Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cycling to the butchers

Has it really been two months? Apologies to everyone and thank you for waiting! But spring is here and today Marjorie and I took ourselves off for a shopping trip. First we stopped to get some eggs from a nearby honesty box. Then we began our trek to the butchers, out of the village and across the way, through winding lanes - can you see the tail of this one snaking away to the background?

This stretch is a long old grind uphill, never mind that there are pretty cottages to admire (
which I could not afford the mortgage of if I sold every single on of my internal organs and then some).

There is about a mile of slog until we reach the war memorial and I dismount. A bit of gentle pushing is called for.

After a long, cold, winter, the Cotswolds are finally waking up.

Which way shall we go?

Down here? Lovely little tempting track which sadly leads nowhere in particular.

We must turn right and, oh dear, another long slope up. We walk to the summit - after all, it is a gorgeous day to be out and about.

Finally we cross a busy road and begin a mile long leisurely spin downhill all the way -

- to the pretty village where we will do our shopping.

Slatters Butchers, the best kept secret in West Oxfordshire; free range and local meat at affordable prices. For this I have cycled seven miles. Inside in the cool, I fan myself rapidly as I order a small free range chicken, home made pork sausages and some neck of lamb (thrifty), while chatting to the lovely butcher about running marathons (him) and half dying from exhaustion (me).

There is a little deli-cum-village-shop attached to it. It's a bit pricey and I have problems deciding if I do *need* anything, but it's vital to support local shops, so Marjorie's panniers end up filled with a bag of meat, the two cartons of eggs, two bottles of Hook Norton beer, Strawberry & Elderflower cordial, lemon crunch biscuits made in the village and a wodge of mature cheddar. Plus my big flask of water. My debit card is lighter though...

Laden down like a desert donkey, Marjorie and I wobble our way home.

What came down has to go up again - though mostly walking, up to the top road where the trees line the horizon.

Mercifully it's a lot easier coming back, a lot of free-wheeling downhill -

- back past the cottages.

Taking a different route back home, along a *real* road - with a warning sign. Sadly it didn't slow the cars whizzing by, though Marjorie eased up a little. Just in case.

Winding through the tiny neighbouring village.

And the last stretch home. Another hill. Did we walk or did we tackle it manfully? What do you think?


  1. Hello Gretel,

    Thanks for the lovely bike ride, I am feeling a bit winded now (fanning herself with a cookie).

    Did I see Rhubarb???? I would be baking that into a luscious pie for dessert.

    Have a great day

    janet xox

  2. One of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten was from a butcher near Thetford (where we were visiting our very good friend). I get hungry just thinking about it.

  3. I'm sure you rode your bike all the way home and had a lovely supper that night!

  4. Worth going along way for a good Butcher! Nice journey.

  5. You know Gretel, I have been wondering when you might be heading out on your bike. And taking that camera along for the ride, or walk.

    Spring has sprung! This is a lovely peep. I am amazed that you can carry eggs home safely via bicycle.

    Your photos surely show that the thaw of winter is complete. Might I greedily ask if you might soon post one of your videos? I cannot tell you how much I love those slightly wobbly views (with perfectly chosen music, might I add) of the land in which you live.


  6. Thanks for taking us the journey of gorgeous and tranquilty. Love Cotswolds so much. Been there a few times but have no direction. Know Burton-on-the-Water. This reminds me..

  7. What a lovely trip, and how I envy you the delicious evening meal you and Andy must have had on your delicious finds.

    Thank you for taking us along on your shopping excursion.

  8. What a wonderful journey and thank you for sharing. To me, these are the simple pleasures of life. Being present with your surroundings and then sharing them with us :D

    How long did the whole trip take and I'm guessing it's something you could only do once or twice a week by bike?

  9. Enjoyed the bike ride wish we had real butchers here, love the Cotswalds!

  10. What a gorgeous route to a beautiful village! Carla

  11. Oh, what a lovely ride (and walk) you had! Thanks for taking me with you to all those beautiful places :)
    Cristina @positivelybeauty

  12. That was a very nice spin on a bike. Worth waiting for. The tour was wonderful. Thanks. Rosemary

  13. I need to bike again. What a lovely ride with you through pristine countryside and as wonderful a village. Life seems at ease in your Cotswold. I simply loved it. Now, do I smell roast chicken with boiled eggs and a slice of aged cheddar?

  14. It's criminal just how beautiful your surroundings are :) Thanks for the ride...

  15. Wow! You are energetic. So worth it. I do miss the Cotswolds in the spring. How far are you from King's Sutton?

  16. hahahah.... by the end of it I think even I was hallucinating ... those look like tall palm trees in the distance. I was madly cycling towards an oasis and lovely cool drink!!

    The butcher and next door have such big places. Do they (or somebody) live upstairs? or are they just professional buildings.... perhaps office space upstairs.....

  17. What a breath of fresh air! I so love your blog.

  18. I found you through another blog and so glad I did! I feel like I went on that bike ride with you! What a wonderful journey and I so enjoyed the pictures.

  19. almost as good as being there! trying to get lamb neck from my local organic farm. Not very well known around here, but i have my English cookbooks (Hugh F-W) to assist me

  20. Very beautiful! I'm a little further west in the Cotswolds (Gloucestershire), it's been especially lovely for the last couple of weeks, hasn't it? :)

  21. That's a very pretty ride to the butcher and back :) Thank you for sharing!

  22. What lovely countryside. Just the place for a bike ride and a days stroll! It would be great to walk through the Cotswolds one day.

  23. After a seven mile bike trek, you deserve a big fat T-bone! Bravo! But what a GORGEOUS ride. I would have pedaled 25 miles to see all that beauty and charm. How fortunate you are,( I always tell you that!)


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