I wrote the other week of the horrors of Joanna’s and my train journey down to Cornwall.    On our return we came by car, and we decided to break our journey roughly half way which was about Stone Henge.

We chose what turned out to be a most delightful bed and breakfast in The Old Rectory, Chicklade.   The journey was stressful, in part in heavy rain and as we came into the nearby area we were getting tired.   We turned off by mistake into the village of Hindon, a really beautiful stone built village with a church but no rectory that we could see.   Joanna got out and asked a young local man for directions.   It was apparent to me from the beginning that he had no idea at all of where we were going, but a long and earnest conversation followed with much gesticulation and pointing.    It turned out that, no, he couldn’t direct us to our bed and breakfast but he could recommend places to eat, and I wondered how long he’d waited in the pub in the hope she’d turn up.   (He didn’t notice her horrible mother, lurking in the car.)

Phoning our landlady we discover that though the postal address is Hindon, in actual fact it’s at Chicklade,  directly off the A303 on the left, travelling east.

I have often written critically of our reception at hotels but the couple who ran The Old Rectory got it just right.   The husband came out to help Joanna with the luggage.   At that point I was not walking very well, and he gave me just the right amount of assistance – pointed out the easiest route, anticipated and removed obstacles, but then stepped back and left me to find my own pace.   The lady was waiting at the door and greeted us warmly, and had placed  a chair for me to rest on before we continued to our room.   Then it was on up to our quarters on the second floor, where we had a charming little suite comprising a major and minor bedroom and a shared bathroom.  It was all immaculately clean and attractively and appropriately furnished.   We had a pleasant view over green fields.   Our landlady kindly gave us some carrot cake to have with our tea.

In the morning, the breakfast was everything it should have been.   (Is there any breakfast in the world better than ‘The Full English’ – if you have leisure to eat it and someone else cooks it, serves it and clears it up?)   We chatted to other guests who were all going on to visit Stone Henge.

The bill for both of us was £90 and we went on our way refreshed.   We passed the ancient stones in the still quietness of early morning, and wondered how many women before us, and by what modes of transport, had passed this way, and hailed, as we did, the gods of long ago?