The cottage is an hour and a half from London. But it's a thousand light years from Soho Square. Henley is like driving through a postcard, and then you pass through dozens of little English hamlets with names as heavy as a slice of farmhouse bread; Nettlebed, Wallingford, Uffington, Didcot.
When we get to Aston Tirrold, we stop in at the pub to ask directions to the cottage. The owners are a friendly, florid old couple, who invite us in while the husband phones the cottage to see if we are permitted to go up.
We cross the main road just outside tiny Aston-Tirrold and dip down into the dirt track that leads to the cottage. There are really deep ruts in the road, and when it rains, it is impossible to take the upper road at all. Everyone who drives up for the first time stops here. Can this really be the road? Jim Capaldi had mentioned the white farm gate giving us directions to get up here. You are reassured when you see it, it's the right road, everything is cool. Bristling hedges, moldly wooden fences; behind a clump of bushes there are some white wooden beehives, and, on the other side, vast fields recede endlessly into space. Weird, impossible perspectives curl around the horizon; covered hills interrupt infinity.