I have a friend ...

Don't worry, I am not trying to imitate the great Martin Luther King, but I want to tell you about my friend Elvira
I met her online, it was a coincidence really because we both love Terry Pratchett. His books, that is. We don't know him personally which is a pity. Since then we haven't lost each other and I truly hope it'll stay that way. By the way, thanks, Terry! :-D

1. She has a hilarious sense of humor and a good heart.
2. We so often think the same way.
3. She says what she thinks.
4. She has a talent I don't have ;-) Well, more than one, but the one I am talking about is the reason for this post. (And for those who wonder, no, it's not the reason why I like her, but a piece of luck for me.)

A few days ago I had these in my mail.

Jewelry bags, a whole bunch of them, in different sizes.
Now you know her talent, she can sew. Something I couldn't do if my life depended on it. She makes beautiful bags and purses and stuff.
This is one she made for me. From cat fabric (can you see them sitting on the wall?) and the inside is orange and has so many little compartments, just perfect for my cell phone and tissues and MP 3 player and there is even a key ring in there.

When she visited me, we had to go by a shop that sells sewing supplies and machines and had a sale. We picked out the blue fabric with the stars together (I looked after the pattern, she checked if it could be used for our purpose at all) and those cute bags are the result.

I hope we'll see each other again soon, she is not exactly living around the corner :-(
Thanks for being such a good friend, Granny Weatherwax! (Sorry, inside joke only for us ;-))

Oh, and by the way - if you want to see pictures or if you know German and want to have a good read, why not go and have a look at her blogs Taschenkrams and Viri-Design?

"Blue pot" and IKEA. Not! ;-)

Now my vacation time has been over for a week already, but still I am working on pictures taken in the last week when I mostly hung around with my brother and sister. Like that one day when he wanted to drive to Ulm to check out IKEA. It was hot, really hot, and I didn't feel like IKEA, I really didn't. I admit it, I don't like it. My sister promised me we would get to play in the ball room, but I knew she was just trying to hook me. Actually I told them I wasn't coming, but they voted me down and said they'd be right over.
So we sat in this burning hot car and I wondered what I had done to be caught in this hell with an AC. And we didn't go fast because we had to do this and that in Göppingen first. It was close to noon when we finally made our way to Ulm. Ulm is a beautiful old town which has the tallest church in the world, and they tried to comfort me with saying we'd go there after IKEA.

First we had to make our usual stop at the WMF Fischhalle, though. Not new to my blog, huh? I am addicted to this place and so is my little brother.
After buying something (for him, I was good this time) we headed to Ulm, but were surprised to see it crossed out on the road sign. Had it been moved? Had it been swallowed by IKEA?? I had the worst thoughts about it.
While driving on I kept nagging and making different suggestions where we could instead. What did I care if he needed a new armoire? I don't know if I was convincing or if he just couldn't stand my nagging anymore, but finally he gave in and we went to see the Blautopf. Translated that is Blue Pot (or Pot of the Blau, but not Bowl of the Blau as in English Wikipedia). The Blautopf is a karst spring with an intensive blue color that is the result of limestone distributed in water.

There exist many legends around this spring which is the second largest spring in Germany, for example that everyday somebody poured ink into it to keep up the beautiful color. Really this picture doesn't do justice to the spring's real look.
Also the "Schöne Lau", the beautiful Lau, the daughter of a human and a nix, is said to live in the spring.
Take a closer look, maybe you can see her?

Fascinating is also the rich cave environment underneath and around the spring. Diving is only allowed to experienced divers of certain organisations and still there have been fatal accidents. One dream is to be able to find a dry way to those caves who bear romantic and beautiful names like for example the Castle of Clouds, the Dome of Eons and the Realm of the Beautiful Lau.
After having something to eat we strolled around the Blautopf and then slowly walked back to the car.

