23/07/2013 § 4 Comments
A week or so ago, we treated ourselves to a night away at a lovely country-house hotel just outside Bath …
Homewood Park is set amidst beautiful countryside, just a few miles outside Bath …
Beautiful gardens with high hedges, stone walls, secret ponds and traditional beds looked out onto blissful rural scenes that must have been the same for centuries. The sunken greenhouse, with mossy steps was so unusual. I imagine that plants could be over-wintered safely here, drawing warmth from the surrounding earth and protected from frosts …
There was a kissing gate entrance to the gardens …
A dovecote …
and in the quiet woods, lying undisturbed, the many generations of family dogs …
We took a trip into Bath for just an hour or so (long enough to treat myself to some fabrics – more later), and then we wound our way home in the heat, in time to take the dogs for a wander before suppertime.
Revitalised and relaxed, my head is buzzing with new projects and designs. I can’t keep up with images spinning around and my new sketchbook is filling up fast, with scenes from Cornwall and our recent jaunts.
I usually take a break from fairs during the college summer vacation, and it’s taken me a little time to realise that this year’s vacation is going to last and last! So I may fit in a couple of extra fairs in August – let’s hope the sun keeps on shining.
30/09/2012 § Leave a comment
We’ve been out and about – jaunting!
I love that word – a bumble-along through the countryside avoiding major roads, through English villages and country towns, past meadows of well-rounded sheep and cattle and grazing ponies, alongside woods with trees just darkening their greens and turning to russet shades almost before our eyes, behind busy tractors with fresh soil clinging to harrows and ploughs.
The destination is important – and yesterday, it was right up there with my favourite places ever – the city of Bath!
I had a bit of time to myself, after we arrived, to visit 3 of my favourite shops –
Grasse (I returned home with another little duck, this time in stone)!
Wool (you can guess what I treated myself to in here)!
Country Threads (limited myself to a few half-metres of amazing fabrics – what a choice)!
We had a quick coffee in the indoor market, gazed over at the Weirs and a pleasure boat carrying out a difficult turning manoeuvre which left the stern perilously close to the first waterfall (they were attached by a rope to the shore, but it looked exciting), I dashed hither and thither (Himself wasn’t up to dashing about and had more coffee + a sit down), and then we had lunch.
It was a late lunch – we were joined by our youngest who you may remember moved to Bristol a few weeks ago. We met up at a brilliant Italian restaurant which doesn’t appear to have a website that I can link to – I think they may have just changed their name. Anyway, excellent food (J had a super steak), great atmosphere and many tales of what he’s up to in his new home (probably an abridged version, but that’s just fine, he looked well) and a catch up with our news of home, collies and Flora (who wasn’t that impressed by Ducky, when introduced later in the day)! Gosh she’s about 3 times the size of Ducky who’s quite a chunky Mallard-sized stone specimen, himself!
Flora’s going through one of her ‘independent’ stages – sometimes she’s quite cuddly and affectionate, but these past few weeks she marches about, quacking loudly and refuses to be cuddled without protesting. I would never have imagined that keeping a pet duck could be so absorbingly interesting – and amusing.
One of my favourite things about Bath is that all my favourite places & shops are still there (since this well-documented visit last year) – I didn’t have time in a day to jaunt absolutely everywhere, as I do on weekend visits, but it was a wonderful day out and we were welcomed home by dozy, warm dogs (they sleep a lot when we’re out) and Flora quacking and a-tapping on the back door!
Ah – I need today (Sunday) to recover and reflect on that lovely day out and put Ducky into his ‘place’ on the patio, alongside a stone planter with my lucky horseshoe and pebbles!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
PS – more photos of Bath in this post Looking Up
14/04/2012 § Leave a comment
has been out and about over Easter …
We began the journey towards the Easter holidays in warm sunshine, a row or so most afternoons after work, while the sun was still packing a punch! Flora Quacky Duck enjoyed pecking at stray strands whilst Belle and Misty kept a watchful eye, as usual, on whatever I’m doing!
Then we journeyed west – back to my home in Wales …
We stayed on an organic farm for B&B – super stylish! Ken and Amanda are an innovative, artistic and extremely talented couple with a lovely family (and collie dog) and an amazing home. Handmade furniture, home-cooked delights including fresh-from-the-oven hot cross buns at a candlelit breakfast, there’s a farmshop and glamping opportunities. If you’re thinking of travelling west and want somewhere beautiful to stay, visit Nantgwynfaen Farm – really – it’s well worth a visit and the local rural/coastal scenery is the best in the world (maybe I’m a bit biased)!
Then we went to Bath. A few times each year, if possible, we escape – just the two of us, for some peace and quiet – a chance to enjoy time together away from the bustle of family life. This time, Ripple One came too …
In Henrietta Gardens yesterday morning, I mooched out for a spot of calm in the Quiet Garden. I’d just spread Ripply out for a quick photocall when along came Kitty – a Kitty who obviously knew a comfy spot when she spotted one!
I love the way that Ripple is sharing my journey this year – I’m buying balls of wool when I see them and there’s no real plan. I like life to be like that – no targets, fitting different parts of life around each other without pressure – home, family, work, patchwork, dogs, crochet, garden – I’ve loved taking time out over Easter, to relax and enjoy and Ripple is good company in my quiet moments, wherever I am.
Today is a VERY special day – April 14th – and it’s our Wedding Anniversary!
Twenty-eight years ago, we married each other, here in Winchester with best friends and family sharing our day. It was a beautiful sunny day, and at Lainston House, they took the tables and chairs outside for us as we enjoyed a less-than-formal wedding breakfast on the lawns!
Happy Anniversary – to the Love of my Life!