It’s very nice to go travelling…

And, as the song goes; “It’s oh so nice to come home.”

Depends on the weather in my case, I do so hate leaving the sunshine behind.

But this week we have been travelling in the UK and next month we intend to do some more, in Scotland this time. My cousin who we used to visit when he and his wife lived in France, now lives in Hampshire, back in England, and it’s a part of the country we don’t know too well, so off we went last week to see them.

This has gone from love to hate as I've worked on it and now I'm just a bit, well, it's OK I suppose.
This has gone from love to hate as I’ve worked on it and now I’m just a bit, well, it’s OK I suppose. It’s quite a large piece, about 10 inches across.

 

It was a fairly uneventful drive down there. We missed our way once or twice but this is de rigeur when I’m map reading and we always get there in the end. We arrived to rapturous welcomes and chicken curry and an evening yattering away like nobody’s business. When we get together, oh how we do go on. And on. And on…

On Saturday, we drove down to Arundel Castle, which was new to us and turned out to be a great delight. To start with, we found it easily, which is not always the case. And we found a convenient car park. AND it didn’t cost the proverbial arm and leg just to park.

It couldn’t last, could it? We are people of a certain age and the placement of public lavatories is a matter of some importance to us. There, at the edge of the car park, were public loos, excellent news, you may think. But no. Why? Because they were not gender specific. Now we Brits like to know where we stand/sit. We like Ladies public conveniences and Gentlemen’s public conveniences, not a loo door with a picture of a man AND a woman on it. There was confusion. Were we meant to go in together? Would it only accept heterosexual pairs? What would happen if a person went in alone? Would the door fly open half way through the event and an armed Convenience Supervisor leap in, dragging behind him/her a complete stranger and insisting that we share? (Or two complete strangers, one of each gender, to ensure the right mix, so to speak?) The discussion was heated but we eventually did what a man has to do and then went into the castle.

Even the children's high chairs looked like a Bishop's throne.
Even the children’s high chairs looked like a Bishop’s throne.

The castle is lovely and full of interesting rooms, the first of which was, no, not the lavatories, we’d solved that one, the cafeteria. And very nice it was too, if a little over priced. The staff, however, were efficient and friendly, the tea was hot enough, strong enough and came with an extra pot of hot water – very civilised – and the scones with jam and clotted cream were delish. It’s a fascinating place. I won’t bore you with the history, you can read all about it here… http://www.arundelcastle.org/the-castle/history.html … but it is stuffed with fascinating bits and pieces. There are lots of family portraits and religious artefacts, coats of arms and pieces of armour, and armaments, and a private chapel bigger than many a parish church. We were impressed with all of it but when we came to the library it just took our breath away.

It’s not the number of books, any library would have them; it was the room itself, filled, from floor to ceiling, including the ceiling, in fact,  with the loveliest carved wood panelling  I have ever seen and, in spite of its undoubted magnificence, a room you could sit comfortably in and read. I’ve never envied the aristocracy before but I really wanted that room. Even the loved one, whose strongest term of approval is “Aye, it’s alright…” actually said…

“This is the most beautiful room I have ever been in.”       Wowzer!

I could have made this my home forever. (As long as there was someone to bring me a regular supply of tea, of course.)
No photo could do justice to this. The wood panelling glows and the carving is incrediblw. I could have made this my home forever. (As long as there was someone to bring me a regular supply of tea, of course.)

And then,and if this doesn’t impress the Hell out of you, I don’t know what will, the lady who was supervising the room noticed that my cousin’s wife, who has had a hip replacement and now has a bad knee instead, was walking a little uncomfortably, asked if we had seen the gardens yet, which we hadn’t.

“Well,” she said, “When you go outside, there will be  a member of staff, who will call a buggy to take you down to the garden entrance…”

So we did and there was and he did and we did. Fabulous. Felt a bit cheeky but it was obviously all part of the service. Excellent. And the gardens were spectacular. Not in a huge and dramatic way, but just lovely. As you can see from the pictures I took, dozens of them. 
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What an ace day out. And that was just the first day of our stay. Can’t wait to tell you about the rest of it!

While we were away, because we spent little time lounging and lots of it out and about, I have done very little drawing, apart from the flower ring you see at the top of the page, which has been both a blessing and a curse. I’m not too unhappy with the drawing itself but the colouring went all wrong. Well, not all, but you know what I mean. I was using my new Koi water colour pens, which I love, but am still learning. I wanted pale and subtle but what I got was loud and glaring because I used paper that didn’t encourage blending or fading the colours with water. Dammit. Oh well, lesson learned.

But for now, it’s the Diva Challenge and…

And she wants us to use patterns that are all straight lines. This is good for me, as it makes me concentrate, so I’ve chosen just three patterns: Zin, Rain and a version of Farling. I’ve used Rain before but not the other two, so it’s been a genuine challenge and good fun.  I couldn’t make up my mind whether or not to use colour, so I scanned it both ways – so which do YOU prefer?

 

Before adding colour.
Before adding colour.
With a bit of colour but no shading - couldn't work out where to shade!
With a bit of colour but no shading – couldn’t work out where to shade!

