Summer hols are almost here!

August 19, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Cycle Rides, Cycling, Eating and Drinking, Fun and Games, Learning Stuff, Travel | 2 Comments
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The cycling adventure draws near… I set off for Oxfordshire on Monday so this weekend there is lots of planning to do with maps to buy, fruitcake or ginger buns to bake and a Timmy substitute to be found. The destination is Kelmscott, Gloucestershire, where we will be staying in a seventeenth century National Trust farmhouse run by Farmer and Mrs Horner. There are lots of interesting places to visit nearby including Kelmscott Manor, the one-time summer home of William Morris; Chedworth Roman Villa (very Five on a Secret Trail – eyes open for old coins and bits of pottery); Great Coxwell Barn and the White Horse of Uffington.scouring-the-white-horse

Meanwhile, my sadly long-lapsed National Trust membership has been renewed (they are currently giving away a pair of field glasses with every new subscription – good for birdwatching, watching out for signals etc), the Bobbin has been booked in for a service, and some reading material has been selected. I know it should be probably be Five on Finniston Farm or something with lots of cycling, like Billycock Hill or Five Get into Trouble, but I’ve actually plumped for Eleanor Graham’s 1938 novel, The Children Who Lived in a Barn. It features five children who have to look after themselves when their parents go away so in this respect is about childhood independence, thereby sharing similarities with the Famous Five (to say nothing of numerous Enid Blytons, Arthur Ransomes, and many other children’s books in general). A second holiday title has yet to be decided upon, but for pure reading pleasure it might have to be another Persephone publication – Dorothy Whipple’s The Priory (1939) or Winifred Holtby’s The Crowded Street (1924) perhaps. Or one of Penguin’s beautiful new series of English Journeys books, which would certainly be appropriate.

Through England on a Side Saddle

Or: Through England on a Bike Saddle



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  1. You are following in spirit in the wheelprints of Honor Blackman in A BOY A GIRL AND A BIKE – the 1949 feature film that is just as evocative as those British Transport Ones. Doesn’t seem to be on DVD unfortunately, but a mere ¬£200 buys you an original poster: see Amazon, and why not put up a copy of it? (as seems to be impossible when just leaving a comment). Happy cycling and have good weather…

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Mr Stannard – see above (slightly different version of the poster but I like this one the best) x

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