Yes, I know, it’s the middle of March. Keep up, SpinningStreak.
But I’ve been busy. Fighting freezing conditions in the way I know best…
Walking over icy Sussex Downs with my lovely sister-in-law – all about the frozen dew ponds and shivering sheep:
Hiding away for a week in a cottage in Rye. Entertaining family members from over 90 to under one month!
Visiting Tenterden, Hastings Old Town, Tunbridge Wells…
Listening to tales of a childhood in the early 1930s and really really wishing I had recorded it…
The weather was frankly grim. The following week, of course, was almost summer – though vanished again now.
Three year old granddaughter’s current favourite place to visit – ‘Pirate’ park in Reigate.
Working, reading, working, knitting, working, spinning – well, no change there.
Some Serious Planning is also going on backstage – but enough – I think I might have just about caught up!
Weather-wise, that is. From regular mid 30s to not even 15 degrees. So hard to accept that summer is over! The days we spent in Vieux Lyon were probably peak heat – over 38C. The rather sinister looking bars above were actually our window in an amazing 15th century hotel building – very lucky to stumble across this one.
You may have guessed that the big draw for me was the Textile Museum. For about 500 years Lyon was a world centre for silk production. I have been wanting to visit this museum for almost that long…. and it did not disappoint!
Back now to work, family and a much neglected Etsy shop. Internet for a couple of hours a week is not great for running an online business!
The tree that never grew
The bell that never rang
The fish that never swam….
The four miracles of Saint Mungo, represented on Glasgow city’s coat of arms and commemorated in stained glass in the Cathedral.
The outside of the cathedral did not look too promising – but what a feast inside. A magnificent medieval building, on the site of Saint Mungo’s shrine. His tomb is in the crypt, which is mid 13th century and just as atmospheric as the one in Canterbury – a really special place.
As you may have guessed, I seem to be having trouble leaving Scotland behind. That trip was over a month ago now – but it still surfaces in my thoughts every day. In a very good way.
This is a bit of a test. I had decided to skip any post with June flowers in it because the serious photographer/gardeners are out there doing their stuff with spectacular results – stunning rose shots in particular – and I thought people might have had enough. But then I stumbled across this:
and wondered if my little wild shots might count? The light was not great – bit of a mist – but I was impressed by the acid rhododendrons growing crazily all over the place, often on a background of equally violent yellow! Not colours I often put together in my spinning, but you never know… I do like that rather menacing gorse in the bottom picture. There were also a few orchids – and bluebells still flowering in June (pretty much finished here on the south coast by the end of April). I have been back several days now, but am still haunted by that trip to Skye – a great experience and fabulous views, but still somewhat intimidating. Maybe that’s how one SHOULD respond to Highland and Island scenery though!
To return to Normandy Life – do check out today’s Mosaic. It is on the theme of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth, known as Sissi. I found it particularly interesting as we seemed to follow this tragic woman all over Vienna a few months ago – there was a detailed exhibition in the Hofburg while we were there.
I have been trying to reduce the size of that link (!) but have decided to leave it in, as it turns out to be another mosaic anyway!
(TREES, four floors up?!)
Via Lomond and Glenfinnan….
To Mallaig, via Morar…
And then to Skye!
Fabulous trip, even though it did involve two planes, five trains, two ferries and a taxi! The West Highland line from Glasgow to Fort William, then on to the West coast at Mallaig is an unforgettable experience.
Friday night : Brighton gearing up for a sunny weekend!
The picture below is a shot from one of my windows, about 7.30am. The view has been changed rather dramatically over the last couple of years – first by the famous i360 tower (known locally as Brighton’s giant loo roll holder – at a cost of £46 million!), then by the curious wind farm (£1.3 billion) – you can see this section on the horizon if you zoom in. I am sure it will be a useful resource – but I fear sunrise and sunset on a clear day will never be quite the same…
And the anticipation? Well, the FESTIVAL of course! Starting at the end of next week. I’ve booked quite a bit. More to come.
With a chance to avoid the motorways this time. The route bleue (N7) and the wine territories have a much greater appeal. It does take a lot longer – but we wandered through dozens of timeless hamlets and past some extraordinary buildings tucked away in la France Profonde. (And yes, the sat. nav. can’t always cope and I did get us just a little bit lost…)
An overnight stay in Chateaudun (a town with medieval buildings that we are always keen to revisit, although we sometimes feel we should explore more adventurously) and an early morning visit to the chateau – perfect, we were the only people in the whole place, apart from a young woman energetically hoovering the ancient stone floor of the Sainte Chapelle – what a job!
I think this is the most northerly of the Loire castles (so the first you get to driving down from Paris) and it seems to be less well known to tourists. Definitely worth a trip though. There is an interesting connection to Joan of Arc. The buildings are from the 12th to the 16th century – and too close up for me to get in a single shot!
There are tapestries and furniture:
Architectural details, linenfold and – always my favourite – FIREPLACES!
But, as usual, what really caught my eye was the play of light, angles and exciting intersections:
This one gave me a shock – no idea I had taken it, but it is my ghostly shadow sneaking its way in!