We could have visited the monastery's church and the high altar, but I had seen it the year before and I have to admit the hot weather made us a little lazy, especially because we knew we wanted to head to Metzingen afterwards to check out outlet stores. Oh yes, I know. Outlet stores over culture? We were not ashamed at that moment. Both things have their time ;-)

The monastery is a school nowadays by the way. I wonder if you can really concentrate in these surroundings?

So off we went. I'll spare you the description of how I tried on 150 pairs of sneakers only to not buy any of them because they were never the right size. I'll spare you the description of how we soaked the car seats on the way back. Aren't you grateful I didn't take a picture of that?
It was a long day and I came home absolutely beaten, but I had enjoyed every minute with my whole heart.
And I even bought some tumbled stones and turned them into pendants!
Unfortunately my memory card is having a problem, so the first pictures I took of them have disappeared again and I have to take new ones to show them.
Cliffhanger!! ;-)


Swap bratty cat for time! ;-)

Ponder is yowling into my left ear which probably means he hated supper or maybe it's an exciting story about a fly he caught today or he is a medium and some ancient soul has been trying to talk through him.
It makes it a little difficult to concentrate and what I need now is concentration and time! You'll wonder why I need that if I just came back from vacation, but somehow I didn't manage to get everything finished I had planned. That may have to do with the fact that I took my time-outs even if there still was laundry (yes, some in the basket that needs folding), if there was a box full of books to list (yes, there are still about 40 and the next box has already been announced) and almost incredible, but true, even if there was an unfinished piece of jewelry!
Ah, wild hunt going on now - black and white/black sounding like little horses. This time black is in front, but I am almost sure roles will be reversed soon.
The last days I came home from work and could tell I wasn't used to the rhythm yet. Getting up early is not really my thing. I hate to go to bed at 8.30 pm because I am tired being a night owl by nature. So I planned to get something done tonight.
BUT - just now a dear friend from school called to say she is in town and if we could meet. Forget about laundry and books, yes yes yes, we can and I can't wait until she'll pick me up! :-D

Of course that means that I have to neglect the other friends again that I wanted to email to, but as with them I have contact more often, I can only hope they'll forgive me. You know I haven't forgotten you, don't you? And also you know who you are (meaning who I am talking about). If you don't, just go ahead and look into the mirror, that could help ;-)
One extra big hug for Ms. Red Nose (her first name is not Rudy and she is not a reindeer which would make communication difficult for us, but she is suffering from a bad sunburn, poor dear) and one to Serbia!

Oh, and by the way, I would never ever give away my yowling miracle cat, but you knew that already, didn't you? ;-)


I know I'm being silly, but ...

this is a first for me!
My "burning" T-West is Number 1 on the list!

My next goal is onto the front page - dreaming is allowed, isn't it? ;-)


Still too hot

The last days were too hot for me. I am not a hot kind of girl, ehm, temperature-related, that is. Of course as a person I ... ugh, better not get into that now? ;-)
Today when it started raining I thought my suffering was over, but it wasn't. Outside it is quite nice now, but within these walls the heat is still standing around and laughing at me. The cats mostly lie around as if chopped with an axe. Just now Greebo wanted to be carried around, he was too weak to walk, I guess. Greebo has lots of hair. I mean like really lots of hair, you could make at least three cats out of his fur (and his belly, he's just like his human mom ...). Cat hair tends to stick to you when you sweat. One loving touch with his head and you go pfft, pfft, pfft - spitting out Greeb hair for a long time.

When I read in the forum, although I was really ready for going to bed, that both treasuries would open up any minute, I thought I could stay a few minutes longer. I didn't have a poster sketch ready, so I had to hurry and all I could think of was heat. Jewelry and the keyword sweat don't go together, but hey, what about "hot", "red", "fire"?
And this is the result - I'm burning! Check out my red hot choices!


