I am in the small market town of Hitchin, Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and have had a delicious taste of Village Life. Neighbourliness and a sense of belonging are not dead and I found the people warm and friendly and quite different to the Londoners.
I love Linda’s cosy cottage and although she says she wishes she had a little more space, I think its incredible how well she manages the space she does have. To say the least her home has character!
This morning we ‘went out’ for breakfast. This meant going to the local store which is also the post office to buy some croissants and enjoying them in the church yard.
On our walk Linda introduced me to everyone we passed and they were all warm, friendly and cheerful.
It was a perfect day and lovely to sit in the peaceful churchyard and enjoy our croissants. A little Robin Redbreast hopped into view and posed obligingly.
We chatted to a man who was tending his parents’ and grandparents’ graves.
After a pleasant walk along country lanes and exploring the allotments we went home and enjoyed a cold ginger beer in this pretty little garden that Linda is looking after while her neighbour is away.
Cambridge was our next port of call. It is about half an hour’s drive from Hitchin. You park some distance from the city and then get a bus in.
The University of Cambridge is the second oldest university in the English Speaking World. (Oxford is the oldest) It is considered to be one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world. It was established in 1209. It now has 31 colleges and six academic schools. All these university institutions occupy different locations in the town and the student life thrives with numerous opportunities in the arts, sport clubs and societies.
But today we were there not for academia but for the shopping and the markets. The city was teeming with people and there was a lively vibe in every corner.
We had a thoroughly good time exploring the markets and shops and although there were many eateries; they were all full and expensive. So we decided to get wraps and juice from Marks and Spencer and found a comfortable wall where we sat and enjoyed our snacks. How sophisticated is that!
Later in the afternoon we browsed around John Lewis, did not find anything to buy and then went to their uncrowded restaurant for tea/coffee. We met Linda’s Italian friend, Maria there and it was great chatting to this lovely girl.
On our way home we stopped to take a photograph of the scenic view of Bedfordshire.
It had been a pretty hectic day and so we decided to go to the local pub for dinner. At 8 o’clock it was till warm and light and we sat outdoors in sleeveless dresses and no jersey.
The food was good, the wine divine and the service excellent. The final test was the coffee and they passed with flying colours because I asked for ‘coffee that an Italian or Belgian would enjoy.’ “Yes, Ma’m – I’ll put an extra shot of espresso in it!’