If you are concerned about making Southwest A-list, here is a suggestion: travel abroad and literally spend all your money within a week. This is a proven method and I’m actually wondering why Visa hasn’t called to check in and see if I’m OK. The last post ended with us fetching our things from our original Airbnb and sitting down to make a new plan. We were supposed to settle there for 25 days and take a couple of short trips. Instead we have no home base and are just schlepping our giant suitcases around each place we go. It’s not ideal but does help us avoid paying 2 places at once. See how money-conscious I am, Visa?
At this moment, I’m sitting at an outdoor table in Little Compton, a small village outside the likes of Bourton-on-the-water, Morton-in-Marsh, and Stow-on-the-Wold. I don’t know what a wold is. The grass is green and the property is full of roses, vines and fruiting trees. There are a few chickens in the pen, and Hector the dog has helped us with our Chewie-missing ache by providing wags and chases. This area is known as the Cotswolds, and it is how you picture medieval English countryside life- straight out of a movie set. As we explored the stone villages, one establishment had its founding year on the sign and THERE WERE ONLY 3 NUMBERS. The little pub and Inn was erected in 947. The store next to it was founded in 1578 and probably thought its neighbor was ancient. I literally could stay here for the rest of the trip.
Getting here was a test of nerves (and our actual marriage) as we took a train to Oxford and rented a car. A manual with the stick shift on the left, the steering wheel on the right, the driving on the left and a wife yelling “hug tight!”, “swing wide!” and “just pull over!” And the cherry on top was heavy rain. Ross did great- we hit a few curbs but zero oncoming cars.
Ross and the boys do most of their work in the evenings although I do have a slurry of emails about late assignments for each boy. And both are failing PE. Apparently I’ve taken my school management role as seriously as they have taken to writing paragraphs about badminton. Dang it. I have like 2 jobs; managing school and reading a good book. I’ll get on that. (Side note, I’m reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Set in 1100’s Old England about peasants, monks, earls and the building of a cathedral. It sure goes well with this little table and afternoon tea).
We spent the afternoon trolling around the medieval Christ church and current home of the University of Oxford. I did feel smarter after leaving the premises (though full disclosure because it only feels fair, I tried to spell the above word as premesis and only spell check saved me). A few locations for Harry Potter filming and the inspiration for the great dining hall- a dining hall still used every day to feed students and staff. It felt like an honor to be here and walk where some pretty incredible minds have and still study. And I figure this might be my only opportunity seeing as how the boys are failing online PE and all.
And major update: Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, Monarch of 70 years, has just died… what a time to be here. The bells of the Tom Tower in Christ Church Oxford rang continuously for an hour. Who knows what it will be like in London when we return, but it feels so foreign to already address the country’s head as King Charles III. Operation London Bridge has commenced starting with D-Day and the 10 days to follow. God save the King.
6 thoughts on “A-list, we’ve got you”
I love Pillars of the Earth !! Fantastic book!
So crazy that you’re there when the Queen died.
You’ll be around so many sad Brits 🥲
Thanks for writing. Good luck to those boys in their PE class!!!
I know! Lots of sad Brits because I’m pretty sure the whole vibe is that no one likes Charles… and glad to know you loved the book! I’m really enjoying it
What an adventure! Love the humor. How in the world can they be failing PE? Schlepping suitcases is total cardio😉
I wish “large suitcase handling” counted for PE! But yes- it has definitely been an adventure!
I’m scrolling through your blog and FB posts today to re-read some adventures. I have to get to England (knee replacement first). I’m pretty sure I mentioned attending summer school at the U of Warwick in 1967. “Hippies” had taken over (as profs😂) which led to very interesting classes and an invitation to a party in a gorgeous country home (20 yrs later, I found out our host was the famous feminist, Germaine Greer.) Our sponsor/chaperone from our HS was 26, gorgeous, hip and so fun! We had great adventures across the pond in Paris too for a week. I’m SO enjoying your clever writing and insights from this trip! You’re such an awesome family!
Mary- such kind words for me! Thanks for reading and responding to my posts. I would imagine being over here in ‘67 was an incredible time! Authentic beatnik vibe, lots of change in the air. I hope you get your knee replaced and rehabbed soon so you can go again- though be prepared for 1000% more tourists than your last visit!