Fields of Gold: Dreams of ol yeller while crusing in the Coswolds
Late June, and it’s raining incessantly in New York — and somehow the weather is better in the English countryside. I’ve been let loose on the narrow, narrow lanes in an Aston Martin DB9, in the Coswolds, north of London. It’s kind of like the Hamptons, only with more tea and crumpets, less beach. Here’s my story in photos — a day’s drive.
English Haunt: The Washbourne Hotel, aka homebase. Low ceilings, but good beer.
9 am: Time to pick up my ride for the day. Wandering out to the parking lot to find my motor car…
Not the Mercedes CLS…
…Nor the BMW Z4.
The Ferrari F430?? Not that I would mind, but… wrong country.
I bet this sucker flies, but…
A-ha! Ye old motor coach. (Albeit with a V-12 engine capable of pushing it to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Price? A mere $190,000 or so, not including options. Or insurance.)
So, open the door and discover that, yeah…
Right-hand drive. Always an interesting proposition. Though it’s not like the roads will be…
…narrow or anything. Oh shite. (What, you wanted a lane where two cars could pass one another at the same time?)
11 pm. Road hazards: Other concerns on those backcountry lanes … Crickety cricket players.
12 pm. Ye old country farm where the old farmer presumably lives. I wonder if he can hear the sound of the Aston Martin’s DB9’s engine screaming? Sorry about that, gaffer.
Ye old, red phone booth.
1 pm. Harpers! Family! I’d totally stop by, but… they sell housewares? Aren’t there some rich Harpers down the road somewhere?
Inside the high life: DB9 interior, entirely handbuilt in the factory of Gaydon, just up the road.
2 pm. Yellow fever: What are these flowers called, anyhow?
Country cruising: Me and my Aston (for a day).
3 pm. Um, why are the Coswolds a weekend place for Londoners? Why are there so many elderly who live here year-round, and so few young ‘uns? Well, there’s nothing to do, apparenlty, but tip cows. Of which there is a hefty fine. Luckily the Aston is quite entertaining.
4:14. Searching for Shakespeare: Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of the bard. So, where might one find him these days?
Seems reasonable, right? (No luck.)
5 pm. Ah, well, back on the road, looking for my hotel. And that beer.
Besides if you’re looking for modern English icons…
You could do a whole lot worse.