Thursday 17 November 2011

Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood

There is a new linky party and I am jumping in and joining in. For all of you who don't know Kat - Diary of a FlutterKat...  actually is there anyone who doesn't know Kat? This is her linky party and it will let you nose around lots of blogger neighbourhoods. Let you find out what it is like where they live. This first month it is exactly that, introducing your neighbourhood and neck of the woods. If you want to learn a bit more about me, read on. If you want to learn a bit more about lots of others then please follow the link.

Diary of a Flutter.Kat

When I am not online, I can be found here -

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My blog name is a dead giveaway that I am not from the UK. I am an import from Canada. We (me, my husband and two girls) live smack dab in the middle of England. Just try to get a spot that is as far from the sea in any given direction and you will find us. I was a suburban girl plopped in the middle of the countryside. It was hard at first. I used to email friends in Canada and complain that you could hear cows when you were in the garden. I got used to it - eventually. That garden then has nothing on the one we have now. Here the cows are so close they sound like they are actually in the garden some days! Cows can be loud - really loud. I mean loud in a psychotic way at times.

Don't get me wrong, I like where we live. We live on the edge of a village. Cows over the hedge behind us and sheep in the fields across the road. Our house is a bog standard brick detached built less than ten years ago. It looks like lots of red brick houses but it is a good house, a roomy house, and our home. If you walk around the corner you come to much prettier houses built of Northamptonshire stone. It is these houses which abound in the villages all round that make the area so pretty.

Not our house obviously.
An example of the village houses that abound here, built of mellow stone and making me wish we lived in one.

The village grew as a train depot for the Great Central Railway back before all the cuts in the 1960s. In earlier days it wouldn't be cows I would have heard when I went outside but steam engines.

In retrospect, cows aren't so bad! The occasional steam train would be okay too, but constantly, um, no thanks.

Close to us there are two favourite places I like to go for a walk. The first is the reservoir, which was built to provide water for the Oxford Rugby Canal.

Then there is the canal itself, which always provides a pleasant walk, often people to talk to and fun for the kids.

If you venture further afield from here you will find some of England's most famous places within a 45 drive.



Warwick Castle

Althorp House
(Princess Diana's family ancestral home and her body is interred in the grounds here.)

Autumn at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace
(Ancestral home to Churchill)
Hidcote Gardens
I could go on, but I think you are getting the idea. We may live in the middle of nowhere, but we also live within reach of some of England's greatest treasures. If you come visit us you will not get bored!

To get around you need a car. While not absolutely necessary in some respects as there is a bus service, I need to drive the girls to school because they go to one two villages over (long story). I think the most common type of vehicle driven around here is a four wheel drive, with Landrovers being predominant. That's what we drive, two old but reliable Landrovers. The closest main town is Banbury which is 12 miles away. Banbury is most famous for a nursery rhyme.

Photo supplied by Steve Gold Photography
Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes
The closest thing we have to a local delicacy would be Banbury cakes, which is a spiced, currant-filled, flat pastry cake similar to an Eccles cake. If you want the most common food of our village then it would have to be a curry as there are two takeaways here and they are the sum result of what you can have delivered. No pizza takeaway, Kat, you would hate it!

If you have questions, feel free to ask. I hope you enjoyed your wee tour of my corner of the world. I can't wait to see what Kat is going to make us divulge next month!



  1. You lucky thing, you live near the Bramble Patch. Actually, if I lived near there I would be broke. Going once or twice a year when I persuade someone they need a day out is probably better for my bank balance! You don't actually live that far away from me in Leicester.

    By the way, you don't want to live in one of the old cottages, they are devil to heat and they are more likely to have stuff go wrong, plus you don't look at the outside of your house very often, you look at the outside of OTHER people's houses. You get the pleasure of looking at them, with none of the upkeep costs!

  2. Thanks for the tour, Susan. It looks lovely where you live. I am really enjoying the Nosey Parker posts I have read recently and seeing different, faraway places.

