Monday, March 26, 2012
Pandemonium in the car park
Spring has definitely sprung here in sunny Dorset. Ms Tagalong has to contain Mr Ideasman's enthusiasm. He was convinced it was going to be all drizzle and grey skies!
Cruising around local villages this week we visited the New Inn at Stoke Abbott. Not new, of course, more like 17th century, but it's all relevant when the village boasts a 12th century church!
So why is Ms Tagalong telling you about this place? Well, Luke Stephens, the young, really young, owner told me that they were expanding their garden. Not just a beer garden, this. A proper growing vegetable garden with herbs and veggies. There are plans afoot to put in a hot and cold smoker and also to have chickens. The garden showed signs of industry with new borders and turned soil. The polytunnel was full of tomato plants, varieties of lettuce and starter plants for the hanging baskets of colour which are obligatory in English country gardens come Summer!
There was a bathtub being put to good use, no clay in this one, just a contained space for the mint. Mr Ideasman's gentle sipping of coffee was interrupted when a fracas occurred in the parking area. This being Stoke Abbott, the majority of the car park was taken up with horses, (about twenty of them) and two very skittish ones, having been spooked by a pheasant's whirring and crowing as he was flushed from a nearby garden, pulled the palings off the fence to which they were attached and sent the others into wild frenzy.
It was a bit much. The riders had to put down their pints and tend to calming the horses. Peace restored, one rider nailed back the paling and the Sunday afternoon in the sun continued.
Ms Tagalong and Mr Ideasman wandered up to look inside the church and marvel at the 12th century font, listen to the bells (5 dating from 1613-1764) and ogle at some of the medieval stained glass.Wandering around the daffodilled graveyard brought to mind Pure by Andrew Miller, the novel Ms Tagalong has just read about disinterring a whole Parisian graveyard. Somehow, she suspected, this was not going to happen here!