Sunday, 17 January 2016

I have been Very Brave


 










We took the boys to London for the day yesterday. I was born in Westminster and I do have a soft spot for the Capital, but I think you'll agree I am not an Urban Girl by any stretch of the imagination. I break out in Hives if forced to spend too long in Romsey for heaven's sake (population 13,000), so a day in London is usually plenty for me.

The weather was perfect- cold, clear and bright and the journey up (Basingstoke station to Waterloo, plus an underground trip which usually involves at least one person's ticket being lost and/ or chewed up by the machines that let you through and then a panicked race to find a guard to open it manually) ran smoothly.

Usually, when we go to London, M doesn't let me out of his sight because he knows I am likely to get a) lost or b) frightened, so I rather astonished both of us by stating my intention boldly of taking myself off to Libertys on my own. I did and I didn't get either a) lost or b) frightened and even more: I enjoyed it.

We'd gone up so F could ensconce himself in the Celts in Art exhibition which is currently on at the Brit Mus. L (not a fan of museums or Celts) decided the allure of Foyles bookshop was strong enough to pierce the otherwise all-encompassing Sloth Of The Teen, and actually got out of bed and was dressed before we needed to leave at 10am. He didn't manage to resist the temptation of an enormous bag of maltesers at the train station however (which at £2.95 were clearly aimed at desperate mothers who'll pay anything to ensure a peaceful train trip with their offspring). Some of these were consumed on the train in a post-breakfast-dip, and the rest sometime between lunch and the return journey. This resulted in the inevitable stomach ache accompanied by a piteous plea to remove the bag from his sight and a heartfelt statement of intent never to stuff so many chocolates in in one short afternoon again (which will last until the next time). Despite the chocolate binge, he spent four happy hours absorbed in five floors of books, came home with a new one and  read through the entire catalogue of Marvel Comics. M spent an hour with F at the exhibition and came out Moste Impressed at the intricacies of Celtic Artistic Creation, before joining me for a whizz round the National Gallery (which was lovely- I can't think why we don't go more often. I could sit and gaze and gaze and gaze at those wonderful paintings for hours), but before we did that I took myself off to Liberty's.....alone.

You can see the results of my (very abstemious I think, considering) purchases in the pics above. I am making aprons to sell at the Village Christmas Fayre (planning ahead- and is that the first mention of the C word this year? If so I'd like a prize please) at the mo with Phyllis but very much doubt I will use my Liberty fabric for those. I will make one for myself instead :o)

Liberty fabric is both gorgeous and expensive, so three metres was my limit (plus a small splurge in the haberdashery on buttons, pins and needles which I put on a separate bill, allowing me to pretend I'd actually only spent twenty quid). The advantage of flying solo was that there were no grumpy children or fidgety husband hurrying me along so I was able to spend nearly two whole hours wandering ecstatically among the bolts in a fabric-induced daze taking my time and thoroughly enjoying the whole experience.

I fell asleep on the train on the way home and only woke up when M nudged me and said we're back in Basingstoke. Apparently, most of the carriage had fallen asleep too, leading me to surmise that it was comprised of fellow country bumpkiners for whom the exertions of the Big Smoke had proved a little too much.

Back to reality today with non-stop house work and two smelly, scruffy muddy dogs who both needed baths. Pop did two poos on the floor in retribution- one was obvious and was swiftly cleaned up and the floor thoroughly dettoled, the other was less obvious and got trodden on and carried halfway round the house before anyone realised :o(

Hope all are well?

CT :o)









49 comments:

  1. What a splendid trip. I wish I could go to a Liberty's. I love it all. That would have been my choice too. Last time in London with my girls, we had to make a trip to H & M as they didn't have them stateside. Have fun making things with your fabrics.

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    1. Such an old and beautiful building with carved wooden stairways to all the floors. A real treat to spend time there :o)

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  2. Oooh, Liberty envy. I bet you were in 7th heaven in there. As for London - I am so used to low buildings and nothing bigger than an average oak tree I soon get overwhelmed! I would LOVE to have gone to the Br. Mus. for the Celtic Art exhibition (very much my thing) but no chance from darkest Wales, without staying over.

    I'd have slept on the train coming back too!

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    1. The Celtic exhibit was apparently all he'd hoped and more. I didn't go because it was £15 to get in and on top of train fair, dinner out and my liberty purchases I couldn't justify it.

