The last time we visited The Cotswold lavender fields was a few years ago and unfortunately our timing was off and the harvest had already taken place, I have wanted to go back and see them ever since and finally, today we did.
The weather could have been better, the forecast was for showers on and off all day today but, as it's getting close to the time when they will be harvesting the lavender we decided to take a chance.
We managed to dodge the showers but as you can see, there were some rain clouds looming, in this first photo you can see it raining in the distance.
What an amazing sight all that lavender is! and because there was also a breeze the smell was amazing too.
As well as all the lovely rows and rows of lavender there were wild flowers, and who wouldn't want to live in a house that had such a wonderful view?
The overcast and grey skies didn't make for very good picture taking but I think this last one is my favourite of the day, and It looks great as my new screen saver on my phone :-)
We didn't get the rain that was promised over the weekend, it was still very warm yesterday although not quite as hot as last week it still managed to get into the high 20's C.
Finally this morning we have had some rain, not much so far, but thank goodness it has cooled down, the forecast for the rest of the day is overcast with showers, that's fine by me :-)
I took some photos around the garden last week so I thought I'd share those today. Some things don't seem to have done so well this year, others have done better than expected. The trailing fuchsias I bought from a local garden centre turned out not to be trailing (grrr) and have put on such a poor show.
The cosmos and marigolds I grew from seed and are doing very well, I'll definitely do those again next year.
The roses I cut right back last year have come back lovely, (i thought I might have over done the cutting), there is only one not doing so well and I think that has more to do with where it's planted so I might have to dig that out.
The hydrangeas are doing really well, the purple one was already here when we moved in and for the first time I remembered to feed it this year and it's grown so much, the red one I bought last year has doubled in size, so pleased with those.
I love dahlia's but usually they don't fair too well because of the slugs, but still, I decided to give them another go this year and so far I'm happy that they have done ok.
On the whole I'm pleased with how things have done and how the garden looks, I know Mark thinks our garden has too much going on, and, there are things I would change if I could and some things I would take out completely but I'm not sure it would be worth the cost, so for now it is what it is.
I thought I'd pop a quick post up because the longer you leave it the harder it is to come back, although I haven't got as many people reading or commenting on my posts this last year or so I do still like the idea of blogging and keeping a record of what I'm up to, it's nice to look back on. I have fallen out of love with IG somewhat and the longer I go without looking on there the more I realise that I wouldn't miss it, plus scrolling through your phone takes up so much time.
I still love reading blogs, for me they are more real than the shiny happy place that is IG, so for now this is the only place I will be posting.
Time is something I've been short on lately. Since mum has been out of hospital it's become apparent that she needs more help. She has gone downhill these last few weeks and doesn't seem to want to be bothered with anything, where a few months ago she would make a cuppa and warm a meal up in the microwave, now she won't do even that. There are four of us, I have two sisters, one younger and one older and an older brother, and we are all doing our bit to help but sometimes, as the saying goes, 'too many cooks spoil the broth' Between myself and my youngest sister we have come up with a rota for next week, fingers crossed it will work without too much fuss, we'll see. Mum does have a carer to go for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to put her to bed, so things should run ok if we can work together on doing the rest.
I haven't picked up any stitching or knitting in a couple of weeks, when I have managed to sit down I've just not been in the mood, it will still all be there when I have the time or inclination again.
On Monday I took Bonnie to nearby splash park, we only stayed for an hour or so because it's been unusually hot here this week. We bought some bubbles on the way home and she had just as much fun with those in the garden. While we were sitting there she was excited to see all birds coming to the feeders too, and I was happy to see the Long Tail Tits back again, I haven't seen them in a while.
Oliver had a sleepover on Wednesday night and we spent Thursday afternoon playing games and watching tv and I've had Arty for a few hours today while Jenny and Oliver went shopping, he played lovely in the garden watering all my plants for me.
And yes, I did put some hair grips in his hair! I wish Jenny would take him to get it cut but she say's he makes such a fuss when she takes him that she is waiting until James can take him.
I think in future I'll try to see if I can fit in more regular shorter posts, perhaps that would work better for me.
I hope you have all been making the most of the hot weather here in the UK, (for me that has meant staying indoors for the most part), it's all supposed to change from tomorrow for a while though, the cooler weather will be most welcome.
Mark had to go up to York on Saturday to do a couple of little jobs at the Bowling place that was finished last year just as the first lockdown came into force, he asked if I wanted to go along too and have a day in York while he did what he had to do and, as I haven't been very far in ages I jumped at the chance for a change of scenery.
