Dude’s got some moves.
I have long been a huge fan of the artwork of Rima Staines, a UK artist based out of Devon. She’s a friend of Terri Windling and her artwork is unique. It has an ancient, folk culture feel to it that I love. It is delightfully quirky, whimsical and idiosyncratic. She and her partner Tom Hirons, and their little son have converted a flatbed truck into a house on wheels cum stage and it is their goal to provide traveling theater, storytelling, music, and all those other important “folk” things that the modern world is swallowing up too fast, and that we are in danger of losing irretrievably. Rima has teamed up with writer Sylvia Linsteadt to provide the illustrations for Sylvia’s book Tatterdemalion. I have seen copies of the book and it is a beautifully bound, high-quality hardback book with full color illustrations. Below is a little video Rima and Sylvia made to tell you about it. (That’s Rima you hear singing on the video.) My very own copy was obtained today and hopefully will be in my little hot hands before too long.
When ugly, mean and stupid things are happening in the world, and you’ve done all you can do about it, find a calm, quiet place and contemplate beautiful things. Just in case you don’t have any beauty readily to hand, I’m happy to share this trio of little gems. The dancer is the wonderful Diana Vishneva. I suggest watching them full screen with your sound on.
One for me. The dancer here is “Kremushka” (Yana Kremneva).
And another one for good measure. Sting, who should need no introduction, and ballerina Alessandra Ferri, who shouldn’t need one either, getting Bach to basics with the Prelude from JSB’s Cello suite #1 in G major. Another one to watch full screen, with sound.
I hope so. These people were driving in a Tesla car on a highway in the Netherlands. The amazing thing is that the Tesla’s autopilot (a safety feature that uses radar) had already practically braked the car to a stop before the driver even realized there had been an accident!
The even better news is that no one was seriously injured in the accident.
Is a wonderful book by writer and illustrator Jackie Morris that blossomed from the series of Christmas cards she has done each year to benefit the Help Musicians Charity. She collected all the ones she’s done so far into a book and then hand-crafted an equally exquisite series of interconnected stories to go with each of them. Her delightfully detailed paintings beg to be poured over and examined for every delicious detail. Yes, you could read this book aloud to some lucky child, or you can read it silently to your own inner child. It’s one of those books that sings a siren song about the hours you might spend snuggled up in some peaceful comfy place savoring a truly special read. Give yourself a treat.
There are times when what seems at first to be bad luck turns out, in fact, to be good luck after all. In our case, the bad luck of us not being able to stay two consecutive nights at the Round Top Inn on our recent trip to Round Top, turned into the good luck of being able to stay two nights in the beautiful Wellspring Retreat.
Linda and Robert Brunson, who own the Wellspring Retreat, had not originally planned to open a B & B. They were building a home for her mother with room upstairs for grandchildren to visit, and a little retirement home for themselves next door. Unfortunately, three months after the house was finished, her mother passed away. Then they got the idea to open a Bed and Breakfast. They added a breakfast room to the main house, and moved in an old train depot and remodeled it, and the Wellspring Retreat was born.
Surprisingly, the main house is new construction. Linda says they deliberately built new to look old to blend in with the feel of the historic town of Round Top with its many restored period buildings. The main house has all the character and charm of a hundred year old farmhouse but with the benefits of sturdy materials, modern plumbing and weather proofing that come with new construction.
The Wellspring Retreat is a bit tricky to find, but well worth the effort. When I made the turn off Highway 237, my mom immediately said, “Are you sure you’re going the right way?” But I followed the unpaved, but graveled and graded road back into the trees, found the sign that marks the turnoff, and there we were.
My mom and I shared the Parisian room: Two single beds toe to toe up under the eaves with lace curtains, pink toile bedspreads and shams, and a ceiling fan. All the rooms are charmingly decorated with little objets d’art, antique reproduction lighting, lace curtains, ceiling fans, carpeting and period furniture and each room, with the exception of the little single room, has a sink in the room. My cousin JP was to have had the only single-bed room, but he got to “upgrade” to a room with a double bed and one twin bed. My cousin EJ and her husband had a lovely room with a king-size bed. There is a “2-piece” bathroom (sink and toilet) with a large shower at the end of the hall.
Downstairs there is a comfortable sitting area (below left) with a TV, but with plenty of rocking chairs on a large porch that wraps around two sides of the house, who wants to sit inside and watch TV? Also downstairs (below) is a lovely little breakfast room with a high ceiling and a wall of windows that look out through the trees where the Breakfast part of the deal happens.
Linda Brunson was very accommodating regarding when we wanted breakfast (we had to be in church by 8 a.m. on Sunday!) and what we wanted to eat — a full-on country breakfast or just some oatmeal and biscuits. The food was delicious and the servings were ample.
The little depot building is an actual historic train depot that was moved onto the site in 2005. It is set about 30 yards from the main house near the parking area. It’s a charming little building from a bygone era thoughtfully remodeled — but it can sleep up to 7. In a separate building adjacent to the main house is the “artist’s studio” with accommodation upstairs and meeting space below.
Flower beds which incorporate antique toys and ironwork to create little vignettes; long winding, gravel pathways bordered with white stones; a darling little gazebo in a stand of trees. Even though we were there in the middle of October, the flowers were still blooming profusely and there were butterflies everywhere. Imagine how gorgeous it would be in the spring and summer!
I couldn’t help thinking how perfect the Wellspring Retreat would be for small groups to spend quiet time together — a church retreat, a staff planning retreat, a scrapbooking or craft workshop, a club getaway. It would be a great place for a wedding party to stay — how special would an intimate little ceremony under the gazebo be? Or you could have the ceremony in the beautifully restored Haw Valley Church in Henkel Square in Round Top.
The Wellspring Retreat is less than a five minute drive to the center of Round Top, where you could dine at Royers’ Cafe or have Mexican food at Los Padrones, go shopping in Henkel Square, or antiquing at the various antique shops. And plan to take some time to sit on the front porch with a glass of iced tea and enjoy the view.
The Wellspring Retreat is both near and far — right near the heart of historic Round Top, but not too far “out in the country.” It’s a perfect place to enjoy all the benefits of country living without sacrificing any creature comforts. You and your someone special could slip away for the weekend, or you could rendezvous with friends or extended family. The Wellspring truly is a country retreat. You’ll be delighted at how peaceful and quiet it is.
I would advise you check Google Maps’ satellite view beforehand to get the lay of the land as access is a little tricky. Neither turnoff from 237 is marked. However, once you find the right road, the turnoff to the retreat and the guest parking area are clearly marked. Although there is no sign to indicate the way from the parking area to the main house/office, just park your car and explore the lovely grounds and you’ll quickly find it.
There’s a family reunion in Round Top next year that mom and I are thinking about going to, and if we do, we already know where we want to stay.