Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Though this road, duly marked by the town as ‘Africa Road’, is just over a mile from where I live, I have never ventured into it — over the last 12-years — because I was under the impression it was a private road, I try not to trespass (because I am not good at forgiving those that trespass on our property). Then, yesterday, I was told by a fellow, local runner (40-years my junior) that it was NOT a private road and that he uses it — BUT warned me that it was rocky. That was the understatement of the week.
Wow. What a road. There is a MAGNIFICENT property at the start of it. It is them that had put up various signs to discourage folks from coming down the road. I don’t blame them. They have quite the spread. You can see that on the GPS track, near the top with a HUGE cleared pasture. As soon as you pass their property it becomes rough. Real rough.
Now most of you know that I am no stranger to hiking. So, when I tell you that this was, indubitably, the most RUGGED trail I have ever hiked you will realize how rough it has to be. The elevation wasn’t bad. I have done hikes with much, much more elevation. It was the trail itself. Rocky and rutted. No scenery or views. Just a rather dark tunnel through the woods. Quite the adventure. The dogs loved it. Had to cross a small brook. I didn’t see it and only noticed it on the GPS. There is a small pond off the trail. The dogs did find it because they came out wet. I just assumed that they had gone in the brook again.
Yes, I plan to hike this many times. It was fun. Very secluded. Tranquil. Not a sound.
But, I did NOT see any Royals on the TV coverage I have watched so far, and I have watched about 4-hours of it, ball-by-ball.
I did NOT see the Queen or expect to see her. Yes, she used to visit Lord’s, without fail, for the Saturday of the Lord’s Test Match and I have seen her there often — since I too, given that I lived outside London, used to be a Saturday man.
One or more of the Princes should have been there. They must like cricket. They have to like cricket.
I might have to look into this. I might have to write another letter to the Queen!
Official Trailer on YouTube.
OK, I will admit upfront that I am not your typical audience for this movie — which is about how the classic ‘Oxford English Dictionary‘ came to be created.. For a start, one of the settings in this movie is my old school, Mill Hill (in London). Moreover, I have read THE book (by Simon Winchester on which the movie is based), know additional bits about the history of the Dictionary and furthermore adore ‘THE OXFORD’ and what it stands for. So, I was not going to be an easy customer to please — though I desperately wanted the movie to WOW I. Alas, it did NOT.
For a start, it misrepresented the history involving Mill Hill and the scene they show involving Mill Hill does NOT show anything close to what Mill Hill looks like! And that was how the movie started. So, I was not impressed. It would NOT have been difficult to have shot the scene at Mill Hill since the buildings, from the time, are still there. Plus, they show Dr. Murray’s son playing field hockey. Yes, we played hockey at Mill Hill but the school is more of a rugby and cricket school. So, that was part irritating. Then the movie gets the dates and facts WRONG! The Murrays did not move to Oxford as soon as he became Editor. The first five-years of the Dictionary were at Mill Hill. So, the movie misrepresents that.
Yes, it is NOT an easy story to tell and the ‘Madman’ (viz. Dr. William Chester Minor (who cuts off his penis)) was not as central as the movie makes him out to be. Yes, he contributed, much — but so did thousands of others. It is the typical conflict between a good book and a movie that tries to tells its story. In this case, as it happens so often, the movie falls short.
My recommendation: skip the movie, read the book!