22nd June 2017

This is our last night in Bedford as we move to exchange number 7 in Glasgow in the morning. So, this is a catch-up on what we’ve done over the last week or so. Two of the places we visited prohibited the taking of photographs inside, so there wasn’t much to write up about. The first of these was the Bunyan Museum in Bedford.

bUNYAN

The only thing I knew about John Bunyan was that he wrote Pilgrim’s Progress – but I’ve never read it. There was a precis of the book throughout the museum – which is only small but very well done. I did take one sneaky photo though – I couldn’t resist capturing another ‘Crompton’ mention. It’s a bit shaky, but readable:

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Mum and Dad went home on Saturday morning and we had a relaxing weekend in the garden, same on Monday because it was so very hot. Too hot to be walking too far. Tuesday was slightly cooler – at least in the morning – so we went off to see Woburn Abbey. No photos permitted inside, but we got some nice ones of the garden.

One of the things I liked inside the Abbey was a needlepoint bell pull worked by the current Duke’s mother.  It is really long, but not as long as the curtain header I’ve been working for the last goodness-knows-how-long (not much to do now, though), so I was interested to see how she’d finished it on the back. All my quilting friends will know that you always need to see the back to get the full picture! I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to touch it and this was confirmed by the guide so I asked him if there was any chance he had a pair of white gloves to hand to turn it over for me. He looked a bit taken aback but said that no, he didn’t. About 5 minutes later, he came chasing after me with a white cloth in his hand and offered to turn the piece over for me so I could see the back as I’d wanted. Very helpful. And it was beautifully finished, I must say. I hope I can make as good a job of mine when I get to that stage. Disappointed that I couldn’t photograph it though.

Here are some pictures of the outside of the Abbey gardens:

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Garden1

There are lots of waterliles:

Garden2

Waterlilies

And a distinct Chinese theme – lots of red, lanterns, pagoda, little bridge etc.

Pagoda

And an interesting sculpture by Sophie Dickens. Five figures each one performing different stages of a cartwheel. I’ve had a look at her website – and she has done other similar sculptures. Brilliant piece of work. I only seem to have captured 4 of the figures on my photo but there’s a much better picture on her website:  http://www.sladmore.com/media/sladmoremedia/pdf/Sladmore-Sophie-Dickens-IWB.pdf

Sophie Dickens

One of our favourite haunts while we’ve been here – The Flowerpot. Great live bands at the weekends and a recommended Thai restaurant over the road – the Thai Lagoon. If you’re ever in Bedford…

Flowerpot

I finally managed to get a bit of stitching finished while we’ve been here. Two little postcards done completely by hand. I’ve used a needlepunched handbag liner in place of the wadding and pelmet vilene that I normally use and I really like it. I’ll probably continue to use it when I get home:

The yellow one isn’t quite finished – it still has the tacking stitches around the outside. I only need to whipstitch the sides together and it’ll be finished – and just in time with these. The heart one is being left here as my Thank You, as I’m down to the last one of the ones I brought and I’ve thought of something else I want to do with that.

We are leaving the garden in full fruit and bloom. It looks gorgeous and we have carefully tended David’s lettuces and kept up with deadheading the surfinias while we’ve been here!

The cherry tree in full fruit:

Garden 4

The hanging baskets:

Garden 1

We’ve had a lovely visit here. Spent a lot of relaxing time in the conservatory and garden. We’ve had unexpected cold (and the wrong clothes) and heat that surpassed the famous summer of ’76, so a real mixed bag. What awaits us in Glasgow, we wonder?

 

 

 

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