April 17, 2012:
It was so cold in the night that I wore my hoodie to bed. When asked during breakfast if I slept well, I said I absolutely did, though I was cold. Then I was asked if I’d turned on the radiator. Oops. Hadn’t even thought of that. LOL Breakfast was vegetarian friendly–she knew from my reservation online without me even mentioning it! And it was SO VERY YUMMY! Toast and fruit and juice and a full English breakfast on top of that. I was ready for the day! I also slipped a book onto the bookshelves in the dining room. It was POURING rain all morning and the fellow diners and I were a little sad to see that (I love the rain, and it’s certainly expected in that part of the world, but I did have a lot of walking to do). As soon as I stepped outside, however, the skies cleared right up.
I walked around the town a little, and ended up buying the very LAST pair of scissors in town! LOL I also bought something like 40 postcards throughout the day (in addition to a few gifts for family, friends, coworkers). I smashed a one cent piece at the Beatrix Potter Attraction but I didn’t go past the gift shop because it looked a little strange to me; I think I prefer seeing the actual house rather than scenes with figures. I also bought two more little books (I got a free Peter Rabbit plushie, all right? I have no willpower).
I got back to the B&B by 11:35 or 11:40. The pickup was supposed to be 11:45, so I had enough time to go in to grab a drink and a hat. Thankfully, the van was a couple minutes late. I freaked out because I had forgotten to print the ticket and forgotten to call and confirm until that morning. But all was fine.
Jim was a fantastic tour guide and drove us all around Beatrix Potter’s countryside. He was extremely knowledgeable and upbeat. Most importantly, he wanted to make sure we had a great time–which we all did!
By far the best part of the tour for me was visiting Hilltop, where Beatrix Potter lived. Photos weren’t allowed inside the house, but everything inside except the rugs and floorboards was actually hers. So it was fascinating seeing her collection of books, original artwork, china, dollhouse, even a half-finished cross stitch that made me tear up (for some reason I pictured her working on it and dying mid-stitch). The house was gorgeous and fun to explore with people on hand to answer questions and point things out. As I was standing in the dining area, movement outside the window caught my eye and I looked over to see a bird perched on the outside windowsill. Then I realized that windowsill had been covered in birdseed; arranged magic is still magic in my book, though! There was a cat in the garden, stalking through the plants. And there were several wild rabbits frolicking about as well. I released three books in the garden and on the benches just outside the house. Beatrix Potter stories were such a part of my childhood (even though some frightened me!) and it was wonderful just being there, walking through the grounds and the garden.
|On the tour, we also saw:
When I got home, I worked on my journal (scissors FTW) and then went out to find some place open for dinner. Once again, I missed seeing a movie (the timing just didn’t work out). I ended up getting Thai take away, which was expensive compared to prices in the US, but so super yummy and made fresh for me because I was literally the only customer in the entire restaurant.
I packed up and prepared for the big trip to London tomorrow, requiring changing trains and figuring out the Underground. Also, the zipper on my new wallet broke off, so it won’t clip to me any more. Drat!