Sunday, 20 April 2014

An Easter Weekend In The Life

 Good Friday was a day in which we woke up, and our feet hit the ground running. We have four whole days off, and there is much to do.
I woke up very early as usual, and faced a wonderful sunny morning with blue sky through the bedroom window. Fresh coffee was needed, and so a large cafetiere was prepared to wake us up.

Our chimney is being re-pointed, we need to find a new sink for the kitchen, plants and seeds for the allotment must be purchased now that the ground is prepared, food bought in readiness for Sunday lunch, a new dress for Amandas birthday on Saturday, and a partridge for our pear tree.
All went well. We found a sink in Poole, then drove out to the farm shop at Pamphill for the food. Then it was across country to Three Legged Cross for the plants before heading straight into Bournemouth for the dress.
Firstly though, some refreshment at the square!
 The domain of the womens clothes shop is something that, while I don't exactly relish, I do make the most of once committed. I am a bit of a people watcher, and find myself studying the various ways in which the items of clothing are circled, stroked, picked off the rail only to be put straight back on. The ways of  'the lady' are endless. Of course, any good shopping trip such as this is always eased by regular beer breaks.

We found a beautiful dress, and of course needed sunglasses to match, as Saturday (Amandas birthday) was going to be sunny.

After a very much needed nights sleep, presents were presented to birthday girl, and then it was off to take her on a surprise day out to a mystery destination........Wilton House, home to the Earl and Countess of Pembroke, about an hour away.
Much of the more formal garden is kept for the private use of the family, and only tantalising glimpses can be spied from near the river, but there is more than enough left to see.

In some of the outbuildings are various displays, and one of them the Earl's private car collection. Although a longer bonnet would make it just about perfect for me, this Bugatti Veyron, at a cool £875,000 worked for me.

This Mercedes Benz Gullwing (one sold for a cool $4.2 million in the USA), was Amandas choice. I must admit that with a picnic hamper on the back seat, it would be a pretty nice car to take a drive in.

Wilton House has a history of some rather flambouyant guests, and there is too much to tell. A display of some of the work of Cecil Beaton, featuring guests at the house from days gone by, tells a little of what an extraordinary set they were.

Once inside the house itself, photographs are not allowed, but I covertly took a couple, and I do hope that the Earl can forgive me. One was of this Venetian chandelier, rather vulgar, as all such chandeliers are, but a catalogue of the venetian glassblowers art, so of real interest to me.

Another picture was of the inner courtyard, just so cool and peaceful.

It was mid afternoon by now, and before starting our journey home, we took a stroll around the grounds, and rested a while at times.
We were both a little tired at the end of it all, and so headed home, but the trouble is that it's the time of year when dandelions are at their best, and that can only mean one thing reader.

 Dandelion wine! So not going home just yet.

On a final and more important note, as a gardener, I am continually being notified of any horticultural campaigns. With this in mind, I have decided to occasionally share those issues that I feel are of importance to all of us. One recent issue involved Bayer.


 And another Nestle.
If you consider such matters of any importance, and would be kind enough to spare a little time to fight these issues, then please just click on the link under each picture to learn more, and how you could easily help by just clicking your mouse button.
Thanks for dropping by to one and all. I hope you weekend is going peacefully.


  1. Now tell me, how do you make dandelion wine?

    1. Good morning, on this wonderful and rainy day John. I have never made it before, but do remember it being one of the best. I have tried to recall what my parents did, but have resorted to the good old internet. I'm going with this one:

    2. Although, I'm doing two gallons rather than one.

  2. You took us on a great adventure today. Thanks for the fun time.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments LD, glad you enjoyed.

  3. This looks like a very busy weekend. I can't abide clothes shopping.
    I think all your gardens should have a little insect hotel next to the compost heap. Bees crawl into the tiniest of tubes and if they are covered in straw survive the winter.

    1. We have an insect hotel at home Adrian, but unfortunately other people take more convincing. There is also the fact that although our domestic attempts at protecting bees do a little bit, the only way any of us can stop the decline of the bee is to tackle large chemical producers head on. Ban the commercial use of pesticides, and the bee population would increase dramatically.

  4. Happy Easter Gary and Amanda! Do hope your migraine is going away Amanda.

    Belated Happy Birthday too. It looks like you had a very nice time.

    Dandelion wine sounds interesting and I bet it's good. I know you'll keep us posted. My husband's aunt and uncle made their own wine and enjoyed the fruits of their labors. :-)

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    1. Good morning Lorraine,
      Amanda says 'Thank you' for the birthday wish.. Her migraine cleared eventually. My parents used to make killer dandelion wine, but I can't remember their recipe, and so have had to use another. Here's hoping.

  5. Happy Birthday to Amanda!
    Looks like a lovely weekend. And to think I just dig out dandelions! Ha.

    1. Hi Sherlock,
      Amanda says 'Thanks' for the wish. I wouldn't worry about digging up your dandelions. As it turns out, about a gallon of the actual petals are needed for two gallons of wine, and so we pick them on an industrial scale :-)