I’ve always been a details-monkey rather than a bigger-picture person.* This is one of the many, many reasons why I’m not the millionaire CEO of some entrepreneurial shebang. I’d be too busy pondering the style of door knobs for the offices to notice that the business was falling over a financial cliff.
So when I say that we went away this week for a couple o’ nights to a Somerset village so that the Toddler Twinnage could have some bucket-and-spade time, I hope you’ll understand that I’ve brought back a muddle of details to show you, rather than an organised overview.
But look at this!
In a village called Dunster, we found the Yarn Market, built in 1609 by the scion-of-the-day of the Luttrell family, a clan that clung on to the local castle for five hundred years until the 1970s. The idea of this building was to shelter the villagers (or rather their wares) from the weather as they traded the yarn and later the cloth for which this village became renowned. Because really, would you want to buy some lovely yarn if a sodding great cloud had just dumped a tonne of rain on it?
The central pillar and low perimeter wall are stone, but otherwise it’s pretty much all wood, with a tiled roof. Much loveliness, no?
We stayed in a stone cottage that was similar in age to the Yarn Market, its rooms jumbled higgledy-piggledy together with little consideration for geometry or right angles, and its walls so thick that seats had been carved out in front of the windows. In the garden, the mombretia were in full bloom (in the rain, you’ll note: traditional British holiday weather being what it is).
I love mombretia/crocosmia because it looks highly strung and exotic, but actually it romps unfussily around the otherwise all-green hedgerows in north Wales, where I first learned its name many years ago. In fact, I’ve decided to embroider some in the garden of my big-house-furniture-secret-project.
We were in half-decent fossil territory too, although we didn’t get to do any fossil-hunting on this so-brief trip. But I noticed that someone had left a gryphaea (aka ‘devil’s toe nail’) in the garden at the cottage. (There were a lot of gryphaea in my teenage years: we lived near some properly fossiliferous Jurassic beaches. I’ve a soft spot for the gnarly beasts.)
And tiny wild strawberries grew beside the path. Much small. Much tasty. Much micro-gluttony.
And finally, in a second hand bookshop beside the sea, a 1987 book by Jan Messent. Look at this!
She’s worked her knitted/crocheted gardens differently from how I’m making mine, but her pieces are so inspiring. Time to be a little more bold in the planning of my own project, I think. I’ve finished crocheting the front of the house and am now contemplating the garden. I’ve been busy with pencil and paper, and there are to be many colourful and bonkers details. I can’t wait to show you very, very soon.
*(Fortunately, it’s OK for psychologists to be into the details, so I remain employed.)