way back at the beginning of our trip i did a post about meeting up with this lady...
monica is an artist of many talents living in the cotswolds and we spent a wonderful afternoon together touring the garden of an english manor house, sharing a wonderful lunch and then poking around in the charity shops at stow-on-the-wold
we both found treasures that day - mine was a man's shirt
(which i'll tell you about tomorrow)
her's was a soup tureen, platter and other pieces of china in a beautiful brown transferware featuring coloured pheasants and canada geese
so much fun...
when we were in the garden, standing on a raised section that over-looked the pastures and valleys below, monica surprised me with a gift
she gave me one of her original mixed media paintings
but this isn't just any painting...
this is the one that graces the pages of the november issue of somerset studio magazine!
what a wonderful surprise that was, and what a wonderful treasure it is
to view a close-up, click here to go to monica's etsy shop where she sells some of her original works, along with prints of others, like the one she has given me
i promise you'll be amazed by her talent!
my beautiful butterfly
fast forward to several weeks later, way down in truro, cornwall
trundling in and out of charity shops, looking for a harris tweed jacket for the man
i stumbled upon three red transferware side plates
i have always loved red transferware and never found any - never even seen it in real life
three plates for three pounds
too good a deal to pass up even if there were only three
carefully packed in bubble wrap, and even more carefully stowed, they were my most treasured souvenir...
that night i received an email from monica wondering how our trip was, where we had been, and telling me how she had unpacked and arranged the brown transferware bought that day in Stow, and how it would remind her of our special day
when i replied, i told her about my find, and that even though it wasn't brown, it was from a charity shop and would always make me think of her
and that we had decided to go back to Stow for our last two nights, before flying home
when we travel, we always like to end on a happy note so it's nice to be able to go back to a favourite place - it's easier at the end of a long trip to be able to just get off the train, know exactly which bus to catch, where to get off, and where the b & b is
(yep, we went back to the same one!)
so when monica suggested we meet for coffee i happily accepted!
we got ourselves settled with coffee and cake (of course!)
and then a great smile stole over her face as she reached into her bag and pulled out a package, presenting me with a big box, beautifully wrapped...
and inside, were six red transferware side plates!
and in a separate package was a large dinner plate
i nearly fell off my chair!
she said she hoped i had room for them...
i would have thrown out my clothes to make room, but luckily marc had space and he took charge of all of them, getting them home safe and sound with nary a chip nor a scratch
such a gracious and generous gift!
she also gave me a little packet saying i couldn't open it until later, in the hotel room
on our first visit we were talking about the things we find whilst traveling, and how my pockets are like those of a child - rocks, sticks, plants etc. all seem to find a way into them
(i'm always afraid customs will find my stash and take it away...)
i mentioned i have often looked for the heart shaped rocks others seem to find so easily, but never have found one of my one
in fact, i looked everywhere we went - all my special places... the haworth moors, tillicoultry, culloden, cornwall... nothing - not a one
so i was incredibly touched when opened the envelope and out tumbled these pretties
tiny, beautiful heart-rocks
wonderful gifts from a lovely person with a generous spirit