We left at about 10:00 am on Sunday after talking with Matt on FaceTime. I had been quietly dreading the driving, but apart from the frustration of too many roundabouts it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. The motorways make it fairly easy to get the miles done, and having two pairs of eyes to check the road is enormously helpful. We had quite a long break at lunchtime and I was able to nap lying down in the back seat for half an hour
We enjoyed catching up with Ron and his family at a nearby carvery, basically having a really good Sunday roast. The family individually have their personal challenges, but the love and support they show for each other is wonderful to see.
This morning we set out a little before 10.00. To avoid the motorway we headed first to Tewksbury, which turned out to be a very good choice as it is a delightful little town. We had a morning coffee, then visited the Abbey and went for a walk.
We then drove to The Firs, which is a small cottage the family were living in when Elgar was born. We now know a great deal about his life, supplemented with a biographical documentary by Ken Russell which gave perhaps a richer perspective on the highs and lows of his life lent to us by our hostess here at our AirBNB in Malvern. As well as going through all that was on display, and taking out National Trust membership, we enjoyed photographing flowers in the cottage garden.
Our accommodation is set in the Malvern area, with a village that is spread over the hillside. Our hostess is a widow and we are only her second set of guests. She is warm and kind and we have enjoyed our discussions with her. Her husband became a world traveller after retiring from the police force and brought her home from one of the countries he visited when she was 19 years of age. They seem to have had a very happy marriage and have a daughter who is studying music theatre. Fortunately she has many friends from her 24 years of living here. She said a friend of hers signed her up for the AirBNB listing – I guess she will find out from experience if it is something she really wants to do. We feel very grateful that we can share her old and beautiful home.
We asked about somewhere to have tea and she took us out in her car to get some fish and chips. We had some fruit with us, so our meal wasn’t altogether unhealthy!
Tomorrow we will leave our stuff in the house whilst we do our best to do the walk up the hill. The beginning of the walk is nearby. Our next place is near Hay on Wye, about 40 miles away and we won’t need to leave this area until mid afternoon.