Back to Braunston

Back to Braunston

This morning we headed back to Braunston to drop Mary and Chris back to their car. Some of the fields we went by still show the remnants of mediaeval farming. Look how the buttercups are growing better on the ridges of slightly higher ground in this meadow.
Ridge and Furrow
Those are the strips that would have been farmed by different families. One family might have several strips over several different fields. Over several hundred years, the lands that were held in common by villages were “Enclosed”, that is, claimed by rich people with the aid of parliament. This one was used as grazing ever since it was enclosed, so the remnants of the old medieval strips can still be seen. It’s worth noticing that the use of the government to transfer wealth from the general public to rich investors is nothing new, and the privatization of the UK’s state owned schools is just the latest step in a long line of such redistribution in the name of efficiency.

We found a mooring, a bit too close to the A45 bridge, but this is the busiest stretch of canal in the entire UK system, on a long weekend, with a boat show happening nearby, so you take what you can get. It actually looks a lot more scenic when viewed from the bridge. That’s us in the green boat.
View from a bridge

My old friend Howard, who I have known since we were twelve, picked us up and drove us back to his house in Rugby for a wonderful home cooked dinner. Howard recently married Gordi, who comes from an old family of working canal boaters. Gordi gets seasick even on a canal boat, so his childhood memories are of staying with family members at the Stop House in Braunston while the rest of the clan were afloat. Here’s the sign on the Stop House today.
The Stop House
Back then, Gordi had a pony in the paddock and the basement was six feet deep in chicken shit. Apparently Gordi has inherited the family taste for poultry keeping for their backyard is now clucking with designer fowl like this…
and this…
and here’s Howard with a duckling.

There’s also the tortoise pit…
and the koi cistern.
Koi Cistern
Apparently the upstairs bedrooms are teeming with tarantulas and sugar gliders, but we did not venture there.

Dinner was excellent. Roast chicken, potatoes roasted in goose grease, and so many quail eggs that they required a special tool to crack them. Lovely to see Howard settling into married life.

2 thoughts on “Back to Braunston

  1. That sounds like a lovely day. I’d like to see Gordi and Howard’s place with all their animal friends. Not sure about the smell in the basement though. If they ever want a garden that would make some fantastic fertilizer.

    1. The chicken shit was in The Stop House, where Gordi spent time as a kid, and not the current house. It’s long since been shoveled out.

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