Now then, if only Helen were willing to give up her perfectly excellent job in publishing and set up a restorative B+B for tired Mommies, complete with a Man-ny who is really rather wonderful with kids (in reality Helens boyfriend Louis, newly christened Mr Wash-A-Lot for his impressive laundry skills), then the world would I suspect, be a better place.
What a lovely week we had. Not only does Helen live in the most beautiful area of England, with the most scrumptious scenery, the bestest vintage housekeeping boutiques in the land and the breathtaking wonder that is Blenheim Palace on her doorstep, but she is also the consumate hostess, a tiny domestic goddess, and an absolute credit to women who work full time, bring up a babba, keep beautiful house and still manage to look kinda sexy all day every day.
While we never managed to leave the house before midday due to the fact that full English breakfast is apparently a pre-requisite in the Cotswolds, we did, once we were out the door, haunt the cutest little villages, bring terror in the form of two wild little boys to the most sedate of vintage stores, shop for the most scrumptious of artisinal wares for my pantry (Rose Tea, Lemon Madeira Cake, Oak smoked Cheddar, Basil Biscuits, Violet Chocolate and an organic Rioja to die for) and spend a really rather wonderul day in the gardens of Blenheim, getting lost in the maze, chasing butterflies and playing giant chess...
But the evenings were the best. Helen has finally banished my irrational fear of salmon, with a pesto and pinenut steak that is still making my mouth water at the thought of it. She is a wondeful cook, her house is gently lit, sprawling ,cosy, and positive proof that soul doesn't only exist in old buidings but can occasionally be found in three storey new builds. Everywhere you turn there are bookcases teeming with poetry books and pretty shoes. My bedroom was strangely calm. A place to read well into the night, to fall asleep in the glow of the lamp and sort my head out in the wee small hours. A little piece of heaven and Finley was truly hoping we no longer had a home and we would have to stay in "Helen's holiday" forever and ever.
Me too. Me too. Me too. Witney fixed me. Made my pear shaped world seem whole again and reminded me why sisters are the bestest gift in the world.