Saturday, July 28, 2007

Only one more sleep!

As the children would say when they were little and counting down to something exciting - only one more sleep.......... to the holiday
Off we'll go in the morning down the M5 into Devon towing our trailer tent behind us
Then once we arrive at the campsite - a lot of hard work on the part of Nigel and Sarah with general support from me and probably hindrance from the two youngest and voila! our home for 11 nights will appear as if by magic.
These aren't actually pictures of our trailer tent you understand but they give you the general idea of what I'm talking about - of course my chairs are posher than that (she says keeping her tongue pressed firmly into her cheek!
Today has fortunately been a good dry day for getting everything ready and checking all equipment is in good working order. We'd just finished all the outside work and the heavens opened at teatime - phew!
In the morning we'll finish the clothes packing and put the cases and the bedding (I just can't do sleeping bags I'm afraid) into the car, fasten the canoes on the roof and head south.
Please God that we can have a decent few days on the weather front - the forecast is for a better outlook, I just hope they've got it right.
Louise has been in crafty mode this week - one day she pulled some felt out of my cupboard and next thing we knew she'd come up with this lovely 'Policeman Puppet' - she can be a real little madam at times but she's always been the easiest for keeping herself gainfully employed.
As for other camping - it's the Scouts International Jamboree currently being held here in the UK for the first time for many years to celebrate 100 years of scouting. Scouts from all around the world have descended on Essex, a county on the north eastern edge of London and to mark the occasion the British Post Office have issued some commemorative stamps. I was in our local post office this morning posting something off to Australia. The lady put some colourful stamps on my parcel and when I asked her what they denoted she said it was 100 years of scouting. I thought they were so lovely I bought the full set and returned home to stick them onto an envelope to post back to ourselves so I can then cut the section from the envelope and frame them.
This will be my last blog post for almost a fortnight - no doubt I shall have lots of catch up reading to do when I return - until then have a good quilty couple of weeks and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to fill you in on our trip when we get home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

That's it - finished for the summer - whoo-hoo!!!

Well Sarah broke up for the summer on Monday, the two younger ones yesterday and I've just been into work for a couple of hours to do the last minute invoice paying and banking so I can rest easy now until September - Yee Haaah!

I'd like to say this is the weather we're enjoying right now but sadly, it's not. However here in mizzly, drizzly Taunton at least we have power and running water and the house is dry and secure which is more than can be said for the poor devils in Gloucester where we used to live.

Sunday will see us heading down to the south Devon coast in our trailer tent for 11 nights. Nige intends to stick a couple of canoes on the top of the car and return to Bigbury on Sea where we took the kids canoeing last summer - check back to my post of 30th August last year - I can't seem to get blogger to make the link - grrrrr!!!!!

My only two reservations are the weather - but at least the long range weather forecast is predicting dry if somewhat cool - and the state of my back after sleeping in a trailer tent for 11 nights.

Still nothing the chiropractor can't sort out when we get back eh? :o)

So now, apart from the mountain of ironing, all the housework that needs doing before we go and the packing, the one thing I must do is sort out some portable handstitching to take along with me to while away the hours

I have a germ of an idea in English piecing over papers - right, I'm off to draft some hexagons and diamonds - watch this space.......

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not much stitching but loads of reading and plenty of rain!

Picture this.......... Friday night saw us with heavy rain, a gazebo in the back garden with the gas barbecue underneath it, DH cooking in wellies and a house full of rugby loving, giggly, noisy girls.
Sarah had expressed a wish a few weeks ago for a barbecue and video girlie night in for her birthday celebration.
You'd think in July there'd be a good chance of a pleasant evening in the garden - thank heavens for the conservatory, at least they felt like they were halfway into the garden
Sadly, here in the UK we've experienced the wettest weather on record over June and July. Some areas have flooded where floods have never been experienced before, people have lost everything as their homes have filled with foul smelling flood water and sadly even lives have been lost.
Here in Somerset we've been surprisingly lucky so far - a good proportion of the land in the east of the county is very low lying and floods as a matter of course during the winter usually. But so far, we've come away relatively unscathed. For now.........
It seems, just as the media exhausts the 'flood' stories in one area, and turns to report other news, the weather sends massive downpours in another part of the country and restarts the cycle somewhere else.
This week it's been the turn of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire among others.
On Friday Nigel's six year old nephew had to be rescued, along with all his schoolmates, by firemen from their primary school in Worcester which was filled with about 6 - 8" of water in minutes. When asked by my father in law if he'd been rescued by 'Fireman Sam' (a children's book and tv character here in the UK) he replied in a very disillusioned voice "No, his name was John!" A very dramatic end to the school year.
Another of Sarah's friends, who lives in Clevedon about 40 minutes from here, didn't arrive with us until after 9pm as her father got stuck in flooding near his work in Gloucester at 4pm trying to get to Bath to pick her up from her work experience for the onward journey to us.
This photo was on the BBC website and shows the scene on Friday at the bottom of the road we lived on in Gloucester before we moved to Taunton. I have never known the stream that goes under the road here come up above the bridge while we lived there. In fact I've only seen one picture of a scene like this, in an old book about Hucclecote, caused by melt water from the heavy snows in the notorious winter of 1947

