Two decades and a funeral


Bev and I have known each other for over 30 years and a recent invite to accompany her to althorp was one that I had to take up.

Weather was set fair and I drove to her home, and we made the journey to Northants.


First stop was to visit the above, then we made our way to the cafe for lunch. Ginger beer and a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich went down a treat.

We wandered through the exhibitions delighting in the photos of Diana, reminded of her charity work, and her legacy. As we approach the 20th anniversary of her death, there has been renewed coverage in the media, only last week the programme with her beloved sons ‘Diana, Our Mother’ which gave a flavour of the fun loving woman she was.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the ancestral home, with an enthusiastic and informative guide. We then made our way out to the lake.
It is such a beautiful spot and we spent time on a bench reflecting on the last twenty years. We are both blessed with wonderful families, good health, and take opportunities that come our way. That doesn’t mean that we’ve not had difficult times, but with love and support we have had the ability to cope.
A cuppa and a sweet treat were required before hitting the gift shop!

A long journey back and a fish supper was consumed, before I made my trip home.

A truly wonderful day spent in lovely company!

Dyffryn Gardens

Another day, another house and gardens, this one a National Trust property just outside Cardiff. The gardens less formal than yesterday, but a sculpture here and there.

The sun shone intermittently but the moisture in the air did not dampen our enthusiasm.


We stopped for the obligatory cream tea and wandered around the stalls where books were being sold. Debbie bought 3 wisdens at a knock down price. For drop everything and read at school I got of photo of me reading one. 


A short drive to Cardiff for some shopping, oh and a glance at the principality stadium! 


We booked to see the film Hampstead and the cinema is a short walk from where we are staying. The film was funny, poignant and based on a true story. Truly delightful. A burger at Five Guys followed with a stroll home to a face pack, strawberries and casino royale.


Onc again,exhausted from our wanderings, bed is welcome and much cooler, so hopefully a good niht’s sleep😴😴😴😴😴😴

Chippenham, Cardiff and Cricket.

Debbie and I left yesterday and travelled to Chippenham. A detour to the Swindon retail outfit resulted in English pounds being spent and a easy ride to our hotel for the evening.

A walk around to find our bearings and a refreshing cider each had to be done. Before we knew it it was time for bed and the comfort of our room at the Best Western Angel  +. This morning our task was to find breakfast and a short walk to Grounded provided that.


A short drive to Calne and to visit Bowood House, the family seat of the Marquess of Lansowne. We felt a rugby connection with Lansdowne Road, and the house is approached from Derry Hill. 

Another interesting fact was the 2nd Marquess was made Prine Minister for negotiating peace with America after the War of Independence.


The gardens landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown are stunning. Every twist and turn of the paths provide differing vistas to enjoy. The lake with the Doric Temple, the cascade and the House itself just beautiful. The grander rooms of the house were designed by Robert Adam, a prolific interior designer of his time, and the orangery he designed is where you walk in for the tour. No photos are allowed so you’ll have to visit to behold the beauty.

We left after a cuppa to continue our journey to Cardiff. We arrived through rush hour traffic and were met by our Airbnb host. The flat is lovely with all amenities and near to shops and bars: handy for the Lions match tomorrow, weather permitting! 

We cooked dinner and watched the cricket being played at Taunton, the second match of three. SA won, setting up Sunday’s match conclusion in Cardiff, the purpose of our trip.

We went for a walk in the rain and returned exhausted from our perambulation.

I’ll leave you with two pictures 

Bank Holiday weekend

Unusually for me, there were no plans for this weekend, and as the weather was to deteriorate, a day of sunbathing was in order. But first the cloudy skies and a downpour seemed to put paid to that

But the clouds diminished and the sun shone!

It was so warm and lovely to enjoy being in the garden. Blue skies, green grass and a cacophony of flora.

Poor Oscar struggled with the heat, trying to find somewhere cool to lie.

Sunday was spent largely relaxing, FaceTime to Melbourne and the Monaco GP. 


Today has been a little more industrious, and for half a millisecond the house was tidy! 

We enjoyed breakfast in the garden, but intermittent showers curtailed lunch outside. 

It has been wonderful to see the garden change over the last few weeks and no doubt this will continue, with colour now everywhere to be seen, smell is becoming a feature too. 


A paella and a glass of sangria for dinner and the weekend is over, with the news filled with more about the dreadful act last Monday. 

We live in scary times: we have before, and we need to allow time for healing. Easier said than done. πŸ™πŸ»

Treehouses to Seahouses

We travelled 102 miles to Harrogate and didn’t have to travel very far for breakfast. Just along the road we found Hoxton North: modern with a great vibe and fab food



Breakfast demolished we checked out, took a cheeky photo by a flash car, then we were off to Alnwick. Playlist was very 60’s, 70’s with the Beatles featuring. So many memories, emotion never far from brimming over, but joyous too.


Alnwick Gardens were bathed in sunshine and we took advantage of as many photo opportunities as possible. The poison garden tour was well worth it, interesting and informative ( maniacal cackle, whilst rubbing hands)

A cuppa and cake was now needed, and we had some company! 

We continued round the gardens and made our way to the treehouses. 


Such a lovely place and the third visit in eight months! 


Seahouses, not to see houses, but a fishing village on the coast. Not quite as expected but a bracing walk to the harbour certainly built up our appetite for fish and chips. 


Replete, we walked back to ugiebrae where we are staying tonight. Comfortable twin room, with all required accoutrements! 

The pleasure of beautiful surroundings, sunshine, and laughter is infinitesimal. 

Tomorrow and the delights of Bamburgh, North Berwick and Murrayfield beckons πŸ†πŸ€—πŸ’•

Natural World-Leading Lines


Absolutely love this as purple flowers have broken through, ready to burst into a cacophony of bloom within the next few days. Nature is a wonderful thing, as every year we see plants come to life, propagate and fill the garden with colour and form. I have had these bulbs for two years and this is the first time they have flowered.