When Dinahmow planned her trip back to revisit the country she left many years ago, I suspect she had in mind – like Robert Browning – blossom and a chaffinch singing on a bough. Unfortunately the jet-stream has delivered England's much needed rain, and lots and lots of it!
Today's plan was a rendez-vous with not just Dinahmow but also Lizzie-made; the selected meeting place was the brand shiny new Harriet's Café Tearooms in Cambridge . . . and jolly nice it is too!
Fortified with tea/coffee and toasted tea-cakes we ventured forth down cobbled lanes shiny with puddles; there were no tourist groups to jostle with, just the occasional student on a bike. The only person in the view from Magdalene Bridge was a man baling water out of the punts.
Bloggers are hardy souls . . .
and the sunflowers looked happy!
We were on our way to Kettles Yard to see Alfred Wallis: ships and boats. The elderly Cornish sailor took up painting to fill the void in his life after his wife died. He painted on scraps of card and board using paints from the hardware store. He painted his memories, he painted what he knew well . . . ships and the sea.
And that might have been that, but Alfred Wallis lived in St Ives and it was 1928 . . . two artists from London were in St Ives planning to establish an artists' colony by the sea . . . they were Ben Nicholson and Kit Wood and as the saying goes 'the rest is history'.
On the way back into town we passed a shop full of bright things . . . it drew us bloggers in like wasps to a jam sarnie! Some of us couldn't resist buying things!
What with all that art and designy things and choosing, not to mention the incessant rain, we were in need of sustainance and there was only one place to go for a true English comfort food experience . . .
Feeling satisfyingly filled up with delicious warming tastiness on toast, we were ready to face the rain again. But first I needed to buy a couple of Chelsea buns (you can't go into Fitzbillies and NOT buy Chelsea buns, that would, be . . . well . . . just wrong!) I nearly panicked when I couldn't see any CB's under or on the counter. But there was no need to fret, the CB's are now held in a stainless steel cupboard – nick-named 'the dalek' – it's there at the back against the blue tiled wall, with the stack of bun-bags on the top.
And look, I've got a lovely present! One of Lizzie's beautiful hand-bound books and a linocut of Spanish lemons :-) A lovely way to remember our meet-up day.
City Views, Country Dreams
6 hours ago