a trip to essex } brook cottage

this is brook cottage. my sister, children and i stayed in this little home for two nights (my sister stayed for just one night, opting for a jay-zed concert in london instead). the facade of the cottage itself is quite unassuming. the back side however...

this is brook cottage. my sister, children and i stayed in this little house for two nights (my sister stayed for just one night, opting for a jay-zed concert in london instead). the facade of the cottage itself is quite unassuming. the back side however…

...is glorious. and a milky white

…is glorious. and a milky white

hello, yousef

hello, yousef

and the girls

and the girls

I never thought that after Rose Cottage last August I’d visit the English countryside again so soon after, and this time with my loved ones. It felt amazing to take this trip with my children and sister, because I did feel lonely the last time. And my people are a lot of fun to be with. We had a lovely, peaceful time in Dedham, although we did miss the boats as the Boathouse Restaurant was closed on Monday (we missed it on Sunday because of all the delays). I also liked the fact that we were staying in a village this time. Rose and its sister cottages at the Grove were more isolated, which lent the whole thing a different type of charm.

ah manningtree station. i could have kissed the ground once we got here. for the second time. see what happened was that on our way here from london's liverpool street station, we realized a little too late that we were at our intended destination. my son yousef asked me, 'isn't manningtree the station we need to get off at?' i immediately jumped up and told my kids and sister to do the same. we ran to our luggage, got to the doors and they were closed. apparently, on this train you had to open your door manually by sliding down the window and using the outside handle. we were already late (both our taxi driver and cottage owner were waiting for us at their respective locations) as the train was delayed for over an hour. needless to say, i started to cry. anyway, we ended up in ipswich and spoke to the very kind conductor who told us to just hop back on the train heading the other way. this was one of several very idiotic incidents this trip, all starring me

ah manningtree station. i could have kissed the ground once we got here. for the second time. see, what happened was that when we got to this station from london’s liverpool street station, we realized a little too late that we were at our intended destination. my son yousef asked me, ‘isn’t manningtree the station we need to get off at?’ i immediately jumped up and told my kids and sister to do the same. we ran to our luggage, got to the doors and they were closed. apparently, on this train you had to open your door manually by sliding down the window and using the outside handle. we were already late (both our taxi driver and cottage owner were waiting for us at their respective locations) as the train was delayed for over an hour. as the train started to move, i started to cry. anyway, we ended up in ipswich and spoke to the very kind conductor who told us to just hop back on the train heading the other way. this was one of several very idiotic incidents this trip, all starring me

at the station. because there were five of us, we had to do two trips to the cottage. i had to take the first one and (un)funny enough, no one wanted to come with me. i'm serious. i guess aunts are meant to be fun and moms...well, moms cry

at the station. because there were five of us, we had to do two trips to the cottage. i had to take the first one and (un)funny enough, no one wanted to come with me. i’m serious. i guess aunts are meant to be fun, and moms…well, moms are crybabies

this was our little living room. i have to say that i am a very clumsy person, and a little house might eventually have done major damage to my head. i've bumped my head three times in this area, once on the door frame which leads up the spiral staircase, once against the tv cabinet door and a third time that i don't remember

and finally we made it here. after a tour by cottage owner jamie ashfield, we were able to relax. this was our little living room. i have to say that i am a very clumsy person, and a little house might eventually have done major damage to my head. i bumped it three times in this area: once on the door frame which leads to the spiral staircase, once against the tv cabinet door and a third time i don’t remember

peekaboo window looks onto the dining room/foyer and kitchen. i'm 5'7" and can easily put my hands flat against the ceiling. but funny enough, i didn't feel claustrophobic at all

peekaboo window looks onto the dining room/foyer and kitchen. i’m 5’7″ and could easily put my hands flat against the ceiling, elbows bent. but funny enough, i didn’t feel claustrophobic at all

we are a family of silly gooses. but, we like a good laugh and will go out of our way to get one

we are a family of silly gooses. but, we like a good laugh and will go out of our way to get one

yousef's room. i was warned that this was a low-ceilinged room. all the same, i always say my son yousef is a hobbit and he likes that

yousef’s room. i was warned that this was a low-ceiling-ed room. all the same, i always said my son yousef was a hobbit and he likes that

i couldn't get it all in one go. head bumps in this room: 2

i couldn’t get it all in one go. head bumps in this room: 2

yousef's window and a teddy bear. this room was off the main bedroom which i just realized i forgot to take a photo of

yousef’s window and a teddy bear. this room was off the main bedroom which i just realized i forgot to take a photo of

brook 35

this is just too charming. this cottage is like a dream, i swear. i think yousef had the best room of all!

