Saturday, September 13, 2014

RFE Visit Two

Stay two of our RFE has been wonderful.  We were passed off from the Yeovil Club to the Frome Selwood Rotary Club on Thursday Sept 11th at midday and were blessed to have fabulous hosts again.  Patrick and Marie Cusworth are retired educators and have been extraordianrily kind and generous.  Thursday we took a guided tour of the spectacular gardens of Stourhead before lunch, and then had lunch at cafe there.  I quickly learned how to get a great pint of beer.  Let Patrick order for me.  He and I share a taste for good proper English Bitter.  Thursday night we had a great meal at home with our hosts.

Friday, after a nice breakfast at home, we visited Salisbury for a guided tour of town by Val Atkinson.  She is a "Blue-Badge" guide and was a wealth of information.  We had a very quick look at the cathedral which has a famously high spire before lunch at the Oxbow Inn..

Then we were off to a surprise stop at a bird refuge..  We had close views of Great-crested grebe and watched a flock of about 35 Northern Lapwings circle the lakes looking for a place to land before flying away. From there we drove to get nice looks at Stonehenge from an overlook known to our local guides We were able to avoid lines and waits and still get really nice views.  Last night we went to dinner at an upscale pub with our whole exchange group and hosts.  After that we returned to finish off the great deserts from Marie's dinner the night prior.  It was far better than the menu at the pub looked for "pudding."
Today Patrick planned yet more personalized fun.  We went to visit Lacock, an ancient town where the "inventor of modern photography" Fox Talbot lived and visited the museum, the abbey, and walked around the town.

From there we went to the surprise Patrick had been taunting us about for 2 days.  We drove to the home of David Waters who has spent his last 20+ years trying to reintroduce the Great Bustard to England.  The Great Bustard is the largest flying bird in the world, and the bird with the greatest sexual dimorphism.  Males can be 5x the size as females.  He keeps two birds with injured wings at his home, but has over many years tried to bring fertilized eggs back to their prior range in England and reestablish a viable breeding population.

They were hunted to exterpation in Great Britain by trophy hunters in the 1800's.  It was quite wonderful to meet him, see his passion and pick his brain.  Then after coming home for dinner we went to Bath to the theater One Man Two Guvnors'.  

This was the final Bath showing of a traditional British Comedy and was exceptional.  Many thanks to our hosts for such a great stay in Frome.  Tomorrow we are off to meet our next host family and visit the Crewkerne area.  We just finished a nice facetime visit with Jean, and are off to sleep.

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