Oxford friends Lynn, Neal, and Winston The Bloodhound picked us up this morning for a drive to Marlow, a beautiful small town on the Thames River (56.75 miles to London, as the Thames flows).
When I asked how far back Marlow goes, Neal said "All the way." That's a long way back.
Winston The Bloodhound. Five years old. He was raised as a hunting dog, part of a pack of 21 bloodhounds. Winston would disappear on hunts, failing to return with the other 20 dogs. The trainers would eventually find him at neighboring farms, having tea with the residents. So he had to be adopted or put down. Neal and Lynn rescued him and he's now living the life of a retired scholar in Oxford.
This church in Marlow, next to the Thames, dates back to the 12th century. Amazing what you can do if you use stone and stone masons, instead of the mud & straw adobe brick technique that was popular in the Santa Fe area at the same time. Stone seems so much more... what's the word... permanent.
Robin, Lynn, and Neal read a T.S. Eliot quote carved in stone.
Time past and time
What might have been
and what has been
Point to one end which is always
Green and gold cemetery colors.
Neal and Winston experience the sights and smells of Marlow.
The bike/river trail through town winds through narrow passageways.
A bench along the river, in memory of Olive and Twig Branch. There's something sappy about this, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
The river has locks for boats that want to navigate up or downstream where water levels differ. The wheel opens the lock gates.
One of the locks on the river.
People who live on the river can hop in their boat and go all the way to London. Just like they have for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure were found on the shores of the Thames in London (south of Vauxhall Bridge), dated to 4500 BC.
Winston does the bloodhound thing in the church cemetery.
Lynn and Neal drove us back to Uxbridge and let Winston out of the car before heading back home to Oxford. When they tried to coax him back into the car he resisted, then rolled over on his back for a tummy rub. What a Sweetie Pie. No wonder he didn't want to kill foxes or whatever he was supposed to hunt. He's a lover, not a killer.