Thursday 6 June 2019

Traffic jams were sent to try us.

The day we left to drive back to WaL was not as we intended.  On the M40 is a nicely placed Waitrose with a café about 90 minutes into our journey, perfect for a stop.  As we approached High Wycombe, it flashed up that the M40 had a delay, then a much longer delay, then a 90 minute queue and as we sat in the car park at the supermarket, Google said the road was closed, indications were it would be open in about four hours...

So with the shopping onboard, we had brought ice-packs and a cooler bag from home for this very purpose, we needed another plan.  I suggested going to John Lewis, a large one very close-by, David thought not and deftly found a National Trust property close by.  So we went to Benjamin Disraeli's house here called Hughenden   HERE

We jointly knew nothing about the man so from that aspect it was interesting.  He was called 'The man most unlikely to be Prime Minister'  that was because he was an outsider, not having been to public school, (although his brother had), being Jewish (although his father had renounced the faith and had all his children baptised into the Church of England at young ages), Disraeli was born in England and because he was mighty low on funds (although I remember Churchill being the same, of course Churchill was years after).  

The house was possibly one of the most ugliest houses I have paid money to see, but once inside it was surprisingly colourful.  
Hughenden had a top secret role to play in WW2, as map makers, not ordinary maps but special ones for the pilots, with targets taken from agents in the fields and also intelligence collected form a secret establishment at Danesfield House,  Medmenham on the Thames.  A place we have passed by many times and now a hotel I think.  HERE

So all in all a good visit.  

Finally getting back to Stratford much later in the afternoon, we found a handy car park close to the basin and with only £2 to pay till 9am the next day, did the transfer to the boat with ease.

It was a lovely warm evening and I put pretty frock and was taken out to one of about a hundred restaurants, but beforehand we went to the oldest pub in Stratford. 

There's some squabble about which is the oldest but which ever it is, this one is a grand old building that has served beer for 549 years so that's good enough for me.

Supper was at Carluccio's, I had a VEGAN dish, Oreccheitte Verde, much against my nature, which was very tasty and the reason I ordered it was that it was very similar to what we ate in Puglia last autumn, pasta and turnip tops!  Sounds dreadful but it is delicious.

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