First traces

May it be that by finally cruising Loch Ness like I had wanted to since I was a child I am more attentive at the moment or because I am still very relaxed, but today when I heard a funny little scratching sound I reacted faster than the last times.
Just when I came around the corner into the tall guy's room, I saw something disappearing on the big armoire we have standing there and I tried to take a quick picture while it was running away. I couldn't quite see what it was, but it looked as if it had a long tail.
When I checked the picture, I was really reminded of Nessie pictures because as you can see, there is no telling what it is no matter how much you edit the picture. Not even Agent Mulder would be convinced by this!
But I am not giving up yet, believe me!

When I looked around a little more, I found this, another nest. It had been a whole month since I found the last ones, but I feel I am getting closer and closer to the solution ...


Color splash!

I am back in the treasury game. The poster sketch was three weeks old, so I had to replace a few items, but I made it just in time.
Summertime means color to me (sometimes the red color in my face when it's being as hot as today ...) and here you got color in abundance.
I also like the Mel Brooks quote that inspired me:
"If you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy and colorful and lively."

Enjoy these pretties and dive into the color in Color Splash.

How to turn a disaster into a pendant

I often say that I like my hook and the wire to lead me to a design. That doesn't mean I never have a plan of what I'm going to do. When I make a setting for a cab, I know it very well. Sometimes things don't work in my favor, though. That's what happened on one of my recent projects.
It started out harmless enough. A cab in the shape of a drop which usually is the easiest to work with for me was supposed to end up in a crochet bezel of fine silver wire, but somehow it didn't want that. It wasn't so much that it kept slipping out, I had that before and I have forced smaller cabs than this one in a bezel, it wasn't so much that the wire wanted to run off the spool and start kinking, it wasn't so much that from too much kinking the wire gets tired and starts breaking easier - it was all of that together! I used a very fine hook which can give fine silver wire even more stress (from my experience). I had already fixed three accidents although it would have been smarter to stop there and then, but it worked out. The wire breaking in the last row was the last straw, though. My patience had been tested long enough. I ripped the bezel off the cab and started squishing it. I would have even jumped up and down on it, who knows, but the tall guy was watching me with that sceptical look he gets when he feels I am overreacting.
Now I had this squished almost solid piece of silver - what to do with it? I got out my hooks and the wire spool I had in reach, light purple and started to make a little silver ball that was held together by purple lines of crochet. They are not straight, they can't be as I just followed the stitches that I could use in the silver.
For an extra color kick I added one of my handwrapped bails in purple.

Actually I am quite happy with it now. Maybe the wire breaking was one of my muse's jokes!! ;-)


Edinburgh Day 6 - This is the end, my only friend, the end

What am I saying? Guess I drifted off a little. Go away, Jim Morrison!

It might have not been my only friend, not even my friend at all, but the truth is, this was the end. The end of our trip.
I am always torn, on one hand I don't want to go and I think of what I wasn't able to do. I wanted to do the haunted graveyard tour and I wanted to see the Museum of Scotland. I wanted to lie in the grass with my book and look at the sky. I wanted to meet Taz' kitties.
On the other hand I missed my kitties so much. And my stash and tools. These are the ones I can't talk to on the phone. I tried, but a rubber mallet doesn't give good answers on the phone.