People have been stranded on motorways for hours on end, other people have been put up by friends, neighbours and sometimes complete strangers. Siobhan at Scraps and Threadtails ended up with unexpected and unknown houseguests the other evening.

Thankfully we only had to improvise with a barbecue - so many people have experienced so much worse.
Last night the scout and cub group that our two youngest go to held their biggest fundraising event of the year. 'Rock on the Green' is an open air small scale rock concert featuring local bands and is held on a small self contained park near us being organised by a combination of the local charity groups in the area. The scouts always put on the barbecue and Nigel and I had volunteered to help while the kids danced the night away enjoying the music.
However as with all best laid plans it didn't quite work out that way.
Nick wasn't going to go this year as he had a birthday sleepover at his friends house round the corner.
Sarah called us from work at about 3pm Saturday afternoon asking us to pick her up as they were sending her home ill. So of course that meant that mum ended staying home with her for the evening.
This meant that only Dad and Lou ended up at Rock on the Green along with our friend Sue and her 8yo daughter Holly.
With my best taxi-driver's cap on I did save them getting totally soaked as I drove them there at the start and collected them just before midnight at the end.
Nigel tells me I missed a jolly good evening as the bands were excellent and the scout company on the barbecue stall was great fun. But someone did have to stay home and look after Sarah.
At least I didn't get soaked and I had the opportunity in total peace and quiet to sit and devour our newly acquired copy of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' - a bargain at ASDA for £5 with a recommended cover price of £17.99, can you believe that?
In between taxi trips I finally turned the last page at 1.15am this morning.
For all of you HP fans out there who haven't read it yet I'm not going to give anything away - just to say IMHO it's the best of the seven books and I couldn't put it down.
So with all this going on, as you can imagine, I've achieved the square root of nothing on the stitching front. I shan't get much opportunity to do any today either as I have several hours of 'Work' work to put in this afternoon as all the new contract paperwork for the Teaching Assistants has to be completed and there's no way I'd get that done in the melee of the school office over the next two days - so in the relative peace and quiet of my dining table I shall squirrel away at that this afternoon and put a claim in for my time to make up for it.
However even if I haven't been sewing, quilty things have crept into the weekend round the edges.
Yesterday afternoon I had a lovely phone call from Juliann at Unwritten. She is currently on a holiday over here with her family and we had hoped to get together in Glastonbury today. However I think they've had serious fun and games with the weather and transport as well and they sadly can't make it. It was great to talk to her though and I hope they enjoy the rest of their stay.
In the post yesterday morning I received two lovely surprises....
A beautiful postcard from Lily at Cascade in Australia by way of a thankyou for her 'Stars' pattern and the pin cushion I sent her recently. It never ceases to amaze me how these lovely postcards you see on peoples' blogs actually survive the rigours of the postal system.
And a pattern with accompanying FQ's of some very pretty fabric from Leanne's giveaway. What treasure. If you hop over to her blog they're having snow in her part of Oz - bizarre!
This last piece of fabric is some I bought from an old BQL friend, Marian, on ebay, to make a quillow for the aforementioned rescued nephew for Christmas - he just loves tractors.
I'm planning ahead here girls, but it doesn't mean I'll be in any less of a rush when it comes round to December

Thursday, July 19, 2007

15 today!

Well 15 years and 25 minutes ago Nigel and I finally became parents.

I can't show you any tiny baby photos of our eldest child / elder daughter as they are all still packed away in boxes in the garage from the move (well we have only been here for almost two years)

However here's a professional shot we had taken of her at about 22 months. What a cutie!

And then a school photo of the three of them taken not long after we returned from France - Sarah was almost 10 here.

