This is Alfie. He belongs to my university lecturer who has retired and now lives in Topsham (population 5,023) in Devon in the south west of England (near Exeter), a lovely part of the country I grew up in but have barely explored outside of London.
Topsham was once a major sea port and one of its claims to fame is that actress Vivien Leigh lived here when she was married to Leigh Holman before she left him for Laurence Olivier.
So I took a short break from all the shopping and Olympics activities in London and drove the 170 miles to spend a weekend with my lecturer and his partner. I hadn’t seen them for several years so it was great to catch up and an added bonus was enjoying a rare treat – a slice of English country life.
I have to say it was an extremely nice contrast to the bustling Shanghai lifestyle. It couldn’t have been more different with the slower pace, the fresh air and the lack of people.
This is one of the things I miss about England – I lovely little pub with simple English food. I had some scampi and chips with peas. Not a big deal if you live in England but try getting it in Shanghai!
In old times, this is how people used to contact other people if they were out and about. It also provided young people with something to vandalise before there was Facebook to keep them busy.
I hadn’t seen one of these before but my ever knowledgeable lecturer informed me it’s called a “field” and there are lots of them outside the big cities.
So the 3 hour drive from London was well worth the trip and of course it was nice to catch up with a (not so) old friend.