I didn't have a choice anyway. In the morning Mr. Organised himself packed our stuff (he's good if he wants to, I wish he'd organise my stash like that!), we had breakfast, paid our hotel bill and waited for our ride to the airport.
This is what I hate most about a trip. Into the queue to check in the bags, into the queue to go through security (I still wonder who that policeman in uniform and the three other guys were that cut in line in front of me, but I love to hear an official "Excuse me, Ma'am, may we?" in a bass voice. As if I had a choice, right. At least they could have told me if the two that didn't look like police were important witnesses or convicts to satisfy my curiousness), then waiting in the airport. Buying a bar of chocolate, something to drink. Sitting around, sitting around, sitting around until the gate is open.
Edinburgh is a cute little airport. I like the big posters on the walls with famous quotes about the town and pictures, but I liked it more when we could board the plane. I liked when the captain announced there would be served a snack soon "Chicken or cheese. Or vegetarian. Which is - eh - um - cheese." I liked that I had the book from Oxfam that I actually enjoyed reading. I liked it when we could see London. We circled above it a few times and I pointed out places to the tall guy (had I mentioned I got the window seat because the girl in the aisle seat didn't want to trade hers with Wolfgang. For him window or middle doesn't make a difference, his long legs are in the way everywhere and we hadn't got an exit row seat), longing to go down and spend some more time there. Instead we were spat out at Heathrow and waited some more, even longer now. This place is crowded, man! It was hard enough to find two seats. It's seemed ages to me until our gate was finally open and then we had to wait there some more.
When we finally had settled, the purser came and told the tall guy there was a seat in the exit row if he wanted to. My brave man - after hearing it was just one seat he decided to live with his seat (at least aisle this time) and not leave me. Maybe it would have been better if he had taken it. We were delayed, not much, but long enough to drive him crazy which drives me crazy. I'll cut it short from here. We made it to Stuttgart, yay!
But our luggage didn't. When there was only one last case making its rounds, ours were still missing. Like a god of revenge the tall guy stormed the information counter. We were first in the line this time. There were about 10 or 12 other victims behind us. Our lugguage had been left in London. I knew we should have stayed there! ;-) I get to a point easily when I start giggling about small, not life-threatening catastrophes.
As soon as we arrived at home - it was 7.30 pm now - the phone rang. They told me our luggage had been left in London. Ehm, ah, ok? Didn't I already know that? It will come with the last machine arriving 11 pm. Yes, we will deliver it to the door the next morning. Is the address right? Yes, ok. Tomorrow morning. We'll give you a call beforehand. It's always good to get the same information twice, I guess.
The next morning, I should really call it Göppingen Day 1. We are waiting, we are waiting. The phone is ringing. Ah, now they tell us they will be here any minute and I can start working on the pendant bail. Of course my hooks, pliers etc. had to go into the cases because they are sharp. I am a ninja, I can kill with my crochet hooks, didn't you know? Hello, your luggage has been found. Ehm, ah, ok? We already really, really know that by now, don't we? We will deliver it in the afternoon. Stop!! What do you mean, afternoon?? When? I don't know, we will give you a call beforehand.
Mister, the giggling times are over. You are holding my hooks and fine silver wire hostage, not even mentioning my malt liqueur and my dirty laundry!
I didn't say that. I thought it.
Really we had had other plans for this day instead of waiting. Of course they said they give us a call before they would set out to deliver, we knew they wouldn't. There would be no chance to get back from wherever when they called. 5 pm. The phone is ringing. Hello? I am driving around here in Göppingen looking for you. Is your house number 13? Aaaaaaah. 3 (!) people had asked for our address. 3 people confirmed the house number we told them. It is NOT 13.
But now we have our luggage back and the bottle didn't even break.
Time for laundry. This is the end, the true end.


