Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Lavender Fields

We went away for the weekend via Alton.
Over two weekends this July the Lavender Fields open their farm to the public.

Check them out here

WELL! I wasn't going to miss this one, especially as I am unlikey to be anywhere near the
South of France anytime soon and hey, who doesn't love a scented drawer liner in Old English Lavender.

We hired a car as we had the pleasure of an extra passenger, something cool, but still sensible and affordable.
G said sternly don't be fobbed off with anything 'similar'.
They only had an automatic and they only had a FREELANDER.

The mechanic took me round the city busy heaving block of screaming traffic and showed me how to use it insisting it was like driving a golf buggy.

G was very pleased with the car and before you knew it we were here and boy was it hot when you got out.

It appears that all lavender looks woody after a while, it's not just the way I cut it back.
Ken who is long gone from us would say, cut it back into shape when the cooler weather comes and then cut it another inch around the February or in that period of warm weather before the spring.

It was unbelievably hot and we took the shade under the trees around the farm.
T kept moaning at the heat, oblivious that we were all feeling it AND never acknowledging that she was running flat out up and down the bushes.

Family Portraits.
Possibly my most loved photos this year of the girls.
I am always wary when G takes the big camera, because it often ends in me yelling something like, will you put that thing down!
I shake my head as we have a lot of pictures of a CLAAS combine harvester from this trip.
I have decided, before I am forty to accept my hair for what it is.
Most of these photos show ratty dusty shabby hair so that thought is on hold for the moment.

A trip to the gift shop bought a bar of lavender soap. There are plants for sale and I may come back to a variety that looks like it might behave it's self neatly. Tractor rides that take you to a church and a lake which would have been nice with more time and ofcourse you can buy a cream tea.
I think if FMH and I had gone we might have considered these sheep but you would have to buy three and then you couldn't leave the other two behind, too much?

Only here for a couple of hours but will do my best to visit again.
Strange thing though, don't remember smelling any lavender.
Maybe it was the heat.


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Goodbye Julie Pearce

I went to a funeral here in June.

Beautiful day and I love a funeral.
It's a good time to sit quietly and remember your friend and all the others that have gone before.
Selfishly I also find it's a good clear out for the tear ducts and a chance to start again with fresh air.

This one was different.

I'd met Julie at a knit group a year or so before I had T. She was everything I wasn't.
Natural fibers, no known hair dye or nail polish. Comfortable. Quiet. Great British holidays and multiple stitches in her knitting.
I was always super excited if I got to sit next to her. Not because she taught me to knit but also because on the quiet she was so interesting and opened pockets of thought and I am so uneducated.
Like going on holiday in Wales, which I haven't done but I think about it.

When I look round at the woolen things I've bought, most of it is knitted by Julie, a pineapple tea cosy, small doughnuts and slices of battenberg.
I attended her tea cosy workshop and I have the most beautiful unfinished tea cosy you could possibly imagine in a dusty grey and  speckled pink. One of those 1950's ones that looks scalloped. It's only fear that stops me attempting the pom pom on top.

Can you see that metallic wool that she has used for the fish in the top pic?
I love the draw string. It reminds me of a completely useless bed jacket.

Anyway. During the gathering Julies sister spoke about their relationship and it threw me.
I am an only child how must that now feel for her. How heart breaking.

She talked about their travels as a family and all I could think about was the games that sisters play when they are in the back seat of the car and the endless play time in the sunshine.
I started to think about all my friends and how they are like my sisters and how devastated I would be to loose any of them and then the guilt set in about how little I manage to maintain these relationships when stupid things in life get in the way.
Like chores and the fear or travelling.
Then of course I was thinking about T & P and how every week they spend together they are closer and closer.
Then I was just useless.
I have never cried so much.
Teary now.

It appears that in March (March!), Julie orgnised a trip to Swansea and whilst looking out over the cliff top in her wheelchair she knitted yellow socks for her carer.
The photos of her time in the Martletts show a tiny lady cared for by people who it appears now knit also.
I love the idea that someone else got to sit next to her and learn skills from those beautiful hands.

I didn't really know Julie Pearce apart from that brief time, and that other time when I hilariously yelled at her for working in the wool shop with those awful menopausal women but she has made me think more about my time here and it's time I did more.

Yellow socks is what I think now.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Elderflower Festival 2013.

Back in May we went to Elderflower held at Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum.
My first music festival. Close to home, small family orientated, recommended by good friend Pol.

Here are a few of the better pics in no particular order.

This was the contents of the Sussex Picnic on the Sunday, not the melons or bananas.
A whole chocolate cake too.
Amazing! and yes I have kept the polka oil cloth.

Complimentary train rides were available at certain times of the weekend.

