There are all sorts of what are called fetes here in England, along with flower shows and boot sales. My friend, Jane, and I tried to get as many in as we could in the short time I was in the Cotswolds (which is one reason Maurice didn’t come here with me). On this particular day we were going along with a lady who lives in the same complex as Mary is staying, where she is house sitting. The lady was one of those English ladies with an exquisite, upper class accent and she had a bit of an attitude to go along with it. She was driving. We all got into her beautiful black Rolls Royce, me in the back seat. From behind I could see her beautifully manicured nails and some magnificant diamond rings on her fingers. We took off, zooming through the forests up and over and around curves on the very narrow roads, she driving like the Queen with a secret service car in front of her clearing the way. I could see the speedometer from the back seat and saw that she was going 50 which didn’t seem too bad until I remembered that the English don’t use kilometer per hour, but miles per hour. At any rate we arrived safely at the flower show which turned out to be at a splendid Manor house, if that is the correct term.
Just a humble little abode.
There were white tents all over the lawn selling tea and cakes and also a small band which played to entertain us.
A first prize winner in quilt making. This is, I guess, the flower show portion of the fete. People had entered their flowers to be judged, along with food, photos, fruit and vegetables. The Queen and her late husband had a trophy for one of the winners. She had once lived in the village that the people attending the fete, and entering their various items, came from and I think she missed it. As I was strolling around I remembered so many scenes from English books I have read about fetes and jealousies over someone who always manages to win first prize for her roses or cake. It is such an English thing, rather like the great markets in Paris.
This guy was there to whip up excitement about various events going on, such as welly tossing, and telling us when someone had won a prize in the many little raffles going on.
Some lovely flowers in the garden. A man in the gardens, perhaps the manager of the estate, was telling us that he once got to meet the Queen of England (not my Queen but the real one) and as he was leaving to return to Oxford she asked him how he was returning and he told her by the Oxford bus and she said, “What is that like?” Just think of all of the things in life that she has missed out on. Not all of them good but just the things in life that we find common and ordinary.
Anyway, the Queen returned us safely after giving us a driving tour of the village where she and her husband had once lived.