Edinburgh Day 5 - Feathers and fur

We do have a very small local zoo as you may already know. We also have a big and quite famous zoo in Stuttgart, the town where I work and where we used to live for five years. I have blogged about it before, it's the Wilhelma, a mixture of botanical and zoological garden. Still we like to see other zoos as well. Often friends don't understand us. They wonder why we don't care for the nightlife, why we don't visit more museums, drive around or flop down on some beach to get baked in the sun. Let them wonder :-) We had picked the last day of our stay for the zoo. We thought Monday might be a good day for it. When our taxi arrived (none of us was able at that moment to deal with the hassles of a bus schedule), it had started raining already. The receptionist sounded worried about our day, the taxi driver asked where we were going and shook his head gravely. Really the tall guy hadn't been too sure, either. He had watched the weather forecast on TV, but I said I didn't care. There would be houses you could go into and it would be ok. Of course I was right. The rain stopped exactly the moment we got out at Edinburgh Zoo. The first fellow to greet us was this elephant. The only elephant in the zoo, by the way. That is one thing I liked a lot. It didn't seem like they just had the typical collection of the usual suspects. No elephant, no giraffe, no big apes as far as I could see except for the chimpanzees at Budongo Trail that we didn't see because of the crowds of children which was probably a terrible shame as it is the largest chimpanzee enclosure in the world. Here we also got a first glimpse at Mansion House. The building has a restaurant inside and the other wing is occupied by the Zoological Society. Mmh, I would to love a house like that in the middle of the zoo! Almost the first enclosure we came to was the one with the African wild dogs. I am a big fan of them and have been ever since I read the book by Jane Goodall and her first husband Hugo van Lawick when I was still a child. Unfortunately they were no fan of mine and were not to be seen at first. After a while I spotted them hiding at the other end, probably they hadn't liked the rain very much. Some others were not too happy with the rain although it was already over, like me when I tried to take a picture of the dikdiks and some birds that could have been kingfishers. Raindrops were hanging in the fine mesh of the cage, making all pictures blurry. It was also impossible to take a good picture of the large group of penguins. I would have loved to show you how a keeper tried to convince a group of king penguins to have a fish. She offered it to every single one, but no chance, they refused. All the while behind her a desperate penguin of another kind tried to get to that fish and when she left, he followed her until he had to face the cruel fact he wasn't going to get it. Unfortunately we missed the daily penguin walk and we also don't know if we got to see the VIP penguin, Sir Nils Olav. We just couldn't tell them from each other, sorry. Nevertheless I got my penguin photo ;-) This guy has a lot of little friends! Up to now we had not thought about where the zoo was situated. Does the word "hill" ring a bell? Yes, we started climbing uphill again, by the rhino enclosure where we only saw the keeper mucking out. It's ok, we always have rhinos at Stuttgart, but never before had I seen pudus. They were a little shocked when their keeper "threw" them out of their cage, it was wet out there! I also couldn't resist this turkey. Many say it's ugly, but look at the beautiful colors! It's hard if not impossible for me not to see something beautiful in all creatures, no matter how many legs they have (yes, even spiders and do you remember Bruno, the swimming slug?) Until then we had not really seen very many people and let me tell you ahead I heard nothing but English that day. It seemed as if quite a few people had taken their kids to the zoo, but that was it. No foreign tourists, except for us. We felt very special ;-) Now when we came to the wild cats there were more people and we pointed out to each other where they were hiding, were showing each other the spots from where you get the best pictures, it was a really nice atmosphere (except for the guy in the green shirt who managed to walk by the glass every time I had a chance to catch the Amur leopard - I have no picture of him now that I could show, the only ones that were not all blurry showed green reflections, but I guess I can't have everything). I almost got the black panther. Almost ... The jaguar didn't do me the favor of holding still, either. Maybe I am just too slow? Here is the tiger and here is a cat I hadn't heard of before, a Pallas cat. The girl was hiding so well, I didn't see her, but the guy was doing us the favor of showing us his beautiful face. By the way, his intense look we owe to a nice, plump pigeon that sat on the roof. Now we went up to see the Asian lions. Here we made a big mistake. We climbed up the hill that clearly led us to the lions with these footprints (there were also prints of plants on the ground, it looked really neat). We didn't see the lions in their big enclosure and around the corner it looked like it was the end of the way, so we turned around. Mistake, keep it in mind. We had a good look at the European wolves, great animals! No pictures, sorry, but I didn't like the way it looked with the mesh. From time to time I had to take a picture of a flower instead. Maybe I was still inspired from the day before. It rained a little again, just a tiny drizzle, but I loved the effect of the drops on this flower. At the same time it was so hot that the ground started steaming. I hoped for a rainbow, but I wasn't lucky. Next was the zebra and antilope enclosure. Look at that space! From a wooden bridge going out into the enclosure ending in a hut we could see the town. From there we walked to Hillpoint View, the highest point in the zoo. We were sitting there looking at the reindeer when the safari bus arrived. What do you mean, you could get a ride up there without having to walk?? I wish that had that in Stuttgart, whenever I have made it to the polar bears, I am dead. The reindeer enjoyed the sun, there was also a baby hiding underneath a bush and refusing to come out for me to take a good photo. When we walked down the hill, we noticed a sign that pointed to the lions and the maned wolves. Huh? How could we miss them? I have only seen one once at the Wilhelma, they seem to avoid me. We found out we shouldn't have turned around when we thought it was the end of the way. We just had to walk around the corner. It is hard to choose pictures of the maned wolves, I have quite a few and even two short videos. Aren't they gorgeous? I have no idea how young the cubs were, they definitely looked younger and smaller than the big ones, but not at all like babies, more like silly teenagers. They were playing and hunting (mice?) and seemed to have fun. Meet Mercedes now, the polar bear. When we first saw here, she was in her crate. We didn't know why, but we were told (just follow the link) she would go to a big wildlife park as soon as possible. When we passed her by a second time, she had fun playing with a branch. We just got to the Scottish wildcat in time for listening to its keeper and his daily talk. He told us the cat was in a "food coma" and it really looked like it. This is the best my macro could do. Also sleeping was this guy. The outside enclosure had been closed down, so he and his friends had to stay inside and dream of better days. They are the only koalas in the whole UK. I had never seen a koala in a zoo before. I think it was then we decided to have a little snack. Sandwiches. I was getting tired of sandwiches, but we didn't want to waste much time. That's what Mansion House looks from the front. I couldn't find a place where they would take my application to move in :-( After being fed we started to make our way back. I'll make it shorter for you now as I don't want to lose you before you have seen these fellows. We met Ellen and her two month old baby girl ... ... gibbons in love ... ... many more flowers ... ... a crazy bunch of lemurs that held a conference ... ... and the sea lions ... ... and yes, we also went to the gift shop, what did you expect?? I am sorry if I missed to talk about one or the other animal, like the goral, the flamingoes, the red river hogs or the eagles or the tapirs, the baboon in the tree and many more I'm sure. I want to make clear I enjoyed seeing them just as much as the ones shown here. I am still disappointed I couldn't see the bush baby, another one of my favorites :-( When we came back to the hotel, we rested our feet for a little while and then it was already time to meet Taz from my cat forum. I had really been looking forward to that. We decided to stay at the hotel and eat there and I think I am safe to say we had a fabulous time. It was the perfect ending to a great vacation because the next day we would return to Germany. Much too early really and with the feeling there was so much more to see, but we didn't think about it that evening. Enjoy the moment, right? Back at the room I still didn't feel tired and while the tall guy was dreaming along, I finished another pendant with a smaller fossilized coral, for me this time. I don't even have a picture of it, but I think you get the idea. Thanks for making it through this long post with me, I promise the one tomorrow will be shorter. Why I'll have one at all if it was only travelling back? Wait and see ;-)


