Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 44 Colchester

Our bedroom at Mike and Gwynn’s looks out over their most beautiful garden.  Gwynn is a keen gardener.  She has a great variety of plants of many different colours.  We went for a walk through Colchester with Mike this morning.  Colchester was a Roman town and the walls are still there.  There are also signs of burnt walls where Boadicea burnt the town.  We visited a pub, which used to be a theatre.  The owners have dummies of  the Queen and other members of the royal family sitting in the boxes and dummies of ordinary people sitting in the balcony, while the downstairs is a pub.  We also saw the Dutch section of the town.  The Dutch were weavers in the town in bygone days.  This afternoon, we went with Mike and Gwynn to Melford Hall in Long Melford.  Queen Elizabeth I visited this grand house in 1578.  There was a tragic fire in this house in 1942.  We saw the beautiful library with its wealth of books and maps, the lounge, dining room and bedrooms, one of which was where Beatrix Potter slept when she came to stay.  She was related to the family.  Some of the toys that feature in her stories are still here as are many of her drawings.  Gwynn and Mike are volunteers here one day a week.  We met one volunteer, Jeremy Lever, who was showing visitors how to do water colour drawings like Beatrix Potter’s.  We bought two of them, one was of Jemia Puddle Duck with Mr Fox and the other was of Mrs Tittlemouse.  We also had a cream tea here in one of the beautiful sitting rooms in the Hall.  I am getting a little too fond of the English cream teas.  Tonight, we met an Italian couple, Luiza and Adriano, who are in England with their students who are learning English.  Luiza teaches English in a secondary school in Italy.  Luiza and Adriano are also staying with Mike and Gwynn who have plenty of room now that their children have all left home.

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