3.7.09

Visiting the Hermitage



I don't often take my rudimentary mobile phone out with me on walks. Good job I did yesterday though; we were over in the woods for a little impromptu picnic, when I received a text. Rima and Tui of the Hermitage were passing through West Oxfordshire in their gorgeous home, en route for Wales and would we like a cup of tea if they could find anywhere close to park up?





Yes. Please. We had our picnic, deep in the woodsy undergrowth, and by the time we got home, it was time to go out again. There was some initial confusion on our part, which took us halfway to Banbury before a phone call ascertained that by taking the scenic route we had completely missed them, only 10 minutes from the village. But eventually we found the famous van, parked on the edge of a nearby scenic A-road. Rima and I have known each other for over four years now; pre-blog days. We met at a gathering of illustrators, on one of my rare trips to London, and have been friends ever since, having a shared love of things-on-wheels.




It was Rima who looked after the cottage and the cats when we
went to Greece, just after I'd started this blog in 2005, and I blogged about it (in the days when my posts were often short and sweet, instead of lumbering behemoths like this one). What a long way we have both come since then.





When everyone had said hello, we somehow got our tall bulks up the little ladder and were swallowed up in the cool, dark cocoon. Tea was made. Even on one of the hottest days of the year, there is always a place for a nice cup of tea. Chatting began and undiluted admiration for one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. I have to confess, that apart from wanting to meet Tui and see Rima again, I was aching to see for myself the home they kitted out themselves, setting off on their travels last December, having seen its progress through their blog.





Not the largest home, not the grandest, but absolutely wonderful and crammed with treasures.




A place for everything and everything in its place.




Our familiar patch, looking like a little green jewel through the porthole.




Rima and Tui are a brilliant team of artistry and musicianship. Rima is one of the finest, most original painters I know, selling her prints through her Etsy shop.




Tui has another incarnation, as musical artist Orla Wren. I am not even going to attempt to describe his delicate work (apart from that it is extraordinary). I suggest - strongly - a visit to the Orla Wren Myspace page, to sample his incredible creations. Or visit his website, where you may recognise the artistry on his latest CD cover. Everything he needs to make his music is either in his home or outside in the natural world.




Time ticked on, and we knew they had a long, slow drive to Wales ahead of them.




We said cheery goodbyes and zoomed off on our two wheels back to our own dear little (firmly set in the ground for 245 years) nest. I am far too fond of being in the same place to wish for their lifestyle, and yet it is a wonderful thing to have friends who choose to live their dream, no matter how tough it can be.




Rima and Tui are always on the lookout for friendly places to park up in. It's not easy being on the road, and it's nice to know you are heading for a warm welcome and safe, quiet corner, instead of a fume filled service station. If you do have a small patch which could be spared for even just a night's rest, they can be contacted via their blog; what they do, in here.


30 comments:

Julia Guthrie said...

Aw what a lovely post, & lovely pictures too!
I confess I'd love to have a nose inside that magical little house on wheels. Rima has a really special vibe I think & a way of capturing magic in the ordinary :)

Lisa Oceandreamer said...

I read their blog now and then....I have been captivated immensely with the lifestyle, the home on wheels and her fantastic artwork. How lovely to be able to share a cup of tea and see this rolling home in person. Great photos Gretel, I only wish you'd been in one of them. For 3 years now I've waited to see if YOU would show up on your lovely blog.....I hope one day it actually happens!!
I've been bad about commenting but I DO stop by!
XOXO
Lisa

Stephantasy said...

I've been following The Hermitage for a while. It's like a bit of paradise in my days.

Thank you so much for the beautiful post and the delightful pictures.

And I should add: I've been absolutely loving your blog. My dad took me to see the Cotswolds for the first time when I was just a teenager and I've loved the region ever since. Myself, I'm living in a region of Germany that's actually pretty similar - Franconia: lots soft hills, fields, hedges, foresty bits, small villages. Thank you for sharing your life & your experiences!

tlc illustration said...

How lucky to get to see their traveling home up close and personal! It looks like a fairy tale...

I didn't realize you knew Rima pre-blogging.

the casbah kitten said...

What an AMAZING home they have, and such interesting people they must be! That's a lifestyle I would have loved to have lived...who knows, maybe I will have a mid-life crisis and take to the road! I'll have to check out their blog, and websies. The world needs more interesting, free spirited people.......

Suze said...

How wonderful to be able to catch up with such a special friend, and to all meet at last. I'm glad you had time together, and to discover their beautiful home for yourself.

