Monday, 10 November 2008

R&R

My husband is a true diamond. Just when we were at a low ebb, worn out with the daily grind, laid low with coughs and colds, he pulled the most wonderful and most needed surprise out of the bag for my birthday last week.
A few years ago when it was just us two in the first flush of romance, we spent a weekend in the beautiful and charming Marcher town of Ludlow. It was bliss; beautiful food, charming buildings, a dramatic castle and treasure trove shops to explore. Since that first romantic weekend we've returned a few times on day trips and its one of those very special places that stays in your heart.

Woody is a quiet romantic, not for him regular bunches of flowers, candle-lit dinners or declarations of love. Instead he surprises me every now and again with a really thoughtful gesture or a well considered plan, and trips away to special places are his forte.

For my 30th we went (with baby in tow), for a long weekend in Carcassone in the South of France and stayed in a little town house right beneath the city walls. Our honeymoon was inspired by an idea of his to visit the islands of Britain, so we spent an amazing (if pretty foggy) week on the Shetland Isles.

But you know what it's like with little ones, trips have been a luxury we can't really afford and we've never felt comfortable being away from our little chaps really. Until this weekend. My darling Woody had organised for the adored grandparents to come and stay (just for one night which felt ok), so we tootled down to Shropshire on a dreary November day that showed off the amazing colours of autumn so beautifully.

We stayed in this wonderful pub, where we'd had a delicious meal on our fist visit, and bless him he remembered. In our 24 hours away we spent a pretty good portion of it just sitting chatting, with coffee, newspapers, magazines (Country Living December - bliss!) and more coffee. This was what I enjoyed the very most, getting the chance to laugh and chatter with my smashing chap, my very best friend.
I got to indulge my magpie hunting urges too and visited this lovely place and blew my birthday money in one shot, on a beautiful blue vintage enamel jug and a rosy remnant of Colefax and Fowler fabric which may even have come from the section stocked by Louise Loves ,who's blog and website I love.

It was a short but very, very sweet trip and a birthday I shall remember and treasure for an awfully long time. What a treasure my Woody is. xxx
P.S. I just wanted to say thank you for all the gorgeous comments on my last post about my thrifty kitchen makeover. I feel very flattered and I'm just glad you can't see the close-up finish! It's still a work in progress but hopefully it'll be ready for Christmas.

For those who asked tile paint is pretty good, not as good as new tiles but they were definitely out of my budget so painting them was a good second best. The key is to apply thin layers and I found using a roller much easier than the brush I'd used last time. Make sure it's for gloss paint though or you get hairs and fibres sticking. Most of my tiles were white so repainting them ivory only took a couple of quick coats, but the navy border took a couple more - dries quickly though. Thanks so much!

22 comments:

Gingham and Flowers said...

Happy Birthday for last week. Sounds like a really perfect weekend. Ludlow is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. It looks really lovely. We've been fighting colds for the last couple of weeks too and are off for a weekend away this weekend. Can't wait for it to boost the mood. I don't think I commented on the last post. Your kitchen really looks great. I've used tile paint before and found it was a really good and cheap alternative to new tiles!

Hen said...

Happy Birthday to you! So glad you got the chance to get away and have a break, It's great having a bit of time, just the two of you, and I agree it is very difficult once you have children but that just makes it more special. I love Ludlow, we used to go there on a school trip each year to see the Shakespearean play in the open air of the castle. I haven't been for years though. Ah, better add that to my list of places to visit (it's getting v long)!
Hen x

carolyn said...

Belated birthday greetings to you.

serendipitylovesnewyork said...

Happy belated birthday to you. You had a perfect birthday. What a fab hubby you have. Claire x

our shabby cottage said...

Happy birthday! Isn't it wonderful how husbands surprise us! Mine is the same. He doesn't buy flowers very often but when he does it is a complete and utter surprise. your birthday weekend away looked wonderful!

Cowboys and Custard said...

Hello Steph...
It was lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for your kind words..
Sorry that this is such a belated Birthday greeting..
It must have been a very special date with Woody..
Ludlow is a charming town packed full of character and fab shops... Zani Lady being one of my faves too! In fact Corve Street has oodles of loveliness in the shops.
These random gestures are so very special and your man sounds like a true romantic...
Michele xx

Sal said...

Hi there! Glad that you had the most fabulous birthday. Ludlow is a lovely town which we visited in September and so much enjoyed the traipse up and down Corve Street,not to mention coffee in de Greys etc etc! ;-)

lou said...

A belated happy birthday to you! it looks like you had a lovely time. x

thriftymrs said...

Happy birthday!
Ludlow is my utter fave place to visit.

. said...

I like so much when people post pictures of nice places in England.Thank you.

Alfazema

funkymonkey said...

Happy Birthday Steph. I love Corve Street and Zani Lady. Infact, Rob bought me both my Birthday presents from there this year. One of them was a jug which is very chipped but I just fell totally in love with it. I shall have to remember to blog them. I'm glad you had such a great weekend. Hope your colds are all better.

Tracey

Pipany said...

Oh envy, envy, wwhat I wouldn't give for a trip away like that Steph. Sounds perfect. It is the sitting, chatting and relaxing which makes it so right isn't it? Happy birthday for last week xx

periwinkle said...

belated birthday wishes - what a lovely hubby you have to take you to such a lovely place. Glad to hear you had a lovely time
lisa x

Ziakoko said...

if your husband eve gives lessons I'll sign mine up in a minute!

The Fairy Glade said...

What a very lucky girl you are!

retrorose said...

A weekend away, and shopping, and magazines. Bliss! We had a weekend away recently, and it just helps to spend a bit of time together.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

I am glad you had a lovely break I think Mr P and I could do with some time away.... and thanks for the info on the tile paint I am definately gonna give it a go...

cheers Alex

prettyshabby said...

Happy Belated Birthday lovely Steph and oh how lovely to be whisked away to Ludlow! Zani lady looks like a brilliant shop, especially with the Louise loves department..I must say I'm a fan too!

serenitymeadow said...

Thanks for showing these pictures...maybe someday I can make it to England...it seems so lovely.

Miss sew n sew said...

Happy belated Birthday! What a lovely surprise glad you had a great time!
Ludlow looks great
Sarahx

Hen said...

Hi Steph,

The badges I got from the CL fair were from Made in Hastings. They do have a web shop as I've looked at it; not sure whether the badges are on it but I'm sure you'll find out.

Hen x

Kathy said...

I've enjoyed my first visit here! Happy birthday!
Kathy