Leaving the Nest to Feather the new one!!

There have been a few articles in the press in the last few weeks about kids leaving home and going off to University both from the 'Freshers Flu' point of view and the 'What are we going to do without the Kids' angle! Of course I still have a relatively small person (aged 11 if that counts as small!) but my eldest has now officially left home for the big wide world! But yes I can relate to the feelings of emptiness and the inevitable change that a child moving away means, and in my case she's thousands of miles away - I'm not sure if that makes it harder or not..................I'm still getting my head around that one!

The first wrench was 3 weeks ago when she left Abu Dhabi for the last time (well the last time as a resident anyway!) and I was surprised at how emotional I felt about that, seeing her off at the airport at 5.30am on another hot and sultry morning in the desert. She could not understand it - 'Mum, you will see me in 2 weeks, what's the fuss?' - well the fuss is that everytime I closed my eyes I saw a toddler with swathes of long dark hair with huge brown eyes, with unbelieveably long lashes, saying 'Can I have a hug Mummy before we watch Teletubbies?' and that was the tough part - my little girl has officially Grown Up!

So the intervening 2 weeks went pretty slowly for me until I sat down on the British Airways 1.45am red eye flight back to Heathrow to move her into Uni! 7 Hours later I picked up the hire car (little white manual VW Polo - which I kept stalling because I am so used to driving an automatic  (yep I am an Expat Brat!) drove to Sevenoaks to pick her up from my sister-in-laws house and we set off for Bath!

I absolutely adore Bath - as you may know from previous posts, I am a History Nerd and therefore the city ticks all the boxes there could possibly be for me - I'll be honest I could camp out indefinitely in the The Fashion Museum with a copy of Northanger Abbey to read over and over again - picking out those 'ironic' bits that my English Literature teacher at school was obsessed with! We spent the first couple of days at Ikea and Primark (hate them both because they are 'fast' - but budget requirements meant they were the only option) and we managed to get everything we needed for her (well at least we thought we had everything until our Skype call yesterday.......Toilet Brush!!!!!!!!)

Naturally I had to pack all the hand knits - and yes I wore them all!!!

How could anyone not love this architecture!

Flo had never actually been to the University Campus, having had her interview over Skype so we both had a great shock when we arrived on Saturday to do the final registrations - such a stunning location, helped by gorgeous weather - which I am reliably informed is not always so lovely, I had obviously packed some sun to share. Her Halls are in another part of Bath, a short bus ride away and Sunday was spent moving her in. Bath Spa University - details here.

As you would expect - more gorgeous architecture at Bath Spa University

Traditional parkland planting - probably by one of the Georgian Landscape Designers - definitely need to research!

I love the mix of traditional and modern

I was shocked at the amount of 'Stuff' being packed into quite small rooms by some of the students! Flo and I are both advocates of the 'less is more' school of thought and I introduced her to the Konmarie form of folding t shirts to fit neatly into drawers. Took us a couple of hours and we were pleased with our work and I even managed to put fairy lights up for her whilst the rest of her flatmates were still wading through their cardboard boxes! Then it was time to go - time to leave her with her new friends - time to let go!

BUT........ there is always a silver lining to every cloud and even though the sound of the BA theme as we landed in Abu Dhabi the next day sent me into tears............... I did have a fab time in the UK and there was always the yarn................there IS always the yarn................ 

So, where to start..... I had made an online order at Tangled Yarn because I completely fell for the Wingu Shawl by Claire Devine. This was a very serendipitous moment because I had just posted an old photo of Sperm Whale watching in New Zealand (still one of the greatest moments of my life) and can you believe the colours Claire used for the shawl were an almost exact match to the colours of the photo! So I was straight onto the Tangled Yarns site to order! Well as these things happen (well they happen to me anyway) I then saw the packs for the Pwani Shawl by Claire and I fell for the 'On the Shore' colourway which are browns and creams - so into the basket they went! I hastily called Flo and told her to expect them in the UK and to pack them carefully when they arrived! On our first night in Bath she casually threw the parcel at me, which was a lot lighter than I expected! However I was delighted when I saw the yarn - Light Fingering - a very apt name and with the light and open patterns Claire has created these are going to be ideal for desert wear!

Able and Ivy Kit in the 'On the Shore' Colourway

Coast Colourway for the Wingu shawl

 I have not been into a yarn store since January when I had made a rushed purchase of some Debbie Bliss cotton in Tunbridge Wells so I was really looking forward to going to a 'proper' indie shop! A Yarn Story in Bath was my LYS of choice so we headed up there on Saturday afternoon! The shop was full of lovely ladies learning to drop spin and I happily squished and stroked and 4 skeins of beautiful yarn became mine!!

How beautiful are these!!!

Firstly were these beauties from Townhouse Yarns in Ireland.

This skein is the Grafton 4 ply which is 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% Nylon.  It feels like clouds of marshmallow due to the Cashmere!  There are 400m in this 100g skein called Cherry Cola!!

The next skein is Camden Tweed which is 85% Superwash Merino and 15% Donegal Nep.  Again 400m in a 100g Skein.  Colourway is Troi and its a real 'Duck Egg' Blue!

I was super excited to finally purchase some The Uncommon Threadyarn.  So many podcasters (ear burning you A Playful Day!!) have raved about this yarn but I have never seen, let alone bought a skein, so I am super happy with this! Its a Singleton which is 100% Superwash Merino with a whopping 415m!  This may become a shawl because I need more grey shawls in my life!
Last but by no means least is this 'Skein of Awesome'!!!!

Just look at this beauty!!  This is from Life in the Long Grass  another Irish supplier and its 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon and if the Uncommon Thread skein was long - how about 425m!!

The custom colourway is simply stunning with pinks and creams, lilacs and purples!

And the name ...... Confused Hydrangea ... genius!!!

So now if I am able to claim via third party (i.e. Flo), my new LYS is A Yarn Story, 128 Walcot Street , Bath - go get yourself some Confused Hydrangea - you won't be sorry!!!
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