"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Sioux under General


Wiltshire is a new area for me, as well as a new client. Which means loads of new places to explore and in this assignment I have a car, and plenty of quiet roads to drive on. I haven’t yet steeled up the nerve to drive on UK roads, although who knows why, as they drive on the left as we do in SA! Anyhooo, let’s see what this booking brings. A lovely home, with a stunning garden meant I could play camera-bees-flowers again, on the days I couldn’t [or didn’t want to] go out.  

Notable for its pre-Roman archaeology, in the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain. It was always a very agricultural area, mostly weaving mills and vineyards and more recently, farming. The Avon River cuts diagonally through the north of the county, flowing through Bradford-on-Avon and into Bath and Bristol. Interestingly, the word ‘Avon’ is an old Celtic word meaning river, so in fact the Avon River, in English, is actually the River River. And that would make sense for some places being named as they are, such as Bradford-on-Avon and Stratford-upon-Avon; for these lie right next to the river. 

A county in South West England, Wiltshire covers an area of 3,485 km2

and is characterised by high down-lands and wide valleys. Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles

and other ancient landmarks are within the Wiltshire borders; as well as some mediaeval cathedrals and historical

country houses. Although the assignment I was at is in a small hamlet in a farming district of Wiltshire, some of the homes

in the area are stunning. The local pub didn’t look too bad either. Pity I couldn’t test it out!

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The local nickname for Wiltshire natives is “moonrakers”, which originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol, possibly French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond. When confronted they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, claiming that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond, which was actually a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities. Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most commonly linked with The Crammer in Devizes. 

On my first walking exploration trip, I took the family dog out for a walk. I had been warned to watch out for the nursery herds; the cows are very protective of their calves. I made sure to stay in a field that was empty, however, no one thought to tell the cows to stay out of the field I was in! I was so busy playing with muttley, that although I heard a lot of splashing in the river behind me, I didn’t register that it may be cows on their way home, wading through the very same water my furry friend had been playing in!   

Only when I heard a rather loud and angry “Moooo!” not too far behind me did I realise I was now in their field and positioned between the herd and the gate they were heading for! When I took off, my supposed four-legged friend took off too, way ahead of me and keeping me between himself and the herd. Thanks friend, I muttered to him once we were safely in an adjoining field. He licked my hand, wagged his tail and trotted off, up the hillside back home. Needless to say, I didn’t venture down that way again. I did however get some great photos, so all was not lost! 

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A couple of other walking excursions presented some really good sunsets. 

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2 responses to “New faces, new places part 1 – adventure time!”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Thank you “Moonraker” – there is always a way when there is money to be made eh LOL! Good luck with your new assignment!

  2. Pauline Smith says:

    The little “sun house”- don’t really know what you would call it, looks tranquil and peaceful.
    LOL – Love the story about the cows, your 4-legged friend obviously has been in a situation like that before – good on him.

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