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  3. What an adventure! And London sounds good too! :-)

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    1. A lovely day which I will remember fondly.

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  4. Lovely purchases at Liberty's. Glad you enjoyed your day in the big smoke. xx

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    1. Thanks Jan. I kept an eye out for wildlife just in case but all I saw were Rock Doves at Trafalgar :o)

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  5. What a wonderful trip and I would love to visit Liberty Store.
    I don't go out to shop but I have been ordering many Japanese fabrics even though I keep changing my mind what to do with it.
    So lovely that I just keep looking at it.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I know exactly what you mean- I do that all the time with fabric purchases. I frequently get them out just to enjoy admiring them and then fold them up carefully and put them away again until inspiration strikes and I know what to make with them :o)

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  6. We've a naughty little cocker named Bella that punishes us when Mom is away for a couple hours. Loved the pictures of town. Sometimes a getaway isn't so bad.

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    1. Clever dogs are so funny aren't they? It was probably also punishment for having left them for a day while we went to London. Pop (JR) always wants to come everywhere with us.

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  7. I commute to London from a very sleepy village on the Romney Marsh, it still has the power to both intimidate me and inspire me. I can appriciate the culture and lure of London, but as a country bumpkin it's just not for me :)

    http://countrybumble.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Same here- I love going for a day and could probably now stretch that to a weekend, but my heart will always be in the country. It's where I belong.

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  8. You know what I love the most? The fact that you put things through separately so you hadn't spent as much! Genius!!
    It's sounds like you had a grand day out!
    Naughty Poppy !

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    1. Standard Procedure when shopping, Rach :o)

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  9. Ooh, what a lovely day. I was most impressed when I saw the pictures that you'd managed to get boys to go to Liberty. All is clear now. Nicely done. I'd have liked a while in that bookshop as well I think. I haven't taken my younger two to London yet, I fear it would be too much for their little legs. They can run for hours on grass, but city streets somehow seem to exhaust them. Have a good week CT. CJ xx

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    1. I did suggest a family outing to Libertys and was met with universal eye rolling and groans :o) Walking in towns is definitely more tiring than out in the country. Have a lovely week too xx

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  10. I'm allergic to London in the main, all the best charity jobs are there, that pay you a salry you can't actually afford to live in London on.

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    1. I couldn't live there but I do love popping up for the odd day here and there. I find it quite awe inspiring, all those enormous ancient buildings.

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  11. You were very brave indeed!!!!!! You should have had an even bigger reward. I am too scared to go to London alone these days and would never find Liberty's alone, although, I would like to shop inside on my own! Especially in the haberdashery. You got some beautiful things and I look forward to seeing what you make with them! xx

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    1. I don't think I could cope with going on my own either, but walking about once there was good :o. There was also wool at Libertys, although I was good and didn't bring any home! xx

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  12. I think Liberty is my absolute favourite shop. I bought the fabric for my wedding dress there (a big treat) and have spent many a happy hour looking at the loveliness within. It's always best to be on ones own in shops like that I find. I'm glad you all had a good day.

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    1. I'll bet your wedding dress was fabulous- did you make it yourself?

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  13. How very brave of you indeed! I hate going to London & tend to have to once a year for business. Liberty & the National Art Gallery sounds a lot more fun. You've reminded me that we've promised to take Harry this year - London that is not Liberty but you know...... I am pretty sure Abakhan are having a half price Liberty sale & you know that these will be fire proof! xx

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    1. I think Libertys will become my place of pilgrimage whenever we go to London from now on :o) XX

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  14. great day out and Libertys' sound fab. yes too much of London could not be good for you!!

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    1. It was a lovely day out, and lovely to come home to the peace and quiet of the country. :o)

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  15. Ah Liberty. Such a firm favourite. I love the fabric and the general ambience of the store. My mum used to wear liberty shirts. I thought they were abit "dated" when I was younger, but always loved the patterns and the feel. I would love a blouse now....
    I love your covered buttons and the bag just screams quality. Love it.
    Well done for being brave. Goodness if Romsey is too much, how will you go in Winchester? Looking forward.
    xx

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    1. My ma had a Liberty shirt too- she was reminiscing about it when she saw my fabric purchases :o) I resisted the temptation to buy one because the price tag was hefty! (and a nightie, which I fell in love with and then very quickly out of love with when I realised it cost 85 quid).
      I'll be fine in Winchester- give me a hot chocolate (and maybe cake??)in a nice coffee shop with a pal to natter to and all will be well :o) XX

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  16. What a grand day out, would loooove to go to the Liberty shop, all though the prices would scare me..
    The good thing about going out for the day is coming home.
    Have a lovely week..
    Amanda xx

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    1. Saving up before hand is the key :o) I agree- returning home is always lovely. Have a grand week yourself xx

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  17. I used to treat myself to an afternoon in Liberty's long ago in my quilting days. Glorious shop! Always nice to get home though.

