THE JEWELL IN THE CROWN!
Today dawned bright and sunny, so despite Mr. HCB having a heavy cold, we decided that I would open my birthday cards, then go out for the day, and come back later for present opening - my blip would then be me with my cards and presents…….well that was the plan…….until we arrived in Burford and set out on a little walk after our coffee stop.
We wandered up the High Street and I took lots of photographs of little Cotswold cottages and doors, because they looked so pretty with their Christmas wreaths. Then as we were walking back down, this lovely man, named Alf Jewell, stopped and remarked that it was unusual to see Burford so free of cars - because although there were a lot of people about, there weren't that many cars.
Of course, we stopped and chatted to him and he was telling us that he lived just outside Burford and had been born in the area, so hadn't moved far in his lifetime (he told us he was 83!) I told him I was taking photographs of the roofs and doorways and he said he used to be a Stonemason and he had done repairs to some of the stonework. He then said that we should go and look at a doorway a little further down which was originally the door into The Rose & Crown Public House and the rose and crown were made up of nails on the door.
He was such an interesting man, we were quite content to carry on chatting, but it was getting rather cold, so I asked if we could take his photograph and I wondered whether, as it was my birthday, he would let Mr. HCB take one of me and him together. He was happy about that told us that he had supplied postcards and pictures of Burford at the Cotswold Heritage Fair recently.
We had a lovely lunch of ham, egg and chips at The Golden Pheasant Hotel and then made our way home.
I have always bemoaned the fact that my birthday is on Boxing Day, right after Christmas, but a lovely Swiss friend wrote to me last year, and reiterated in my card this year:
St Stephen's Day is so special here (in Switzerland). We don't have Boxing Day with shops that are open and people who are running about and shopping. You know that in the Bible in Acts 6 it tells about Stephen, a man full of faith and known for doing great wonders and miracles among the people. So on the 26th we help the poor, bring food and money for those in need and on that day is our dearest friend's birthday. How wonderful!
So how can I choose any other carol to share with you today than Good King Wenceslas - who, as you will hear, looked out "On the Feast of Stephen".
I hope you have all had and are still having a wonderful time at Christmas. Must go - lots of presents to open!