It was a lovely sunny day, hot but not too hot, and my dear friend MO collected me at 12.30 for a day with her and her family.
We firstly went for a mooch round the supermarket - I don't usually get a chance to mooch and I am one of those weird people who like supermarket shopping so I love a good mooch - and I bought far too much fruit. I'll never get through it all before it goes off. I shall have to google 'too much fruit' and see what comes up.
Then we had a sandwich and cherries at MO's before going to The Secret Garden at the Salutation Gardens in Sandwich. The only time I had been there was to have lunch in the cafe. It was the most delicious and generous Ploughmans I have ever had, but I didn't visit the garden.
Well, it's hard to know what to say. I could string together a whole list of superlatives in an attempt to describe this wonderful place but none of them would do it justice. So I will let some photo's showcase it for you. But then there is the difficulty of choosing which of the 235 I took to show. Yes, I took 235 photos in one and a half hours and we didn't get all the way round. So we are going again - I am so excited. Anyway here are a few photos of The Secret Garden (and considering how many I took - these are only a few)
Look - blue stems - never seen that before!
The Secret Garden is one of my all time favourite books and this is how I imagined Polly, Digory and Colin's secret garden to be
Here is where I finally worked out how to use the macro on the camera and was able to take a photo of a bee gathering pollen
There are a lot of copper sculptures around the garden
This photo was an accident but I quite like it
Another copper sculpture
A Monet moment
The same Monet moment - different position
Another macro moment with buzzy insect
Someone is lucky enough to live here
When my soul is in need of healing I go to the sea. Should it need just a little soothing I will definitely come here. Suffice to say it is a place that is very good for the soul.
Also good for the soul was the family dinner that followed.
MO's partner JT and his son OT had been to a WW2 thingy at the Hop Farm and came back with sunburn and tales of the vintage vehicles seen and the battle enactments witnessed. It was nice to see their enthusiasm. MO's daughters, MLO and KO were having an end of term, back from uni clear out and washing session. Sensible girls talked me out of nabbing the huge, very pink cardboard box they were throwing out - vaguely regret that.
I also helped MLO with her washing. She was loading about 3million socks onto the airer and none of them matched. I was surprised to discover that I had a desperate desire to match them up. I managed 2 pairs. I had to try very hard not to scream when MO said to me 'you do know she never wears matching socks don't you'. Should I worry about this formerly latent case of OCD I wonder? I once worked with a woman who, as soon as her washing was dry, would put a bra, a pair of knickers and a pair of tights into individual plastic bags so that she didn't have to go scrabbling around in draws for any of it when she was getting dressed. I admired that. I was always going to do that one of these days. I have known about this practise for 23 years and still haven't got round to doing it yet. I do have matching underwear and occasionally when I get undressed I find to my surprise that I actually matched that day. I do try to be tidy. It's just that it never seems to happen somehow. Therefore perhaps I just have a hitherto unknown case of matching sock fetish which, as I don't wear socks will probably never bother me again.
Dinner was a wonderfully informal and relaxed affair. I chopped and grated and MO stirred, mixed and created and we all sat down to a delicious meal of two types of sauce (meat and vegetarian) with pasta, salad and bread. MLO and KO had us in fits of laughter with tales of their visits to MO's family in the States complete with bonkers dogs, relatives with shotguns, meatballs for breakfast and really, really bad thunderstorms. I felt so welcome and included. Lovely people.
I went home happy that night. Nice Sunday.