On shore leave

Oh, but it’s good to actually relax! This morning I let myself sleep for as long as I needed, waking for the first time at 11am. By noon I was showered, dressed and munching on a bowl of porridge… though I fear it might have been a little late to call it breakfast! I then spent the day in sewing – cutting and seaming skirts, adding embellishments to one of last year’s winter hats, and checking out patterns on the interwebs. Ok, I’ll admit, I did some work too – but nothing too strenuous!

Over the weekend, Dapper and I decided we needed to make the most of the fleeting sunshine, and chose a historical town to visit at random. We ended up at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, a small market town in the National Forest, which I had visited with my Mum once before and thought very quaint and worth exploring. It had a castle and a old town, and was suitably close to the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485), at which Richard III was defeated, making way for our first Tudor king (Henry). One of the ways in which children in England are taught to memorise the colours of the rainbow is through the mnemonic “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain”, which relates to the War of the Roses, and particularly this battle.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at Ashby we discovered that the annual Ashby Statutes (fun fair) was in process, so the usually pretty high street was completed obscured by sky-high rides and junk food stands. Still, we braved the masses, and quickly stumbled across a secondhand bookshop where we both made some delightful purchases. I was espeially pleased with my Collins Classic of H G Wells’ The First Men in the Moon, which I have been desperate to read prior to the BBC’s adaptation, hitting our screens this autumn:

We also found a rather fabulous charity shop in which I was tempted by several hats, and another independent bookshop selling seconds and outdated editions, in which I found a couple of Christmas presents. As we hurried towards the church, Dapper suddenly grabbed my hand and led me behind a van and across the road. He had spotted The School of Sewing, and rightly thought I might like a quick peek!

This is a lovely little store which combines classes with a fabric shop, comprising plenty of glorious fabrics, a haberdashery, sewing machine sales and two very helpful – but not intrusive – shopkeepers. I bought some grey fabric on sale, and fell in love with a thick striped wool ideal for a maxi skirt. If you’re a seamstress in the Ashby area I recommend dropping in!

Unfortunately, by the time we’d perused books and fabric and enjoyed lunch in a tiny independent cafe, our car parking was up and it was time to leave. So, the historic sites of La Zouch will have to wait for another visit… Which seems a great excuse to go back, perhaps on a quieter weekend next time!

Right now I’m off for tapas with lovely Kate. It’s my birthday treat! I’ll tell you more when I know more… 😀

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