Not having moved house for 12 years (and then barely 5 miles up the road) I can't say for certain, but I guess the first two or three weeks living in a new house (especially one in a different county 200 miles away) are a bit like being on holiday. Andy and I have to keep telling ourselves that we don't have to rush around looking at all the local attractions NOW because we have all the time in the world to do so because we LIVE here! No, the best thing to do is to get familiar with all the local necessities, the services, the day-to-day landmarks, where everything is. That kind of stuff. You know, like the shops, the library, the medical centre, the hospital...sigh...we know all about the hospital now...
And getting to grips with the local town's road system. Like learning not to be surprised by the mini-roundabout IMMEDIATELY on top of a bigger roundabout which leads to the supermarket whose entrance has an IMMEDIATE right turn into the medical centre across two lanes followed by an IMMEDIATE left turn exit for the traffic leaving the petrol station. Whilst the convenience of having a supermarket, petrol station and medical centre all within spitting distance of each other is undeniable, you've got to have your wits about you with traffic coming at you from all angles. Luckily, traffic is very light. Still, there's always one loony in an Audi who disregards both the roundabouts and entrances/ exits and drives like they are in the outside lane of the M6 Toll.
I digress. Yesterday, then, was the Shrewsbury Park and Ride Adventure. Shrewsbury is lovely. Really lovely. I like it enormously, with its history, its architecture, its eclectic mix of interesting shops and eating places and its massive fabric emporium. Driving there is, quite literally, a plain-sailing straight road for half an hour, punctuated by 3 roundabouts. But as you approach the town, the traffic starts to bottleneck and it can take 15 to 20 minutes to negotiate the sudden mass of traffic lights and find somewhere to park. So, why not park up at the back of the massive Tezzco (the one with statues of multi-coloured sheep out the front - baaaa-code???) and hop on the bus? Plenty of parking, and at £2.50 for up to 5 people (£1.60 if you are travelling alone) cheaper than parking in town and also without the hassle of having to keep an eye on the clock to return before your parking ticket runs out. I mean, you might find a cute and cosy little café called 'The Snug' and decide to stay for lunch, for example, which you wouldn't have been able to do if you had parked in town.
The journey into town was good - 10 minutes - and you can disembark at either the railway station, outside M & S, outside Waterstones and one other stop unidentified by a shopping landmark, but next to a gastro-pub whose name I can't remember. Probably something weird like 'The Yoyo and Nutcracker' or 'The Pig and Poke It.' The return journey, despite our being driven by a lunatic bus driver who was making the most of the bus lane to drive at speed and swing, and then some, was slightly longer but that could have been because we hit the school chucking out time. Anyway, park and ride for Shrewsbury, definitely.
And so we are getting into the swing of living here in Shropshire. Which also means getting back to doing the things we enjoyed when we were living in Kent. Like writing and sewing and knitting and lino-cutting. Andy announced yesterday that he'd finally managed to have a go with the very expensive and high quality lino-cutters I got him for his birthday. I was marginally alarmed by this given a) he is still a little incapacitated by his chomped arm and b) the tools are very sharp and require two steady hands to use safely. However, Andy assures me he has been VERY careful and that he WILL NOT cut himself. That's all right then. 🙄
And I am a goodly way into knitting a hooded cape poncho with pockets thing. I know - fancy knitting a poncho in summer. I don't usually knit at all during the summer months, because knitting = wool = winter, but it's not really been summery, has it? My craft brain is confused by the rain, the chill, and the having to wear my long boots and parka coat in July. Today, I am going to distract myself with sewing some cushion covers for the dining room. And those of you who enjoyed 'Night Owls' may be pleased (or not!) to know that Granny Grace has made a reappearance! I think she is nudging me to psyche myself up for a Night Owls return for NaNoWriMo 2016. Anyway, I'm charging up my mini-laptop, so writing is high on the agenda today.
Our 'Explore Local Stuff' adventure today is a visit to the Market Drayton Wednesday street market. It has been happening every week for many, many years and even has its own permanent street sign! It might be fab, it might be full of tat, but today is the first Wednesday since we've been here that we've both been at home at the same time and not inconvenienced by cat bite appointment malarkey, so today we shall have a go and see.
There is a little bit of blue sky appearing; grabbing the sunshine whilst I can!
Rantings, ravings, observations and musings, useful stuff, silly stuff, funny, sad and thoughtful guff!