I’m pleased to report that my dreadful cold didn’t entirely ruin my weekend away, though it sure did its very best. Between that and the constant rain on Saturday, I ended up feeling I only got a glimpse of the Cotswolds — but hey, all the more reasons to go back. I didn’t get to see as much as I’d have liked, but the impression I got is that the charm of the Cotswolds has less to do with the surrounding countryside (which is pretty enough, but not stunning like the Peak or the Lake Districts) and more to do with its pretty and well-conserved historical villages.
The village where I stayed, Burford, is the setting of Cynthia Harnett’s The Wool-Pack, a historical novel for children that won the Carnegie Medal in 1951. Like the bookish nerd that I am, I got it from the library and read it the week before my trip.
I enjoyed it for the most part, and hopefully I’ll be able to share my thoughts when I finally get around to doing a long overdue mini-review post. Anyway, just as I hoped, having read something so seeped in its history increased my appreciation for the place I was visiting. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
The lovely B&B where we stayed.
No model village would be complete without its own little bookshop.
Or, as the case may be, a hat— and bookshop.
The Old Turrent Clock, which dates back to 1685.
The best part of my weekend, though, turned out to be something entirely unanticipated. To help pass the rainy evening on Saturday I picked up a copy of Susan Choi’s My Education that a previous traveller had left behind, and I found myself completely absorbed. I’m less than entirely comfortable with the clumsiness inherent to literary comparisons, but there was something to the voice that put me in mind of The Secret History, and the portrayal of passion and desire between women was as accomplished as Sarah Waters’. As you might have guessed by now, I loved it. So thank you, anonymous fellow Cotswolds traveller, for unexpectedly leading me to one of my favourite reads of the year.