"" Writer's Wanderings: Redbourn, England - A Real English Garden

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Redbourn, England - A Real English Garden

The train ride from London to St. Alban was just under an hour. There was an express train that didn’t make as many stops but for some reason had been canceled the morning we headed for Redbourn to meet our friends. Still, it was nice to see some of the countryside along the way as we slowed to stop in several small towns.

David and Kathy met us at the station. It had been a long time since we’d seen them but a smile and sparkling eyes never change and we picked David out quickly from the others waiting at the curb. A short drive and we arrived in Redbourn. We had just expected to have lunch or dinner with them but they insisted on showing us around their lovely town and inviting us into their home. What a treat that was!

I had admired many private English gardens as we passed them on the train but now I was able to wander into one and Kathy’s was spectacular. Most of the homes in England are quite small and have little yard space but they make the most of what they have and add to it with potted plants. Kathy had all sorts of flowering perennials tucked into the space that she had cultivated in the backyard. Tomato plants were in pots on the back patio area. Little black birds were enjoying the garden as well. Plans are to make a vegetable garden in the fron yard. Space is valuable and well-used.

After a couple of coffees over which we caught up on much of the time that had passed since we’d been together, we struck out for a local pub for lunch. It sat out on a corner near a commons area of the town. Rather than sit inside, we chose to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine on at a picnic table. On our way through the pub though, I did get to drink in the beautiful d├ęcor—dark woods, quaint window areas.

There is a 900 year old church, St Mary’s, in Redbourn that sits serenely shaded by great trees and kissed by the sunlight overhead throughout the day. We did a bit of a tour through the sanctuary and found a small book that explained a lot about some of the “mysteries” of the church. It cataloged some of the changes made throughout the years and pointed to many of the original structural and design areas that date back to medieval times. If you ever get to Redbourn, buy the book (its only 20 pages for 2 pounds) and explore if you can. It’s quite interesting.

Back at David and Kathy’s, we had afternoon tea with some delicious strawberries and cream and then headed back to the train station. It was a wonderful time with old friends and a perfect way to end this European adventure.

But wait! There was still daylight and Harrod’s, London’s large department store, didn’t close until 8 p.m. We hurried over and rode the Egyptian escalator to the top, explored the toy department and found a giant Buzz Lightyear made of legos, and then wonder of wonders in the electronics department an 85” hi-def plasma TV! Ah, that man can dream.

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