The Garden of Ade
Well the hare was crook, the scribe a recovering crook & the host has always been a crook in my eyes, plus if was peeing raining. N'aer mind, who in their right mind would miss out on the opportunity of a guided tour around the Garden of Ade? The evening commenced at one of the many watering holes strategically placed around his perimeter fence and soon after a call of "you can see my housing estate from here" we sauntered off through the outer reaches of Flackwell Heath to be shown round the vegetable patch (Heath End Farm) and were treated to a fantastic view of twinkling lights adorning the staff quarters (High Wycombe). Descending the eastern slopes - apparently too shady for the planned vineyard at present but Ade has been in strategic planning with god to fast track global warning so he has that covered - we whooped & hollered our way under the drive (M40) before being lead astray by a rather evil downhill false.
A short sharp uphill brought us to the top of the equine training area (Cobles Farm), where the guests were treated to an impromptu synchronised display by 6 of Ade's finest Arabian stallions. Past The General Havelock at the junction with the rear access route to the main residence (Kingsmead Road). It soon became apparent that some of our number were not worthy of casting their eyes upon the main dwelling house & were directed up the service road (Abbey Barn Lane) to view the private ski slopes & communications mast that keeps sirs vast commercial operation ticking over smoothly.
The lucky few were then lead over the inner moat (River Wye) before being accorded a fleeting glimpse of "the road that Ade lives on" - my how we swooned. Freshly uplifted we marvelled at Ade's ancestors now disused railway link from the staff quarters before setting off up into the children's play area (Deansgarden Wood) - some of us were even allowed to play on the swing that the master had used as a child. After a brief loss of pathway in the well tended maze we headed off over green pasture that his lordship recounted how he could remember when "all this was houses" but had them all demolished just so he could use such a phrase in future years without risk of his pants catching fire.
Regrouping at the communications mast, we were again lead under the drive & I realised that with the number of visitors he must get to warrant a 6 lane highway to his front door, no wonder he is so grey & never has time for a haircut. We were now in the southern reaches of the estate that had only recently been acquired and cleared of houses, but were still treated to views of the granary (Hard to Find Farm) and Warren Wood where Ellen & Sarah came close to being picked off by one of the security owls in training. It's quite a testament to Ade's love of the ale that he should near double the size of his estate just to be able to include the Crooked Billet as one of his watering holes adorning the perimeter fence. Off we dashed (or ambled - ooops) up the Chiltern Way to the staff education block (college) before arriving back at the Stag for welcome refreshments after such a fantastic guided tour. Cheers Hawkeye.