This one shows her at her happiest - ready for a match with the rest of her team-mates (she's in the centre of the back row) Believe you me they're much muddier than this at the end of a game!

And this one opening her presents this morning in her jimjams on the lounge rug

Finally I know I've shown you this shot before but it's my favourite picture of her - who would've thought that cheeky little minx would've grown up into such a lovely young woman - we're very blessed

Happy Birthday Sarah - we love you sooooooooo much!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A little sneak preview

Well I did manage a little stitching yesterday - but only a little - this week, being the last full week of term, will be so busy getting everything completed before the summer break both at my work and for our kids at their schools. Roll on a week tomorrow once we've all broken up and the merry-go-round slows for a while.
I had the chance to sit and hand stitch at my quilting group yesterday morning so hand appliqued some cream hearts onto a project that I can't show you properly yet as the recipient might just read my blog.
The weather here is so changeable - we had the most terrific thunderstorm just before it was time to walk to school, I'm afraid we chickened out and took the car. Now the sky is gloriously blue but keeps giving the odd shower. Unpredictable or what!

Must dash - work calls - a mountain of invoices to process to make sure they're paid before the end of term - Oh Deep Joy!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Just a small distraction

Well I think I can be forgiven for not much stitching happening here this week.

The week has been pretty busy but then on Thursday came THE biggest timewaster so far this year :o)

My brother and sister-in-law brought Spencer to see us - how can you concentrate on stitching when there's a baby to coo at in the house, especially one as sunny-natured at this one.
The only problem was he's very very nosy about cameras and just won't smile for them - put the camera down and you can have all the smiles you want but not in front of the lense.
These shots are...
With my three, his big, besotted cousins and Mr. Ted of course
On his own,
And getting a shoulder ride from his daddy
They went home this morning so at least I managed to sandwich Erica's quilt - nothing stitched yet though
While we're talking about babies Nigel spoke to his dad this morning who had been up to Lancashire for Nigel's niece's graduation. We asked how little Matthew John is getting on - the little one who was born at 24 weeks weighing 1lb 12 ozs back in January
Apparently he's been home a while now, is almost up to 10lbs and doing great. The miracles of modern science eh?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The final jigsaw piece arrives

Well the sixteenth block has arrived to complete the picture
That's it - all my four seasons block are safely gathered in with the last Winter block in the post this morning

As you can see from my design wall I have the bundles of Winter sashings and cornerstones all cut and hanging up ready to finish assembling this centre

Then it's on to the outer two borders -

The first will be a narrow one of about 2" width in 4 contrasting pertinent fabrics, one for each season but with the same 4 lots of green fabrics for the cornerstones as are in the 4 sections of the centre.

Then the outer wider border which will again be four different seasoned fabric with the 4 different green cornerstones but to compliment this I intend to use the 4 central sashing checked fabrics to applique the four season names - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter on this border probably to the left of each cornerstone.

Clear as mud? You'll see when I take the photos

After I've completed the baby quilt that is

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And the butterflies complete the job

Well it's now just after 11.30pm here in Taunton

Can't you tell that DH is away - we'd normally have retired to bed by now

I really miss him when he's away but it is also quite nice to have a little time to myself to stitch and listen to music without the tv on

Don't get me wrong I enjoy the odd bit of 'chewing gum for the eyes' as much as the next person but he's much more of a 'telly addict' than I am. It wouldn't occur to him not to switch the tv on when he sits down to relax for the evening.

Anyway back to stitching - the reason I'm posting at this ungodly hour is...... it's finished!

The top is as done as it's ever going to be

I've pondered long and hard over whether to put an outer border on - my gut reaction is that quilts always need one or more borders. But this time it's almost as though I'm playing Devil's Advocate with myself and waking up my own personal Maverick to leave it as it is.

If you look on the close-ups you can see the little butterflies I've dotted about the place.

Onto the sandwiching this weekend and to quilting then to get it done and ready to post to my sister in the north of England to pass onto the new baby

Stitchery Swap - how about it?

