Tuesday, 28 September 2010

When in doubt, follow the girl in the Barbour jacket!

The British countryside is renown the world over for its rolling hills, green pastures and long country walks to the pub. This weekend saw me spending  a glorious Sancere and Bollinger fueled weekend nestled in the comforting bosom of Wiltshire, at my old school friend's family stud farm. Very posh!

Ever the domestic goddess -  our party which consisted of the creme de la creme from the music and film world, and er, me  - were treated to a succession of food-porn esque culinary treats, straight from the arga and the outdoor BBQ.

Paddocks surrounded the estate, with millions of pounds worth of gorgeous thorough-bred horses. So beautiful are these creatures that they make us humans look like a failed galactic experiment.

Spending time in the country is usually characterised by  talking about the future whilst drinking red wine, and the past whilst drinking white wine, gathered around a fire place playing rude boy scrabble.

In between meals, you sleep, keep saying how you need to move out of London, play with the numerous dogs, and catch up on reading.

But the fire place is where you close off for the evening  whilst listening to New Orleans jazz records from the 30's... that is what we did anyway.

Talking of fire places..... we almost died from smoke inhalation because a city dweller took the reigns on lighting the fire without checking if the chimney vent was actually open. More bizarrely was the fact that despite the drawing room being filled with dense black smoke straight from the set of Lost, we were beckoned to come and sit by the fire, with the reassuring words  it will all  "be OK if we kept low."

By this, they meant keeping away from the heavy stratosphere of smoke which loomed on top of our heads.  Like sheep, we rolled down like military men oblivious to the fact that we were sitting by an indoor bonfire with no ventilation, whilst paintings and grandfather clocks were covered in a layer of black smoke. Ludicrous, I know, but all the country air can really make you oblivious to danger.

The common-sense survival gene soon returned and we realised that something was most definitely rotten in Wiltshire, as I was the first to break away from the madness and head to the door for fresh air, whilst reminding everyone how easier it was to actually breath oxygen.

As panic struck across the board and  we realised how monumentally oblivious and thick we had just been, the room was finally allowed to breath  and frantic poking of chimney vent took place.

Despite this, smokers were still make to smoke outside. Oh the irony.

 Anyway, back to the idyllic side, taking long walks across ancient woodlands and rolling hills, is what its all about. Characterised by its high downland and wide valleys, this part of the world is a true English rose.

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