A day in the country

Today, following the usual shop and Skype, we decided to go out. Given that the DBA paper is taking up a lot of Mirinda’s time, it’s quite a rare thing these days. And the day was so beautiful it would have been a shame to waste it in the house.

There was a rough plan to go to the Mortuary Chapel then to a pub for lunch before a wander around whatever exhibition is on at the Watts Gallery. Mirinda rang a pub in Compton we’d never visited and booked us in for 2pm. And we set off.

We couldn’t stop at the Mortuary Chapel as a lot of other people appeared to have had the same idea as us. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many cars parked outside it. We kept driving towards the Artist’s Village.

We’ve never been to the Artist’s Village. It’s across the road from the Watts Gallery and features, among other things, the house where GF Watts and Mary Seton lived in from 1891. It’s a gorgeous Arts and Crafts building designed by Sir Ernest George.

They called it a ‘little house’

There are regular tours of the house but not for us today as the time coincided with our pub lunch.

There is a zig-zaggy path that loops through the woods, leading up to the house and along the path is the GF Watts Memorial, designed and made by Mary. It features her distinctive terracotta material and decorative style.

Watts Memorial

At the base of the memorial are some of the 800 terracotta poppies created by volunteers and artists to commemorate the Armistice last year. They are very distinctive and a lovely lasting memorial. They are almost everywhere, dotted around stumps and trees.

It occurred to me that they are also environmentally friendly given they will just, eventually, return to the earth. Unlike the plastic ones that litter every war memorial in the country.

Anyway, tempus fugit when you’re having fun, so we quickly headed off for the pub.

There was a bit of a panic when we couldn’t find the pub – Compton isn’t that big a place – but the rocky seas were calmed when it appeared in front of us. There was another rocky patch when there was a bit of an unruly crowd at the door but that was also navigated satisfactorily and we were soon ensconced in a delightfully ancient settle, relaxing, feeling like a couple of happy Hobbits at the Green Dragon.

Lunch at the Withies Inn, Compton

The pub is the 16th century Withies Inn and the food was excellent. The beer was also very good. We were already planning to return in the summer so we can sit outside. After a lovely, leisurely lunch, we headed home rather than to the Watts Gallery given it had closed. Driving home we declared that it had been a most satisfactory day.

Not so satisfying for Ronnie O’Sullivan who couldn’t manage to overhaul the triumphant Judd Trump in the Masters Snooker tonight. Judd was amazing and Ronnie had very little in reply, losing ten frames to four.

Poor Rocket
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