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Posts Tagged ‘http://www.cindyeve.worldventures.biz’

 On my ‘wish list’ was the desire to travel; and so I have, to villages and towns around the UK.   Not quite what I had in mind when I sent the message to the ‘Universe’, but there you go. 🙂

The latest on my travels is what at first glance appears to be a rather non-descript little village named ‘Cottenham’.

Cottenham, Cambridgeshire

On arriving in Cottenham you could be forgiven for thinking that it looked rather dull, albeit lined with some pretty little houses and some fine examples of Georgian and Gothic architecture, there was nothing much else to excite the senses. It reminded me a bit of that song by John Denver; Saturday Night in Toledo. Some of the lyrics go: “they roll back the sidewalks at night”.

...they roll back the sidewalks at night

Ah! But wait, we have yet to discover what lies beneath!

Cottenham it seems has in fact existed since prehistoric times, and scattered discoveries of Mesolthic and Neolithic tools have been made. Now we are talking! 

On a bend in the ‘High Street’, kind of halfway between here and there,

small part of the original settlement of Cottenham

on an area named the ‘pond’ of which there is currently no sign, are the markings of a very early ‘Roman’ settlement; now mostly built over with houses and buildings – the historic society has in fact been able to mark out the early boundaries of a formal settlement, long since disappeared into dust. 

What the area looks like now:

what was the original Saxon settlement site, now built over

part of the medieval Crowlands Manor, now built up

 Origin of the name Cottanham, appears to be Saxon, arising from the early English ‘Cotan’ for dwelling and ‘Ham’ for settlement. Most of the older houses along the High Street were at one time farmhouses.

The High Street, so named, is the longest in the country, measuring 1 & ¼ miles from the Green to the Church. The ‘Green’, a triangle of grass at one end of the village, is edged with lovely plane trees, planted in 1885 by Robert Ivatt, and was once the grazing ground for cattle, now an oasis of repose for the villagers, of which there are currently just over 5,000.

the Green at Cottenham, where they used to graze cows

Amongst the present inhabitants, many of whom are descendants of people who have lived here for centuries, are records of the Pepys family in the village since 1273 and the present Earl of Cottenham is a descendent of Samuel Pepys (the diarist) and recorder of the 1666 Fire of London.

Pepys house (Samuel Pepys; diarist used to live here)

Two thirds of Cottenham itself, was destroyed by fire in 1676 (mmm, seems perhaps we should take a closer look at Mr Pepys then!) The lady I was caring for has herself lived in the same house since the day she was born 84 years ago, and inherited the house from her parents.

Across from the Green and on the fork of two roads is the War Memorial – unveiled in 1921 in honour of fifty nine local men killed in the 1st World War.

memorial to fallen villagers WW1

On closer exploration are many fine houses, some of which are centuries old:

Queenholme built 16th century

The Wesleyan Chapel built 1864

The Gothic House built in the 1730s, was a red brick house, bought by the Ivatt family in 1770 and greatly altered around 1860 when the decorative chimneys were built.

Gothic House

front facade of the Gothic House

wisteria draped over the side of the Gothic House

detail above the front door

White Cottage – home to ancestors of Calvin Coolidge – American President 1923-29

White House (aptly named as it turns out)

As I explored the area on Sunday, I was drawn by the sound of bells pealing out their call to prayer! The ‘Parish Church of All Saints’; has evidence of a church on this site from the mid-10th century.

All Saints Church

The existing church was built in the 15th century, with a 100 ft tall church tower – and a sundial built into the side with the inscription – ‘time is short’.

'Time is short' inscription on the sundial

Across the road is the Old Rectory – dating back to the 16th century. In 1644 the Rectory was given to Oliver Cromwell’s sister; Robina. (I guess no-one would have argued with that).

At that point the road leaves the village proper and now becomes Twentypence Road – which derives it’s name from a parcel of thirty acres of land on the Cottenham side of the River Ouse, as described in Richard Atkins survey of the Fens in 1604.

