Saturday, 8 October 2011

Honey, I'm home!

Apologies for the break in transmission, but I've been away for a week to celebrate (if that's the right word) my 40th birthday.  I did take some stitching with me and I will do my usual stitching update tomorrow.  For the time being, this is mainly a post about my holiday and the stash that was waiting for me when I got home.
I did take a couple of update photos before I went of Carnation and the Robin, so these show the state of play as of 30 September.

This is the comfortable little cottage in the Cotswolds that I have been staying in.  It is a converted barn in traditional Cotswold limestone.  The window on the right is the bedroom and the window on the left is the lounge.  You go into the lobby and through the door on your right into the lounge.  Facing down the lounge, the door to the bathroom is immediately to your left.  The galley kitchen opens off the other end of the lounge, also to the left.  The bedroom door is straight opposite.  Beyond the bedroom is the owners' garage.

The cottage is in a charming little village (we will call it a village because you can find it in an atlas) of stone houses clinging to the side of a hill.  There is no church, no shop, no pub, no phonebox, no nothing, except a postbox which will only take small letters.  The countryside is beautiful and it is ideal for getting away from it all, except when you have a power cut.  That night, I went to bed at 7.30pm, having had a couple of cookies for my tea!

I spent my week in the Cotswolds visiting pretty little market towns such as Stow on the Wold and Chipping Norton, doing research in the Gloucestershire Archives, and pestering Town Clerks in Winchcombe and Woodstock.  I came home with a stoneware bowl from the Winchcombe Pottery, a lot of research notes about my mother's family, and a photocopy of my grandfather's baptism record.  Oh, and a lot more books than I went away with!

Did I enjoy myself?  Yes and no - the cottage was very comfortable and well equipped, the scenery was gorgeous, the weather was lovely, but ...  it was so isolated that you had to drive everywhere for everything, which when you are used to popping round the corner for a pint of milk was a bit of a bind and not very environmentally friendly.  But I think the worst thing was the roadkill - it seemed like a massacre everywhere I went.  Living in the suburbs, on the rare occasions that, say, an urban fox gets run over, it gets removed fairly quickly.  In the countryside, you drive to your destination past and literally over a continuous array of dead birds and animals, and then on your return journey a few hours later there are fresh corpses added to the previous ones.  And the next day when you drive out in the same direction, they are all still there with yet further additions - I drove past the same two or three dead badgers on several occasions. 

I am not a rampant animal lover, but I will not be moving to the countryside - this girl knows what suits her and the suburbs is the place for her.

On a brighter note, I came home to my second lot of stash from the USA.  This has taken over a month to get to me due initially to being partly out of stock.
As you will see, I now have the chart for "Fall Fields" from The Prairie Schooler and "Christmas Sampler in Red" by Plum Pudding Needleart.  I also ordered the necessary three skeins of Cranberry by The Gentle Art Sampler Threads.  This will be my first piece using hand dyed threads (when I get round to it).

I shall finish here and get some tea, and carry on tomorrow with my regular stitching update.

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