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A happy note

Winchester is about three miles away from Shawford, by walking the water meadows. When I arrive, I'm still baffled by the medieval streets. So on many occasions I have asked strangers to point me on the right path, and invariably they have, with kindness and patience.

For why the ancient capital of England is a fine place to visit, you could start here.

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Queen Eleanor's Garden / Image: County of Hampshire

A place which David and I like is found by walking across the ruined walls of Winchester Castle, through the great hall where the Round Table hangs and into Queen Eleanor's garden.

We walked through a shady tunnel of grape vines, and found scented and medicinal herbs, a fountain, and the holly, ivy and bay which are symbols of faithfulness.

The garden is named after Queen Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III, and her daughter-in-law, Queen Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. Both of them lived in Winchester Castle and both of them planted gardens. The Queen Mother opened their garden in 1986. Her blithe spirit lingers in the air.

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