October 3rd, 2001

cape & merc.

(no subject)

Anyone who has read my journal long enough knows that I have been particularly influenced by Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, which I read for the first time around the 4th grade and have reread occasionally ever since. In fact, these books are some of the first things S____ and I talked about when our relationship was budding. (OK, the Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus were big too.) My favorite of the five is probably the second (from which the series takes its name), focusing on the magico-spiritual and vocational awakening of Will Stanton, an 11-year-old boy in South Buckinghamshire.

As I've mentioned, one thing we did in England was visit churches and manor houses in Buckinghamshire which are associated with my ancestors. Between our appointments at Wooburn and Upper Winchendon, we took an hour or so to go through Dorney, the village which serves as a model for Will Stanton's home town. Everything is just like the book! There really is a Huntercombe lane, lined by great trees. And there really is Miss Greythorne's manor; it's Dorney Court. AND when we were walking past the manor, a giant white horse ridden by a lady walked by us. On the outer grounds of the manor there is a farm where you can pick your own strawberries, and there is a garden center where you can buy plants, but of course it's very very illegal right now to bring such things back from England. We went in anyway, looking for a souvenir, and (for whatever reason) they had a small display of Christmas ornaments—little glass spheres filled with gold thread. What better memento from the land of the book which opens at Christmastime?

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