First, my husband's latest production: this unusual mirror for our living-room. Many years ago we saw a mirror in a Keswick gallery with small squares of Lakeland slate inset into the frame. Such a simple idea; we loved it. Our slate was purchased at the Honister slate quarry, on a day when a howling gale was blowing. My husband had already bought the mirror and worked up the frame, with its distinctive peg joints in the Art and Crafts style. It certainly changes the look of the room.
Secondly, the craftsman himself, wearing the brown Shetland jumper which I have finished at last. It is a very dark brown silvered all over with lighter fibres. So plain and understated that it looks like an old favourite already and fits like a glove. It is 4-ply weight, so should be more wearable than some of the heavier jumpers I have made for him in the past.
This last week we took the little train from Bures to Sudbury in order to tackle the first stretch of the Stour Valley walk. Here, the fascinating litle church at Great Henny. Like other wooden-steepled Essex churches, it is plagued by woodpeckers which are causing expensive damage.
At Lamarsh, we were surprised to see that even attempting to open the church door would trigger an alarm, so had to content ouselves by taking photographs of the exterior.
Next, we loaded our bikes into the car and parked at Bures again. This time we were cycling to Nayland and Stoke by Nayland. Both of these villages have superb wool churches and a fascinating collection of ancient buildings, many of them called things like"The Old Bakery." There was little evidence of actual functioning food shops in either. We were struck once more by the convenience of our own village, which has three foodstores, as well as a proper butchers, Post Office and newsagent.
But the churches: Nayland, interior.
A set of panels from an early rood-screen.
Stoke by Nayland, from across the fields.
The fantastic Jesse tree on the door of Stoke by Nayland.
The exterior of the church, showing what an impressive building this is, and also how dark and chill the weather had turned by this point. We counted ourselves lucky to finish our ride without being soaked.