Roland Turner

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Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester, England

As we checked out of the B&B (Greenside Cottage, Leafield) this morning, it became clear that our hostess was determined to extract a little extra cash from us. Whilst there were complicating factors, it came down to her desire to bill my parents the 'private bathroom' rate for a shared bathroom of which they, by virtue of my room having had its own bathroom and there being no other guests that evening, had been the sole users. After our hostess had brought out every excuse under the sun, my mother pointed out (and demonstrated) that the shower in that bathroom did not, in fact, work. Asking her to discount the rate for my room, as the bathroom had necessarily been shared, might have been seen as rude (our hostess was already in tears), but it did encourage us to be particularly explicit when negotiating room rates throughout the rest of the trip.

We passed through Chipping Norton on our way to Moreton-in-Marsh, where we stopped for tea and scones with clotted cream, as one does.

Our next stop was the Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-upon-Avon where the immortal bard himself (that would be William Shakespeare, but naturally you already knew that) is buried. He has a somewhat modest grave (no headstone) in front of the altar, apparently as a result as his having become a 'lay rector' about a decade before his death. Sadly it rained a lot this day and we had to wait some time in the rain until a wedding party left before we could enter. I don't suppose the bride was to pleased about the rain either.

Our final visit for the day was to the Worcester Cathedral. It is worth noting that my father has a particular interest in cathedrals; we visited quite a number on this trip as a result of which I learnt a little about cathedral architecture. It's amazing what you can do with stone. Worcester Cathedral shows particularly clearly the tendency for cathedral builders to adopt new styles during a cathedral's construction; no less than five styles are in evidence here. The columns along the north side of the nave (the bit where the congregation sits) are in a style called Decorated, those along the south side are Perpendicular. There's got to be material here for Eric Raymond.

Having had enough churches for one day, we stopped about five miles short of Hereford and spent the night at a B&B at Garford farm