One year ago today I boarded a plane in Minneapolis. About eight hours later, I landed at Heathrow in London.
England. My happy place.
I want to do it again.
I just returned from a walk with hubby. The planning wheels are in motion. We have numerous ideas of where we wish to spend our next holidays. You can bet the UK is on that list.
Off to our next adventure. I tried to be helpful. Remember, we were driving on the wrong side of the road.
Hubby wonders if our next destination is worth all the roundabouts. Don't even get him started on all the traffic. What he does for me and my big ideas!
I have to admit. It wasn't an easy drive getting there. A few times even I wanted to say, "You're right. Turn around." But I kept my mouth shut and helped him count all the exits on the roundabouts and we tootled our way to our next tour.
I'm so glad we pushed through the stress. So worth it.
Where did we go?
Well, have you heard of Emma Bridgewater?
Here's a peek.
"Ask at the till." Don't you just love it. I love England. Just saying.
It was raining this day. We dashed inside, but I managed to snap a few photos of the entrance.
It may be a factory, but Emma sure does a lovely job of making it an inviting place to work.
Even the dogs are remembered.
The cafe inside uses the herbs grown here.
Off we go...
I'm hooked already.
Every single piece of pottery is made by hand. Every. Single. Piece. Oh the joy of watching a human make something out of a piece of clay and seeing the end result. It's so important to buy from a small company. The painstaking process of making something out of nothing. It's fascinating, to say the least.
See what I mean?
Here's the clay they use.
It's an art.
No computers here.
Hard work involved. Labor intensive.
Every design uses a sponge. The artists make them all individually. Isn't it just awe inspiring? I was speechless. Again. Labor intensive.
Remember. ALL with a sponge and individually painted.
Even Kate came for a tour!
I repeat. ALL individually painted.
We had lunch here. (Of course!) I loved that they use only their pottery for plates and cups. And the food was amazing.
Rain kept us inside, but isn't it a cute courtyard?
Even hubby had to admit it was worth the drive!
Don't miss a trip to Emma Bridgewater on your next holiday to the UK. You will love it.
Beware...you'll get hooked and soon will be buying the collection. Piece by piece.
While I was on holiday in Hawaii a few months back, I had the distinct privilege of meeting my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn.
Lovely doesn't begin to describe her. Our time together will be a forever treasured memory for me.
I've dreamed of a moment such as this for many years. It was more than I could have asked for. Such a delight.
Well, fast forward to last weekend. I attended a writers conference in which Robin was the keynote speaker, and guess what? (Insert squeals here!)
I GOT TO SEE HER AGAIN. Yep! AGAIN!
I love the verse in Ephesians 3:20 "....now to Him who is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be the glory..."
I was able to spend some time with her alone on a few occasions throughout the conference. She is joy. She is real.
I still am processing all that I learned and I realized while driving home after the conference that I hadn't taken one photo of her and I.
Would I have liked to? Of course.
But, I have some of us from our time together in Hawaii. Mostly, I know in my soul what was said between two women who dare to ask God for the moon.
Thank you for obeying the call to write, Robin. The blessing is in the obedience and I have been so blessed because you obeyed.
Descriptive words of Ironbridge. But don't take my words for it. Sometimes pictures really are worth a thousand words.
A perfect cafe scene in a novel, don't you think?
I had a cuppa here.
Flowers hung in every nook and cranny.
Ever had a Pimm's?
An England favorite drink. Ingredients include: Pimm's, lemonade, cucumber slices, strawberries, oranges, mint leaves...my mouth is watering. Consider trying one when you travel to England.
Floods. Refurbishments. This is one strong bridge. And now that it's no longer under wraps, the views will be spectacular from wherever you stand. Guaranteed.
English villages. My love for them will never be extinguished.