Friday, 28 August 2015


It's the eve of the final Bank Holiday weekend of the season.
There's a big art and craft fair in the church.
There's a Victorian Fayre in the Court.
There's a big knot in my stomach.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mrs C.

Yesterday I was asked a question I'd never been asked before:
"Are you married to Michael Collie?"

Not one, but two visitors to the tearooms asked this, separately. Two ladies who were part of a 34-strong floral art club. I had to tell them I'd never even met Michael Collie, although I do think he has good hair.
"Someone said you were his wife," said one, "I was going to ask if you could get him to give a talk to our WI. Oh well."
I did hate to disappoint them.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Very rock and roll

We've been visited by a touring Canadian band.
We don't know much about them.
Other than they're a band, they're touring this country and they're from Canada.
Oh and that one of them bought a pair of oven gloves with chickens on them. And another bought a very nice bar of organic soap.

Lost and Found

An email yesterday: 
My wife and I visited Witley Court on Monday and had a delicious, relaxing lunch in your gardens. When I got home I found I'd lost my faithful old flat cap, and wondered if I might have dropped it where we were sat opposite your main entrance. Have you had anything like this handed in?
We had indeed. How fabulous to be able to reunite a "faithful old flat cap" with its yearning owner via the Royal Mail. I only hope it's the right hat...

Then today we found a handbag, left open on one of our tables. Inside a phone, a Filofax, money, lipstick, tissues. We waited. Surely someone would come back. We waited. No one arrived to claim it.
So we began the Sherlock Holmes procedures. The phone was locked. We checked her Filofax for an address. We found that she is taking her dog to be groomed tomorrow. We rang the groomers. They had an address but no home number.
We went round the houses for a while and then struck gold.
I have left her a message on her home phone.
The dog groomers may also tell her where she left her bag....

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The state we're in

Well, Marvin J. Hackenbacker, from Idaho, you have intrigued us.
Are you writing the very same thing in every visitors' book you find (tea rooms and church)  - "I just don't get it" ?

Or is it a genuine statement?
Are you using a made-up name?
Are you even American?
I just don't get it.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A Titian. A Titian. They all fall down.

Another busy weekend.
Bede's 80th yesterday afternoon.
Tracy's 40th this afternoon.
A packed garden on both days.
We had to rush out for milk and cream.

Plus the story from two ladies on their way to Venice (via Birmingham airport). The last time they were there (fifteen years ago) they misunderstood a monk's hand gestures. He'd offered to show them a very special religious painting in an ante room and beckoned them forward. Apparently the Italian gesture of beckoning is a lot like ours for "get-down-on-the-floor". So the two women dropped to their knees and shuffled forward towards the piece of artwork (which was amazing) and in doing so a perfectly lovely white linen dress was never the same again and a monk was totally bemused.

Friday, 31 July 2015

June in July

Two visitors of photographic note yesterday.
Firstly June, the original owner of the Ugly Yellow Handbag came for a cup of tea and slice of coffee & walnut cake. She brought her latest bag. Which is far from ugly and isn't at all yellow:

Then there was Maria, a harpist, who brought her harp to the birthday gathering she was attending. She drank tea, ate scones and played utterly beautifully.
It was a real privilege to hear her.

She is teaching the harp to the lady who organised the birthday tea. Her name is Kim Wilde (yes, really).
I suggested that if she turns professional with her instrument she could perform under the name Wilde At Harp. 
You're welcome.