Each time I go up country I try and fit in a day out with my sister G - last time we went to Hastings. This time we had vague thoughts of Whitstable, but decided we didn't want to spend too long in the car. Ben, my nephew (he of the lovely chicken coops) was booked for dog sitting duties and we went off to Petersham Nurseries where Kristina came and joined us for coffee in the Teahouse.
In our emails beforehand sorting out the logistics, Kristina said:
"How will I know it's you?"
"Easy" I said, "I'm the tall dark scruffy one, and G is blonde and glamorous!".
It is a standing joke in our family that G does the glamour for myself and my elder twin sisters. I should add that Kristina found us immediately! We lingered over coffee and cake (there's a wonderful selection, including the most divine chocolate brownies) and chat, admired the surroundings and the yummy mummies, and wandered around the nurseries. It wasn't great weather-wise, being grey and drizzley which later turned to a torrential downpour, so not inspiring for photographs.
The dahlias were impressive - big, voluptuous and all shades of pink through to the dark reds.
There were also a couple of huge troughs of cosmos, magnets to the bees.
From Petersham we headed to Barnes to pop in to Tobias and the Angel, which was a little disappointing this time. They are renowned for their wonderful christmas displays and goodies, so worth visiting in December. Putney was our final destination, to find a lovely yarn shop called Stash. Kristina was still gamely with us - it's easy to be left trailing in G's wake, she does love to shop! We drooled over all the lovely yarn and gorgeous colours. I bought a skein of Noro Kureyon, in the hope of knitting some fingerless mitts, and G bought some wool to knit a scarf. She's not knitted for years, so I had fun that night teaching her long-tail cast on, and deciding what rib pattern to knit.
We had a lovely 'girlie' day out - not a time for big chats as we were whizzing round so much, but so lovely to meet Kristina. Especially as there's second helpings next week, when we find ourselves on a foraging and feasting weekend together. Kristina, thanks for putting up with us!
edited to add: Kristina gave me some wonderful lavender sugar, beautifully packaged, along with a recipe for lavender cupcakes. I've yet to take a photo... Thanks, Kristina!