Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Cafe Society ...

Autumn is here... it arrived on my doorstep last night and announced itself when I went to feed the recycling bin....Leaves had blown in from the surrounding hills and piled up outside the front door..
This morning.. just when you think the weather can't get much worse... it does! In spectacular style..There is a watercolour landscape outside my window as I type and the artist has knocked his jam jar of water over and soaked the painting.. colours are running in rivulets into a murky mess.. Yes it's the Indian Summer we were all praying for! Monsoon season!
Not only are the days shrinking but so is my mind.... I can't accommodate any more thoughts ... so much clamouring for my attention and days spill over in to nights.. where I lie awake trying to dampen the cacophony in my mind...
Lists.. endless lists.. 'Today's List comprises of .. must do's... finish current greeting card orders, design new orders .. post . Email so and so and so, phone so and so and so, don't forget so and so and so's Birthdays this week, cook chilli con carne and put in bottom oven to stew for tonight's supper, iron son's rugby kit, write my blog ...breathe in.. breathe out... and so it goes on relentlessly ....
BUT
It is the start of the weekend .... sigh! Tomorrow is a day of rest... tomorrow is a day of reading the papers in bed and sipping a cup of tea at one's leisure, ... Oh.... just a minute..... tomorrow is Rugby practice so forget the lie in.... son has to be chauffeured to school at 9 a.m to run around a waterlogged pitch and come home with a small mountain of mud soaked kit.....
Oh joy!!!

I love Autumn.. I do.. honestly.. but this doesn't feel like the start of the golden mellow days that I look forward to each year. Where did the sun go?

I will take some solace in my hibernation habits... warm felt slippers, mugs of steaming cocoa at bedtime, hot water bottles, snuggling under a feather eiderdown on the sofa snuffling chocolate whilst watching the X Factor... O.k I confess.... I am a hopeless addict for the pulp tv prog...
There is some comfort in this dire weather... feathering the nest and getting down and cosy!

During the last week of the summer hols and what seems like a lifetime ago now.. Mr Custard and I made a bit of a pilgrimage to see a lovely lass who I have grown so fond of through her delightful, witty and sparkly blog...
We set forth on Bank Holiday Monday with a vague idea of direction and a great deal of optimism that this dear lass would be able to meet us at the end of our journey.
We drove through some of Gloucestershire's finest landscapes, through the Stroud Valley and on up to Painswick... a very pretty little Cotswold town which I remembered on a previous visit for it's extraordinary church yard.. as you can see.. the amazing collection of ancient yew trees stand like lollipops throughout the churchyard....rather like the model railway trees from my childhood memories...We then forged on to our final destination... a small village north of Cheltenham.. with a little bit of help from our disgruntled Sat Nav host... we found ourselves sitting outside Cafe No:9 and with a huge sense of relief... the lights were on and the OPEN sign was showing on the door.. and there stood behind the counter.. this lovely lass who I had shared emails and witty banter with for some months... Dear Anna had no idea that we were about to enter her brand spanking new enterprise Cafe No:9.... I felt like Michael Aspel in This is Your Life...walking up to the counter clutching a bunch of flowers to present to the poor unsuspecting proprietor...
Anna.. obviously not recognising me .. said as I approached.." What lovely flowers".... I then said.. "They are for you... I am Michele"... to which Anna squeaked with shock and probably a smidgen of horror and came round the counter to greet Mr & Mrs Custard for the first time..
It was a very special moment and I am so so pleased that Anna decided to open on a Bank Holiday Monday as it would have been a very disappointing 120 mile round trip.
I must say we had the tastiest cup of cappuccino this side of Sorrento with our genial host and her charming hubby..and sat to chat for a while before the thirsty hordes descended on No:9 and we then said our farewells and left Anna to man the ship.. and a very fine ship it is too! If you are going in the direction of Cheltenham.. then I urge you to take a detour to this wonderful cafe ... you will be very well catered for!

23 comments:

April said...

Sounds like you had a great time with Anna - I was thrilled when you said you'd seen my sign - I almost felt famous!!!

I love Autumn, but not when it's damp - the damp air does nothing for my asthma, but I love crisp cold autumn days

flutterbypatch said...

Hi. Love your memories of childhood, some fantastic finds, how can you bear to part with any of them and how do you choose? 'The monsoon season'...excellent description. Ark building in progress here also. Keep dry! Eli

. said...

I understand you so well. Everybody (almost) think I'm crazy because I like so much the rain. I like the cozyness, the nest and all things wonderful that only rain and cold can bring.
And I like England: the cozy and pretty side of England.

Ragged Roses said...

Oh how I'd love to meet up with Anna in her new cafe, so glad you were able to do the visit. As you can see I've taken a break from the housework, found the computer amongst the washing and gazing out of my window see much the same scene as you (you see there's not that many miles between us). Cup of tea in hand, cake in the kitchen and chocolate in the fridge - only need the sound of my daughters' laughter and I'd be quite content! Take care
Mxxx

julia said...

I too felt a bit odd at first visiting Anna's cafe, a bit like a stalker, until I'd introduced myself, that is. We had a lovely visit, the best coffee in Cheltenham I'd say! In fact three of us mums are off there for breakfast after school drop off next week.
Hope your brain is a bit less fuddled now, blame it on the weather.
Julia xx

Simone said...

