Two major events today: First of all, my fictive cousin Kathryn arrived from Oxford, booked into our hotel, and spent the day with me. Second, we got a car! It's amazing how much easier it is to get around when you have one of those.
Kathryn arrived around eleven o'clock, just about the time that Robin and David left to rent us a car. She and I went to Costa Coffee and did some catching up over cappuccinos. Then we walked up the hill to St. Michael & All Angels. One of the lovely things about being with Kathryn is that she knows things (and I say that with all respect. I am in awe.). Today, I learned just a bit about pre-Raphaelite art from someone who lives in Oxford, the centre of the pre-Raphaelite art world. When I come away from a visit with Kathryn, I always want to learn more.We went into the church to have a little look around, and well over an hour later, we were still scurrying around, looking for the angel holding a fishing rod (We did find him eventually. He was hiding on the ceiling above the chancel.), examining the windows, having a wonderful time. We did intend to find where Alice Hargreaves is buried, but it turned out that her grave is out in the churchyard, and we ran out of time. I'm hoping that we can get over there again tomorrow morning before Kathryn has to leave.
When Robin and David had returned, and David had gone on his way, there ensued a book hunt. We drove to Brockenhurst in search of a bookstore, got tied up in traffic, and ended up driving to Lymington, ostensibly to go to Waterstone's. But when we got to Lymington and parked the car, we saw an OXFAM shop, and we ended up buying our books there. I found, and bought, a copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I never knew, until today, that the book came with a DIY punctuation repair kit. Who could resist that? I now have a supply of apostrophes, and I know how to use them!
From the high street, we detoured briefly to the harbour, so that Kathryn could see the sea. We watched the Isle of Wight ferry coming and going, took a little walk along the shore, then drove out of town, got a bit turned around, and found ourselves back at Rhinefield House, which we had seen for the first time just yesterday, when David took us there. Kathryn had never seen the house, so we drove in and pretended to be eccentric millionaires for a few minutes.
Back in Lyndhurst, we enjoyed a pub dinner at the Fox & Hounds, chatted for a while longer, then went our separate ways. It has been an altogether satisfying day.