Bed and Board

Bed and Board

Our last trip of the year in Absinthe was one of two parts. Firstly, we travelled to Stourbridge to meet up with Jamie Hubbard, who runs Creative Woodworking in a Unit at The Ruskin Glass Centre. We’d seen Jamie on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, I follow him on Twitter and Instagram too and could tell that he was a master craftsman. We rarely use the sink in our van, except for storage, and a while ago I’d made a cover for it from a piece of surfboard. It was ok, but rattled quite a lot and, having seen some of the boards Jamie had made for other people, we decided we’d invest in one for Absinthe.

It took us about 2.5 hours to get to Stourbridge on a glorious autumn day. It was great to meet and chat to Jamie and we left the sink with him to allow him to make the board fit perfectly.

Anyway, more on that later, as next we drove to Cheltenham to have a weekend with our daughter, Gabbie and her boyfriend, Jay, who live there. We’d booked a pitch at the adults-only Briarfields Motel and Touring Site, quite close to GCHQ on the outskirts of town. It’s a great site, with well looked after pitches, good showers and toilet facilities and the bonus of buses running to Gloucester and Cheltenham right outside the site.

We had a quiet night in Absinthe on Friday with a lovely Goan Curry we’d brought with us. Perfect on a cold autumnal evening, as was managing to catch the Mighty Boro on the iPad via Sky and the site’s excellent WiFi. A 1-2 win away at Sheffield Wednesday was just what we needed and put us back on top of the Division.

We chilled during the day on Saturday, with some reading and a short walk to Asda for a light lunch, before we got changed for a night out (yep, out, out!) in town with G & J. We’d booked a taxi to take us to their house and then onwards to the Giggling Squid, a Thai chain restaurant in the centre of town. Unfortunately, the taxi driver was a middle aged racist, who blamed all the crime in Cheltenham on “them from over the Channel”. I asked him if he meant the French, but apparently he didn’t. I actually told him Jay was Latvian, 6’4″, with a nasty temper and that when we picked him up he might not want to repeat his comments. Jay isn’t from Latvia*, by the way, or, if he is, he’s perfected his Gloucestershire accent…

We had a great night – it’s always fun to be out with these two and there’s always too much drink involved. I’m also pleased to say that we got a different taxi driver back…

We met up again on Sunday morning for breakfast in a greasy spoon cafe which was just what my delicate head needed before the long drive home. We even found time to pop into a fantastic nearby beer shop and made a few purchases before we left.

The second part of our trip involved us driving back down to Stourbridge to pick up the beautiful board which Jamie had made us. The idea was for it to be decorative on the top and practical underneath, so that we could turn it over and use it as a chopping board.

Jamie had sent a few teasers through during the week showing some of the stages of construction and we couldn’t have been happier with the work.

We absolutely love what he’s created and I can’t recommend him highly enough. Jamie also runs classes in the workshop to hone your woodworking skills and he’s extremely passionate about what he does. I love talented people like this and am in awe of their skill and dedication to quality.

Before we left we had some lunch in the cafe then popped into some of the other units, where we were, again,  very impressed with the work we saw. The place had a lovely relaxed vibe and we’ll definitely be back again.

The only downside of the trip was the drive back up the M6. When we left at 3pm, the SatNav said we’d be back at 5.08pm but there was no chance, as we didn’t pull into our drive until exactly 6.08pm. Thank goodness we won’t be doing that again for while.

*he’s not 6’4″ either

Things We’ve Learned

Warm autumn sunshine is the best

Sun will turn to rain as you drive up the M6

If you take the sink out, you’ll find all those missing items of cutlery behind the fridge

Wine, cocktails, beer? You’re too old for this, Mr B

You’re a lucky person if you’re passionate about your work

Real skill and talent is priceless

Alison and I are blessed to live the life we do.

There’s a full set of photos here: FLICKR

One comment

  1. pete

    Another interesting trip. I agree with you about Autumn sunshine, and you’ve worked hard to get to what you term a “blessed” life, Martin. Keep ’em coming


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