I am doing this retrospectively of course. It is 17th November and I am in Naples and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since summer in the UK. Why bother? Well, as I've said before, this is as much for me as anyone else who wants to read it. I no longer keep any other diary or journal and so I like to look back at this now and again especially if I am wondering or arguing about (!) - when did we....?
So here we go for August...
Not a bad opening: we went to a private garden opening for charity. Jefferson and Susan don't feel they are ready for the yellow book yet but want to share what they are doing with other gardeners. It was the most remarkable garden. We pitched up in a very ordinary looking seventies type estate found their house and went through to the garden. This turned out to be a massive terraced landscape. Pretty much an enormous hole in the earth surrounded by a few houses all sharing the unfriendly terrain. They, of course, are making the most amazing garden. I have already posted an album which really doesn't do it justice. You had to experience the huge changes in levels and the garden on each level. As we'd gone with our good chums Phil and Sue we naturally pitched up at a favourite watering hole for lunch afterwards.
Clearly we hadn't had enough of gardens as we set off for lunch the next day with the lady (Levinia) who had told us about the remarkable garden we'd just seen.
Sally arrived on her birthday (4th) for a brief visit. It began with her and Ken sitting in the hairdressers with me for about two hours! No kidding. Being 'frugal' I've been using a new and cheap!!! hairdresser. I arrived for my appointment - which I'd planned well in advance of Sally's arrival time - to be told she thought I was coming an hour later. Eventually Ken got his hair cut and went to collect Sally from the Met. and arranged to pick me up on the way back. They duly arrived and we left a couple of hours later. Nothing like being truly British in circumstances like these. Grit teeth, smile and say Thank You.
Ken's been helping a friend of his from way back when to use a computer so every so often Brian stops by for the next tutorial and I get lots of uninterrupted hours to play, which has turned out very well as you'll see later. At this point I just went shopping with Sally!
Later in the week we took Sally over to Botony Bay for a mooch around. Odd place; it seems to promise more than it delivers, which is probably a good thing as it meant I never spent a bean except on some wool to knit something for my expected grandchild.
On Sunday we were going to meet Pam and Ken at Wollerton Hall but Sally decided she wasn't bothered about going so we called it off and went to a garden I've wanted to see for a long time - Gresgarth Hall. It belongs to Arabella Lennox Boyd (garden designer) and was an absolutely wonderful place - beautiful and so peaceful.
Sally left the next day.
On the 11th we met my little mate Denise for lunch at Holden Wood and a mooch round the antiques. It is a really nice place to spend a couple of hours.
Middle of the month and Ken's birthday (14th) we had dinner at The Shoulder of Mutton for our usual seven group. It was a lovely way to celebrate his birthday even if the dates were simply accidental. We always seem to have a really nice time with them and the food at the Shoulder is to be recommended.
Our next NGS garden was Newton Hall on the 22nd. I doubt I'll be able to post any photos from there. I am often astonished as to how some gardens get into the NGS book. This one was pretty much a waste of time. Hardly any garden to speak of other than a sweet little veggie plot and one long border by a wall which was just about as uninteresting and ugly as you can get. They did have a very grand open air heated swimming pool! We compensated ourselves with a meal at The Frozen Mop. Apparently my Northern companions (Ken, Phil, Sue) said it is a well-known eatery. It was a nice place with an underwhelming lunch.
Now for the BIG event of August...
On the 26th we drove to the Dolls House Emporium at Ripley and I bought a Dolls House. Yes, you have heard correctly. I am surrounded by people who are making plans to lodge me at the home for the bewildered but I am staying my ground. If you have the slightest interest click here Dolls House Emporium and take a look at Wentworth Court and its Burghley basement. The picture here is actually my very own after I finished building it. I am trying to collect and make items one step up from (children's) 'dolls house' but can't afford the miniaturist world I would really love to do, so I have set myself a bit of a task - to make the best I can on a tight budget. I am absolutely loving it. My only excuse it that there are a zillion other consenting adults out there doing the same. As far back as I remember I have always wanted a dolls house and finally at 64 and a bit I decided to go for it.
As you can imagine every minute of the rest of the days of the month is totally taken up with 'the house'.