21 Nov 2016

A glimpse of the Chiltern Hills

To the barrows

What would make your perfect weekend?  There's always something calling for my attention so the ideal weekend for me is when I make time to step away from normal life and enjoy something different.  It's not often that a few days come together as faultlessly as they did on the weekend before last. For a start I had a free Friday - always a good start! I planned three days of bliss with one day gardening, one day at an RHS show and Sunday walking in the Oxfordshire countryside with family. With sun:rain:sun weather, I couldn't have wished for better.





Ignoring the garden tidying that was needed close to home, I headed up to the allotment on Friday with a large bag of anemone corms and tulip bulbs for some spring cut flowers. It was a glorious day; warm sunshine had me shedding my coat within minutes. Amazing for November but it was like early summer! I cleared weeds and trimmed grass to the accompanying sounds of a lawnmower droning in the distance, the smell of woodsmoke from a nearby bonfire, parakeets squawking in the nearby trees (there are colonies of them on Hampstead Heath) and little birds gently cheeping in the apple tree as they watched while I hand hoed and planted. Disney moment or utopian dream? Whatever, it really was a day to put a smile on my face. I almost whistled. I stopped several times to savour the moment - even the tidying up and weeding - as I'm not sure there will too many days like that left this year, especially with the more traditional November weather of rain, wind and cold forecast for the week ahead.

I'll skip past rain-sodden but rewarding Saturday (the RHS show, last post) to Sunday, when I headed out of London. It was another clear sunny day and autumn leaves the colour of fire on the road out to the Chilterns in Oxfordshire almost distracted my driving. What with autumn colour and red Kite birds of prey hovering overhead, the drive out is spectacular, even for a motorway! I particularly love the view when the trees and chalk hills open up to reveal the English countryside stretching out into the far distance.

The original plan was to visit Waterperry Gardens; I've heard great things about this garden and it's only ten minutes from family base camp. But it was not to be. I was firmly frogmarched up into the Chiltern Hills by my niece, who told me that the colours were glorious and that I'd be glad of the walk.  She was right. For urban-esque eyes, these views were an exhilarating sight. I'm glad I packed my camera.

Autumn woodland
Walking in sunshine



Countryside view
Through the hedgerow - to Oxfordshire and beyond



Copper leaved pathway
Copper carpet (This photo hardly does the colours justice)



Peaceful sheep
Yeah, sheep, I know ... anyone else hearing the opening bars of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony?



Woodland
Gold and green should never be seen without a tree inbetween



Fallen leaves
Light at the end of the tunnel 


And at the end of the day, we returned home to tea and cake which is when I saw this in the garden.

So many apples!
An apple a day ... the doctor won't be calling here for while. 

Apples for the taking! But that story will be in my next post... :o)


13 comments:

  1. What a brilliant weekend. The allotment sounds blissful, and the country walk looks wonderful too. Those beech leaves! Glad you had such a lovely three days. CJ xx

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    1. It was indeed, CJ. I think we need to have weekends like that to tide us over until spring! I'm glad I've got some spring flowers to look forward to as well - ones that I won't feel guilty cutting for the house! Cx

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  2. Not the weather here to encourage gardening, walking or smiling.

    Lovely pictures.

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    1. Same story here today, Sue. Torrential rain. The good news is that the weather is milder again so, for now, no gloves needed. Good to hear you like the photos, thank you, I do sometimes wonder if my over-awed reaction to nature seems a bit extreme, especially to people who see these types of views every day.

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    2. I never cease to find nature awe inspiring.

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  3. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. It looks and sounds like you enjoyed a perfect weekend, and it's one that would certainly have suited me, especially at this time of year. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks, Flighty. Yes it was a wonderful weekend with perfect autumn weather. Lovely to still be able to get outside without freezing in November as well, even if winter is just around the corner! x

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  4. Gorgeous images and just the sort of adventure that raises my spirits. You can't beat the British countryside at this time of year. Incidentally Waterperry Gardens, with its interesting history, is a great nursery for another visit.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about Waterperry, Sue. I hadn't realised that there was a nursery there. I'm definitely putting Waterperry on my bucket list of must-see gardens as I've read that there's a great orchard there as well. Sounds perfect! And, yes, it was a very uplifting weekend and the colours were just fantastic in the warm sunshine.

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  5. What a wonderful weekend you had, just in time too before Angus came and spoilt it all! The photos of the countryside are really beautiful,my favourite walks are all in woodland.

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    1. Strangely I didn't give much thought to high winds last weekend but I have noticed that suddenly the deciduous trees outside my window are all bare! The walk that I did in the Chiltern Hills is one of my favourites - especially as there's so much to see. There are lots of wildflowers in the spring/summer time if you know where to look!

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  6. That really is the perfect long weekend! I loved the photos of the woods.xxx

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    1. Even living so close to Hampstead Heath, I consider myself very lucky to have family within an hour's drive so I can go for proper long country walks and enjoy the sights and smells of the countryside. My favourite view is where I can look far into the distance and see mostly countryside. I'd love a view like that from my window!

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