I came across a Stitchery Swap over on Sweet P's blog

I really like doing stitchery

If you do why not head on over there and sign up

Monday, July 09, 2007

Top together and a very busy week

I have a very busy week up ahead at work this week. A governors meeting to clerk for this evening means I shall be there from about 6.30 til heaven knows when as it's a very long agenda so today's not totally a day off either. This then means I'll spend most of tomorrow morning typing up the minutes as I always do them asap while they're fresh in my mind. Also all the orders for the new school year are being placed at present so I keep having to do one or two of those and the subsequent invoices of course and I've been valiantly trying to do this month's reconciliation for three working days amongst all the interruptions. My finance officer is in on Friday and will expect that done and I have the new school year staff contract paperwork to do before we break up two weeks tomorrow - no pressure then!
I guess my stitching in the evenings will be a welcome 'no-brainer' relief in and amongst all this.
Nick, our middle one, is away overnight tonight for the School Leavers barbecue with the rest of the kids who go to Secondary School this time. Sarah is on work experience at the local Special School for kids with severe learning difficulties this week and next - fortunately it's within walking distance so I don't have to drive her there. DH heads off for Europe tomorrow morning on a whistle stop tour of Northern France, Belgium and Holland until very late Friday night (at least he'll bring back some French goodies though). My brother, his wife and the baby we've not met are coming to stay for a few days from Wednesday or Thursday (he hasn't had the grace to tell me exactly when just yet!) and my two youngest are away at another scout/cub camp from Friday teatime until Sunday which means Nigel won't actually see Nick from this morning until Sunday late afternoon ................. out of breath yet? I certainly am!!!!!
If I'm not a complete gibbering wreck by Sunday it will be a minor miracle!
So as you can imagine I'm really looking forward to getting back to my quilting group this morning to sit and work some more of the applique on the baby quilt in relative peace and quiet! Bliss!!!
On the baby quilt front I managed to get the whole top together last night once I'd appliqued the centre flower - thought it would be easier to do that one on the block on its own - the others will all be round the periphery of the piece so not difficult to manhandle. (The picture's not brilliant it was very bright in the odd spell of sunshine we had amongst the torrential showers yesterday)
The jury is out on an outer cream border with applique - my heart of hearts says it's not complete without but looking at it at this stage as it's already a good size I can see the merits of leaving it as it is and just quilting and binding once the applique's complete - what do you think?
This little pile of treasure is the fabric I bought by weight on our weekend away - lots of lovely bright bits and pieces with many more hidden in and amongst to set my creative juices running for some future projects methinks if I have any brain power left at all by the end of term :o)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The baby quilt progresses

I promised on our return from the Yorkshire trip that I'd show you some of my ill-gotten gains.........

This Laurel Burch 'Mythical Horses' really caught my eye in the shop at Embsay Mills - the background burgundy fairly closely matches the celtic knotwork on the cushions I made for my sister's birthday last November and as she has a horse of her own I thought this fabric would really appeal to her. Mind you at £2.65 per fat quarter (that's around US$5.25 making it US$21 per metre) you can probably understand why I only picked up a couple of fat quarters to use it as accent material probably in the centre of some sawtooth stars.

However all the Rowan solids which are woven with different coloured warp and weft threads to give them a 'shot silk' appearance were on sale at a mere £4 per metre and lots of the colours matched the colours in the horses so I picked up a cart load of these in varying lengths to use for the star points and the sashings.

I shall make a decent sized lap quilt to go over the back of her sofa for cool winter evenings when she likes to sit and cross stitch. This will be her birthday present in November so I don't have to get started on it immediately.

The Rowan stripes were also on sale at £5 a metre and as I'm a sucker for stripes of any kind these just had to jump into my shopping basket. The two narrower striped ones in the background make me think of 1920's men's striped blazers.

And last but not least these other Rowans variegate through several colours and remind me of some of the African fabrics you see - so they had to come home too! I think they'll make lovely bindings or bias strip for celtic knotwork.
The lady at the cutting table commented that they'd sold virtually none of any of this Rowan fabric until it had been put in the sale - mind you I believe it retails out at around £12 per metre so it's not surprising really even if people will pay that for the usual printed cottons.
On a different note I've stitched all nine sawtooth stars for the baby quilt for Erica. Here's one with some of the sashing already attached. Much like Spencer's Stars I shall use cream sashings like the star background but pink cornerstones to match the star points because there wasn't that much fabric in the skirt. However this quilt won't be anything like as heavily quilted as my nephew's was. So there's a bit of assembly still to do and lots of applique - a flower in the centre of each star and probably some more in the plain cream outer border. Who knows a few little pale green butterflies might just fly in to play too.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pass it on............

