Right now, I’m sitting at a large oak table (already set up with watercolors, pens, brushes, paper and glue sticks) in the apartment we rented in Kent, England in the sweet little town of Tenterden.
Like a little theme music? Oh yes . . . From my chair, across the wooden floor of this light-filled “lounge” (what we in America would call the living room) is a wall of windows with French doors in the middle and a little balcony outside. We got here last night, after careening across the country via narrow, hedge-row lined roads, past brick and white-painted houses, churches, flower-laden trees, and lamb-spotted fields; we are now safely ensconced on the second story, above the High Street (sort of like our Main Street). From my chair I can see out the windows, spottily, through trees still in the midst of leafing out, a wonderful old house and a large monument in a wide green lawn across the street.
It feels like I’m in a tree house! Isn’t this pretty? The wind is blowing the leaves, it’s just beautiful! And I feel almost back to “normal!” Yesterday was kind of like the first day on the ship, but instead of trying to get “sea legs,” we needed to get our land legs back — we were still rocking when we went to sleep!
We stopped on the way to Tenterden, to wander around a bit and stretch our legs, had lunch at the Royal Oak Pub there (it had an organ, a wall of books, videos, and games, and a sun porch overlooking the garden, among other things, a little home away from home) just across the street from an amazing Roman wall built in the 2nd century! We had the most delicious fish and chips there; a thick coating of deep fried goodness over tender fresh fish and a big bowl of freshly made tartar sauce and CHIPS (french fries)!
Had to take a photo of this house surrounded in bluebells; you can see it’s just in front of that same Roman wall, across the street from the pub, with a path and a gate that was calling my name. We didn’t follow that path, because we know they are everywhere in this beautiful country; we will have lots of chances! And we wanted to get “home.”
We stopped at the grocery store when we got into town, before we found our rental; knowing we would want to make it feel more homey — we bought the little necessities of life, flowers, milk for tea, apples, a big chicken, some vegetables and laundry soap.
Of course we travel with little reminders of home, this is a kitty felted by Kellee; can’t travel without a kitty!! Hardly takes up any space and doesn’t make a peep!
This gives you a little more of the picture of the lounge. And this morning, I feel great! Not swaying anymore! Joe is still asleep, I have tea of course, in my William and Kate mug. It’s 12 degrees celcius which I had to look up. The way you find out what that means in a way you can understand (fahrenheit), you have to multiply the number by 9, divide by 5, and add 32!!!! Then you discover it’s almost 54 degrees! Blue skies above, chirping of birds, mooing of cows, and whir of washing machine in the kitchen — just like home (except for the cows)! There’s a Laura Ashley store in this town, I found out last night (yay), and our favorite market, Waitrose (where I will find the thing I love, “Breakfast Milk”)! I don’t know what else is here, but we’re going to find out! And we’re going to take you with us!
Plus, before I go, I thought you might like to see what we were seeing and doing while you were watching the ship go under the Verrazano Bridge leaving New York on the Queen Mary II. Finally! I can send video again! Wasn’t that just thrilling???
The New York Police Department was with us (in boats and low-flying helicopters) until we hit the open sea; I thought the juxtaposition between the violins and the machine gun, the soft lights of my favorite knitting spot on the ship, The Chart Room, the falling light on the gray water and massive bridge was very interesting. I was so excited at that moment I was running around with the camera like a crazy lady. It was wonderful. I just loved hearing how you were watching too, the magic of the computer and the internet!
And this is the view this morning from the kitchen sink…. are we in heaven girls? Yes, I do believe we are!!! Just to remind you, we have a Quest, to fulfill our dreams for the next seven weeks, maybe enough to last a lifetime; to fill our inspiration cup by wandering through old churchyards and gardens, stone cottages, castles, country house hotels, past timeless hedgerows, under ancient horsechestnut trees, and over hillsides of wild bluebells, fields of wildflowers and baby lambs, tea rooms, pubs, flea markets, bookstalls, ancient oak trees, and country villages, on our way to visit Beatrix Potter’s house in the Lake District …. having the tinkle of little shop bells be our main music of the day! With the camera in hand at all times! Here we go!
Happy Mother’s Day Girlfriends!!! ♥