Our wee Jack was born in Carlisle, so he was only one exit on the motorway away from being a wee Scots lad, had he not been whisked away to Oxford at six weeks. One year on he's an Oxford boy now, used to peeling bells and bicycles, but what we're still working on are his English countryside manners. As a proper English gentleman, he needs to be able to walk quietly through fields of grazing sheep, ride in the back of the car, and be a polite guest in country pubs--and he's coming along nicely.
We had an afternoon out of Oxford this week, a getaway for mum and dad and a perfect training ground for Jack. He still doesn't like the car very much, but luckily it's only a half hour drive and then he's out of the car and a happy, tail-wagging guy. It was still chilly so he wore his little wax jacket--which doubles as protection against whatever horrible things he rolls in--dogs!
Our first stop was the village of Swinbrook,
Jack was eager to get started on our walk,
but he's learned to patiently wait with
Stuart while I click away on the camera.
This beautiful Cotswold house has been
standing empty for a while now and seems
mysterious and quiet in itself -- like a
secret house and garden, waiting for the
right person to come along.
If only it were me.
Jack was very well behaved walking through
St. Mary's churchyard, the flag of St. George
flapping overhead in an impossibly blue, blue sky.
that leads to the public footpath in
the fields beyond the churchyard.
|The private box pews (19th century), for the wealthier|
church-goers, the wood worn rich and golden.
|Sermons are still preached from|
this pulpit at least once a month.
This suspense is terrible.
I hope it will last.
|The Swan Inn was featured in Downton Abbey.|
When Lady Sybil eloped with Tom Branson, this is
where they stole away to and spent their first night
together. (Sniff....losing Sybie still makes me cry.)
|A beautiful, clear stream runs through the middle of the|
village, hence the name 'Swinbrook', or pig crossing.