Memory Lane…

It’s been busy around here.  I was ‘home alone’ again for a while as M travelled with work and if I’m honest I found it hard, it started OK with both boys sleeping well but went swiftly downhill midweek and I gave up my run for sleeping (and I must note, I am most grateful for having the opportunity to go back to bed after dropping the boys off, it’s been a long time since I could sleep during the day).  Still it all improved over the weekend when I cadged a lift to Yorkshire with my sister to visit ‘home’ and attend my 20 year school reunion…..20 years…..I feel old!

On arrival we made a trip to Hubberholme Church where my family are originally from, to visit and clear the grave where my Gran’s ashes are buried.  It’s rare to find time to drive up there but it’s a beautiful setting.

The graveyard has a number of family stones and it was only when we buried my Gran’s ashes that it became apparent I have a family name (Elizabeth Anne Foster) which is purely an accident I am told, sadly many of the older Foster stones have eroded so much in the Yorkshire winds that there is very little left to read.

The church does get a lot of ‘weather’ being so far up Dale and the windows are all protected by mesh outside to protect the glass and stop the birds nesting, this makes it quite dark inside

although it didn’t stop my sister and I from hunting for mice carved on the pews by Robert Thompson (The Mouseman of Kilburn), as we did during our rare visits as children.

The reunion was fun, quite strange but great to see so many old faces.  The slightly surreal feel to the occasion was amplified by lots of old teachers turning up, they looked rather startled and huddled together in a corner around a table, I imagine it was trickier for them to pretend they might know who we all were than for us to remember our favourite teachers.

I then spent a very relaxing Sunday at my sister’s cottage cooking for Yorkshire friends, walking with my brother and sister in the afternoon (I don’t think we have been together, just the 3 of us for years) and relaxing.  It felt quite odd not having the boys to look after, especially as the lunch guests had similar aged children, odd but very pleasant if I’m honest (must do that more often ;)). The cottage is such a nice place to be, I was pleased to see a couple of my Linen Bunnies perched on the sofa and I finally got to see all the Roman Blinds I had made in situ.

The massive (well, they all are actually) blind above was made for the kitchen (more about that here) and it fitted perfectly with the view, echoing the trees.

It made all the hard work (for those who regularly read my blog, you may remember I didn’t enjoy making these blinds, they were very large to sew) worth while.

It was also nice to see some of my Gran’s cross stitch on the walls in the form of a calendar hanging, she was always stitching or knitting, it reminds me how nice it is to have handmade ‘things’ to hand down to future generations, every time I look at a piece of her work I think of my Gran.

Sadly the weekend came to an abrupt close as we had to leave early Monday to dash back to London, we were rather sad to drive away on what promised to be a gorgeous morning and miss out on all the village May Day activities, we’d already planned our day and it included a Bettys trip for brunch, thank goodness you can shop there on-line!

OK, time to close the laptop, you can still enter the giveaway and thanks for all your lovely comments so far, I forgot to mention I can’t reply to them (in case I use the old random number generator, as my comments would also be given a number), it’s been especially nice to hear from some of you ‘lurkers’, being a committed blog lurker myself 🙂

23 thoughts on “Memory Lane…

  1. Home alone with the kids, I don’t envy you there, but to be able to chat and eat a meal with friends, now that thought makes me very envious!
    I can’t even begin to imagine a meal with no interruptions!
    Jenny x

    1. Oh, I’m home alone a lot, it’s the down side of M’s job but yes, the meal without children was heaven. I felt for the other parents as they took it in turns to eat and then look after the kids but I got over the guilt quickly by having another glass of wine 😉 the best bit was, after everyone left and we walked with my brother, my sister gave me a freshly washed dressing gown and we sat around in our pj’s watching ‘Avatar’. Fabulous, no kids, no bedtime routine!

      Sorry, I guess this isn’t helping, is it? Oh well, roll on my next child free break, maybe in a year or two! Bx

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip! It gets harder and harder to spend time alone with my sisters as we get older. There are always other family members around, so I envy the time you got to spend with your siblings.

    How wonderful to see so much evidence of your roots. The church looks lovely, and the little mouse! What fun.

    1. We had such fun walking and chatting, we’ve just decided to go to the cottage (thanks to sis for letting us stay) for our summer hols as there’s so much to do for the boys and it’ll be nice to have proper time for seeing all the family, a rare treat indeed!

  3. your trip home sounds lovely, somtimes trips home are great when you havn’t been for a while i think!

