Rounds of week-old Cheshire cheese, slowly ripening to the appropriate sharpness on long wooden shelves.
imyril and her boyfriend took us to a top-secret location in Shropshire, England this weekend to visit the farm where a particularly delicious form of Cheshire cheese is produced. We stayed in the five hundred year old ivy-covered farmhouse with ceilings at strange angles, 5'6" doorframes, uneven floors and looming wooden wardrobes. Despite our late arrival on Friday night, the proprietress was still awake to greet us and feed us tea, cheese and crackers before we went to bed. We slept well and woke late.
Naturally, the best room in any farmhouse is the place where the food is prepared. We made ourselves a hearty English breakfast here. Technically, the room with the stove and the refrigerator was the pantry and the adjoining room was the kitchen. The dining room was a separate place entirely. These shots were both taken in the pantry. Digital scales may be more accurate, but I think I'm glad the one in the second photo hasn't been replaced just yet.
Some of the farmhouse inhabitants had friendlier miens than others.
From the windows, we could watch long lines of the most important farm inhabitants, the mooing dairy cows, plodding away from the milking parlor. Outside in one of the barns, we discovered that a cow had given birth the night of our arrival. It's difficult to see in the foreground of this picture, but the afterbirth is lying in the hay in front of the mother.
We took a drive in the afternoon to Chester and walked the Roman city walls. The walls defined the city's boundary until the 1700s. The view on the left looks inward towards the medieval city center. The view on the right looks outwards. I found the contrast striking.
The farmhouse's proprietress fed us a meal of such monstrous proportions that we decided we needed to take a short walk. We squelched down a path through the pastures as the sun was setting around 9 PM. imyril demonstrated her versatility here as she simultaneously admired the glowing horizon and kept her trouser legs free of the fragrant mud.
A derelict windmill stands at the border of a nearby golf course. If it had been a little lighter or if we'd had the foresight to bring a torch, we would have done some exploring.
We didn't have the foresight to bring a map, either, so our short walk turned into a seven-mile hike. It was nearly 11 PM when I took this picture. I wouldn't trade being lost for missing the sight of summer twilight in rural England, though.