Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Day 44 – Thursday, June 7th

The church at Lydiard Millicent

A coat of arms showing the many families that have come together thru the years and marriages.

My wonderful hostess!!!

The beginning of my private quilt show

One of my favorite quilts!!!

Today, Michael gave the LAST of his seminars for this trip and he was heard to exclaim “Free At Last!!!!”. Now he just has to continue working on the book that he has started writing.

I continued in the vein of “play time for Frances” and took the train to Swindon to visit with Kandy Norton who is a quilter that I met from the British Quilt List. My morning started out poorly as I stopped to get a drink on the way to the train station and realized that I didn’t have ANY cash….we had moved all of my money to Michael’s wallet for yesterday’s trip. I thought….”No problem. I will just hit an ATM and get some cash”. Problem!!!!! The first two ATM’s were closed, the 3rd and 4th ones were out of cash and finally I was able to find one at the train station that had some money. I was worried that I would have to borrow some from Kandy ….great first impression!!

My first train was delayed by about 10 minutes, meaning that I got into Didcot Parkway Station (where I changed trains) late as well. As I was getting off of the train a girl in front of me complained that she had probably missed her connection and that she was headed to the same train as I was. So, when the doors opened she SPRINTED down the stairs, under the tunnel and back up the stairs to the next platform. I did my best to keep up with her, or at least keep her within sight. As I panted my way up the last set of stairs, this older woman said “you didn’t need to run….this train is late too!!!” She had a large Golden Labrador who was being trained to be a guide dog for the blind. He was a beautiful dog and kept leaning into my leg so that I would pet him. She said that he was almost ready to be turned over to the “Royal Society for the Blind” for his last set of training. When they got onto the train, she told him to sit under the table between the seats. He complied, but his tail hung way out into the aisle and everyone that went by got a bit of tail wag.

I arrived at Swindon station and called Kandy to come pick me up. She arrived about 10 minutes later and we headed back to her house for a “cup of tea and a chat”. We then drove into one of the nearby villages and had a look at an old church at “Lydiard Millicent” that had some beautiful stained glass and paintings.

Kandy told me a bit about coats of arms and said that when two people marry the coat of arms changes to include both families designs. The ones that have many separate, seemingly unrelated, sections shows that it is the result of many years of marriages.

We returned to her house for lunch which was “Salad Nicoise”. She had asked in an earlier email if I like this dish and I had looked it up on the internet to see what it was before I had answered her. It was simply a salad with artichokes, green beans, boiled potatoes, boiled eggs and tuna, and sprinkled with an oil and vinegar dressing. She served it with broiled tomatoes and garlic bread. She also asked if I wanted a “Pimms and Lemonade” to drink. I asked her exactly what Pimms was and she described it as a alcoholic drink that seems quite innocent, but can do great damage. I told her that I would love to try it so she fixed this lovely drink that had a light flavor and was a wonderful companion to the salad.

I checked Pimms out on the internet and found the following….

Rewind back to a London oyster bar in the 1840s where owner James Pimm invented the thirst-quencher. Using gin, quinine and a secret mixture of herbs, good old Pimm served up the brew as an aid to digestion, dishing it out in a small tankard.

After lunch she brought down a stack of quilts to look at as well as a huge box of quilt postcards that she had made or been sent. We spent the next 3 hours looking at quilts, talking about our favorite (and least favorite) teachers and sharing LOTS of tips. At the beginning of the day, she had seemed fairly quiet, but she grew more and more enthusiastic and excited as she talked about the quilts. It was such fun to have a private show!!!!

One of the sayings that she used amused me. She was speaking about her daughter’s wedding and about her daughter’s mother-in-law and said “she couldn’t organize a booze up in a brewery”!!! That about says it all!!

She drove me back to Swindon Station and I caught the two trains back to Oxford. As with most of our rail journeys, it was not entirely uneventful as one of the trains did not have a correct listing of the towns that it went through, so I wasn’t entirely sure that I was on the right train!!!

I had a Kebab and chips for dinner while Michael ate out with one of his colleagues and then we both enjoyed a quiet evening at home!!!!

One thought on “Day 44 – Thursday, June 7th

  1. well I have slogged through your blog and it is just like being there. How fun. Maybe you can continue when you come home. Trips to Publix are just as exciting as Buckingham Palace, sure they are….

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