One place my mum has always wanted to visit is Saltaire, and Salts Mill. She can’t quite believe how lucky we are to have this just down the train line from where we live. I’ve known about it for ages and I’ve been to Saltaire a few times with Andy in the past but the first time I visited Salts Mill was back in November with Lucy. I was blown away by it and couldn’t wait to take my mum there because I knew she would love it too.
If you’d like to read a bit about the history of Saltaire, here’s the wikipedia page, it’s a fascinating place.
The first floor houses all things art – there are David Hockney paintings on the walls (it is also a gallery) and there are tables and tables of posh, quality paints, chalks, pastels, inks, clay, pens, pencils, lino cutting supplies, cards, art books … you name it, it’s there. I always wander around just longing for some arty ability to strike me down so that I can buy the beautiful Derwent Inktense colour pencils and an A3 pad of paper that’s stiffer than cereal boxes. It’s all so gorgeous and I would love to be able to draw. But I can’t, so I just appreciate the rainbow of coloured pencils and then just be grateful that I can take photos and crochet!
The bookshop two floors above is what really draws me in. I love books. I love love love books. I don’t get a lot of time for reading any more (and that’s fine, it is what it is right now) but oh I love books. I love books with beautiful covers, with embossing and pretty drawings. I love books illustrated by people who I already know. I love books from my childhood. I love books I’ve read before that have been re-covered and I love appreciating the new cover for how well it fits with the inside of the book. I love the craft books, the food books, the books on local history. The books on trains and the books on buildings.
(I love that I can now legitimately buy children’s books again so that I can admire the drawings inside them.)
If I had unlimited wealth I would fill a bag, a basket, at trolley with no problem in this bookshop.
However. I do not have unlimited wealth! What we do then, is we spend time ooohing and aaaaahing and appreciating all the books and sharing memories of this one and that one saying how much we’d like to read this one or how much you might enjoy that one.
Then what you do, is you take the baby that has been so very good up until that point and who has realised what wonderful acoustics the bookshop has, into the cafe and take him out of his baby carrier so he can stretch and chuckle and smile and play with his grandma and his auntie and then have a feed.
It’s becoming quite enjoyable to take TTB out to places now. He isn’t so scary! He can be entertained and loves seeing new things. My mum said that when we were children, if she was out without any of us and she saw something really interesting she was always a bit sad that we weren’t with her and so couldn’t see it! I know what she means. I have lots of things I want to do with him and places to take him and I want to start him early so that he gets used to being out and about and hopefully will learn how to behave. I think part of this is recognising his needs and making it enjoyable for him too. Simply letting him out of his pram/carrier so he can stretch and sit up at the table with us, for example. Why shouldn’t he join in? He’s a whole proper person as well.
After looking in the homeshop (and not buying anything at all Andy, honest) we had a mooch around Saltaire to look at the houses. This door is rather sweet don’t you think?