Twentypence Road

At one time there were four pumps in the village, and with all but one subsequently removed, the remaining pump – erected in 1864, was moved to the Green in 1985 along with the horse-trough.

water pump and horse trough

Cottenham was a treasure trove of old houses, ancient history and houses with stories behind their walls.

Although the main road through the village was quite busy during the day the villagers seemed to prefer a lighter form of transport

the villagers preferred mode of transport!

On the sidewalk was a sight common in these villages; a sign board with description of goods for sale. In this instance ‘Pink Peony plants’, unattended, left on a stand or in a box or wheelbarrow, and as is common the instructions for payment are: “please put money through the letterbox”.

'Pink peony plants' - leave money in the letterbox

One day I discovered a book that detailed the history of the village and had a fine old time digging a bit deeper.

85 High Street; house of Fred Stone – watch and clockmaker and music teacher

house of Fred Stone - watch and clock maker

next door was the old Jolly Millers public house – burnt down in 1898 (now rebuilt)

Jolly Millers pub

Pond Villa’s built in 1902, and the last houses in the village to be built from Cotteham brick

Pond Villas

Pond Villas

120 High Street – Pond Farm; A group of fifty dissenting families, which called itself ‘The Church Congregation Society of the Protestant Dissenters of the Denomination of Independence’, worshipped in the barn behind this 17th century Farmhouse. Pond Farm was also the site for meetings of the Ranters, or Primitive Methodists.

Pond Farm

The village was a delight in it’s various architechtural styles.

Ivy House

Before leaving I took a stroll over to the old Saxon area to see the moat

Cotttenham moat

Cottenham moat - a scheduled ancient monument

The area has been listed by English Heritage as a scheduled ancient monument. The moat contains a small breeding population of great crested newt, which is strictly protected under European legislation.

And that was my excursion to Cottenham, a quaint English village in Cambridgeshire, not too far from Cambridge and a treasure trove of ancient and new.

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Travel; what is it about that word that conjures up a whole vista of possibilities?   Could you imagine what your life would be like without travel?  Is it possible to not travel?   Whatever you do and whatever your reason,  travelling is a part of most people’s lives.

For centuries now people have been travelling, not just locally, but right around the world.   The reasons over the centuries have been different and yet remain the same, just in a different context.   Our forefathers travelled.  Ancient civilizations travelled.   New world’s were discovered, different civilizations and different cultures.   Their reasons for travel were vastly different and yet remain the same; to explore and conquer.   We all travel in one way or another.

There are different reasons why people travel:

1) Many people travel because they want to see their families and friends, whether they live near or far. Invitations from families and friends, for weddings, birthdays, or any other form of celebration are a good reason to pack your bags and travel.

2) Some people may travel seeking love, because they want to find their soul mates, believing that there is only one person for them and if they haven’t had much luck in their area, perhaps they will be luckier elsewhere.   With millions of people around the world, there is a possibility they could find love in some other place.

3) People travel to seek employment, perhaps having been unlucky nearer to home, possibly because they want to have a different experience e.g. volunteering.   Admittedly work may be hard to come by in your hometown or country and so some people decide to work abroad because they are looking for greener pastures.  They could earn more money abroad or perhaps their expertise is not favourable where they currently reside.

4) People travel because they want to learn about other cultures, to experience the differences between their’s and other cultures.  They travel and learn because for them learning while travelling is fun.   One very popular reason for travelling to another country is to enjoy and learn about the food.

5) People travel because they enjoy writing.   They want to share relevant information about the places they visit, write articles for their readers or find information for a novel perhaps.  There is a whole industry based just on travel writing.

6) People travel because they want to explore the landscape of different countries, take photographs as souvenirs or for commercial purposes.

7)  Many businessmen travel to promote or extend a current business, or start up a new business in other countries for expansion to increase their profit margins.    Business is nothing without profit.

