Monday, April 19, 2010

Greetings from Wales

Note to Readers: I thought I'd lost this post as when I went to send it, I got a message that the connection had 'timed out' and couldn't find the draft. I was delighted this morning (29 April) to see that the draft was there. The following was composed on the 19 April.

I've had a great time in England for the past ten days: firstly to Canterbury and then to Tunbridge Wells. Initially a close friend and I came to mark a significant shared birthday. We've travelled by train and stayed in really nice B&Bs. In addition to touring the towns where we were staying, we would take day trips to Dover, Brighton, Sissinghurst, Knole. (More about that in a later post.)

After my friend left to spend time with her family, I was in London for several days on my own. As I hadn't visited the city for several years, it was fun to rediscover the museums especially. I was fortunate to be able to take in a large quilt exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, plus saw an exhibition of the clothes of Grace Kelly. Hard to believe it was sixty years ago to the day when she became a princess. I also visited the Churchill War Rooms. I haven't seen a drop of rain since I landed in Britain--even had to put on sun block yesterday while I was walking through Hyde Park. The flowers have been beautiful everywhere.

I am really impressed by the train service in Britain. The trains are clean, frequent, arrive and leave on time, and everywhere the staff is very helpful and polite.

It's an exciting time to be in Britain with all the stories about the implications of volcanic ash and the election. Perhaps more excitement than I want, as even though I'm not scheduled to fly home until the 27 April, I'm wondering if that will happen. Have been considering whether I should apply for residency or declare myself a refugee!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shetland News

I am on the Shetland Hamefarin newsletter list and today received their latest update.

In the Shetland dialect, 'hamefarin' means homecoming and it will no doubt be a memorable event, with Shetlanders from all over the world in attendance. The organizing committee has been working very hard for months. I'm going to keep following the site--2010 will be first year since 1996 that I haven't been able to visit Shetland, and it will be a little like "being there."

Everyone who has visited Shetland on my tours will remember Bess Jamieson--the talented, hard-working guardian of the Shetland Guild, and someone who has helped me immeasurably in planning the trips. I heard from Bess this week that the restoration work on the new home for the Guild at Voe House, has been delayed. Consequently, the temporary home of the Guild will be at the Bod of Gremista, former home of Arthur Andersen, founder of the P. & O. Line. The Bod of Gremista is under the aegis of the Shetland Museum.

I'm planning the next Scottish Skeins & Skerries Tour for summer 2011. Please watch my website--the details will be posted in July. I have an email list of people who have indicated they would like to come and will let you all know as soon as the itinerary and other details are available.

I'm leaving for Britain today. One thing I plan to do is to scout out sites for a tour to Wales next year. Specifically, I want to attend the 2010 version of Wonder Wool Wales which takes place later this month. I want to see if it would be an interesting stop for 2011.

Although I'll be physically away, I will endeavour to keep in touch by email. Don't forget about the limited spaces available for the trip to Italy. In my absence, you can always contact Jean Sheikh at Executive Worldwide Travel--the details are on my website.