The weather here on Friday was glorious, but I had other things planned for that day so we decided to travel up on the Saturday morning and stay over night. Of course the weather changed over night, it's a good three hours drive up to York from here and we ended up driving up there with rain most of the way.
The rain did clear by the time we arrived and as the Park and Ride is right outside where Mark had to be and only a five minute ride, I jumped on the bus into town.
A short walk away from where I got off the bus is York's most famous street, Shambles. I've not been to York in a good many years and I wanted to walk up these cobbled streets again.
I'd like to say it was how I remembered, but it wasn't. The lovely quaint street has now been mostly taken over by Harry Potter themed shops. I love Harry Potter, I've read all the books, several times but, I think it's taken away some of the history and feel of the street. There is a rumour that Diagon Ally was based on Shambles, (hence the shops, I suppose), however JK Rowlng dismissed this on Twitter saying that she had never been to or seen Shambles, so there goes that myth.
I did walk around a little for a couple of hours but the rain set in so I headed back on the bus to meet Mark. Our hotel was half way between York and Scarborough, and the plan had been to visit Scarborough on the Saturday afternoon but as the weather was pretty awful by that time we just went to the hotel.
Sunday morning we woke to blue sky's so, after breakfast we drove the few miles into Scarborough.
I hadn't seen the sea in almost two years and the last time we visited Scarborough was around 2012.
Scarborough has two bay's, the North Bay and the South Bay, both with lovely sandy beaches. We only had enough time to walk around one so we parked up on the South Bay side. We had a lovely walk along the beach and the harbour, there were quite a few people about but it didn't feel crowded.
Scarborough was the UK's first seaside resort and The Grand Hotel dominates the South Bay. At the time of its completion in 1867 it was the largest hotel in Europe and one of the biggest is the world.
The geek in me always likes to look up some information on where we are going and I regaled my findings about The Grand to Mark as we were walking along the beach.
It took around ten years to build at a cost of £100,000, (around £11.5M in today's money), has 4 towers to represent the four seasons, 12 floors to represent the months in a year, 52 chimneys to represent weeks in a year and 365 rooms, representing the number of days in a year. The hotel is also built in an unusual V-shaped style to honor Queen Victoria who was the Monarch at that time.
In WWII it was used as a base for the RAF and anti aircraft guns were mounted on the four towers.
Over the years there have been many famous guests too including, The Beatles, King Edward VIII and Winston Churchill, there is also a Blue Plaque on the hotel which marks where Anne Bronte died in a house on the site where the hotel stands.
It is a lovely grand old building and you can just imagine what it would have been like in day's gone by. Sadly now it is in need of some TLC. It is still used as a hotel but does not have very good reviews and is certainly not the grand place it once was, it could be re-named the Seagull Hotel as there are birds on every ledge and in every crevice. I bet the noise is horrendous in the rooms, I took a little video, hope it works.
We missed any rain in Scarborough but there was enough rain for Noah to launch the Ark on the way home!
We arrived home on Sunday tea time to a phone call from my sister to tell me mum had had a fall on Saturday night/ Sunday morning. She hadn't hurt herself as she sort of slid down as apposed to going a wollop. She has however been a bit more confused and falls asleep all the time we've noticed this last week or so, more than usual so I said I would feel better calling the doctor on Monday. Well I'm glad I did because she had a really low heart rate, (41) and has ended up in hospital. She's doing ok, I will know more of what is going to happen once the doctor has seen her again tomorrow, I can call after lunch time for an update.
It was a long day on Monday, I spent most of it at mums waiting for the paramedics to come, they arrived at 10pm and by the time mum was settled at hospital it was 2am before I got into bed.
I had another visit to hospital last night with Stevie, she suffers with anxiety/stress and had palpitations and an increased heart rate so took herself off to A&E about 6pm. I went down and stayed with her, they scared her a bit because they said they needed to 'get this sorted' and her to have a blood tests.
Long story short, she is fine, her ecg and bloods all came back normal. Stevie is a worrier like me and is prone to panic attacks, she has tried all the usual things and I've suggested some things for her to try but I know it's scary when you have these episodes and often there is no rhyme or reason to them.
It was almost 4am when we got back, so two nights of very little sleep have wiped me out but, at least she was checked over thoroughly and even though It was a long time to sit in A&E we are so lucky that here in the UK we have a free health service that we can call upon, sitting there so many hours yesterday gave us both an insight to the comings and goings and how hard these people work, and they go about it with such a calm attitude. It's a job and an environment that I don't think I would be able to work in, but I am so thankful for the people that can, and do.