Saturday, 16 May 2015
Friday, 15 May 2015
This is one of my favourite pictures ever. This is Ben (left) and Harry (right) in a fish and chip shop in Oddown, looking over flyers for Bargain Booze. Ben is from Wales, and he represents England in clay pigeon shooting. I asked him why that was.
"My mum is Welsh," he informed me. "My dad is English. When I was deciding which team to shoot for, I was told I'd be a better shot in England because I'd be pushed to get in the team. There are loads of great juniors."
See those wellies Ben's wearing? One time he was on a pheasant shoot in North Wales, the Brigands estate, and after the first day of shooting, one of the guns didn't like Ben's old, muddy wellies from the local farm store. In fact, it bothered the man so much that he bought Ben a new pair of Le Chameau wellies worth £300 and had them delivered to the hotel the next day.
"Here you go," he said. "Just don't ever wear those other ones out shooting again."
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Monday, 11 May 2015
This is the sight that most usually greets me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There are peacocks on the lawn of the manor, and in the spirit of spring, they are spreading their tailfeathers to attract the ladies. The peahens are generally less interested.
On Tuesday I took a walk around the grounds before my poetry class.
On Saturday, the enigmatic Emily Q. and I went to the garden centre to buy some flowers for our weedy front garden. It's all done now--plucked of weeds, earth turned, and flowers planted--and even a bumble bee was enjoying the peonies this morning.
I'll post an updated picture of the garden later. I tried to take one today, but when I stepped outside, the door slammed shut suddenly, and I was locked out my house! Thankfully, my neighbour was just parking his car, and he asked me if any of my housemates could let me back in.
"One is in London," I told him, "one in Birmingham, and one's in school."
"And your landlord?"
"He's in Malaysia."
We chatted for a bit about flowers (he told me the front garden looked lovely), and then he and his wife let me in to call a locksmith. I then remembered I had probably left my back door open, and they let me run down to the end of their garden, squeeze through the fence, and cross the next garden to get into mine. All's well that end's well. I should send them a thank you note.
Emily Q. was defeated by ironing.
Ben Reeson came to visit unexpectedly. He messaged me on Facebook.
"I'll be in Bath in ten minutes. You around?"
He took this picture.
Yesterday I walked home from church. I always pass through the Bath artisan market, and there are always interesting things on display. I like to browse slowly through the wares, and I stopped at a honey stand, where a woman sold honey soaps, beeswax candles, honey fudge, and honey. She had brought her bees with her and encoouraged me to join my local beekeeping society and take some classes. I've become more interested in beekeeping of late. Not sure why. I find it all very fascinating. I would love to keep my own and collect honey to give to friends. But my future remains uncertain. I'm not sure where I'll be living after this year, though the prospect of buying a cottage in the country and keeping bees and chickens and growing my own lettuce sounds more and more inviting. Anyone else have such visions?
After the Bee Lady, I talked to a woman selling reproductions maps, all printed on sturdy, cotton canvas (no paper). There was one map in particular that interested me--a reprint of a sailing ship from the 1700s, with all its parts labeled. I collect maps (in Conway, I bought a map marked with all the shipwrecks off the coast of Wales), and you may know already that I love ships. Map Woman also unrolled a beautiful picture of tropical birds, originally a French hand-painted piece from the 1800s. Ships, maps, birds. Best combination ever. My love of birds grows daily as well. I hope to come across a baby crow and raise it as my own in the aforementioned country cottage.
I didn't buy them this time, but can't you see them hanging in my imaginary house?
Other things at the market: vintage book lamp stands.
And Rapunzel. Just because.