Edinburgh Day 4 - In full bloom

No adventure today, I fear, just colors. People who don't like flowers can jump right off again because this day was dedicated to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. We wouldn't have thought of it, but my online friend Milica recommended it after having seen a report about it on TV. Thanks, Milica, we had a fabulous time!

After breakfast (and still the tall guy was too chicken to go for the "full Scottish" from the menu even if Peter - remember, he was the driver from day 2 - had praised how healthy it was, followed by stats about heart attacks *grin*) we left for the Botanic Garden. The weather was still fine although a few small clouds followed us. We had mostly recovered from the day before, but didn't walk very fast anyway, enjoying the little surprises to the left and right. Ducks on a little brook, some beautiful little gardens (I still wonder about the one with the absolutely impeccable lawn, why would you want to have something like it, but no space left to put a chair and table outside? I doubt anyone was allowed to even come close to this grass with chair legs), a cricket field and a park.
Finally we reached the West Gate. That was the one that was closed, due to construction work. We were too early anyway, but we already got a slight idea of the Garden's size because it took quite a while to get to the North Gate.
Whoa, that would have been an area to have a house! (Later we were told for how much small apartments go in this area and we had to swallow very hard) I don't know if it is stupid of me and I would have loved to show you some of the houses, but I always feel it's not right to take pictures without asking. Not even of the gate with the fox and the hare on top that we loved so much. While we had to wait for the Garden to open up, we at least strolled along the street and admired everything.
Squeaky sound - opening hour!