this is part of the main bedroom which khaled and my sister yasmine slept in

this is part of the main bedroom which khaled and my sister yasmine slept in

zainab and i slept in this room in the attic. head bumps: 3 in the en suite bathroom: 2. mind you some of these bumps were cheek bumps. other casualties included knees and shins. all part of the charm, all part of the charm...

zainab and i slept in this room in the attic. head bumps: 3. in the en suite bathroom: 2. mind you other knocks involved cheeks, knees and shins. all part of the charm, all part of the charm…

next day morning. i wanted an eerie shot of zainab looking out our bedroom window on top. the window to the right is yousef's. the one to the left is our neighbors'

next day morning. i wanted an eerie shot of zainab looking out our bedroom window on top. the window to the right is yousef’s. the one to the left is our neighbors’

brook 08

while inside all was cosy and safe

navigating the steep steps. i often dream about stairs like these. the dreams are never pleasant and i have to say these stairs were a challenge. but as i keep saying, it really is all part of the fun

navigating the steep steps. i often dream about stairs like these. the dreams are never pleasant and i have to say these stairs were a challenge. but as i keep saying, it really was all part of the fun

everywhere mirrors

everywhere mirrors

breakfast madness. this trip was so different from my august trip to suffolk. that one was peaceful, civilized, relaxing. this one on the other hand...

breakfast madness. this trip was so different from my august trip to suffolk. that one was serene, civilized, relaxed. this one on the other hand…

cleaning up after the ruffians. i complain but it's what i love to do (clean up, not complain. although i do a lot of that too)

cleaning up after the ruffians. i complain but it’s what i love to do (clean up, not complain. although i do a lot of that too)

but soon the kitchen is back in order

and soon the kitchen is back in order

and we find a hidden treasure: a book all about chocolate

and we find a hidden treasure: a book all about chocolate

the dining area is cleared up

and finally, the dining area is cleared up

after breakfast we went out to the boathouse restaurant but hit a detour...

after breakfast we went out to the boathouse restaurant but hit a detour…

the st. mary churchyard across the street. who can resist an early 20th century cemetery? most of the graves here are from the world war I and world war II era, but some are as recent as the present day

the st. mary churchyard across the street. who can resist an early 20th century cemetery? most of the graves here are from the world war I and world war II era, but some are as recent as the present day

my girls found great solace here. as for me, i didn't want to leave

my girls found great solace here. and me, i didn’t want to leave

bridge over the river stour. here we had already realized that the boathouse was closed for the day. i was so disappointed and secretly wanted to cry. one of the main reasons i chose dedham was for the rowboats

bridge over the river stour. here we had already discovered that the boathouse was closed for the day. i was so disappointed and secretly wanted to cry. one of the main reasons i chose dedham was for the rowboats

but the kids enjoyed being in the fields. there was lots of running, tree climbing and stepping in horse poo

but the kids enjoyed being in the fields. there was lots of running, tree climbing and stepping in horse poo

the boats, the boats

the boats, the boats

yasmine got stuck in this tree...

yasmine got stuck in this tree…

...and fumped (i just made up that word which is a melding of the words fall and jump: fump)

…and fumped (i just made up that word, which is a blend of fall and jump)

later on, yousef and i came back with some bread for the birds. and my girls

later on, yousef and i went back to the river with some bread for the birds. and my girls

we found this perfect slipway for the girls. i don't think they were too happy with the pigeon shit though

we found this perfect slipway for the girls. i don’t think they were too happy with the pigeon shit though

hush my little darling. something about the english countryside conks us out. when we got back we found zainab fast asleep

hush my little darling. something about the english countryside conks us out. when we got back we found zainab fast asleep

and this lemon looking out onto the garden

and this lemon looking out the window

ah, relaxation

ah, relaxation

I can’t help wondering when my next trip will be. There is one person I’d love to go with, I dream of going with. Maybe one day I will go with a special person. It may not be the one I have in mind, but hopefully it will be someone special and spectacular. Kinda like me.

8 Comments on “a trip to essex } brook cottage

  1. Pingback: my fourteen for 2013 | prettygreenbullet

  2. Pingback: Welcome back Ghadah! | The Grove Cottages Blog

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