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It's been a hectic weekend
On Thursday and Friday we had leni_jess to visit. Friday saw us head out 'the pretty way' through Chipping Ongar, the Rodings and Dunmow to Thaxted.

Thaxted Market Square

We parked up a sidestreet, and went up to see the church, which is the second on the site - I'm not sure if the original had gone by 1340 when they started this one, or whether they knocked it down.

Thaxted Church

We had the LDD with us, so I didn't get to see much of the inside of the church - just a quick look around after Leni and Ina had finished, but it is very impressive.

The Nave

We then had lunch at the Swan

The Swan Inn

Great food and beer, but this was the point at which I realised that I should have taken my long-sleeved shirt out of the car. It was very hot, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and I suspected I was going to burn.

However, we weren't finished yet, and went down to look at the outside of the restored windmill.


We also did a fair amount of ball-throwing for the LDD.

On the way back, we spotted a really eccentric new build thatched cottage. This roof and window combination caught our attention.

Thatch and Windmill

Rest of the photoset here


By this time I really knew I was burning, and we made our way back to the car, and drove home. Application of ice, then cold water, then aftersun spray kept the burning to a minimum, and I just about got away with it.

On Saturday we had to get Leni to Victoria. The London Tube system being up the creek as usual, I ended up driving her to Walthamstow station - not my favourite of journeys. Whoever laid out that roundabout didn't do a proper job. You really have to be on your toes not to go the wrong way at the traffic lights. We then had to buy stuff and fill up with petrol, as the next day we had a cat club AGM for which Ina was making borak.

Sunday saw us driving towards Sedgley in the West Midlands, where, for reasons I am not going to go into here, we were holding the AGM, stopping every hour or so to walk the LDD, who was in the car with us. Once again, it was hot. We are beginning to get a list of those motorway service areas which are dog-friendly. Add both Warwick and Hopwood to that list. In the walk behind the latter we saw Orange-tipped butterflies and Marsh Marigolds!

When Ina had worked out how to get to the venue, she hadn't bargained for the fact that the road she had chosen as the easiest access was closed off, as were large bits of the local roads. We did a lot of left turning, went in a circle, and then Ina spotted that a road we were travelling down was now on her printout-map. We ended up parking next to the football field, but it was only about fifty yards from our destination.

There was a longish wait while we waited for a quorum, during which we ate a lot of food, but the AGM went off pretty much without incident, with Draco sitting on my knee like a proper toy dog.

Then there was another long drive home...

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Gorgeous photos, especially the inside of the church, though painting it white is a great help. I'll admit to spending a lot of time at the weekend looking out of my windows and thinking - that looks nice out there. I really should have taken the bike out for a run. I doubt it'll be the last sunshine of the year ... famous last words!

It has just started raining... and I think we are about to get a thunderstorm.

Well, we've had the proverbial three warm days ...

We've had a bit of rain here, but nothing too dramatic. (Of course it was window-cleaner day. It rained last month, too.)

Oddly enough, we had the window cleaners today, too.

I've always tended to regard Essex as somewhere to drive to on the way to somewhere better. I seem to have been wrong about that and really ought to ignore that particular prejudice... Lovely photos!

I had much the same attitude until I moved to Essex. Apart from one of the great palaces of England in Audley End, the place is full of lovely villages and towns. Thaxted is particularly well known, but so is Castle Hedingham (next door to Hedingham Castle, a well preserved Norman keep), Stebbing, Maldon, and Saffron Walden. Epping and Hainault Forests are entirely within Essex. Unfortunately with the manor houses, many are in private hands and cannot be visited, but others are open to the public, including Ingatestone Hall, and the huge Elizabethan Gatehouse at Layer Marney. There is also one of the best zoos in the country at Colchester. Not forgetting the great Templar Barns at Cressing Temple, with its lovely Elizabethan walled garden.


Edited at 2011-04-11 07:19 pm (UTC)

Beautiful pics. What a visually wonderful place to live, to say nothing of the history.

But you have the wonderful coastal mountains, the desert and the Pacific Ocean.

Thaxted, oddly enough, is home to one of the odder Christian sects, the Exclusive Bretheren, who cut themselves off from society. Equally oddly, in opposition, the town has strong Quaker and Methodist traditions, and the Anglican church seems surprisingly active, all in all.

The photo of the Thaxted market - square? rhomboid? came out very nicely, showing off how pretty the town is. And that church interior - lovely building.

Thanks again for all that driving; I did appreciate it (esp the mercy dash to Walthamstow Central!).

The AGM experience sounds like a very mixed bag. Bet you're glad it's over.

Not 'alf as glad as Ina is!

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