I hope you are feeling better now and not so stressed out! As you say, the weekend is upon us so have a lovely relaxing time. Anna looks like she's on to a winner with her new business venture. Her cakes look delicious even through the computer screen!

Vintage Amethyst said...

Aahhh how lovely that you got to meet Anna at her lovely new cafe, I only wish to do the same one day.
I too love Autumn and all the cosy snuggly-ness that goes with it!
love Alison x

Garden Girl said...

I LOVE Autumn, is my favourite time of year. Except for one thing. The central heating is usually banged up and those nasty SPIDERS come scuttling in. Bleurgh!
Am loving the photo of the outside of the caff far more than the one of the chubby hostess inside it, (!!!)BUT it was sooo lovely to meet you and Mr C, and you are very lovely and kind to speak so highly of the new love of my life!I had better get some croissants in for Julia and Co! Thankyou dear girl. Watch out for hairy legs. (black ones)xxxxx

LOUISE said...

There is no let up with the rain, torrential showers and gales yet again, apparently at least the tail end of two hurricanes still to come. I do like the changes of colour in the garden in Autumn, I don't like the shorter days. A lovely journey and beautiful sights you saw on the way to Anna's cafe, finished with a nice cup of coffee, couldn't be better. x

The List Writer said...

Ooooh! Anna is modelling one of the aprons I made for her - so nice to see it in action as it were!

She pointed me in the direction of your blog, and I'm so glad she did. I've had great fun reading all your posts. Nice to meet you :o)

Kitschen Pink said...

OH I can't wait to light the wood-burner! Shorter days mean longer evenings sitting and sewing! Hurrah! (by February I'll be moaning about the short days and longing for more time in the garden!) t.xx

Redwoodhouse said...

Autumn, rain wind the lot that feeling of snuggling down inside looking out I love it, but I do feel for anyone affected by flooding in any way they must dread the patter of rain, as much as I enjoy it.
Great blog would love to get to no. 9 and taste that coffee sometime.
Jan

flutterbypatch said...

Thanks for visiting my Flutterby Patch Michele and leaving such nice comments. Good to know we like similar stuff. You've got me hooked on kids books now. I spent an hour last night looking for my Nicholas Thomas book that I've had for 50 years!!. I found it eventually (well thumbed). I'll have to feature it sometime. All the best, Eli

Cathy said...

I am so ashamed - despite living in Cheltenham and being in regular correspondence with Anna I still haven't made it to the cafe, although this week could be the week. What a lovely blogger you are to travel so far for a fellow blogger (you should have popped in here while you were in the area!).
Cathy XX

This Vintage Life... said...

You make a rainy day sound positively lovely..I think only you could do that! Where did those crisp, cold autumn days go? I remember skipping through piles of crispy brown leaves as a child, all wrapped up in scarf and mittens(!) and then taking some home to glue in my excercise book.
What an incedibly thoughtful thing for you to do for Anna...I don't know her blog but I shall pop over and take a look now.
Stay cosy under that eiderdown! Deb x

flutterbypatch said...

Me again Michele. I have Nicholas Thomas and Timothy No.6. The first story 'Planting Taties' shows old farmer Tom with a toothache. Kind Timothy wraps a warm scarf round the old man's head to help with the pain. Top tip...use as treatment for little kids when they have the dreaded ear ache. Doesn't cure the pain but it certainly makes them feel special (and look ridiculous)! Those were the days! Eli

Artsy-Craftsy Merchant said...

Haven't stopped by in a while...loved the photos! Congrats on the BBC antiques thingy!!!

Linda and Laura Lilly Cottage said...

Oh what a wonderful trip to No 9!!! Love those trees on the way by the way.
so strange the start of Spring here looks exactly like your Autumn....except ours only lasts for a few days and it will be hot and sunny again!!
Enjoy your weekend, muddy footy and all, kiss noises Linda Lilly Cottage.

Petticoat Lane said...

Glad you're feeling better now.
Isn't it lovely to see Anna behind the counter of her exciting new venture. She's done such an amazing job and the menu is great. With her wonderful hospitality I'm sure you'll agree that Cafe no.9 will go from strength to strength.
Loved this post and how you described the view from your window! Loving this monsoon season!!

Mary-Laure said...

Thanks foe those exquisite pics of Pinswick.

Katherines Dream said...

Oh I wish I knew that you was going...I would have come too!
I am in hibernation mood now, the candles are being lit late afernoon and I polished the woodbunrer in prep for lighting soon. I cannot believe how quickly this year has just flown by. Jude has a tooth and loves my roast dinners! can you believe that already. And as for lists...well....speak soon.
Carol x

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I visited Niki and have added Wells to my list. Now I see I will have to add the Cotswolds as well! ...sigh...

BTW, hubby and I love watching "Last of the Summer Wine". I know it is set in Yorkshire, but we daydream that in our golden years, we'll lead a similar life (well, sort of!) =)

Things Hand Made said...

Sounds just my sort of place, will put it on my list of places I NEED to go too...!