I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A short break from gardens

Yesterday music was the concern of our guests – Relucent Reader and his missus. When we dropped them at their hotel on the outskirts of Cheltenham (under the shadow of GCHQ) at 8.30 pm they were due to freshen up and take a taxi to a concert starting at 9.30 pm. A day or two earlier in their impossibly tight schedule they’d managed to squeeze in some Bach at St Martin-in-The-Fields (north-eastern corner of Trafalgar Square, London)

The RRs from Virginia, USA, were touring grand English gardens and we picked them up from Blenheim (Nearly a Snafu; the adjacent town of Woodstock has TWO gates to the Blenheim estate.) I had grandiose plans which included a tour of mid-Wales but geography and a drum-beat deadline reduced this to a trot round Hereford Cathedral (the chained library – both RRs are librarians – and Mappa Mundi were closed) followed by tea chez da Ponte, a meal few of our acquaintances, or we ourselves, have experienced.

RR has a highly individual blogging voice which is heard all too rarely, knows about technology, books and much more, and years ago noticed Works Well via a chance reference to the American composer Charles Ives. In the end, I suppose, it was conversation that mattered; raising our voices over that of the satnav lady he and I set the world to rights as did Mrs RR and Mrs LdP behind us.

The bottle was a kind memento of their visit and a revelation that Virginia has gone in for viticulture. The grape, petit verdot, is a late ripener in Europe and tends to be added in small amounts for extra tannin, colour and flavour,  especially with cab sauv. However it ripens more reliably in the New World and emerges as a wine in its own right.


  1. Glad to hear about RR. I enjoyed his posts, but they have been absent since October 25th last year. I hope you encouraged him to fire up again.

  2. Virginian wines? Hmmm. I'll have to look into that. Who knew?

  3. Too short a break ,sir. Always enjoy seeing you and the missus.
    Thank you for the hospitality and conversation;hope that wine held up.
    Thos. Jefferson brought grapes for wine here, school kids are told; been working on it ever since. A colleague's in-laws own a small winery (Roger's Ford) in northern Virginia, have not tried their stuff yet.

  4. Sir Hugh: A pity you couldn't have sat in.

    RW (zS): See RR for answer.

    RR: Wine not consumed yet - am waiting for a reflective moment. Next time allocate a specific period just for conversation. One bonus, the result of travelling as a married couple: on the drive home I was made privy to a whole new conversation that had been going on on the back seat. A version of time-sharing if you like.