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    1. I was so pleased to get a couple of hours on my tod there. I shall be returning- it's a beautiful building stuffed with gorgeous knitting and sewing things, so what's not to like? :o)

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  18. I love your buttons and fabric! What are you going to make? Ah lovely London. How I hated it when I lived there but now a big part of me misses it so. Last time I was there I made a beeline for Liberty only to find it wasn't yet open! Sunday trading hours. Then had to battle my way through a sea of selfie sticks to get to a family lunch on time -quite glad to get back to the sticks in the end. Phew! xx

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    1. I haven't 100% decided what to make. As per Parsnip's comment above I keep looking at them and smiling and putting them away again. It's all part of it, isn't it? :o)
      How annoying about the Sunday trading and oh lordy about the selfie sticks! London weaves its own magic, I think. xx

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  19. I enjoy the occasional day in London but never been on my own! Liberty's sounds rather good - by far the best idea to browse around on your own when I go places with OH I never buy a thing as his usual comment is "why would you buy that?" :(

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    1. I agree- no kids and no husband makes for an infinitely more relaxed shopping experience :o)

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  20. We went to London on Saturday - from Hastings it is a long, slow meander through the Kentish Weald - very pretty but a little frustratng. I used to live in Cliddesden, between Basingstoke and Alresford. I went to Winchester County HIgh to do my A levels - know the area so well. My best friend Sue lived in Romsey - it brought me out in hives even then!

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    1. Wouldn't it be funny if we'd passed each other by in London on Sat and not known it?! I know Winchester well, I lived there for a number of years and I love it. I jest about Romsey- I do love it really, just tend to fly in and out rather than spend hours there :o)

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  21. Hey CT,
    We are planning a trip to London tho year. Olly has never been, and as he is six (six!) this year I think he's ok enough to enjoy it. I love a big city, but only because I can leave and come home ;)
    Never been to Liberty, but would relish several hours in Foyles.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Crikey - he is really growing up fast isn't it? I think the ability to escape back to the countryside afterwards makes a dip into a big city appealing in a way it wouldn't be if I had to live there year round. I think you'd like Liberty- it might even get you making those PJs you were flirting with the idea of making last summer..... ;o) XX

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  22. Glad you had a good trip to the city! When we have reached Basingstoke it feels as if we are nearly there! I love Liberty, I always used to go there with my Mum. It must have been wonderful to spend so much time looking and not being rushed out by your nearest and dearest. Sarah x

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    1. I'm sure it must do- bit more of a trek for you from Dorset :o) I thoroughly enjoyed the day and going to Libertys was fantastic x

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  23. How exciting and tiring! I'm glad you enjoyed the trip and came away with some lovely goodies. I would love to go to London sight seeing, there is so much to do. Hubby lived there for a 12 month secondment with work and we got to do lots of great things (including going to our friends Swedish wedding, and then to a restaurant where the owner was Swedish and gave us a case or two of pink champagne when he discovered the bride was Swedish....we got drunk......even I was very tipsy.....hubby couldn't walk straight.......)it was a lovely time!

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    1. I love your London story :o) Last time we went we took the boys on an open-top bus tour. I had a ball and am desperate to do it again. I loved seeing all the historical buildings and learning about them and working out how they joined up x

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  24. I'm so envious of your trip to London. I have always wanted to visit, especially to see Liberty and also the Victoria and Albert museum. Those are tops on my list, but there are many other things I'd also love to see. I'm with you; I was born in a very big city but much prefer the smaller-town life. I don't know what I'd do alone in a big city; probably curl up on a bus bench and cry. :)

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    1. It is a great city with so many lovely things on offer. I'm keen to try out the Boris Bikes next time :o) Lovely to come home and unwind afterwards too! x

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  25. Days like you've described can be so enjoyable, although often tiring, but it does sound a lovely trip ... I enjoyed looking at your photo's too. Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x