Hello again everyone and by everyone, I particularly mean the six stalwarts who’ve signed up to be mithered via e-mail to say I’ve managed to put together another set of ramblings. Anyway, thank you again for not yet deleting me and for popping in to look what I’ve been up to. To those who have stumbled upon this page accidentally, welcome, pull up a chair and have a read. It’s free and no animals are ever harmed.
What have we been up to exactly, I hear you ask? Not blogging would be the first answer, with about three weeks passing since I last put digit to keyboard. As the title suggests, time flies and I just don’t know where the last three weeks have gone. Notice at the start of this paragraph I said “We” that’s because I’m trying to get the blame shared onto Mrs S too, although, to be fair, it’s down to me to get things written down to post. So, I’ve been doing a bit of photography out and about (my case comes up next week) but seriously, we’ve been out together for days out and this gives me the chance to practice with the camera. Still some good and some bad but the good is beginning to outweigh the bad. First off was a trip to the Hampton Court flower show. This was a new thing for me but Mrs S has been many times before. We set off quite early, as the roads are pretty busy at the best of times but we had a good run and made it about 90 minutes before the gates opened! We were greeted at the entrance by about 8 people and the smileiest on waved us straight through despite the signs saying cars would be searched. So, without being frisked, we headed towards the next parking guide, who must have thought it was a psychic fair because he just stood there, expecting us to know which direction to go in. Eventually, he almost raised a hand in the general direction of right and so, right we went, towards a very young parking guide, who had very cold hands but managed to raise an eyebrow to the left and so left we went. This was towards a very professional person, who guided us in as if we were parking a jumbo jet. He’d obviously done this many times before and no sooner had the chocks been put in than he was off for the next car. Mrs S had packed a breakfast up and we sat with the doors open, munching on our rolls. We heard the voices of two ladies (who obviously lunched as well as breakfasted) in the row behind us. They had set up a small table and chairs and cracked open a bottle of champagne to go with what we later found out was their salmon. I say we later found out because when I went to get something out of the boot, one of them asked me if I would take a picture of them to send to family. We began chatting to them and they had been to every show at Hampton except one. They then said that it was to be a very commercial one this year and I could see the shoulders of Mrs S sag a little. The omens weren’t looking good but we put a brave face on and lacking champagne, went back to our flask of coffee, which was very nice indeed, thank you very much.
The time came for the gates to open and we strolled through, Mrs S managing to purchase a good few succulents within 25 yards of the gate. The very helpful man was telling us about the plants and kept looking at me as If knew anything at all about them, despite the fact my face should have given away that I am the helper in the garden and most certainly not the knowledgeable one. Anyway, he said all the right things and as I said, got rid of a few of his plants right from the go. I will confess I heard him say the words “Dragon’s Blood” for one of them and I thought that sounded good and we have two now. Not that they’ve duplicated or anything like that, we bought two. The rest was a bit of a blur (a bit like some of the photos I took) but there were some great displays of plants and I now know what Alium looks like because almost every other display had them. I started the show liking them but the novelty wore off a little bit as the morning went on. We came out of the display tent to find the “Hairy Bikers” exiting stage left after recording a live show and then saw Monty Don in the distance, being briefed on what was presumably a piece for gardener’s world. We explored deeper in to the grounds, found an ice cream stand and £9 later, had the flashback to the ice cream at Torre Del Mar and wishing we had one of those. Back in the real world, we strolled across one of the floating bridges and made our way somewhere or other, as I say, it was a bit of a blur to me. Anyway, we had lunch waiting in the car, so we strolled out and when we got to the car, the same two ladies were at their table, this time eating lobster. They asked what we’d thought about it and so I left it to Mrs S to give her professional opinion, which was that it was indeed much more commercial and lacking in floral tents like in the past. They agreed and said it was unlikely they’d come back again the next year. They said they’d even considered not going back in after lunch, which had crossed my mind but not wanting to let the side down, I didn’t say too much. So, after lunch, we went back in and mopped up all the bits we’d failed to get to in the morning. I did get quite a few photos, so it went well in that respect but it was only around 2pm when we were heading out of the car park, with Mrs S saying she wouldn’t inflict it on me again the next year.
There’s a bit of a gardening theme to this blog because the next trip out was to Wisley gardens. Another first for me but not for Mrs S. Again, it was a photo opportunity for me, whilst wandering around in the fresh air and walking slowly. We didn’t get there until late morning but had a good look round, took lots of pictures and had dinner in a shady place, which unknown to us must have been an area of interest because a garden guide came round with two ladies and stopped right next to us and began telling them lots of information, which, it transpired, meant nothing to either of us and I was almost waiting for her to start describing what we were eating. Prior to the interruption, I had been the errant schoolboy and had filled my cheese and ham roll with crinkly cheddars and but felt it would be wrong to crunch through her biological or whatever it was chat. What seemed like forever passed and they finally trudged off along the path. I wouldn’t have minded but we were sitting on a bench, off the main path, in what seemed to the uninformed like me, a bit of a wooded area with nothing of particular interest, other than two people sitting eating their dinner. I was slightly miffed and so, I put my clothes back on and finished my roll in a sulk. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around the gardens, which to a novice like me, looked spectacular. There were more echinacea and accompanying bees than I’d seen before as well as many other colourful flowers that only Mrs S knew. All in all, it was a good day out and lots of photos taken, some of which I was rather pleased with. Which means, they were in focus.
Well, that’s about it for part 1. Hopefully, part 2 won’t be too long in the offing,
All Images © 2008- TheSlowWalkers