I've been living here with Himself for just over a year now. I rented out my lovely large apartment in very lovely Stroud and moved south. Although I am slowly getting to know my new village, it's taking me longer to appreciate it. So every now and again, I go out with my camera, take some pics and view my new home through a lens to see if this presents me with some previously unnoticed aspect I can fall in love with.
Life appears quiet in our small corner of the Cotswolds. Little has changed in the past 100, 200 or perhaps even 300 years.
The many listed buildings grow mellow as the ages tick by. Some date back to medieval times and the road layout hasn't altered...at all.
At the east end of the village is the Memorial, which has been knocked over a few times although it happens less now thanks to the by-pass which takes the heavy traffic away from our narrow roads.The High Street is about half a mile long and broader at one end than the other. The broad section is where the market was traditionally held each week and is where the few shops still cluster together. We have a Butcher's shop which also acts as a Post Office and fruit and veg shop, a general shop open 12 hours a day, a newsagent and gift shop and a paint shop (decorating, not artistic). There is a tea shop which opens at 8.30 each morning and must be kept going by the many walkers and cyclists who pass our way. The village is bordered by gentle undulating fields with narrow lanes only wide enough for one tractor on one side and steep wooded valleys populated by owls and deer on the other.
These are also our running lanes. When it's bright and dry we trip round the soft field tracks but the cold and wet weather limits us to the hard tarmac. The tarmac lanes are cold because there's little to protect you from the winds blasting across the countryside. I need to wear an ear band (it might be a hair band that's slipped) to hoof it round here, especially in winter when the winds come from the north - with still enough arctic air in them to splinter your lungs.
Don't be fooled as I was by the sleepy appearance. There is life here and quite a lot of it! The village is blessed with many organisers, so we have a Village Day, a Potato and Seed Sale Day, an Annual Fete and on special occasions a Lunch! The High Street is closed off and everyone brings out a fold up table and chairs and piles of home made goodies - cakes, scones, quiches, salads, buns, Pimms and all good things. Hand made bunting is stretched across the street from neighbours windows and after the food there is dancing till the sun sets.
Everything gets decorated.
In addition to the Church Choir, the Ladies Choir and the Brass Band, there is a male voice choir to entertain the locals.
I love this glorious "WAH!" of colour against the muted stonework.
I also like our local. There are two very good pubs but this is the one we mostly visit and in winter it's bliss to curl up in one of the deep sofas round the log fire.
The weather has a big impact on how the village looks and how you feel when you twitch the morning curtains and gaze blearily out of the window. This is the view from our kitchen in winter....
and in late summer....