Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Out and About in Essex: the forgotten gardens of Easton Lodge

On Sunday we went out for the day with my parents. On Saturday afternoon it had been wet and gloomy here which made me a little concerned about our plans for the next day, but Sunday dawned bright and sunny with beautiful blue skies, and we drove out into Essex to the Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge, where the gardens were open for one of their two snowdrop days this year. 

We spent a very pleasant hour or two wandering about, in some areas it was quite hard not to tread on any snowdrops. There were various things to look at as we walked around, including a tree that had been carved, a memorial, a kind of topiary sundial and a dilapidated Italian sunken garden which would be wonderful if it could be restored. There was mistletoe in some of the trees, it fascinates me the way it grows in host trees. I have always wanted to bring some fresh mistletoe indoors at Christmas, but I know the berries are poisonous and our labrador eats everything. She ate another sock last week. 

There is another snowdrop day next Sunday 26th February, be warned before you go that the 'tea room' is outdoors. it also had a long queue. Tea and cake would have been lovely, but not enough to queue and then to sit in the cold and have it. We ended up in a McDonalds, after finding the local pub had stopped doing food at 2pm. I think next time I will pack sandwiches and flask of tea.

At the plant stall by the entrance there were various plants for sale, including snowdrops 'in the green', you can even order them in advance in large clumps on the website.  I wish I had room in my garden for lots of bulbs. I settled for a couple of hyacinths and a little snowdrop in a pot which is now sitting happily on my garden table. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Current time: Friday afternoon, 1.20pm

In my mug: coffee

In my belly: nothing. CFS is rearing its ugly head at the moment, I slept 12 hours last night, have only been up an hour and feel exhausted. Toast and strawberry jam shortly. 

In my ears: Adele. I got 21 for Christmas, and have recently treated myself to 19. We're listening to her a lot in the car. 

Out the window: watery sunshine and a little snow here and there. The snow from last week hasn't entirely melted yet, and we had a bit more last night, too.

On the editor: nothing. Photography Mojo has run away with Blogging Mojo. They disappeared together at the beginning of the year. Occasionally they send me a postcard, but I'm not sure when they will be back. 

Last watched: Spamalot, at the theatre last night.

Feeling good about: the latest copy of Mollie Makes magazine, which I am going to enjoy with my coffee in a moment.

Feeling bad about:  my health, and it getting in the way of what I want to do. Someone said to me once having CFS is like standing on the river bank and watching everyone else's life go sailing by. I'd go along with that. 

By my bedside: Stephen King, 11.22.63, which is dauntingly enormous, and You Don't Need Another Self Help Book, a book of poems by Sarah Salway. 

Making me think: sometimes I find it's better not to.

Monday, February 06, 2012


This was our little back garden on Saturday night at about 11pm. I do love snow, and the way it makes everything look so pretty! My washing lines, next door's huge out of control ceonothus bush tree, the fence that is on the way to falling down, my badly-painted bench - everything looks lovely

Poor Star, our labrador, is very reluctant to go outside in the snow, she only goes out when practically forced to and wanders around sniffing at the ground very suspiciously. Last year, the Young Philosopher would throw a snowball as if it was a ball and she would run after it and then when it hit the ground and shattered, would stand there all bewildered, trying to work out where the ball had gone.

I am not leaving the house if I can help it, though we did make a short trip to charity shop and tip on Saturday (still decluttering!) The temperatures outside have been freezing, I have been having hot water bottles, sometimes even on my lap during the evening, not just in bed! The fluffy socks I got for Christmas have come in very handy, and I have been wearing my purple fluffy dressing gown over my clothes too, but then I am always a chilly mortal, and worse at the moment as I have a cold. I am definitely in hibernation mode. I do love the snow, but I will be so glad to see Spring.