Oh happy day!

I can’t remember the last time I saw my cousin Stephen and his wife Sara. They live in New York but came over to England a few weeks ago for the birth of their eldest daughter Claire’s second child.

They made a special trip down from London to the New Forest today to visit me and Marion. We met them at Brockenhurst railway station and after a circuitous drive through the forest we arrived back home and enjoyed a lovely, impromptu, picnic in the garden conjoured up by Marion seemingly from nowhere.

Afternoon tea followed, served on a tablecloth and with Marion’s grandmother’s 1928 Royal Winton ‘Marguerite’ china tea service which was brought out in their, and Teacosy’s, honour.

And a good time was, I think, had by all concerned. Until, that is, the weather broke and raindrops started to fall.

For myself I overdid it a bit today and have paid the price in discomfort terms this evening. I was unable to join Marion on the run back to Brockenhurst station when Stephen & Sara departed back to London. Which was disappointing.

It was so good to have them visit, the first members of my family I’ve seen since Christmas.

Breakfast with The Queen

FX helping TC take a picture of TSM taking a picture of them!

FX helping TC take a picture of TSM taking a picture of them!

After the Travelling Teacosy’s return last night from a weekend in sunny Dorset, it was allowed a jolly good rest overnight, and then awoken from its slumbers at the ungodly hour of 5am and drive two miles down the road to Calshot Spit.

Whereupon, right on cue at 6am, came Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 – home again from New York after a six day trans-Atlantic crossing.

I arranged the general ‘arrival’ shots, plus pictures of Chorlkie taking pictures of our valued guest meeting The Queen, so do pop over to Chorlkie’s blog to find see the close-up pictures of their historic encounter!

Just click each image to see a larger version.

And then it was back home at 6.15 for our own breakfast and a jolly good rest after our early morning exertions.

This afternoon I’ve two American cousins visiting us for the day, so we’ll take the opportunity to show them around the New Forest, and Teacosy will be coming along for the ride.

We hope they’ll enter into the spirit of the occasion and partake in the general silliness (but who knows)!

Teacosy gets Boldre

The sun broke out again this morning and so ere long, we broke out from a stupour of mild inaction to head for Beaulieu where summer bedding plants (red geraniums, dark blue lobelia and white alyssum) where purchased for the potager garden back home.  

Thence to Lymington and, more specifically,our target destination Waitrose, followed by a meander back through the forest for TC’s delectation and delight..

After spending far too much money, purchases included a tray of sushi for lunch, at which Marion initially turned her nose up but I insisted she put presumption (not prejudice) against the contents aside, to just wait and see – plus a couple of delicious butterscotch yum yums from the patisserie.

On the way back we diverted via Sway in the hope of calling upon a couple of friends of mine who live on the edge of the forest, but they weren’t in, thus thwarting our second attempt to ‘pop’ since I arrived down here at the end of March. Maybe third time lucky (that is, the next time we hit Waitrose)!

And then it was TC’s time. Ah, perhaps not quite yet. Lunch beckoned from the carrier bag. And out came the sushi tray.

Out also came the presumptions, that it was all raw fish and yuck. One tentative bite from my companion was followed by a distinct ‘Mmmmm!’, and thereafter I had to wrestle to get anything from the selection tray myself.  “Houston, we have a sushi convert…”

From Sway we meandered over to the delightful village of Boldre. I’d said that the first pony we saw we’d have to stop and introduce TC, or in Marion’s words: “The first pony gets it [an introduction]!”. In the village centre we saw not New Forest ponies but donkeys, including a very young one that Marion said is known as a Jenny (not sure why).

Then headed for home through the forest snapping location pics as spotted ideal ‘Kodak moments’ to share with TC’s fanbase:

I got some very puzzled looks (and smiles) from folk driving or walking past as I composed a brightly-coloured teacosy into position for my various photographs. Needless to say it was a drive home full of mirth and much giggling. Marion even admitted that it wouldn’t have occurred to her to do anything nearly so silly, but she hadn’t had as much fun in a long time!

TC’s off to Dorset tomorrow morning to spend the weekend at Kingcombe with Marion. It’ll get a walk through the stunning wildflower meadows where early spotted and southern marsh orchids, yellow rattle and ragged robin will all be easy to spot and provide yet more photo opportunities.

So pop over to http://chorlkie.wordpress.com for an update (hopefully she’ll find time to post some pics over the weekend but knowing her she might wait until she’s home on Sunday afternoon).

And then I believe our visitor will sadly be leaving us, heading northward to Glasgow to stay with Auchenshugglegranny. I understand Granny is already planning an ambitious itinerary for what is now a very well travelled teacosy.

I hope someone is tallying up the miles for the Guinness Book of Records because after Glasgow, Saint-Chaptes, 1160 miles south in France, is its next destination!

Maybe TC should have its own traveller’s blog?

The Travelling Teacosy has arrived!

Yesterday a much-anticipated Jiffybag arrived from the Isle of Bressay in Shetland, direct from Mirlnlass (to whom many thanks for safe receipt) and Morrolessocks.

But TSM was away down at Kingcombe for a trustee meeting and not expected home until late. So the Jiffybag sat on the dining room table, kept company by various pieces of my broken mobile phone (someone who shall remain nameless dropped it on a stone floor last Thursday), until this morning.

We had planned to take it with us along to a hospital appointment in Lymington, then hold a grand opening ceremony on the way home in the heart of the New Forest but – dur! – the Jiffybag got left behind in our rush to make the appointment. 

So a slightly less picturesque, though still very colourful, opening was hastily organised ‘up the garden path’ at Chez TSM here at the eastern edge of the forest.  A short gallery follows. Watch http://chorlkie.wordpress.com for more pictures of Teacosy’s New Forest Safari.

More Travelling Teacosy news and pictures to follow …