Monday, June 23, 2014

For Chad and Norma: Neighborhood Shenanigans

We actually did venture out away from their incredible Cottage, though a bit reluctantly, I might add!  And all of it was just a hop, skip and a jump away.

First, we did something I've never done in my entire life...something that actually brought a tear to my eye because of how soulful it was:

 We could have walked to where we went but we drove past the neighbor man,
who clearly adores Norma... the Crumps Barn Studio, where Jeremy and Lorna live and work.
They bind books!  Yes, they're bookbinders and publishers.
Lorna is also an author and Jeremy is a joiner-carpenter.

They had already bound the book that Chad wrote on his own personal history,
after which Chad had the brainiac idea of them teaching us how to make our own notebooks.

The thing is, this was so totally up the alley for both Astrid and me.  Totally!
I chose the polka dots; Astrid chose the floral pattern.
At one point I thought about how much my dad would have loved doing this...
which was when I gulped down a big, soulful tear.
I'll never forget it!

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Following the bookbinding, we stopped at the neighborhood parish church of St. Mary the Virgin
in Syde, one of the oldest and smallest in England, from the 12th century.

 It just oozes with charm.

Once again I had a tear in my eye, thinking of my dad in that pulpit...

...and my mom at that organ!
(Are you noticing how much I love church cushions and stacks of hymnals?)

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Later that evening we went out to eat fish-n-chips!

This is The Highwayman Inn in Cirencester, in the heart of the Cotswolds.

More English you cannot get...especially with the peas!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The next day, our last with them, we went for a walk from The Cottage, the other direction.

In fact, right across the lane from The cottage you start with the sheep...
the brethren (as sister Ruth calls them).

I could have stopped right there and not very soulful....

...but on we walked and walked.... and out of the most heavenly of woods,

past the lumberjacks and picnickers and horse-riding obstacles,

to the lovely pond where dogs get their own training.

And don't forget the wildflowers, of course, all along the way.

This is all private property, maintained by the owner, but you are permitted to walk through it,
as long as you close the gates behind you.

And to top off all that wondrousness, Chad and Norma's first dates go back to these very woods,
back in their teen years, eons ago.  No wonder they got married, right?!

Next up:  nearby Cirencester and the Parish Church of St. John.


  1. Delightful Ginnie. I have eaten at the Highwayman with Tiff and is very good!

    1. I just love it when many of the rest of you know exactly what I'm talking about, Bill. :) Thanks.

  2. OH how I've enjoyed getting caught up on your excursions! Wow, how could you ever leave Chad and Norma's? You are so right...that "cottage" is right out of a home magazine! Love how you celebrated your birthday and a WIN just for you! Sorry to have missed your birthday, but so happy to see how you celebrated. What a treat! xoxo to you both!

    1. You amaze me, dear Robin. I can't believe you even TRIED to catch up! But thank you for doing so. You're the best. And am I ever glad you're back, safe-n-sound.

  3. Cotswolds! Have I told you how fascinated I am of that place. Once upon a time in my younger read-a-lot-of-romance-novels days the tall, dark, handsome and brooding men always lived in the Cotswolds :) I really still wanna go there and not to hunt for the tall dark and handsome variety :)

    1. I totally know what you mean, Maria. There's something about England with all her romantic names and places. I'm still trying to get my head around them, because most of them still have no real meaning to me, even though I've been there!

  4. You had me at bookbinding! I love love love the dots (can't get enough of them lately); Astrid's is pretty too.

    Wonderful environs, and like you, I would not have wanted to leave the cottage. Can you imagine having this around you always, and then going home to that place? Yes, I'm sure you can imagine.

    Love seeing the brethen. All of it!

    1. I've already told you, Ruth, how soulful all of this was for both of us. I really did think of both Dad and Mom...and you and Don and Nancy...during that time. I'm so glad the images will be here to keep coming back to! Thank you.

  5. The bookbinding was a winner. It was a great experience and Jeremy and Lorna are two wonderful people. What a delight and they know what they do :)
    The walk with Chad and Norma was a great one and topping it off with a fish and chips meal. I think this was a glance of heaven.
    The pictures of the wildflowers are a delight. A wonderful memory added, thank you, as always. IHVJ

    1. Some things cannot be improved upon, MLMA, and that was definitely true on this occasion. I'll never forget that we got to share this experience together.

  6. Replies
    1. It would be a great place for a B&B, Cherry, with everything to see and do so nearby!

  7. Chelsea took a summer coarse last year on book binding - truly works of art! Yours are beautiful. The old parish churches and small inns - 12th century! take my breath away. I would have to pinch myself if I were there. The sheep - do they have herding dogs that watch them during the day? It is late here (1:15 am) but I must come back and visit more… end of school and beginning of summer has packed a punch this year - just kept me busy, busy, busy. Glad to see it looks like you two are doing well. (I'll be back to fill myself in :)

    1. Your ears must have been tickling you, Margaret, because I was thinking of you the other day, wondering how you are doing. I know how crazy the summer weeks can be when the kids are out of school!!! Thanks for stopping by again....