Thursday, 22 April 2010

The View From Here...

Hello all Blog Friends!

This week, our show comes to you from the Georgian Spa Town of Cheltenham....

Well, you've watched shows like "Antiques Roadshow", "Minute Makeover", "Location, Location" etc... That's how the presenters always seem to start the show.

But, in fact, I am in the Georgian spa town of Cheltenham (albeit out on the edge, in a non-georgian modern estate!).  I'm here visiting my very bestest friend of 30 years (yes it amazes me how long we've been friends, especially as we didn't sit next to each other in nursery school  and didn't know each other existed until secondary school!)

I came to see her for a couple of days, as she's in the middle of a rough time just now and I thought I could lend some moral support. Besides, for various reasons, it's been a year since we were last over to see her.

Right now, this is the view from the bedroom windows:

The bedrooms at the back of the house look out over meadows (and the lane) and the Cotswold hills. It's lovely here.

Even the view from the front is pretty okay! Cheltenham sits in a bowl, within the Cotswold Hills. It is a very pretty place, with lovely buildings and great countryside. I like to visit here.
Yesterday I took this photo of the Wishing Fish Clock, in Regent's Arcade. This was designed by the artist, Kit Williams (remember the book, Masquerade?)
It's such fun - it plays tunes on the hour and half-hour, and on the hour is does a little show, with figures moving etc, and the fish blows bubbles for the children. See a video here (this is a mobile phone video so not best quality, but the clock plays "I'm forever blowing bubbles" and you may be able to see some of the bubbles coming from the fish's mouth).
There are other Wishing Clocks, by the same artist - I have seen two, both with a frog - one in Milton Keynes shopping centre, the other at Telford. Such lovely art-work!

Telford Frog Clock - Sherwood Place, Teleford Shopping Centre  
(photo from Wikipedia)

I've been busy here, helping with packing (my friend is moving very soon) and cleaning, buying birthday presents for her and her daughter (hence the trip to the shopping centre), cooking dinner etc.  However I did find time to do a bit of crafting - I'm part-way through another dog toy for my shop and I finished the House for Rinda's blog project, but you'll have to wait to see that! 

So, I've just seen my friend and her two elder children off to school and work. Now I have to tidy up my stuff, pack it away and head for home. Back to a busy life in Bedfordshire!


  1. ah the town of my birth and home of my ancestors way back to victorian times and before. are u near shurdington? thats where my nan and grandad watts lived, my other gps lived in leckhampton and my mum lived in charlton kings........i love it there so much to remember u've got me all family history thinking now!!!!
    safe trip home and thanx for the lovely comment about my news!!!
    Jo xxxx

  2. Yes I remember Masquerade; and that looks like another fascinating piece. You sound like a good friend, and 30 years really is something to be proud :)

  3. Ah yes, Jo! I'm just up the road from Shurdington and also near Leckhampton. My friend lives at Up Hatherley, by the Shurdington Road! Of course it was fields here for a long time, but over the last 20 years, they've been building, extending from Warden Hill into the Hatherley area. Now there are a couple of big housing developments, a new supermarket and shops etc. The house I'm staying in is on the edge of the older houses, looking across the fields towards the Town.

  4. It sounds like a lovely place and even more wonderful to visit with such a dear friend.

  5. Oh Lizzie ... that forum idea would be nothing but serious trouble ;-)

  6. Hi Lizzie ~ There's nothing like hanging out with a good friend to help you through a tough time. I'm sure your friend is grateful for your visit.

    The clocks are amazing - I've never seen anything like that before so thanks for posting.

    Have a safe journey home... xo

  7. Love the Cotswolds :-) And oh yes, Masquerade!! That's such a beautiful clock, thanks for sharing xx

  8. Love the wishing fish clocks. Thanks for sharing them!

  9. Old friends are the best. They know you in and out and love you anyway. I have one that I've kept for 35 years! What a treasure.


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