  4. I love looking around old churches and graveyards, so much history there! That little carved mouse is lovely.
    So nice to have your grandmothers embroidery, it’s very pretty.
    Vivienne x

    1. Hi Vivienne, I’m a sucker for history and objects with a past, my OH would refer to my hoards as ‘rubbish’ but to me it’s all got a meaning. Bx

  5. Hey Beth,
    I was only thinking to myself today whilst I looked at the gorgeous Yorkshire stone viaduct that runs through the village where I live, how lucky I am to live in Yorkshire! I know we all moan about the lack of sunshine and too often grey skies but I really am going to miss it all if we move to NZ, though on reflection plenty of sunshine and a huge garden would give me plenty of cheer!!
    Glad you had a lovely weekend at home, though it does always feel strange without the kids being around,almost as though one has lost a limb!!
    Take Care,
    Justine xx

    1. Oh, you are lucky, I didn’t used to mind when I was younger I was happy to run away and explore, and I loved living in London for many years but the older I get, the more I miss grey windswept moors! Even in the bleak (and it does get bleak where I’m from) Winter it still has a charm. Make the most while you can. Bx

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing some more of Yorkshire. How lovely to have roots in a beautiful place like that church. Your sister’s cottage must be lovely and I can imagine how good it must have been to see all your hard work in place.

    My gran used to knit and crossstitch too, she was always busy like yours. We have some lovely hangings at my mum’s – but there must have been so many more that have been lost along the way.

    Glad you had such a good time after M being away. You must appreciate time to yourself even more. Juliex

    1. Thanks Julie, as my Uncle said last time we were home, “everyone should think where they come from is the best place….unless you come from Croyden that is” (sorry to anyone who’s from Croyden when I type this, he said it, not me!). My sister and I are renowned for saying, “yes it’s lovely, but it’s not Yorkshire”, so much so that my husband quotes it before we can. Saying that Kent is looking lovely right now with it’s hedges.

      M is away again soon so I’m making the most, it is lovely to get time to myself. Bx

  7. Oh it’s very exciting to see a real Mouseman mouse in situ like that – lovely! The tree fabric in that blind is wonderful and your Gran’s cross stitches are a treat to see.

    1. I was very impressed with my sister’s blind fabric choice, not that she’s got bad taste or anything but it was so perfect against the view, and I so love the whole ‘Mouseman thing’ we only found a few so have lost that knack of children to crawl all over the pews looking, we were a bit pathetic and only noticed the ones on the pew ends….something to introduce my young boys to next time we go!

  8. Hello Beth,
    Your trip looked lovely … especially the church. It’s funny what you said about your name being passed down “by coincidence”. My brother was called Harry and my middle name is Louise. It was only a few years ago that we realised that my great great grandparents were called Harold aka. Harry and Louise aka. Lou-Lou! This too was a coincidence. It’s strange how these little things slip down through generations unnoticed. Seeing your gran’s lovely embroideries makes me think there is a certain creative gene that has been stitched through your family too!

  9. I’ve lived in London my whole life and I’ve never even been to Yorkshire but I know I want to live there one day!
    I used to love being in a city but looking at that view of green empty space makes me want to pack my stuff and move right now 🙂

    1. Oh you should visit, it’s easy by train, you can get to Ilkley (or SKipton via Kings Cross to Leeds) then stay somewhere like Grassington (by bus) which is a busy but lovely Dales village. In fact Grassington has a festival which is pretty amazing, (I didn’t know till my Mother said she’d been to see Toyah Wilcox last year). I did love being in London and it’s nice being in Kent and able to ‘pop’ back in when we want but I find country life suits me more now.

  10. Twenty years – you must be the same age as me! I’ve recently got in touch with some old school friends through Facebook – it only seems like yesterday in some ways. The really scary thing is that in no time at all another 20 years will have passed – and we’ll be pushing 60….how depressing!!
    I am deeply envious of that view – just breathtaking!

    1. I hadn’t thought about that! (the turning 60 bit)…sometimes I do feel like my life is flying by!

  11. I love that blind! It’s fab – I want it! It reminds me of some of Vanessa Arbuthnott’s fabrics, which have lots of nature in them – cow parsley in particular.
    What a lovely old church – it looks similar to ours down the road, which is really old, like C14th.
    Yours boys keeping you up in the night again, little monkeys?!
    x x x

    1. We have mostly Marimekko blinds here but they are all nature based (in fact we have Cow Parsley in our bedroom, I have a thing about CP, I grow the florists version – Ammi Majus in the cutting patch), but the tree blind really does suit it’s setting in the Dales, I was rather impressed!
      Yep, as you well know, the boys sleeping habits are a permanent fixture I fear, at least until they are teenagers and then I’ll long for the days when they got up early! Hope your nights are improving. Bx

  12. Love seeing the Mousey Thompson mouse, I was given a stool of his when I was christened which I still have now. I seem to remember a pub (possibly in Nunnington) that was filled with his furniture – every bar stool, chair or table had a mouse to be found. I can remember clambering around trying to find them all. I guess my family worshiped in a different kind of place to yours 🙂

    1. LOL! Oh, my Family spent plenty of time down the pub as well! Very lucky you to get one of his stools as a Christening present, that one to treasure. We must have driven by your sister’s place a few times over the past couple of days, we were trying to guess who she is (my Family farm so locally, they know everyone). Bx

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