Sunday, August 09, 2015

Stars, organs and livestock, but no boats

Just back from our dry land holiday in our traditional spot in deepest Shropshire.  I think if we didn’t go one year they’d be sending out search parties for us.  By now we know Pam the campsite owner so well, she greets us with a hug, and this year she came over with four bottles of wine for a drink and a natter with us and a couple of other “regulars” we have got to know over the years.

Our Peter brought along his telescope and one night we drove up the scary road to the top of the Long Mynd to one of their designated Dark Sky sites.  Here is the view just as the sun was going down.


That’s the lights of Church Stretton down there.  Actually although the sky was clear, it was a rotten night for star gazing because the wind was ripping across the hill and the telescope was shaking about.  We did get a glimpse of the rings of Saturn for about half a second but that was about it.  So we crept down the hill, our hearts in our mouths as we drove through the darkness next to the precipitous drop and back to the campsite where lo and behold the air was still and plenty dark enough to see hundreds of stars and to make out the milky way.

It was the second week of the Church Stretton Arts festival, so we got in a bit of culture for good measure.  Three lunchtime organ recitals in local churches and a world class violin duo in the school.  Follow this link to see a short video of them if you like.  The last organ concert was brill, as we sat right behind the organist and could see his feet as he did a Michael Flatley on the pedals.  How do they do that at the same time as playing really flash two handed stuff on the keyboards?  Not only that they have to read three lines of music at the same time. These people are not human.

Our other highlight was a visit to the Burwarton Show, a big agricultural affair with all the usual livestock judging and show jumping and motor cycle display team etc.  I could have stood all day and watched the cattle. I have never seen such magnificent beasts.  people are wary of huge bulls but those bred for beef are generally so docile despite their huge muscular frames.  Just keep away from dairy bulls. Apparently Jerseys are amongst the worst.

In another week we are back up to Stretton again, but only to deliver Jacob and his girlfriend who will be camping.  Then we are straight back on Herbie to have another go at sealing the loo fan.  Rick has a plan, so knowing him, we will prevail.

I’d rather you didn’t tell anyone else what a brilliant place the Stretton hills is.  I like it like it is – unspoilt.

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