places. No sense of time. A head full of words and a camera to treasure moments amidst towns and rural settings.
It’s my first UK trip in 21 years without Foley. It’s not the same without him but the memories are with us every step of the journey. Next stop will be …. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Best things happen on impulse, I seldom plan ahead. It’s too conventional – I’m rubbish at stuff like that.