This part of my time in London sees me off to the 'Antiques & Architectural Fair' in the South of England. I was up at 4am to be there at 6am to meet Maud. We hadn't seen each other for 3 years. We agreed to meet in the 'Gardeners Arms Pub' which is opposite the event venue. Along came Maud, full of life in her large well known Blue Van as her business is called 'Beyond France'. Maud was as vivacious as ever & embraced me & was clearly excited about what would unfold. She had left enough room in the back of the van for me to load my boxes in ... along with the large bag of cushion inserts she had got for me. Off we trundled into the Antiques & Collectors Fair. We drove to our site & began to set up. Maud had lots of trestle tables & props - it felt like an endless stream of goodies out of her van .... with constant interruptions from many walking past who knew her ...
It was an amazing day despite the incredible heat - it truly was over the top & people were sweltering & especially the ones who were out in the open & no shelter of trees !!! We shared a heavy duty marque with two others. One was a couple with anything vintage .. the other French man was so nice & had very old oil paintings.
We had quite a few customers. One of mine was a delightful couple who had a design studio (Susie Atkinson Design UK) & were buying for a boutique hotel they were designing for - 'whala' that was a bonus for me ... As it was so hot a lot of dealers didn't stay the full day & I was able to leave a bit earlier as I was driving across to Salisbury. Maud was happy to pack her things as she was only doing the one day as well.
The drive to Salisbury went smoothly & arrived in time at the B&B where I was staying, to then be able to walk into the town. The owner of the B&B recommended I have dinner at the 'Boathouse' pub which sits right on the river that runs through Salisbury. It was only a 3 minute walk to the pub. It was delightful & I chose to sit outside where there was only metal fencing between me & the clear running water of the river. As I ate my tea, ducks paddled down with 10 ducklings, then along came 2 white swans with 3 littlies. It was the most gentle, peaceful time of the day. Funnily enough there were 3 young women having drinks next to me who struck up a conversation with me & asked me to join them as I was finishing off my dinner. It was a delightful conversation about their young people - as some were off to their first Glastonbury event but one girls daughter was home sewing. Of course it was lovely to hear about someone so young who loved cutting up fabrics to experiment sewing & her favourite shop was a fabric store right in the heart of Salisbury.
The next morning saw me up for breakfast & so happy to have enough time to walk to the Salisbury Cathederal that I had gone to 18yrs ago with Kathryn. The walk was lovely as not too many people around, but as I approached the Cathederal the memories came back as to me of its beauty & majesty. I was able to go inside & suddenly felt overwhelmed with the presence of the Lord, as an organist was rehearsing. It was one of those moments when I felt so far from home.
I almost ran back to my car as I had spent a tad more time than planned & needed to be on my way to some planned time with an Artist in residence (Patricia Samanta) at the Salisbury Spinal Unit. I had seen Patricia's work in a magazine I sometimes get & emailed her about her work. Needless to say it went from there. I was meeting her at her home for a one on one painting lesson. Patricia paints on linen canvas. I found her home which is in a little village just outside of Salisbury. We spent some quality time together & I learnt a lot. Can't wait to have some time at home to experiment.
Now on the homeward run back to Val's. I have 1 day to reorganise for the next big Fair.
Including numerous chandaliers !!
So much to choose from ...
The River that runs through Salisbury.
A white duck protecting her babies.
Old buildings in Salisbury.
Found this unusual monument on my walk to the Cathedral.
Looking across the Courtyard.
Beautiful long corridors/cloisters.
One of the side chapels & a team of volunteer women were dusting everything.
Lunch on the way home at the 'The Silver Plough' pub at Pinton.