You could start camping on the Friday, so I went with tent and set up whilst the girls were at school. It was awful rainy weather and my sheepskin boots have had it not to mention my back. You had to carry the stuff from the car park to the site, it felt like a couple of hundred meters but G said it was more like a mile.
There were tractors available but it was quicker to carry and sometimes I like the slog in life.

I came home, had a warming bath and then we got the girls and headed off. The weather was glorious for the rest of the weekend.

Wanna buy a cow for an African family?
(I've lost the link)

P wasn't leaving till this baby was milked, I think she spent two hours here happily squeezing.

Most kids activities included in the price.

Toddlers play tent.

Wandering round the grounds.

Family wandering

Music in the evening.

Best face painting ever.

T had two goes at this.

Love a bit of F1
 This was the picnic on the Sunday and about as busy as it got.

So this is what I learnt.

I'd probably pack as little as possible because lugging anything unnecessary, and we didn't have that much, is a pain.

There is no way my girls, T especially could have had a go at all the activities, sports camp, music and art classes, hammocks, mini beast things, children's shows etc for the cost of her ticket elsewhere.
I didn't realise that some of these activities, such as tight rope walking were only available for one day and had I read the notice boards properly she would have done that too.

There were things for the younger ones too. There was a big 'front opening' tent for toddlers filled with crafts, painting, dressing up, story time but it was really badly run but a couple of ladies who were struggling to stay 'on it' they seemed a little too chilled in an environment where young minds needed occupying all the time.
As a parent you could hang out on the grass and watch your child roam around this activity so in principle great idea.

G said there was only one beer counter which actually was amazing because it had everything he wanted and he didn't have to wait long to be served. All the food wasn't too badly priced especially when you think these people are running a business and need to make some money.

The ticket gave entrance to the motor museum and wildlife park, we saw the cars but ran out of time to see the flamingos. There are proper toilet facilities within the museum which is great because sometimes us larger ladies need a bit of space and the portaloos were a bit of a squeeze.

Note about portaloos, difficult to manage more than one child and one mother actually took her two children in whilst one was eating an ice cream. holy Fuck, what was wrong with the woman. AND in such a situation why do people leave their rubbish in the cubicle.

I've not missed anything not going to a music festival. I am just not that relaxed!
So that part of my ticket was probably wasted.
There was a great band on the first evening but due to the heavy lifting earlier in the day I went to bed and missed out. I am glad we saw some of the acts but in future I think I will read the line up and do some You Tube research so I can plan better because when you get it right it's all worth it.

Would we go again? Definitely. But not every year. It is value for money for the right age group but it takes a chunk out of the summer holiday budget.

Good time had by all thank you very much for the experience.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Clearing up the Desktop and Catching up.

This blog is a diary for me, there is no way I would remember a pinch of our life without it.
Sometimes I post pictures twice without realising I just hope that it is not the same for outings.

Recently LH took me out for the morning. A Saturday without G and the girls. It was glorious. I saved the photos to the desk top with the intention of posting but with term ending and the hot weather I haven't been here are while.

How lovely.

A favourite bookshop followed by a stroll.

That Victoria sponge is barely held under that dome.

Blueberry's on top of cakes is such a good idea and painting everything grey is still lovely.

It was just the beginning of this really hot spell we are having.
We drove out to Cuckmere Haven.

Really busy and the water was really cold. Can't wait to take the girls but there are no loos which could be an issue. Especially with all those young people around.

Thrilled to see the cliff cottages. I see them in that famous time out computer picture and always thought that I could happily live there with the view but actually the reality is that all the visiting students get dropped off for a jolly not to mention the locals and the place is heaving.

Lovely day out. Thank you so much.

Step outside our house and you could be forgiven for thinking you are in Spain. It is incredible. Apparently we are to have another week of this golden weather and I asked G if he thought it might break in the loudest storm, he's hoping not as he's not keen on thunder.
I keep thinking about that weather you get in early winter when it suddenly turns crisp but the sun shines strong. Secretly looking forward to those days

Toward the end of term T had a gravelly throat which she passed on to G and I. G got better in about 2 days mine is still hanging around and T's has developed into a bit of a cold. She looks just a little under par.

She gets a rash when she is carrying something, even tiredness. A friend's child had something similar and was told that the rash could be an allergic reaction to which ever virus they were carrying.
I think that sounds the case for us too.
We have been told that this is non specific and she will grow out of it but it's been six years now and I want her better, as I am sick of giving her drugs.
Last night I came home and checked on her before turning in, she had 'rashed' in her sleep.
Interestingly the rash was only present where her body had been wrapped in her blanket.

Today she is a little bit hot so I am preparing for a long night of nursing somewhere over the weekend.
G is away camping in hammocks. I think we will just water the garden and eat ice creams, keeping close to the shade.

Anybody else got a goitre like a rock?