Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Fredericksburg is situated midway between Washington DC and Richmond - established in the early 18th century it has a historic downtown area, on the banks of the Rapahannock River.

Today, instead of speeding past on the i-95 as we normally do, we had a little time to stop and explore.

David was very taken with this fully restored brick house dating back to 1776.  It was a cool $1.5m but beautiful.. and large.

There were many other lovely old houses..

I particularly liked the arch supporting the steps here.

The Baptist Church caught my eye - partly I think because the spire is so similar to Beechen Cliff in Bath.

Fredericksburg was the site of terrible battles during the Civil War including the one commemorated here ..

The text at the foot of the wall is the wording of a letter sent from Abraham Lincoln to a woman who had lost five sons to the war.  The tragedy is almost unimaginable.

On a lighter note, the Rapahannock River was beautiful in the sunshine and several paddleboarders were out on the water and making the most of it

Monday, 24 July 2017

Early Birthday

A trip to Leesburg today with Claire - we had planned to visit a very good thrift store there (unfortunately closed on Monday - should have checked!).  A few doors along we found a very nice shop selling books 'and other found things' and we managed to find a few things of interest in there.

So with just a few minutes to spare before our lunch reservation we came upon an antique and collectors centre, which turned out to be twenty rambling rooms packed with items...

I was fascinated by the views out of the windows of the historic streets..

So on to lunch and when the menus arrived it was obvious that my forthcoming birthday had been mentioned..

Thank you, Claire, for the pre-birthday treat.

We both seem to be intent on holding onto our celebratory glass of wine!

A lovely meal and a few reflections on past birthdays and that next year in order to celebrate our respective July birthdays, one of us will have to travel!!

The restaurant is in an old mill  and hence retains some of the relevant equipment, including several weighing scales.. fortunately we were not weighed either on the way in or out!

On leaving I was given a glass etched with the name of the restaurant - Tuscarora Mill - some sweets and the souvenir menu.

A great time..and still four days to my birthday!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Battlefield Boardwalk

Part of yesterday's walk on the site of the Battle of Manassas/Bull Run was along a boardwalk constructed over some marshy land around the river.

We embarked on this extra loop in our walk under the (mistaken) impression that the rain was stopping.  We got very wet!  These unripe but colourful blackberries show just how damp everything was.

Along the way we saw a lot of this yellow plant - it was tall - waist high at least, the yellow flowers had black centres.

I don't know the name of the yellow flowers but this pretty blue flower, complete with raindrop decoration is a cornflower....

(The deep blue or pink summer flowers that we know as cornflowers are known as 'bachelor buttons' here.)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Out in the Rain

It was very warm today and our plan was to go to Skyline Drive, calling in to Warrenton on the way.

In Warrenton we came across this wonderful, restored, vintage streetcar - used for weddings, Winery tours and small parties.

It probably wouldn't be too comfy for a long trip but it looked fun!

We spent a couple of hours looking around Warrenton..

We then decided not to go on to the Shenandoah National Park but to walk along the trail at the Manassas Battlefield Park.

We started at the Old Stone Bridge, a key site during the Battle of Manassas at Bull Run.

We walked along the river..

All was quiet (this may be because others had read the weather forecast)

Then the rain came..  and we got very wet indeed..

Friday, 21 July 2017

Herndon Rocks!

Herndon Rocks is not a geological feature but the name of a weekly summertime Friday night concert series in Herndon Old Town.

The weather was cloudy but definitely not cool - it stayed in the 30's throughout the evening. 

Quite how the band - playing mainly 80's covers and jumping around a lot - managed to stay cool, I have no idea.

Even as it got dark we were still sweltering - and that is without dancing!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Third Thursday Lunch

Well it may be only 23 degrees as I write this at 6.45 on Thursday morning but clearly with a high for the day of 36 (which sounds even hotter when it is spoken of on the radio weather forecast as 96), it's going to be a warm one!

The Women's Club doesn't meet during June, July and August but for the last two summers we have continued the 'Third Thursday' lunches as we normally have together at a restaurant nearby  after the monthly meetings at Lake Anne.

When I made the reservations I had to decide whether to book inside or outside at Kalypso's.  Thankfully I have booked inside in the cool dining room for today, otherwise I think we may have had 24 overheated and unhappy ladies who lunch!! 

Will take a few photos when I get there...

Lunch went well and we were all happy to be inside.

Not many people were around at this normally busy Plaza!

None of the boats were out for rent..

The most inviting place looked to be the fountain..

It is now 10.30pm and still 29 degrees outside.  We have three more days, apparently, before this hot spell breaks..

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What's for Sale?

When I spent some time at The Bargain Loft on Tuesday sorting out new donations of jewellery, I also took some photos of  items for sale to share on the Facebook page.

Above, this is a Venetian glass stylised cat from Murano - he is a paperweight and appropriately heavy as about 7 inches tall, but very beautifully made.

Not quite sure what is going on in the picture on the plate - looks as if the gentleman is being tickled with a feather..

We quite often have patchwork quilts for sale and this is a pretty vintage one, as is the stand with its heart motif.

American Girl is a highly successful line of dolls over many years and this is a vintage collection of cut-out card dolls with a series of outfits in little books.

Initially I thought that these were small matryoshka  dolls, but there are no little nesting dolls inside these,  they are just for salt and pepper..

Just some of the jewellery that we have at the moment - quite a variety!

This sideboard is fairly modern but a beautiful reproduction.  Not sure that the pottery punchbowl and cups on the top is doing it any favours though!

Love this 'vintage' sign...looks like a punishing regime though!

We receive many donations of beautiful vintage linen - some well used but much of it kept 'for best' and not used.

Upstairs, despite a big clear out for the inventory count at the end of June, our collection of everyday glassware and kitchenware is just growing.