We slept until about 9:15 this morning and had a s . l . o . w . start to the day. But once we got off our duffs and shut down our various technological devices we made a lovely day of our first Saturday in Cambridgeshire (because we live in a shire now, which in itself is awesome by the way).
We hopped on our rented cycles and headed two miles west to the tiny village of Coton (civil parish according to Wikipedia). There's not much to see in Coton, but it's a lovely bike ride along golden and green fields, through tree-canopied pathways and a windy bit of road. Our destination was the Coton Orchard Garden Centre (notice the mixed up "r" and "e") which is best described like a conglomerate rock: part grocery, part garden center, part clothing/gift shop, part cafe, PLUS an apple orchard. It's quite a mix of goods. The only thing of use to use was the grocery section where we purchased a few things for lunch, and a couple of other things for the kitchen at home.
The most exciting of these purchases you ask?
Well it was undoubtedly:
Followed by a close second, the Sweet Pepper and Goat Cheese Filo Tart:
Other exiting things we saw at the garden center: Port Marion dishes! I include this specifically for my Mom and Tom who have these dishes and love them. You'll both be happy to know you can buy this china at a road side store, in a town with a population of ~770 people in the middle of nowhere England. How cool is that? I didn't actually check the prices on these, but heck, if they're cheaper and you break a dish, let me know! I'll toss some in my handy cruiser bike basket and mail them back to the states for you!
Finally, let's face it, the mug I purchased for Devin is so freaking cool, there's no way the mug I bought for myself could even compare so I'm sharing my new mug with you in an altogether separate post so let his mug stand alone in glory. But here's mine for a bargain price of £0.75, it's getting the job done and allows me to pour a tall cuppa in the morning so not have to turn on the turbo electric tea kettle twice in the morning.
And this last photo is for my friend and colleague Maya. Are these the ones you told me about? I think they might be, and if so, I can see why. They are delicious!! Want me to send you tube of them? They can replace the cookies at Wednesday staff meetings . . .
After a lunch at home in our sunny and warm apartment (thank the gods), we rode into Cambridge to explore a potential bike purchase for me. We're renting bikes at the moment, but the sooner I can buy a bike the better. Devin's bike is on it's way in our shipping crate, but I left my narrow wheeled speedy at home hoping to buy a more mellow bike for the flats of Cambridge. We visited about 4 bike shops, but unfortunately the shop where I'd like to test ride a few were about to close for the day. I plan to head back Monday and try out a few hybrid cycles, as the classic cruiser of my rental bike just isn't working out for me (they are cute and all but heavy and slow).
Our final stop was at Marks & Spenser (a department store + grocer?) and bought a bottle of wine and a box of truffles as a gift to the couple who have invited us to dinner at their place tomorrow night. We've never met this couple in person, but thanks to the Book of Face and a Cambridge Newcomer group I joined, we met online. Meeting people online has worked in my favor in the past (Please meet my husband, Devin), so I figure we can meet friends this way too.
Tonight we sit snug in our apartment, reading books and papers, the door wide open as the sun sets pink and purple over the open field. Things are shaping up nicely and we're feeling pretty happy with ourselves and our decision to live here. Tomorrow, we have our first of what we hope will be many visitors.
So the question stands, who is coming to visit us next? (besides Greg and Edie :-), See you both in November!)