I have a blogging friend in Budapest called Zita who contacted me last year when she spotted the photos on my blog of the plaster paintings from the interior of St Matthias church that I'd fallen in love with on a trip there a couple of years ago

These are pictures of the church I've taken from the net as all our photos which show the interior paintings in much closer detail are on the other computer that I can't get to at present.

If you ever get the chance to visit, do go to Budapest and take in this church - the interior decor would give any stitcher a lifetime of inspiration for either applique or quilting designs. The roof design made of brightly coloured ceramic roof tiles would also be ideal to reproduce in hexagons over paper

Zita told me that her quilt group meets in a room directly opposite this beautiful building - what an inspirational view while they work!

Anyway I digress - I read this morning about a PIF (Pass it forward) giveaway she's part of and managed to stick my name down quickly to get in on the act

So here's the deal ...........

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Hopefully I'll get mine out sooner than 365 days hence and I'm happy to post anywhere in the world.

Go on then, who's up for it?

Friday, July 06, 2007

A new baby grand-daughter

No don't panic - not for me :o)

But my sister's new partner Dave is slightly older than her and this week his son and daughter-in-law gave their little 4 year old boy Ben a brand new baby sister - Erica

I can't believe that my sister at almost 44 is a step-granny to two littlies

However never one to pass by the opportunity to start a new project I dug out a lovely cotton flowered skirt I'd picked up in a charity shop a few weeks ago and started cutting it up to make some flying geese with a white-on-white I bought whilst away last weekend

In totally predictable fashion what will I do with these geese but turn them into sawtooth stars for a baby quilt for little Erica

So that's what I'll be working on this weekend

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yorkshire was - well.... Yorkshire :o)