 

 

I forgot,

 

AND  . . .

I did a birthday card for my son in law. I had all sorts of ideas to include his hobbies and interests and then I thought, nope, he can have some Zentangle, why not? He’s tried it himself in the past and I’m hoping to recruit him to the cause sooner or later. Maybe this will set him going again – or put him off for life!

You'll see this week's Diva Challenge tile included on the card and I kept the theme of lines and angles, with a flash of red here and there. Hope he likes it.
You’ll see this week’s Diva Challenge tile included on the card and I kept the theme of lines and angles, with a flash of red here and there. Hope he likes it.
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19 thoughts on “It’s very nice to go travelling…

  1. Turn off the perfectionism-It’s beautiful!! My first reaction when I saw it was ‘I wish I could do that’!!!! Keep ’em coming!

  2. I enjoyed your entire post. It’s been nice finding a kindred spirit across The Pond who shares two of my passions—-travel and tangling—make that 3—cream teas. I don’t think I’ve ever visited a castle with a library — let alone a magnificent one. Castles are usually all about fortification and not so much about book learning. I think I like the straight line tangle with the color added best. Of course, now I’m kicking myself for not using any in my tile. (I can be sooooo derivative.) Nice card for your son-in-law. My beloved has a birthday in a few weeks. I should probably get working on his card now.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and yes, I think you and I seem to be Tanglers on the go, don’t we? And another yes, seeing something someone else has done can trigger trying it for oneself. I don’t see it as derivative, it’s having the eye to recognise another available tool. (And the desire to use it in our own way.)

  3. I really like how the color made the tile pop. Enjoyed your post about Arundel Castle … allows me to travel vicariously. (Also loved the first ZIA in your post … looks like a May Day wreath perhaps. Very pretty.)

  4. Lovely post. We went on a cruise around the British Isles last summer and loved it so much that we are going back this fall. I do really like your ring of flowers. Sometimes we have to get over our visions of “what we were expecting” to be able to truly enjoy “what is.” I think it is lovely. I also really, really love the tile with the ING that you put on the birthday card. Great idea to use your tiles in cards. Really interesting blog. I have to go and look harder for a ‘follow’ button. I didn’t see one and want to come back!

      1. We’re right in the middle, north of centr. The nearest city is Sheffield. If you make landfall at any point, we may be able to get to you.

  5. I think the red adds a nice bit of zing and your son in law is a lucky man 🙂 Of course, you could draw stick figures and, as long as they were accompanied by your delightful narratives, they would be wonderful too. That library…oh, that is my idea of heaven (with a maid to serve the cream teas being necessary to complete the ideal).Thanks for sharing your adventures and your delightful wit!

    1. I have to tell you, Suzanne, that, after your comment on my last post, I went in search of Jasper Fforde and bought three of his books. I’m half way through “The Eyre Affair” and loving it. Thanks for the introduction.

      1. I just finished “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. Pure Delight, so I’ll recommend that one as well. I’m glad you like Fforde. He’s another acquired taste, I think, like Pratchett. And, while I’m at it, have you read Alan Bradley? Yep, book lover, that’s me – also open to suggestions of anything you might have loved reading lately 🙂

  6. I do enjoy reading what you’ve been up to…and now that we’ve met I can hear your voice telling me about it too. It’s amazing how that can change the reading experience. Had to smile regarding getting “lost” in England…one thing I think is really cool about driving there is that those “round-abouts” or “traffic circles” that are so prevalent give you time to think about which way you need to go. I have spent many a time going around and around several times (when navigating) before I could tell the driver which way to head off to. Here in the US we have have more of them in New England, but on the west coast if you goof…you could go many miles before you get turned around. sigh…I digress, I loved your colorful creation at the top of your post and your diva’s challenge is beautifully enhanced by the red. Of course I am a color maniac! Thanks for the interesting read this week!

  7. what a delightful post, about your visit to the Castle Arundel. It sounds like something in Narnia, that name. The library sounds absolutely luscious. What a treasure. I think i like your Diva Challenge better with color, but the whole piece, that card you created….that’s just neat. The white on black background, the layered “tiles” each unique. Lovely work! Oh, and I think your ring of flowers is terrific, including the coloring.

  8. Beautiful Post, Maggibee. All of your Tiles are gorgeous. Your photography is top-notch as is your dialog of your latest fascinating adventure. So much joy in your world.

  9. I love reading your posts. Always so descriptive that I feel as though I am right there. I had to laugh at your description of the Convenience situation…my late father-in-law would have probably described it similarly..he also had a wonderful sense of humour. Your wreath is beautiful, but I know what you mean when a piece doesn’t quite fit with you see in your mind’s eye. Don’t be too hard on yourself; it truly is beautiful. And your straight line tile probably looks best with the color added. I added color to the best of mine this week and I think it finished mine. It was hard for me to figure out where to shade too, so I didn’t. I may go back and do it when the tiles talks to me about where to go with it. All in all, great work and great post!

  10. Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a superb article… but what can I say… I
    procrastinate a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

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