Last day of the Summer Holiday September 05 2013


Today was the last day of the school summer holidays.  My niece Olivia called to ask if I wanted to spend the day, I mean, hang out with her (teenage speak!) just chilling, busy doing nothing.  So I made a picnic of ham sandwiches and egg mayonnaise, juice, water, pop chips, left over pizza, homemade chocolate and courgette muffin (courtesy of my friend Emma!) and a big flask of tea.  And me, Livvy and her two dogs Millie, a very old King Charles Cavalier and Coco, a bonkers Shihtzu in tow, all mosied down in my car to the small village of Tilford in Surrey.

The River Wey and the 800 year old Tilford Oak

Tilford is a picturesque village just 2 miles from Farnham, Surrey and lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It had has chocolate box cottages, a pub called the Barley Mow facing the cricket green and a freshwater riverside that you can sit and have a picnic and paddle if you wish.

"Did you bring a water bowl for the dogs?" Livvy asked, "I think they're thirsty..."

"No, why did you?" I replied.  (Her dogs and she was asking me if I brought a bowl!!)

"No, I forgot." Livvy said grinning.

"So what are the dogs going to drink out of?" I quizzed, the cogs going around in my genius brain.  "I know..." I exclaimed, "I'll make a bowl from tin foil!"  And from the tin foil that the sandwiches and pizza were wrapped in, hey presto! I made a bowl, hopefully one that didn't leak.  Livvy poured the water in my masterpiece and it worked, no leaking, A water bowl for the dogs...!  We were happy, the dogs were happy, everyone was happy in the muggy heat.

After stuffing our faces, feeling satisfied and the dogs treading on everyone else's picnic blankets but our own, we decided to go for a little wonder around the village.  We admired the little church just off set from the village green and were amazed by the pre-historic looking plants by the wooden bridge on the River Wey.  Livvy and I thought we would go for a little paddle in the river to wash our dusty feet.  Coco was straight in the river but Millie was rather reluctant.  Livvy picked Millie up to help her cool in the water but she really didn't want to go in and I didn't blame her because as soon as I stepped in, oh my, the water was so-ooo cold!  I couldn't believe there were people in there up to their waists in water let alone their feet!

I asked a young girl who was wading through the water giggling at me, how she could stand it and she told me matter of fact, "Oh once you get in, the numbness just kills the pain."  And she was right, I couldn't feel my feet, not to mention the water was turning them fifty shades of Blue!

At this point, we had all had enough of sitting in the sun and it was time to slowly head home but not before trying to get Coco out the water and going to Waverley Abbey, a monastery ruin surrounded on three sides by a bend of the River Wey.

Waverley Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey in England and was founded by William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester in 1128.  All that is left are fragments of the church and monastic buildings.  The abbey was closed in 1536 as part of Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries and as a subsequence, was largely demolished, its stone reused for local building work.  The site is now looked after by English Heritage and is open to the public.

The Church ruins

While we were there, there was a film set in the making for a Disney film called, "Into the Woods".  It's about a baker, his wife and a witch...  Sorry folks, that's all I can tell you because I can't remember what else the plaque said but it did say that they promised to leave the area as they found it.  They were building a tower where a girl with long hair lives.  Sounds like Rapunzel to me!  I believe, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are in it so maybe Tinsel Town is coming to Farnham town!

Coco loves water and just as we had got her dry, she was running back into the water again, darting up dusty pathway to the car soaking wet!!!  EEK!  Thank God for the old sheet I had in the boot of my car because Livvy the Divvy (I love her really) as well as forgetting the water bowl, she also forgot to bring a towel for the dogs.  I think she just plain forgot her brain that day and left it at home having a lie in bed!

We finished off the glorious day at a watering hole called The Mill in Elstead.  The original mill burnt down in 1647 and was occupied by solider Cromwell's Roundhead's.  The new mill was rebuilt in 1648 and it still stands.  It was thought the mill was originally a corn mill, then used to make braids for military uniforms in the 19th Century.

The mill still has a working water wheel which can be seen as you enter the pub.  It is surrounded by natural beauty, ducks, swans and the the River Wey.  It's truly a beautiful setting.



As the day was coming to a close, we finally decide to drive home in the warm Indian Summer breeze, windows down, music blaring and smiling.  As I dropped Livvy off she gave me big hug and thanked me for such a lovely day, she had thoroughly enjoyed it.  At that moment, I felt warm and happy because a lovely last day of the Summer holiday it was...