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A Walk In Dinton

Ride Date 10 May 2022

By Ren Withnell

I figure, sadly, we're past the halfway mark of this holiday. Sadly? I recall a time not all that long ago where I'd be counting the days wantingly until I was due back home. I re-read some of my old blog posts on here (they go back some 17 years) and I can see I have changed. Slowly, very very slowly, but I have made/am making progress.

I am not a natural traveller, nor a natural camper. I would like to be, otherwise there'd be no point in pushing myself into going camping on a motorcycle. I worry too much, I'm uncomfortable sleeping in a tent, motorcycles give me a sore ass after a couple of hours and I like home comforts and being safe. I am by nature something of a dullard I suppose? Don't answer that dear reader...

Ren and Sharon in 2011
2011 in France, Eeee I were only 39 then!

Why do I want to be? Because this country and this world is filled with some beautiful and/or interesting places. Because I adore riding motorcycles, even if my ass gets sore. Because I want to have an interesting life. Because when I do these things even if they are difficult they are worthwhile. Because when I die and my life flashes before my eyes I don't wanna be bored.

All this being said today's plan is to keep things very simple, with no actual motorcycling involved. Sharon has in her mind a walk to the local village and a generally lazy day ahead. I wouldn't have been able to handle this a few years back but maybe I'm more chilled these days? Actually I think it'll be good to have a break and stretch the legs. It's only a mile to the village anyway, even I can manage that.

Sharon is in her element. Flowers and trees all need to have multiple pictures taken from various angles. Random lumps of wood need to be inspected and buzzy flying things are observed. Today Sharon is a wild child hippy in tune with nature. Me? Well I'm just glad we've not been run over yet while meandering along this narrow footpathless road. 

Trees, plants and all things green enshroud the lane to Dinton
There is a great deal of green stuff along this lane.
purple flowers and various grasses and ferns beside the narrow lane near salisbury
Purple stuff amidst the green stuff. Nature innit.

We reach the edge of town. Town? No, sorry, village, we reach the edge of a small and pretty village. Before we enter the village there's a turning on the right and a plaque informing us there's a "Phillips House" which belongs to the National Trust? There's no paybooths and no obvious sign of restricted access, merely a tarmac lane leading off to open grassy areas. Oh, come on then we'll have a look.

We find a large mansion house that appears to be structurally sound, perhaps even in fair order, but most surely shut. Not shut as in this weekend shut but properly shut. Phew! That means I won't have to traipse around admiring old clocks and grand tables. I'm quite happy out here in the sunshine walking along this path thank you very much. We discuss, the likely answer is the National Trust are holding this place until such times as money can be spent and opened up to the paying public.

A large mansion house from the early 19th centuary in an open field with trees behind
Needs a little work but would make a nice weekend cottage.
A green grass meadow with buttercups leads to a large pond amidst some large trees
It also has it's own pond in the garden.

The surrounding park eventually leads us back into the centre of the village. It is tiny, a clump of houses around a large village green with a small outlying modern estate and a business park. Business park? That sounds like an elephant's carbuncle on a field mouse. There might well be a business park but it's not seen from the village and seems to have little impact, presumably a small business park.

An old red phone box is now a tiny library filled with books on shelves
Council services ain't what they used to be these days.
An old small church and graveyard in the sunshine and trees at Dinton
It's a local church for local people.

We could do with supplies for tonight's meal. Google offers no sign of a shop in Dinton yet ever the optimist I ask a local. The friendly chap crawls out from under his begonia (or some kind of plant thing) and confirms my fears. The nearest shop is in Fovant, some 3 miles away. No, I know it's do-able but I'm not up for a six mile walk today thanks.

More green things have their image taken, the graves in the church endure a dose of looking at and eventually we head back. As we leave I ponder life here. I am truly envious of that house's big garage but I've no desire to own, maintain and clean the large house beside it. It is wonderfully peaceful here which I do like but I wonder just how much I'd miss the mod-cons like... a shop? It's lovely, but you'd sure need access to transport.

With weary feet back at the campsite in "our" building I consult Google. Fovant stores looks tiny, while we ought to support such places and the service they provide I doubt they'll have the choice we city folks expect. Tisbury offers the dizzying option of a Co-op. I figure we're going on the bike sweetie if we want to actually eat this evening. 

Suitably attired Sharon and I mount the 500 and head west. 5 more miles of that bucolic English countryside glide by before Tisbury gets close. I remain a novice when it comes to sat-nav and I take a wrong turn so find a car park to spin around in. This is a regular car park but the building it serves is most peculiar. It seems we've blundered into Messums of Wiltshire.

With a little further investigation we learn Messums is a, errrr... well... I suppose a place of art? Gallery? When I think of a gallery I think of big rooms with paintings on the wall. No, no I think of that shambles of modern art I suffered in Manchester once. I fear this place is more the latter. Even Sharon seems "intrigued" rather than "impressed" or "moved" by the pieces on display outside.

A human figure covered in lumpy bits is outside the Gallery at Messums
It's art Jim, but not as we know it.

Luckily Tisbury Co-op is far more traditional and predictable. We make our selections, load up and head back to the campsite.

While creating a culinary masterpiece (fancy ravioli with a jar of spicy sauce) Sharon researches Messums. The figures outside are such and somebody's work and each has it's own deep, meaningful, heartfelt and moving tale of made up codswallop to explain away the "art". I'ma gunna have a go at this meself, I'ma gunna be a famous artiste innit.