First we went into the Queen Mother's Memorial Garden. What a pity the labyrinth was not really one yet. The plants didn't even come to our knees, so it wouldn't have been to difficult to find the way out. But the roses were beautiful.

I won't mention every flower bed we went by, but believe me they were amazing and even more amazing was that there were not too many people around yet. A friend living there later told us it is not considered a big tourist attraction.

Now we came into a small wood with typical plants and Bruno, the swimming slug. Don't ask me why, he just looked like a Bruno to me.

Back out of the wood we saw this extraordinary beech hedge, over 100 years old and more than 20 feet high! To show the height I made the tall guy stand in front of it, but he wouldn't let me publish the picture. He mentioned my own obsessive way of staying out of photos, that did convince me ;-) So here is the hedge without him.

Because it started drizzling a bit, we chose to go into the glasshouses entering through this building.

Entering the Garden itself is free, but here you have to pay a small fee, it was more than worth it. Maybe I should mention that I myself am a terrible gardener. I can kill a cactus by saying Hello to him, flowers grow legs just to escape me and instead of a green thumb I have at least ten black ones. Still I love to see what others can do and that is the reason why I might have gone a little overboard taking photos of flowers and plants. As non-botanist I also have no idea what they are called, I really couldn't remember it all. The pictures have names like RedPlantWet or GreenAndHairy. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Picture overload coming ahead!

I love (some ;-)) sculptures in gardens and zoos. My favorites here were a lizard and the meep meep, ehm, the roadrunner.

Funny were also these dino footprints.

Just when we wanted to leave the glasshouses, it showered down, really heavy, but as quickly as it had come, as quickly it went.

We got something to eat and walked around some more. There were rarely tourists around it seemed, only a few German hardcore gardeners passed us by, deeply concentrating on discussing garden themes.

Time went by faster than I thought, so we slowly made our way back, but not before I had checked out the gift shop. I can't help it, whenever I go places I have to go to the gift shop there. It's funny how the tall guy is trying to steer me around it sometimes, even though I don't always buy. I just want to look. This time I would have loved to buy something for my Mom, but I doubt I would have been able to bring the huge plant home safely ;-)
We took the way out through the East Gate.

Feeling that we hadn't walked enough for the day and passing Stockbridge anyway, we decided to hit the charity shops, at least a few of them. No finds, though :-( But I got myself a book at Oxfam at least. And then the tall guy reminded me that the bead shop was open now. Don't you just have to love a guy who tells you stuff like this even if he knows he's going to hate waiting while you play with little beads and try to decide what and if you want something? As the lady in Nuremberg's bead shop put it when I told her I had to hurry because my little brother was waiting outside and already looking very unhappy: "Yes, sometimes I wish there was a hardware store around here for the men!" *lol*
He didn't have to wait long. The bead shop was not that exciting. Mostly seed beads, very small choice of semi-precious stones and no extraordinary findings. I looked at a strand of matte onyx and asked the tall guy if I should buy them. He grinned, said No and I think he was right.

This time going uphill was easier than the day before. We just got back in time for tea. The sandwiches for him, the scones, clotted cream and jam for me. Mmmh, it was so good!!

No adventures in the evening, I am sorry to say. Even if the day didn't seem very long, the walking in all that fresh air had made us tired. We are office people, not used to walking that much. It's a shame, but we decided to hang out at the hotel. At least I finished another pendant. Yes, I did come prepared, I know us *grin*