Friday, 16 August 2013

It's been a while .....

It’s been a little while since I was last here.  We have celebrated another birthday, had a trip away for the weekend, and a day out to a National Trust property.

The birthday was my younger son, Daniel’s 40th birthday.  I can hardly believe that he is now 40.   Despite two serious illnesses in his life, one being cancer, he has overcome them and we are very proud of him.  He did not want a large celebration, but just a meal out with his wife Lisa, his brother Matthew and his girlfriend, and us. He chose an Indian restaurant close to where they live.  We had a really super evening out just the six of us.

The next weekend Brian and I went to Eastbourne for a weekend.  This was actually my birthday gift to him last January, but this was the first opportunity I have had to book something up for us.   We had good weather and enjoyed our two days there. 

Our hotel was opposite the pier

We also had a day out at Hinton Ampner, a National Trust property near Winchester in Hampshire. 

On our way to the property we planned to call in at New Arlesford for coffee.  We have often stopped here for coffee or afternoon tea.  Unfortunately on this occasion we found we were not able to park – so we turned round and went to a place we had spotted on the way in.  What a find this place has turned out to be.  It is called Long Barn Lavender Farm.  It was a really delightful place to stop for coffee on a warm early August morning.  We sat outside and were served a really good cup of ‘real’ coffee.  I cannot describe the scent of lavender in the air – it was quite soporific and we could have stopped there for far longer.   However, the lure of the small plant nursery nearby was too much for me, and I eventually ventured forth!   The plants there were really good value, and very well grown.  However, the only thing that I eventually bought was six small broccoli plants for my vegetable garden.  I have been looking for some for a while now as my own seeds did not germinate at all.   I also had a look round the lavender plant nursery on the other side of the barn.  There was a lady demonstrating how to make lavender wreaths and I wished I could have joined in.  It seems they take bookings for classes of this type.   This is a stop we will make again for sure.

We have been to Hinton Ampner before, and I enjoy the quietness of this garden.  It is not flamboyant with flowers, just a really pleasant homely garden.  We also went round the house and again, this is a house that I felt we could live in, despite there being many rooms, they were not overly large and the place has a definitely ‘homely’ feel to it.   What I really love ‘tho, is the large vegetable garden.  Oh, how I would love a vegetable plot like the one at Hinton Ampner.

Guarding the vegetables

Runner bean arch

Can you spot the pumpkins?

Finally an update on the blue jug.  I have been putting these cheerfully yellow Alstromeria's in it for the past couple of weeks.

More soon, I hope!

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