Friday, 1 April 2011
Bumping Into Emma Bridgewater
Good afternoon! Happy April! And before you ask, the title of my post is not an April Fool's joke, I really did bump into Emma Bridgewater on Wednesday! But before I tell you about that, a big thank you to all of you for your lovely comments. From birthday wishes to knowing there are other people working alongside me to get ready for Christmas, to just lovely words from such lovely readers, each comment means a lot to me, thank you! I had a wonderful birthday! Poor Carl had to work until 2.30am (he worked from home, thank goodness!) so he could spend the day with me, so I started my birthday by letting him sleep in while I read Miss Buncle Married, which is a really lovely, happy, sweet little story. I opened cards and gifts from family and friends, and shed a few happy tears. As nice as the gifts themselves are, it is even sweeter to know that people understand me, and know just what I like. To think of people taking time to go and find me something, that makes me feel so touched. My pretty parcels included a duck-egg-blue-and-white-polka-dot cake stand, a sellotape dispenser in the shape of a high-heeled shoe, and some hand cream from Penhaligon's. My lovely sister included a packet of dolly mixture sweeties in with her gift, so it was a really sweet start to the day! We dropped into the agent letting the flat we like and gave them a referencing deposit, which means as long as our references and credit checks go through, we can have the keys to our new flat on April 3oth! From there, on the train up to London. It was an older train, which made poor Carl groan as they are not so comfortable for commuters, but for me it was fun as the seats have little tables and you can almost imagine you are aboard a steam train! Because we were longer in the lettings agents than we planned, we were five minutes late to the lunch time talk at the Victoria and Albert museum, but happily they let us in. It was all about The Art of the Chocolatier and was by the lady who started Rococo chocolates. After the talk there were free samples of her divine chocolates, and seeing well-t0-do London Ladies scrummaging for them was both a little fearsome and amusing all at the same time! From there we had a little wander around the museum. I must get Carl to put the photographs onto the computer for me so I can share them. We spent time in the Cast Court which never fails to take my breath away. The sheer size of the casts is breathtaking, and I still can't comprehend how they managed to cast an entire abbey door! Two of my favourite sights - the rooftops of the V&A looking across to the dome of Brompton Oratory, and the window panes all spattered with rain; and a magnolia tree in the gardens, such dark branches and such white flowers, some of which it had shed in the rain. And oh, how it rained! Happily it held off while we scurried across town to the Rococo Chocolate shop, but it was much further than it looked on the map! We put together our own box of chocolates, and have resolved to share one an evening. They are expensive (about £1 per chocolate!) but are so rich and amazingly satisfying, all handmade and fairtrade. Flavours such as violet and blackcurrant, or pumpkin and spice called to me, and I also chose a small bar of violet scented chocolate to take home. They did it all up in pink ribbon, and put them in a little paper carrier bag. From there we caught a tube or two across to Oxford Circus and Liberty. Oh, how I love Liberty! We had a very late lunch there (it was 5:00!) which was afternoon tea - little finger sandwiches, teeny warm scones with cream and Tiptree jam, then some little fancy cakes. I had a pot of 'traditional' tea whilst Carl had Earl Grey. It was really fragrant and had an amazing depth of flavour, and was really reviving. The waiter made me laugh, he was so flamboyant and French, and as the rain hit the windowpane next to our table, he suddenly reminded me of a duck! I did not buy much from Liberty (just one packet of self-cover buttons) but so enjoyed looking round, stroking the wools and sniffing the bubble baths. We also took a turn around the Dining Room, which is where I bumped into Emma Bridgewater! She was there to promote a range she has done exlcusively for Liberty, and would sign anything you bought that day. I have to say that I prefer her more 'traditional' designs, by which I mean her polka dots, stars and Union Jack ranges, but the spatter pattern was pretty. I was so tired by then that we came home, and as we got back, I suddenly realised that this would not be home for very much longer! I do wonder where the next year will take me, but really look forward to sharing my adventures with you!