Somerset is a beautiful county and considering some of the parts of the UK we might have to live in we're very lucky to be here.
However when you've been born and bred a Yorkshire lass sometimes nowhere else quite hits the spot and you do have to return every now and then for a fix. Nigel always says I'm pining for the fjords as in Monty Python's Norwegian Blue Parrot sketch.
On the Friday morning the house had a highly charged energy of excitement about it. Nick and Lou were setting off on their school trip to Normandy at 8am, Sarah had school but then was going out to a 'Youngsters Night' at a local night club in the evening which was to be the event of the year and we were due to head off up that road Yorkshire bound
Here are the three wise monkeys giggling in our bed before eveyone got dressed!
All went according to plan until the man of the house announced he had to go into work for a meeting with some German suppliers that had been postponed from the day before because of flight delays! As you can imagine I was considerably less than pleased - especially when the 'hour' turned into several so that we didn't set off until 11.45 am - grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!
Anyway we finally did get on up that road and after delays on the M6 necessitating a detour through the Cheshire sunshine we arrived at my sisters at around 6pm
However we did then come across another snag - the key she'd left under the mat wouldn't open the door - she was already three quarters of the way to the Lake District so we arranged to drive up the A65 and meet her halfway at Hellifield to replace it with her door key which would work.
Keys duly exchanged and her present passed over she sped off to retrace her steps to her boyfriends house and we took the opportunity for DH to have a look at Hellifield station with its preserved wrought iron canopy - fix number one for him!
You can see from the photo taken on the platform what a beautiful evening it had turned into
And here is the view from our bedroom window the same evening
However the weather was a whole different story the next day as the same photo twelve hours later shows - not quite so beautiful in the rain!
But undeterred we had a leisurely breakfast and headed off to the outskirts of Bradford and then Leeds to feed our habits - first the model train shop and then a couple of stitching establishments, firstly a haberdashery place where all sorts of treasures were acquired - pelmet vilene (well I might like to have a go at some postcards) zips for bags and purses, flower buttons - just because and other similar treasures. Then secondly a fabric place in an old mill where I found a huge bag of patchwork fabric samples generally measuring around the size of a fat eighth which were up for grabs being sold by weight at 1p per gramme. I managed to fill a bag with a kilo of fabric for a tenner and I reckon there's a good 7 or 8 metres in there so that was a real bargain. I'll show you some of this treasure in a later post when I've had the chance to take a photo or three.
Once we'd finished raiding the shops we headed back to our home for the weekend via the village I grew up in and managed to take in a flying visit to my sister's Godparents who are my parents oldest friends. They are in their very late 70s and lost their only child Rachel, my dear friend, in a car accident almost 30 years ago when she was 20. My brother, sister and I have been like surrogate children to them through the years and each time I visit them I never know if it will be the last as they are getting elderly and have had some illness. Despite the fact we didn't have our three youngsters with us it was a real delight for them to see us, it made their week so I'm so glad we took the time out to call in
Saturday night saw us heading up that A65 again to a pub near Kirby Lonsdale (not that far from Karol-Ann's - we passed the sign for her village) to have a meal with my sister and her partner Dave who we were meeting for the first time. She was absolutely delighted with her Rose wallhanging I'm pleased to say. The meal was delicious but the drive home through some pretty horrendous rain was a little hairy - especially as Nigel and I have the agreement that we share the driving when we go out at night : he drives to the pub and I drive home!
Sunday was a very mixed day weatherwise - we'd go from glorious sunshine to torrential rain at the drop of a hat.
I managed a visit to Embsay Mills where all the Rowan fabric was on sale at £4 and £5 per metre so I stocked up with that and a couple of horse fat quarters to use in the next project for my sister's birthday in November. Photos of this fabric to follow too.
Here's a shot taken when we stopped the car at the top of the divide between the Aire and the Wharfe valleys to look around - this Moorland Jock, as these sheep are affectionately known locally, was obviously very used to people stopping and she stood very still for the paparazzi!!!
Visits to Yorkshire inevitably end up as a sort of pilgrimage for me revisiting old favourites and I must say Nigel is incredibly indulgent with me.
This time we'd heard that Strid Wood near Bolton Abbey had incorporated a Sculpture Trail through the woods and I really wanted to go for a 'look-see' as I previously lived in a cottage in these woods with my former partner George who worked as a Pest Controller on the Duke of Devonshire's estate
Here is that cottage not much changed from when I lived there 20 years ago - hard to believe all that time has gone by - the garden is a little different though.
The rain had certainly put the river into spate and the water was very brown with the peat from the moors - it bore a striking resemblence to beer churning on down the valley
Here you can see The Strid where the river is forced through a narrow gap in the rocks which it is possible to jump across if you were that foolish because over the years many have been drowned in the attempt. The water is usually much lower and, if you're unlucky enough to fall in, the current drags you under the overhanging rocks where it's impossible to get enought strength to battle against the current back up to the surface again.
When George and I lived in the cottage we did have one incident where a party of Japanese students had been visiting The Strid whilst the river was in spate and as high as this. Unfortunately one of the girls slipped and fell in but luckily the high water kept her buoyant above the rock overhangs and her friends managed to drag her out to safety a few yards further down stream. Her party brought her dripping to our front door as we were the first house on the way back to the car park begging dry clothes and somewhere to change. I don't think she'll ever realise just how lucky she was not to perish.
The only other time I knew of anyone surviving a dip at this point was a story told by the old lady who was the previous occupant of our cottage. Apparently one summer's evening after a prolongued wet spell she had a knock on her door to find a man very distraught as his wife had fallen into The Strid and disappeared. The police were duly called and had just started to take details from him to start a search when there was another knock on the door. There on the doorstep was the lady in question who, it transpired, had been pushed in by the husband - bet he was shocked to say the least! Strangely she refused to press any charges against him - I'm not sure, if I were in his shoes, I'd have slept easy in my bed each night after that!
But back to the walk - the weather continued to swap from wet to dry and back again for the entire 3.5 miles which we broke nicely in the middle at a cafe to enjoy some beautiful home made cream of tomato soup
Here are some of the sculptures
And a picture of the aqueduct we crossed over to transfer to the other side of the river at the top end of the walk which went down one side of the river and back up the other - the Victorians made the most functional things an object of beauty.
Once back to the car and totally soaked we decided to head for a tea room in the outbuildings of a nearby farm for a cuppa and a cake - the farmer is a big model train fan, much to Nigel's delight and has christened the tearoom 'Buffers' because of the train layouts up on a mezzanine floor above the cafe tables - another fix for Nigel then.
After this we headed back to where we were staying but stopped on spec to call on an old schoolfriend of mine we haven't seen for about three years.
Bless them we certainly didn't pick a particularly good time to call as they were in the middle of packing boxes to put all their worldly goods into storage in preparation for the builders moving in mid July to add a whole upstairs to their bungalow. Nevertheless it was lovely to catch up with them and we persuaded them to come down and visit us here in Taunton with their 7 yr old daughter in the autumn.
And all too soon it was Monday morning and the great treck back down the country to our little corner of Somerset
A wonderful weekend but it would be nice to be able to beam ourselves up there 'Star Trek' style to avoid five plus hours each way on congested British motorways.