After spending Monday morning battling with a roll of bubble wrap, parcel tape and trying to fit 9 sponge columns into two agricultural feed sacks, I collected Freya and some of her friends from Ballater. They had completed an impressive 40 mile hilly hike for their silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition practice and were worn out, muddy and sunburnt.
It was a relief when the haulier finally picked up the ridiculously large package of totems, especially as they were taking up rather a lot of space. It was a particularly busy week since the school holidays were due to begin and we were heading off straight away. I had to sort out arrangements for the dogs, cat and hens to be looked after by Mo and try to organise packing lists. Inevitably, I forgot to include a couple of things that may have been useful such as my pocket-rocket gas stove for impromptu cups of tea on the beach and suncream.
I made an effort to complete all of the pending customer quilts. One was a customer’s labour of love that had been a part-work magazine project with less than perfect instructions. She had found it both challenging and frustrating but the quilt looked great when it was all done. I turned my thoughts to how I could make a luxury patchwork sleeping bag and ordered a striped flannel sheet from Ebay to go on the back of an unfinished quilt top. I need a heavy duty zip then want to fiddle about with the design to see if I think it needs a hood or a pillow section. It all depends whether it is for “glamping” or taking on a hardcore D of E trek… My Mother requested a quilted ceramic hob cover so I rustled one up quickly in a couple of hours to shove at the bottom of my suitcase. I even cut out fabric for the draft bed version of Dunes Duet just in case I get a chance to whip it up while visiting my folks in Norfolk.
I attended two end of term celebrations - Fenella played violin and sang at the Durris Primary Church service on Thursday morning then in the afternoon, Freya was awarded with prizes for being the top student in her year for English and Modern Studies.
My husband hired a car for our long drive to Devon instead of putting up with the dependable but rather utilitarian Landrover. With just a couple of brief stops, we finally reached the village of Kilmington, near Axminster after 11 hours. The back lanes leading to the cottage were only 6 feet wide but the holiday cottage was a delight. It is listed in the Domesday Book and the original part is thought to date back to the twelfth century. The children loved the low beams, wonky floors, warped bookshelves and sagging thatched roof.
We enjoyed traipsing around Lyme Regis on Sunday and because the English schools are not yet on holiday, it was not too busy. I asked the rest of the family to look for flint stones with holes all the way through on the beach. I could have spent a small fortune on nautical style clothes in the Seasalt shop. We stumbled upon a charming vintage inspired dress-making studio and bought two dress patterns for Freya to experiment with in preparation for her Higher Art dress design project. It was very pleasant to eat a simple supper in the garden at our cottage and plan outings for the week ahead.