Thursday, April 10, 2014

Elopement, 1700's style...or off to Greta Green, Scotland...

If you wanted to get married in England in the seventeen hundreds and you were under the age of twenty one, you just could not.  Not even if your parents were in a hurry to get you out of the house.  You had to be of age and be married in the church by a vicar or it was not deemed legal.  But for eager young couples who might or might now have their parents approval, there was always Scotland.  So it is now the end of March and we have been in the U.K. for five entire days.  Our plan today is to travel to Carlisle and from there see Hadrian's Wall and onto Greta Green in Scotland.  Jane Austin, in her most famous book, Pride and Prejudice, had her sister Lydia and Wickham planning on eloping to Greta Green to be married.  Or should I say Lydia was planning on going there.  Wickham never had any such notion.  He took her to London and lived with her for a week or so, thereby bringing disgrace and shame on her entire family and subsequently ruining her changes of ever entering an honorable marriage.  But not to fear.  Mr Darcy came to the rescue and saved the family honor at the last hour.
But enough of Jane Austin.  Most men have had enough of her before they even start, but that's another story.  But once again we make a wrong turn and instead of finding Old Hadrian's Wall, we end up in the town of Carlisle, completely lost and totally turned around.  Somehow or other we come to a stop on a dead end street next to a pretty little stream, with water cascading over some rocks.  A nice site but just not where we want to go....Alas!  Foiled again..
We had parked next to a car with an elderly couple,  a man and his wife.  She must have had dementia, I think, because when he spoke to her she just kind of looked at him with a blank stare.  My thought was he had taken her out for a ride and a snack to some place quite and peaceful.  And here we came along and disturbed his peace.
But he was so kind when I tapped on his window and asked for directions.  He started to tell me turn by turn and then he finally said 'follow me, I will point you in the right direction.'  We tailed his car as he made turn after turn, and then finally when he had gotten us out of town and pointed us in the direction we needed to go, he pulled over and waved to us.  I got out and went around to the drivers side and when he opened the door to talk to me, I reached in and kissed him on his little bald head.  He smiled so sweetly and then got out of the car and came back and talked to Earl.  He had gone so much out of his way to help us.  I told Earl I don't think I have ever met kinder, sweeter people.  They usually will not initiate a conversation with you, but if you ask them for help of any kind they will go out of their way to assist you.
We drove in the direction he had pointed but after a little while just gave us and decided to hit the motorway to Scotland and Greta Green.   This we did find without too much trouble, and had a most informative and enjoyable visit.  The old village smithy with it's anvil is still standing and we toured the museum and then ate lunch in the cafeteria.   Fish and chips!  I have eaten so much of that since I've been here and I must say that is one thing the Brits know how to do well...A most enjoyable day.  We head home with plans to visit Old Hadrian another day.  

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