The Great English Adventure, 2023

I was only home two days and it was time to head out to the airport again!

Ready for our Great English Adventure, 2023 style. Two weeks went by ever so quickly. We’ve been home over a week already but here’s a quick look at some of the highlights of the trip.


Uber makes it so easy these days, no hassle with remote parking lots and taking luggage on the train. The security line was a little long but we made some new friends as we stood in line. So much more fun than standing silently and fretting? We still had lots of time to get a sandwich before we boarded the Airbus 380 for our flight across the Atlantic. I never take much notice of what plane is scheduled so it was a nice surprise when I was checking in and found that we could sit upstairs… they had cheap seats on both levels 🙂

We picked the late evening flight and I was dozing almost before we took off. I woke up to have a glass of wine and the dessert that came with dinner… next thing I knew it was day time and we were an hour from our destination.

This picture is a little misleading. It was grey and raining at ground level!!

Immigration was easy and our luggage appeared promptly at Heathrow. We took the free train from terminal 5 to terminal 2 and then the shuttle bus to collect a rental car. Steve stayed on the right side of the road and we made our way to our friends’ house. Gill and Graham still live near where we used to live in our past life twenty seven and a half years ago…

Their children were all home for the evening and my niece and nephew and their other halves joined us for a fun time. We needed lots of Chinese carry-out!!I didn’t get out of bed very early the next day but Gill and I did manage to leave the house while it was still morning. I had a plan!! I had been wanting to visit the Gudrun Sjoden shop in Covent garden for several years. It was finally time.Two and a half hours later we emerged with several bags… time for lunch and then Liberty’s. John Lewis, Marks and Spencer’s… you get the idea!!

Here’s a glimpse of one of my new outfits, in the garden with Gill before we left London on Saturday morning. They are set to become my work clothes for the next couple of years so I expect you will see more in the future…

The next stop was Suffolk to see my dad and catch up a little with my brother and sister and then we were back on  the road for Stratford upon Avon and Steve’s brother and his wife.

Monday was a holiday and we took a trip to Kenilworth Castle for a medieval extravaganza.

The army was on the move as we entered the castle!

Tents were set up around the grounds and we had a great time wandering around and enjoying the sights and smells…I stopped to chat with several stitchers working on realistic reproductions of old samplers.It seemed to be mostly split stitch with wool and silk threads.This piece used a couched stitch that apparently was used on the Bayeux tapestry.One last picture of the brave defenders of the castle!!Ever onward! North past the crooked spire in Chesterfield…and on to Sheffield for three days with Steve’s parents. Here they are taking a pause in the Whinfell Quarry Gardens near their home.Always an adventure. Time to head back to Suffolk, stopping in Hardwick for a quick visit of the Hall and grounds.We drove through quite a few rain showers on our way, enjoying the rainbows as we went…Saturday was Coronation day!! We had penciled in our dates long before there was any hint of a new King. Bridget had everything ready for us to enjoy the ceremony from the comfort of her home.My dad was able to join us for the morning. He was at University when Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953 and says he enjoyed the extended opening hours in the pubs!Bridget had received an invitation for a special service in the cathedral of Bury St. Edmunds on the Sunday morning.  I went as her plus one  and then Steve and Chris joined us for a traditional Sunday lunch in town.No time to stop…

Monday was another holiday and we drove East to see Trevor and Elizabeth in Farnham. There was another castle to visit (look carefully… it’s at the top of the hill)But all good things must come to an end.

There was another big plane scheduled to take us home. This time it was daylight and I could see it before we boarded.It was raining as we taxied in a long line of jet planes ready to take off.We had about eight hours of flying time to watch movies, eat lunch, snack, knit, read, snooze and it was still daylight as we approached Chicago.

Home again after a fun-filled two weeks.

I’m gradually catching up with things. There have been contracts to fill out, emails to send. Today I have been packing my bags to go away on Sunday. Some of you will have heard that STITCHES announced their closure last Monday. That has taken some getting used to. My first STITCHES show was in Hartford in 2018 and I have hardly missed one since then… I guess change is always going to be here to stay? It does mean that I have some extra spaces in my schedule so I have been thinking about that. I’m sure I won’t be getting bored.

We have something special planned for next Thursday. It’s been a long time coming. There will be pictures!


  1. thered60 said:

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    May 19, 2023
  2. Lavern said:

    What a tour! Thanks the armchair version.

    May 20, 2023
    • catherineredford said:

      Hi Lavern! I hope all goes well in Arkansas. I still think of you often… every time I sign a book

      May 20, 2023

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