LOCATION: Housesitting in Meonstoke, Hampshire, England
WEATHER: Overcast. High 53
It has gotten chillier so we put a sweater jacket on Buttons. She seems to like it!
After her morning walk, we took off for Chawton, home of Jane Austen. It is about 20 miles north from here, still in Hampshire. We drove through several quaint villages, and then arrrived…..just in time for lunch and a pint at the pub in Jane’s village…
We shared two appetizers (called starters here): a game terrine and some gin-smoked salmon. Both were very tasty. The waitress was afraid it wouldn’t be enough food, so gave us some French fries (called chips here), too.
As I have said before, British food has come a long way. When I travelled here in the 1970s, I remember the pub food as fried, tasteless, and certainly not attractive fare.
The house where Jane grew up and wrote her books is directly across from the pub.
We strolled around the village. It is full of thatched roof houses. I just cannot get enough of these beauties!
Some have intricate designs in the thatch.
And this one has a whimsical ceramic cat climbing up the roof….
We were too cheap to buy tickets to tour the museum and the gardens, so contined walking around the village.
Then, we walked to the more lavish home of Jane’s brother, who had been adopted by a wealthy merchant/farmer
Jane spent afernoons here, admiring the beauty.
Back home, I took Buttons for another walk. I met another dogwalker who recognized Buttons. That is the great thing about housesitting in small towns – people know who you are by the pet you are with.
Halloween is celebrated on a much smaller scale here. I learned that the origins of Halloween actually came from England – people carved turnips for decoration. Then the idea was exported to the USA where we expanded on the idea, and switched to pumpkins. Now the holiday has returned here. Our homeowner said that it was optional to participate in trick or treating. She said that if we put a pumpkin out by the entrance and turned on an outside light, that this would be the sign that we have treats for the kiddos. Since we hadn’t bought anything, we didn’t participate. Instead, we walked down to the village pub, holding our torch (aka flashlight) . There are no street lights, so it looked very different at night..
DINNER: Time for leftovers, as the homeowners return tomorrow. We had the rest of the lentil/coucous curry with the last of the roasted chicken.
More BBC in front of the fireplace. Another nice day!