9 DAIES' WONDER - FOURTH DAY 21 ST JULY 2006
Estimate on Map: 12.2 miles. Pedometer Reading 12.4 miles
Start of Jig 10.30 am. Finish 5.28pm.
I think I should have looked up the meaning of the 'Wold' part of Cotswold, before starting on this venture. The Fosseway, built originally by the Romans, runs straight as an arrow up the side of about four 'wolds' between Cirencester and Bourton-On-the-Water, the gradient: 14% (I think that' about 1 in 7). I was also somewhat hampered by having accepted the invitation of my friend and fellow Fool Jenny the night before to enjoy an evening out.
The day started well by my leaving Nicholas' tabor (or drum) behind in the rooms I had been staying in. He improvised with a stone jar and an old belt (see pictures) but I was not a popular man.
The traffic was heavier, the road narrower but the drivers still generally friendly and enthusiastic. As always, found the road full of people to talk to. So many people have told us that we must be mad, that we have taken to asking them to express it in their own vernacular.
Mr and Mrs Price on their way to Porthcawl having dropped off their dog in Bourton. They were not lost, merely enjoying the diverse geography of the Fosseway. ('The cheese has slid off your cracker')
Carol and Angela at the Hare and Hounds Inn (a 15 th Century Coaching house at Foss Cross) Staying at the Inn was a Scottish Lady, down in the area for a wedding. Not her own, she told me and no she was looking for a husband thank you and goodbye. (Ye maun be reid-wud_
Mr and Mrs North from Sheffield, returning from a holiday in Wales. They had got lost in Bath on the way home so had stopped to miss the jams in Coventry's Rush Hour. Mr Smith would like to start a campaign to replace motorway bridges over large rivers with tunnels.( E god, thee Mun mun be a gawby)
Am English woman with a German husband and daughter. They are over from Merzig in Saarland, S W Germany. She jigged with me but doesn't want the photograph seen by anyone (Du musst total verrückt sein).
We arrived at the junction for Bourton on the Water at 5.19 and realized that our route took us past the town. Accordingly we agreed to end the jig there for the day and so went in to see Bourton itself. There we were met with a wonderful reception as I danced a demonstration jig and explained our purpose. A whole clutch of children - whom, I was informed, were not all of the same family, danced over one of the bridges with me.
We also met:
Norma Keogh from Melbourne. ('You'll be off yer rocker, Mate!')
Bonnie & Sam from Taiwan, studying at Nottingham University: ( or, phonetically: 'Ne? fang le' - Mandarin)
Shawn and Jerina from Singapore: (awak sangat gila -Malay)
At nearly half past five, I took my last bow and headed off to rest, resolved to stay out of any of the local hostelries.