8) And today, more and more people are travelling for pleasure, on vacation to exotic places.  Baby Boomers are currently the driving force behind the travel industry.   Born between 1946 and 1964, many of these people are now retired or coming up to retirement.  They’ve worked hard all their lives, invested sensibly and now they want to make the most of their later years, enjoy different experiences, see different countries and perhaps even relocate to warmer climes.

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What a lovely day today. I have so enjoyed connecting and chatting to friends around the world. I am so addicted to twitter and facebook and surfing the internet. I could do this all day.   It never ceases to amaze me how much information is out there, I learn something new every day.  I love following the links that people post on their updates, and find out things I never knew.  It is great to have a virtual ‘chat’ with a friend who lives in the USA and to say goodnight to someone in Sweden, reply to posts on travel forums about places I’ve been and retweet inspiring quotes.

I joined a new travel site tonight and when I was filling in the names of the places I have travelled to in the last 9 years as well as the info on areas I have lived in and travelled to in SA, I am reminded of how many places I have been to!  How lucky I am to have had the opportunity to live in the UK.  From here it is so easy to go places in Europe and the USA, and as travelling is my passion of course the more the better.  I was pleasantly surprised to note just how many places I have been to, and frankly I cant even remember many of them (will have to check back on my diaries).   Filling in the destinations was great fun, and I enjoyed the memories of each trip as I noted them down.

It also served to remind me how lucky I am to have been introduced to World Ventures and how with the opportunities it provides, I will now be able to travel even more and get to visit all the places still on my wish list.  Of course my wish list is incredibly long and I would have to live another whole lifetime just to get to them all, but with this company at least I can be sure of visiting the most of them.

I started out writing this blog this morning, but got diverted and distracted as I usually do when I get onto twitter, and so the day has gone by.  So in the interest of time….. I will simply post the following as it was when I wrote it:

“as i write I am sitting overlooking the verandah, a perfect position to watch all the activity going on.  a squirrel is nicking the bird seed (as usual), the blue tits are flitting back & forth and I noticed just now that the great tits are nest building; how exciting!  The weather is mucky and we’ve had rain off and on since the early hours.    I also noticed that the fox did’nt eat much of the food I left out last night, ignored my macaroni cheese and left it on the plate!!! how rude 🙂    oooo a chaffinch has just landed; ahh they are so pretty and I don’t often see them in the mornings.  The magpie with it’s glorious shimmering blue & pink tail feathers has been.   They always make me nervous they do, staring at me with one eye and head cocked.   This verandah is a constant source of entertainment and I am so lucky to be able to watch the birds as they go about their business, although I have noticed that there are not as many birds as usual in the garden this year.  With the warmer weather there do appear to be a few more pairs flitting about in the trees in front of the house.  Noticeable because the trees are still bare, although I have to say that there are not as many birds this spring as usual.    I have seen a pair of robins, occassionally a third.  I have seen four blue tits, 2 great tits, 1/2 chaffinch, 2 sparrows, a number of magpies and of course plenty of pigeons (which I dislike intensely).   We have had as many as 5 squirrels at a time on the verandah and they are incredibly greedy and great fun to watch. although I was absolutely dismayed to see one steal a chick from the magpie’s nest high in the tree.    The trees are starting to bud now and I noticed today that the bush at the bottom of the garden is a blaze of yellow flowers.  Of course the whole world is a blaze of yellow with the fabulous daffodils that are blooming everywhere.  They are quite my favourite flowers and brighten even the dullest of days.  A sure sign of spring, they are lovely to behold.”     

I was surfing the UK news tonight and noticed this article  which of course immediately caught my eye, most particularly because I had remarked earlier on that I had not seen many birds in the garden this year.

and now since it is actually tomorrow, I had better go to bed before the sun comes up 🙂

Enjoy your day guys, wishing you a good one.

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