Sunday, November 10, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from a blustery Sunday in New York.

An hour ago, I began a walk under blue sky decorated with puffy white clouds.  Now the sky is filled with layers of darkening grey clouds from which is falling a slight snow flurry.

And so, I think I will return you all to my recent U.K. holiday, picking up the story on day two in Ludlow.

After a good night's sleep, I enjoyed a hearty breakfast at The Feathers, and then stepped outdoors to check the weather, knowing that I would be meeting some more UK friends at midday.

The streets were still wet, but the rain was holding off.  I was greatly relieved that by the time I was joined by Valerie of Acornmoon and Gretel of Middle of Nowhere, the weather was very much improved.  We had a chat filled lunch at the hotel, and then set out for a wonderful walk about under a brighter sky.

What a complete delight to be able to spend time with such terrific ladies.  They were both much more familiar with Ludlow than I was, and showed me several very interesting shops, including a bookbindery and a specialty paper shop.

Val was kind enough to take the above photo of Gretel and me.  Looking at these photos of friends again now, how I wish that we could have such good visits much more often.

Ludlow is filled with so much gorgeous architecture and lots of charm.  There is even a castle.  On this visit, we did not actually venture into the castle but had a walk around its wall and a peek into its courtyard.  Maybe that is the wrong term.  Does a castle have a courtyard?  Is that because the castle had a court?

As we walked about, still talking of course, we saw lots of pretty autumn leaves had been shaken from their branches by the recent rain and breezes.

I wonder what it might be like to actually live in Ludlow.  Would you feel as if you lived in a museum, or would you actually grow comfortable with the exquisite surroundings?

Val and I each were struck by the Japanese-like patterning of some of the still damp fallen leaves.  I would love to have a silk kimono with a similar pattern.

It was difficult to bid farewell to Val and Gretel, but they had their journeys home ahead of them.  I am already looking forward to our next gathering together.

Would you be surprised to learn that on the next morning, on my departure day, a clear blue sky appeared?

You can see the sun glinting on the front of the buildings, and perhaps even get a glimpse of the distant hills.  Even one of the figures on the carved wooden beam on the hotel's front seemed to be smiling.

I had an immense full English breakfast before leaving the hotel and walking down the steep hill to the little train station.

Staying at The Feathers was a very interesting experience.  I felt a bit as if I had entered into the setting of a story featuring Miss Marple.  I even had my knitting with me.  The hotel staff could not have been more gracious.

It was pleasant sitting on a sunny bench on the platform at the train station, while eavesdropping on conversations of other ticket holders who were waiting for their trains.  I enjoyed having one more glimpse of Ludlow at the top of the hill.

My train ride back to London gave me an opportunity to see so much  Shropshire and Welsh landscape beauty.  The colors were spectacular in the fields and on the hills.  I also loved seeing a variety of cattle, sheep and horses to feed my country dreams.

I arrived at Paddington Station in the afternoon, knowing that on the next morning I would be heading to another station, Liverpool Street Station, my gateway to Cambridge.    My report of that journey will be appearing in my next post.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  I continue to make note of so many other blogging friends whose part of the world I would love to see.


  1. Oh, I was sure you have met Gretel!! How nice to have had the opportunity to talk with blog friends after so many posts of sharing!:)I was smiling while reading your story about that day.
    The town looks really beautiful. Who knows, maybe one day you'll meet Gretel, Valerie and Friko again?:)

  2. i love traveling along with you frances. i don't think you could ever get so comfortable to not notice such incredible surroundings. and those leaves, oh my. so glad you were able to meet and spend some time with friends. :)

  3. You've told me a little of your Ludlow adventures - now I've seen all the lovely photos, even though the weather wasn't too good you had a wonderful time with friends.

    I think castles can have courtyards nowadays, it probably the Bailey if you want to be technical.

    I know what happens in your Cambridge adventure, but I'm looking forward to reading and seeing the photos to experience it again through your eyes.

  4. The weather here has turned so much more wintery, I have been glad to wear my lovely wrist warmers. That day in Ludlow now seems far away so it was good to be reminded of it, I am waiting to read about your Cambridge adventures. take care, x

  5. Did you go to Kettle's Yard? I do hope so!

  6. What a delightful trip you had! Such fun to meet blog friends in person.

  7. What a beautiful town and this is the first I've heard of it, considering that I listen to BBC4 all day long...
    Did you get to Ambridge?
    I'm curious about the Christmas sign for medieval festifvities?
    Wintery weather in Paris as well...

  8. I wish we could have had longer Frances, it was so good to see you again. We must do it again! XX