Being born on 24 July in the 57th year of the last century means that I have just turned 57 myself. A pleasing symmetry.
After an early morning birthday call from No1 Son, No1 Daughter arrived to take her old mum out for the day. Off we set in glorious sunshine for the pretty Lancashire village of Ribchester.
Steamingly hot no one was sitting inside said glass house but outside under cheerful parasols or broad brimmed hats thoughtfully provided by the proprietors. I snaffled a jaunty blue number. I thought I looked tres chic. I can’t imagine what that girl of mine was sniggering at.
What a friendly and convivial setting for a happy birthday lunch.
The cafe is part of an eclectic mix of little businesses which are set up in small summer houses dotted around what is also a delightful rambling garden centre.
A special treat. But the day was not over.
Lying on the banks of an expansive stretch of the River Ribble – on this hot day filled with squealing children trying to cool down – Ribchester is a picture postcard village. It has a 13th century church, St Wilfred’s
Famously Bremetennacum was garrisoned by Sarmatian auxiliaries. These highly accomplished horsemen from the lower Danube came to Britain after their defeat by the legions of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 175AD. In this fabulous mongrel nation of ours I like to fancy that modern day Ribchesterians will be descended from these exotic nomadic people.
The ‘Roman’ visitors also left behind more tangible traces of their lives at Bremetennacum: their granaries
and a little walk away, their bath house
I couldn’t resist patting the sun-warmed stones and thinking of the people who had dressed and placed them there. It made me smile.
I’ll let you into a little secret: over the years I have researched the Sarmatians in Roman Britain for a novel and if you are really interested you can have a sneaky peek of the first few chapters on Wattpad. Beware it is very different from my blog!
Until we meet next. Moke