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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jane Austen & Bath

In the very early hours of Sunday morning we left to drive up to Gatwick Airport outside London. Emily was due to fly to Norway on her own for the first time. Watching Emily walk through the security check was interesting. I had no idea that 14 year old girls were such a high security risk. I've never seen anyone searched so thoroughly. The security officer patted her down twice and even stuck her hands inside the back of her trousers. They then moved the 'bomb powder detector' (at least that's what I think it does) over her whole body. She had to take her belt and shoes off as well. Once she was finally deemed safe to allow into the departure lounge, she turned and gave us a big smile and a wave. The flight went well and she is enjoying her stay with her grandparents.

We left the airport and drove down to Bath. On Sunday afternoon we spent a few hours shopping in the town centre before we checked in to our hotel and slept for a few hours (that 2 am start caught up with us) before we headed out for a nice meal.

Yesterday our first stop was the Jane Auste Centre. I read my first Jane Austen novel early last year after watching the BBC series 'Pride & Prejudice'. I've since turned into a total Jane Austen fan. I've got 'Northanger Abbey' and 'Persuasion' downloaded to my Kindle to read on holiday next week.
 The Jane Austen centre is fairly small and there isn't a huge amount to see but there was an introductory talk and a film which was very interesting. The centre focuses on the time Jane Austen spent in Bath and those of her books which were set in Bath, which is why I downloaded 'Persuasion'.
 There were some period constume displays which I'm hoping will inspire me to work on my design submission to next year's Interweave Jane Austen Knits. My last submission was rejected so perhaps after this trip to Bath I'll be inspired to come up with something better.

 I loved this bag which was for sale in the shop. I'd love one of these.
 The centre is situated in Gay Street which Jane Austen lived during one of her stays in Bath. However she didn't live in the building where the centre is. She lived just up the road in no 25. We stopped outside the building and Simon told me to stand outside so he could take a pic. While we were getting ready to take a photo a lady (the building is now a dentist office) came outside and asked if we wanted her to shut the door so we could see the no 25. I think they must be used to tourist wanting photos.
 We then walked on up to Circus which is a round street consisting of 4 crescent shaped buildings.  It's quite difficult to photograph this kind of building.
 Apparently some of the characters in 'Persuasion' live in the Circus and the famous Royal Crescent (below). The Royal Crescent is a very impressive road.
 We then waked down into the town again. Bath is a very attractive city and the archway and street below reminded me of Murcia and Alicante in Spain, which is where we'll be spending the next 2 weeks (we leave on Monday).
 Below is Trim Street which is another location where Jane Austen lived for a time, although the house she lived in is demolished.
 We eventually made our way down to the river and spent some time sitting next to the river Simon reading his kindle and me knitting.
I didn't do too much knitting. We did a lot of driving but a lot of it was very early on Sunday morning while it was still dark and the rest of the time we were driving I was either sleeping or at the wheel.

I took my sock which I started months ago. I was halfway through the heel and managed to finish that and start on the leg. This sock is worked toe up and I'm planning to cast on for a top down version for my holiday. Socks make perfect beach knitting. I'm hoping to finish this sock before our holiday or I'll have to take it with me to finish.
 I had a couple of skeins of this gorgeous Supreme Sock which i'd put aside and I knew roughly what I wanted to knit with it. A few days ago I started charting it out. I also knew I wanted to do a mystery KAL again this autumn and suddenly decided this would become the mystery pattern. I'll give more details about the KAL in September but I'm planning to offer the pattern in a laceweight and sock weight. This is probably the last picture you'll see of this design until it's revealed at the end of the mystery KAL.

I decided I fancied taking some crochet on holiday with me. I've got some ideas for a shawl consisting of squares which are joined as you go. I grabbed a ball of gorgeous 4ply cashmere and quickly crocheted up a swatch earlier. I like it although there will be some tiny adjustments. I don't have enough of the cashmere to use it for this design but I'm just about to go and wind some Lornas Laces Solemate which I think will be perfect.
I'm very tired after the 2 days away. Today we've been shopping to get some last bits & pieces for our holiday. I'm planning a relaxing evening watching 'Becoming Jane' which is about Jane Austen.

Tomorrow I'll be hosting Carol Feller's 'Celtic Cables' blog tour which I'm very excited about, so please do come back tomorrow to find out more.

1 comment:

Ali said...

How daunting watching your daughter going through all those security checks. Glad to hear she arrived safely, I'm sure she'll have a great time.
What wonderful pictures of Bath. It's a beautiful place to visit. I also love Jane Austen, I think she had a great sense of humour within her books.
All your yarn colours are lovely. Good luck with the socks.

Ali x