Packer has recently retired from working for a subsidiary of Union Carbide. The house itself was built in the 16th century and has foot-thick walls. An Act of Parliament in 1555 made it compulsory for everyone living in the 20-mile wide Border Zone to build their own defences against reivers and cross-border raiders, and this was one of those so constructed. It’s an impressive structure, but requires a lot of upkeep. I’ve always suspected that the romance of running a B&B is more myth than reality. His stories more or less verify my supposition.
We run into another small glitch. The bathrooms are described as en suite, which we take to mean in the room, but not so. The bath is across the hall, and we are the only ones who can use it. While private, this still means we have to, at least, put on our pants to visit the bathroom, unless we want to risk terrifying the two women in the next room.
I realize I can hear Larry’s white-noise machine in the hall and suspect our neighbors can hear it too. I’ve grown used to it and am sleeping well. Larry's endorsement of it is starting to make sense.
In addition to the guest rooms, there is a lounge, library, and an acre of gardens and lawns. There's also parking for those who are not trekking or bussing.
Breakfast, prepared by Dick's wife, Elaine, was appetizing and well presented.
Our two companions, Tom and Dave, stayed up the road a ways at the Slack House Farm B&B. It sounds like an interesting place. Everything grown or produced there is organic. They enjoyed their stay and the owners Eric and Diane Horne. You can check it out at http://website.lineone.net/%7Eslackhousefarm/.
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
July 26, 2005
From journal Hadrian's Wall - Day 5