This morning, I packed my trusty mapbook and compass, (ha, only kidding on that part), got Jimi Hendrix playing and headed out into the Hampshire countryside. Yes, it was time to introduce myself to the lovely Francoise at Roots, Shoots and Leaves, the new venue for my workshops.
The sun was glorious and the scenery just as lovely, but as I turned off the main roads, and after a little unscheduled detour somewhere around a place called Botley, (with a small requirement to pull up on someone's drive to check the map), I sensed there may be trouble ahead, (my dad has always cautioned me to 'beware the large trunker (huge lorry) round the corner'. Heading down ever narrower and windy country lanes, I felt Jimi should quieten down a bit, and I should keep an eye out for oncoming 'Crosstown Traffic', (groan) and the little turning I needed.
|Great to see the hedgerows and different tree species|
As it happens, the only 'traffic' I came across were a couple of fine horses with their riders. After giving plenty of room and a friendly nod, I enquired if I was heading in the right direction. A polite passing of the time of day seems the norm when the pace of life is slower, and after saying our cheery goodbyes I continued, carefully on my way.
|A slower pace of life,|
and the kindness to help out a slightly lost artist
Imposing gates and a large house beyond was what greeted me next, and for a moment I thought I had gone horribly wrong. But no, the gates dutifully opened and in I went. Met by the delightful Francoise, we spent the next hour or so wandering round the garden and spending time in her glorious kitchen discussing subjects, chatting about our work and inspirations, laughing about just about everything and drinking tea. Days like this are why I really love my job and feel I have a great life.
|The spring flowers looked so pretty in the sunshine|
If you fancy joining us, there are still some places left on my April and June dates. And with nearly everything you need for the day, (including a delicious lunch prepared by Francoise) included in the price, it's really good value. Visit the website to book