“I WANT to go back”.

Mrs Light was at her most determined. She explained last time she was there she had spotted two items that would solve a long standing kitchen problem.

It was to Daylesford, a well-known farm shop in the North Cotswolds, that Penny wished to return to. We were impressed with the attractive buildings and the wide range of goods, so very attractively displayed. It was noted however that prices were on the high side. A return was not on the agenda.

I suggested what I deemed to be a wise alternative, namely the Swindon Outlet Centre.

“It will be a much nicer drive if we visit the farm shop” said Mrs Light, knowing my appreciation of the autumn countryside. Hearing this I gave way.

The weather was stunning as we headed north and as we headed into the Evenlode Valley I realised my wife was probably correct. I would tell her that later, as it was time to remind her of possible expenses.

“They have just what I want” was the ominous reply.

Indeed they did and the two purchases were made.

They enhance our kitchen beyond belief and the effect on our bank balance was not too drastic.

We followed our shopping with a visit to Adlestrop the site for the most evocative of all Cotswold poems. Doffing our hats to its author Edward Thomas we headed home via Kingham, Icomb and Burford.

A sentimental stop was made at Bradwell Grove. We wished to see the progress of woodlands planted by my father some seventy years before. Like those of his father before him, they are now “lifting mansions of summer shade”.

As we drove home we remarked on the fact that the day had been all we had dreamed of when we planned our Cotswold retirement.

A drive through pleasant countryside, and interesting destination and there was something else as well. A superb breakfast, splendidly served. No wonder there was a car park queue when we arrived (10am Sunday). The Swindon Outlet Centre is the place for basic shopping, but 'The Harrods of the Cotswolds” has the edge for something special.

The Evenlode Valley countryside is just a bit too manicured for me, but the Kings Head at Bledington has considerable appeal. Penny, when can we go again?