Jessie said...

Two of my favourite bloggies together in one post, what more bliss can there be? Thank you Gretel for sharing this lovely visit. :)

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Thanks for catching me up with Rima. Actually I think you do experience wanderlust. Here is the definition.
The term forms from the German words wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire). The term wandern is frequently misused as a false cognate, it in fact does not mean "to wander", but rather "to hike". Placing the two words together translates to "to enjoy hiking", although is commonly described as an enjoyment of strolling or wandering.

muddy red shoes said...

Ooooh, lucky thing seeing inside such a wonderful home. I love Rimas work and now I know that you two know each other it all somehow fits, because I love your work too.

Kim McBirnie said...

Wow! What a home. My relatives as far back as I can research, were all watermen, and my great grandmother practically grew up on board a barge even though she never learned to swim. It is a way of life that draws me, yet like you I really am a home bod (typical Taurian I guess.)
Lovely post.
Kim xx

Shelley Noble said...

Wonderful to see inside Rima and Tui's magical world! Thank you so much for sharing what you experienced. It's even more special than I imagined!

Rima said...

A lovely post Gretel dear, thank you!
We loved seeing you both along the way, and it is wonderful to see our house through your eyes! Those are lovely photos.. and very much you photos.. but strange because I know the things in them so well!
My blogging's got a bit rusty of late, so thanks for doing it for me until I get back to it!!!
Much love from rainy Wales x

Rima said...

PS - and huge sorrys for not having proper milk to offer you! :)

Jackie said...

I want to ask the obvious question..how do they connect to the internet?
It seems so incongruous with their way of life.
In 'my day' people who travelled were people who had turned their backs on the trappings of hi tech life.
I love their home, and if they can blog from it all the better.

Pattee said...

I love love love your way of life...
It's what I've always wanted to do... how I've always wanted to live... and now I feel I'm too old...

If I could I'd be a nomad and travel the states... in an old trailer and make friends...

Thanks for seeing the way you do.
Pattee

Scriptor Senex said...

A fascinating post - I'll be back.

Caroline B said...

Wow - oh to have the courage to live like that! I was wondering how they did the internet too!

mountainear said...

What a perfect house on wheels - full of comforts and treasures. I shall look out for them on the off-chance they pass through this part of Wales. Bon voyage.

Frances said...

Hello PG and thank you for that warm introduction to your friends. Of course, I am also bedazzled by your photos and the whole notion of a home on wheels.

I will surely follow up and visit the Hermitage and the other sites.

Your description of your mobile phone did make me smile knowingly. When I became a shop manager, friends gave me such a rudimentary little device (Virgin mobile very apt name.) It was a bit of a joke ... how I would be needing to be reachable at all times. Well, I almost never take that little phone with me, yet every now and then it has proved very handy.

xo

Wyldhare said...

It has always been a secret fantasy of mine to do just what they do. I don't think I will ever travel too much, to grow tired of seeing new places and new things.

Their home is like something out of a fairy tale! How magical! Thank you for the photos!

Graceful Moments said...

In my youthful days this is exactly what I dreamed of doing. It is fun to follow the journey of those who are living that dream. Thanks for taking us inside to see the wonder of it all!

Thanks for the links ot Orla Wren. Enchanting music!

Kitty said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful visit!

Ember said...

Thanks so much for this post and for the fab photographs!

:0)

Libby Buttons said...

magnificent post...you are an excellent writer!

smiles
DarLie
aka "LiBBy BuTTons"

Mlle Miracle said...

I read this post the other day and I linked to them after. Thank you for share your visit, I can stop to read their sites, they're an amazing and sensitive people.

Gordon Fraser said...

Flippin' excellent post Gretel!..I flippin' love Rimas work (did you see the vid she did a while back?)...blimey I wish I had the guts to live her lifestyle!....I think its the first time I've properly seen her as well so its great to finally put a face to the legend that is our Rima!

Barry said...

I've been following the Hermitage for some time now and loved the opportunity for a more extensive peek inside their home.

Your excellent pictures did not disappoint. I really loved this post.

Lynn said...

I was so excited to see your post about the Hermitage. I follow their blog and was thrilled to see all the pictures of their space and all the treasures.

miakodo said...

I found your blog through the link from the Hermitage, and I'm so glad I did! Thanks for sharing this story, and your beautiful art.

PussDaddy said...

I love the house on wheels.

PussDaddy