  3. Oh no I forgot all about this! Thanks for the reminder - must go and take photos!

    Your neck of the woods is lovely - have been to Hidote several times and had many NT cream teas.....hmmmm!

  4. We live so close and yet so far...

    Old houses can be an expense and don't get me started on the damp issues...

  5. It looks lovely where you live! What a great tour - Thankyou :)

  6. It was great to a bit about where you live. I missed this linky party. I think I will check it out and see if I have time to play.

  7. I'm so nosey, I love reading all these! I hadn't realized it was time for this yet so I'll try and get something together. I loved seeing where you live, and was most entertained by the psychotic cow comment! They can be a little much sometimes!

  8. Well as a native Midlander, I love where you live. I went to secondary school in Stratford and socialized as a teenager in Warwick. The countryside round there is trult beautiful. Thanks for the tour and I love the Northants. stone!

  9. You're so funny about the cows! They're my youngest's favourite animal. I'm a country girl living in the city - can we swap please!! Jxo

  10. I loved this little peek into your world. It sounds beautiful!
    Cows are my new neighbors and I swear they have converstaions. Not just a little moo here and there, but full discussions! I kind of like it, though :)

  11. Lovely tour, thank you for the image of psychotic cows... You want to try deranged ego-maniacal ginormous seaguls...

  12. Psychotic cows! Hahaha, I grew up on a farm with cows and never once thought of them as psychotic. Maybe English cows are different.

    I think I want to come and holiday in England now. Doesn't help that I'm reading novels with all the places you mentioned in them. Just to convince the hubby now.

  13. I'm so jealous! I'd gladly take the cows over the fence if it meant living in such a lovely place. I'm in the middle of the balda** prairies in Saskatchewan, in a village of 150. What's the population?


  14. Another great post - thanks for the tour!

  15. Makes a mental note to avoid your village with its psychotic cows ;o) Still, you do have some rather pretty things in your area :o)

  16. Thanks for this post - it brought back happy memories of trips to Blenheim as a child..... x

  17. I'm so happy Kat put together this linky party! It's a lot of fun taking all these tours of other places...
    I laughed a lot at your psychotic cow comment! A few years ago I visited a friend who lives in rural Missouri. When she was giving me directions to get to her place, she told me to watch my step coming up to the house, as there was a break in the fence & the cows were coming up onto her porch (& leaving "presents")! Well, what actually happened when I got there was as soon as I came thru' the gate, the herd rushed over to me, moooing & moooooooing! There I was, suitcase in hand, being escorted to the door by a gang of cows! Guess they thought I was the one bringing some hay bales for them! LOL

  18. England seems like such an exotic place to me ...all that history and things I've only read about in books and you have it all on your doorstep. Lucky you!

    My family were from there originally - about 160 years ago!

  19. Great tour...another blogger mentioned Banbury cakes, too...maybe you know her?

    Your pictures reminded me of a Househunters International episode I saw once. I love the village house picture. Very pretty!

  20. SO lovely to find out a bit more about where you live Susan!

  21. Oh your pics bring back very happy memories of several summer hols spent in S-U-A. We loved Warwick Castle and Blenheim Palace, and keep saying we should really visit again this time with our son. He would adore the castle! Thanks for the sneak peek into your neighbourhood!

  22. Wow, just made me really heartsick & reminiscent for England *sniff....
    Love the fact that you share your neighbourhood with psychotic cows!
    I do too - but by that I'm mostly talking about my children and me at our worst hehe shhhhh ;)


  23. its lovely there susan !!
    have you ever taken the girls to burton dassett country park the boys loved going there for picnics and for the "house" without windows or a door !!

  24. I nearly had serious house envy for a moment then! x

  25. It sounds quite lovely where you live. Idyllic sort of, with the cows mooing and the sheep lowing. I bet the house made of the beautiful stone is cold and drafty.... or at least you can tell yourself that. Thanks for the tour.


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