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.
|Walking in sunshine|
|Through the hedgerow - to Oxfordshire and beyond|
|Copper carpet (This photo hardly does the colours justice)|
|Yeah, sheep, I know ... anyone else hearing the opening bars of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony?|
|Gold and green should never be seen without a tree inbetween|
|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.
|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)