April in Stroud

A few days before Easter I lived in a cottage in the outskirts of Stroud for 3 days and it was the most beautiful experience I've had since I came to the UK. I can't thank Fiona and her boyfriend Andrew's family enough for accommodating me and for their good nature and warm welcome.

It was a sunny day with cold breeze when I arrived, Fiona and I had a little walk in the town centre before heading to the cottage. We were amused to find travel guides about Malaysia and Munich lying side by side in a thrift shop and spent 20 minutes indulging in them. We had English breakfast for lunch in a little cafe where we seemed to be the only younger people. There was some time left to kill so we visited Stratford Park Leisure Centre and then walked back to town again to catch the bus to the outskirts of Stroud. It was a 1.4 miles walk uphill to the cottage but the beautiful landscape was worth it. Diana made us cauliflower cheese for dinner and I had to admit it was good even though I'm normally not a big fan of cheese. At night we stood outside watching the moon in the dark until it got too cold.

On the second day we woke up early to see the horses nearby. It was fun observing the horses and we quickly figured out the dominant one was the white horse as we watched him chase an older horse away and was followed around by all the other horses. We walked down further to Minchinhampton town and when we passed by the field Fiona picked some daisies and made me a daisy headband. The vintage shop Fiona wanted to show me wasn't open and it was lunch time so we walked home to have some pea soup and bread, before embarking on another adventure. In the garden of the cottage we would have visitors such as Phil the pheasant, Whiskers the cat and some country rats. Just at the back outside of the cottage I spotted a red fox while waiting for the wild rabbits to appear, not much luck with the rabbits though. 

It was gloomy the whole time we walked around the hills at Rodborough Common overlooking Inchbrook. We bought some local made Winstons ice-cream and hurried home when it started drizzling (managed to try on a tree swing on the way home for a good 5 minutes though). For dinner I helped Fiona make some mashed potatoes and two vegetarian pies and it was the nicest dinner I have ever had with the loveliest people. 

It was only the third day but it felt like I could I've been here for so long and I could really live here forever. I didn't have any plan so the family decided we'd go to Woodchester Park, it's funny that while waiting for each other to get ready, somehow we found trying our hands at Jenga instead. When we made it to the park the mansion wasn't open but we had a nice walk in the woods and there were also sheep and goats. Afterwards we went for a nice cuppa at the cafe The Canteen of the home and lifestyle store Domestic Science in Nailsworth. 

Initially I wanted to visit Gloucester or Cirencester since I got a open return ticket but no one on Couchsurfing was able to host me due to the busy Easter season (the family also couldn't host me any longer) so it was time for me to go back to Bristol. And that's when I embarrassed myself for mistaking the bus time to Gloucester as the bus time to Bristol. It was the last (or only?) bus to Bristol and the train wasn't constant either so I started freaking out. 

Andrew figured out the schedule for me since I hadn't got internet on my phone and words can't describe how thankful and sorry I was that they was out in the cold helping me get my train sorted. I got even more confused when I had to change the train twice but in the end I managed to get home safely. It was definitely a trip of both chill and thrill.


Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400
Olympus mju ii
developed & scanned by Photographique

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