Ahem... "Here we see the piece 'A Schlock Of Hair', taken from Mademoiselle Peurkeur. It's called a 'Schlock' as it was forcibly removed from her head due to the cheap manufacture of her expensive helmet. This reinforces the juxtaposition between quality and price, the striving for betterment against the backdrop of fiscal hegemony, the omnipresent clamour betwixt rich and poor. Sharon's pain represents the pain of the masses, the removal of her strands shows the masses tearing their hair out. And yet her smile demonstrates how the triumph of life shall overcome all troubles."

Sharon holds a very small amount of her hair that was pulled out by her helmet strap
'A Schlock Of Hair' - £36,000

Yours for £36,000 plus taxes and transportation costs - contact Renoir Artistic Extractions.

There we are, simples. Anyhoo... the rest of the evening passes pleasantly as I consult the maps for our next move. Onwards!

Advertise your art installation here - contact

Prologue - It's Not Up North Happenstance and circumstance is the driving force behind this trip's direction. Ren explains it all.
Down To Akeley It's the first day of the southern adventure and already Ren is reclining in sumptuous luxury. So, err... what's changed?
A Look Around F1 Country Ren offers an all too lengthy explanation of his uncouth approach to museums before taking in some quintessentially English countryside.
Stones and More Comfort It's time to depart the rally and head even further daaan saaaf. There's plenty of time for tea and to explore some ancient standing stones. What will the next 3 nights' accommodation be like?
Stonehenge On The Cheap, Salisbury On The Hoof It's time to take in Britain's most famous monolithic structure - Stonehenge. Salisbury is also going to endure a good dose of looking at as well.
A Walk In Dinton There's a simple and lazy day ahead of The Dynamic Muppets today with not much planned. This eventually leads Ren to his new career as a Surrealist Artist Extraordinaire. Soon he will be famous and rich?
Off To The New Forest It's time to move on once again and head even further daaan saaaf. The New Forest might be quite lovely but given the foul weather Sharon and Ren won't be finding out today - in fact they are struggling to see the road ahead.
Exploring The New Forest With better weather and a tank full of fuel it's time to look around the New Forest. There's a risk of trees and horses and tractors.
Half Way Home Oh no! Disaster! The weather is just right, the trip goes well and even the accommodation is lovely. Surely there must be something Ren can find to moan about? It's all going terribly wrong.
Homeward Bound And Thoughts There's not much to report on the final leg of the journey - in a good way. Ren shares his thoughts on this adventure in that there daaan saaaf.

Reader's Comments

CrazyFrog said :-
I'm a traditionalist when it comes to art - I like to know what I'm looking at without having somebody explain it to me. I once had an argument with a workmate who was mad on modern art. It ended by him stating that anything which provokes an emotion may be described as art. I therefore suggested that he bent over whilst I kicked him between the legs and we'd call it art as it would be finitely provoke an emotion. He had no answer to that!

I too like a lazy day as I get more miles on the clock and nosing round a quaint village seems a lovely way to spend the day. Better still if there's a tea shop with nice cakes!
21/06/2022 09:05:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I have my own preferences too with art and they are also quite traditional. However art is in the eye of the beholder so *IF* some random cigarette butts in a bowl of honey placed upon an upturned C90 crankcase is your thing then fine... whatever. I would feel emotion watching you kick some poor fella in the plums, but I still wouldn't pay to see it.

Oooh yes, a tea shop, preferably an old house with a converted living room. Paper doilies, a real china teapot and ornate spoons. A slice of thick, gooey and sweet flap-jack. A view across a remote moorland and mountains in the distance. I feel a ride coming on.
21/06/2022 12:32:44 UTC
Upt'North said :-
We're more based this time on our jaunt.
The jury's still out. Since hitting abroad.............
So far it's been...
2 nights
1 night
4 nights
7 nights.

22/06/2022 23:24:29 UTC
nab301 said :-
Ren , surely you can make your own tea and bake your own flap jacks ! The last time I stopped for a similar feast It cost me something like €8 euro and more recently a basic sandwich and coffee was 11 euro , although with the price of petrol maybe coffee will become cheaper by the litre... petrol currently around €2.20 euro per litre or €10 euro a gallon for older readers, I can remember when it was around Ir 30pence per gallon ( I could fill my Yamaha 80 for 50p.
23/06/2022 19:46:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I can make my own tea nab301 but flapjacks? Yes, yes I am told they are quite easy to make but this is me we are talking about. My notion of "cooking" is getting the pie out of the microwave before the "add hot water" gravy granules coagulate into wallpaper paste. I do have a baking tray but sections of it are missing as it's just the right thickness for making random motorcycle parts.

When I started riding in, ooooohh lemme see, 1989, I seem to recall fuel being £1.65 a gallon, that being an Imperial gallon of 4.54 litres and not a 'Murican gallon of 3.79 litres. That (according to my calculator) would be £0.36 per litre. My Friday night consisted of £2 of petrol for the week, £1 to get into the rock club and £2 for 2 tins of Pepsi. £5 for a night out, I sure knew how to live. Last I looked petrol hereabouts was £1.85 a litre, I have to fill up tomorrow so I am girding my loins.
24/06/2022 21:15:26 UTC

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