The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chawton Cottage and Winchester

Wednesday, 16 October.

Once again I'm up early, relaxing in our comfortable living room, and enjoying my morning coffee. Dear Diane likes to sleep in while on vacation and I can hardly blame her. Sadly, my internal clock simply won't let me do the same.

After a quick glance behind the window curtain, I can see we won't likely repeat yesterday's glorious weather. It's overcast and looks colder than it probably is. Indeed, I just checked the forecast online and we can expect light rain and drizzle for most of the day with a temperature in the mid-fifties. We've become quite accustomed to such weather, though, and so remain undeterred and will as the English say, "keep calm and carry on."

I haven't written very much about Clinkers Barn, our delightful little cottage here in Chawton, an oversight that must be attended to. I can't imagine a better choice (slight pat on the back). The location couldn't be better, especially for a Jane Austen fan, but the cottage itself is just about perfect for anyone visiting the south of England for a week or more. It was also amazingly affordable, far less than a simple hotel room in the same area.

On the ground floor we have a fully equipped kitchen, including a washer and dryer, two indispensable appliances for travelers. There's also a half-bath downstairs, a dining area, and a comfortable and quite roomy living area. We have a TV with limited satellite access, a nice selection of books, and a DVD player and CD/Radio audio system. There's also free WiFi that works very well, once I found the password posted on a small bulletin board.

Upstairs consists of a long, narrow bedroom and a 3/4 bath that even includes a bathroom scale calibrated in kilograms. This is a true advantage for us periodic weight-watches since the numbers are much lower than on a scale calibrated in pounds. The cottage has a wonderful heating system which we use only when we're here during the day. At night there's no need since we're bundled up under a stack of warm comforters.

My only complaints are truly minor.  The shower's one of those tiny, European stalls that encourage you not to drop the soap. The shower itself, though, is quite good and puts out a strong spray of water. And the bed might be an inch or two short for me, but will be fine for most folks.

We also have our own off-the-street parking area, a real advantage in this nation of limited parking spaces. And for those planning a visit during the warmer months, behind the cottage and accessible from the living room is a lovely little enclosed private garden with a table and chairs, perfect for an al fresco breakfast or afternoon tea or a glass of wine under the stars. What could be better? Honestly, I'd rather stay here than in the most luxurious of hotels.

So...if you're considering a similar trip, our little cottage receives my personal five star rating: ***** Dear Diane is up and about, so we're getting ready to set out on today's adventure: a visit to the nearby city of Winchester. I'll tell you all about it this evening.

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