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R. and R.

Over the last couple of weeks I hadn’t realized how jaded I felt. I walked through the garden still vibrant with late summer colour and wondered when it was going to keel over so I could get on with some winter jobs. I poked my nose into the greenhouse and looked at cuttings. Then eyed up the tender perennials thinking “You will be all-right for a bit, no need to move you”. My enthusiasm for anything had vanished!

Fortunately earlier in the year I had arranged to meet up with some friends in London, so last week saw me taking myself off to visit amongst other places “The old smoke”.

Living here right on the coast, we don’t have great Autumn colour, we don’t have the majestic broad-leaf woodlands and our trees are stooped, buffeted as they are by the prevailing winds so even just 5 miles inland I was blown away be the fantastic Autumn hues.  As I tend to take the “pretty route” (i.e. no motorways) sometimes it is the “very pretty route” as I have huge capacity to get very lost indeed on my expeditions up and down the country, the journey was breathtaking, the sun was shining and the golds, rusts and orange of Autumn blazed.  I should mention here, that after a very trying journey to visit VP a few years ago, where I appeared to go through three towns that I had no right to be anywhere near, my children gave me a sat-nav and this has revolutionised my (infrequent) trips down South to stay with friends.

Saturday saw me travelling from Twyford to Paddington by train where one of my friends suggested we meet before making our way to St. Martins Lane to meet up with the others. I wonder if she thought that as a country bumpkin I might find London daunting now, however it amazes me how quickly the London way returned to me. I think it must be like riding a bike, when you have lived or worked in London for any length of time you develop the London walk, a way of slipping and sliding purposefully through the milling crowds to get from A to B and believe me we had to do a lot of slipping and sliding as the Circle and Bakerloo underground lines were closed.

Lunch was delightful. A relaxed catch up with great food and much laughter. I have known these friends for 45 years, the 4 of us were at school together so our friendship is very precious. I do like restaurants where is is perfectly fine to sit down for lunch at 1 o’clock and not get up from the table until 5, for as you can imagine we always have a lot to talk about! The only downside to the day was someone getting up from their seat on the tube to offer it to me, I have reached that age” …. sigh.

Sunday saw me hitting the shops in Reading with another friend, again so many people – so much shopping (Recession, what recession?). Actually when I say we hit the shops, it was only two or three and that was quite enough. Living where we do, shops are a real treat once or twice a year. I know that the Internet is wonderful and I can get anything I want online but sometimes, you just need to see things in the flesh as it were. My biggest treat was playing with makeup. Those of you who know me may be raising an eyebrow because it would appear that I never wear it, but, I bought a new foundation and a lipstick and made a resolve to take a bit more care of my appearance – my new resolve will probably last … Oh, about a week!!! We don’t have dress down Fridays in this part of Wales, we have dress down every day, it is the rain and the mud that will do that for you, not to mention the lack of shops and therefore lack of choice.

Monday found me having lunch with No2 son in a Japanese restaurant, again fabulous food followed later by coffee and cake with No2 Daughter-in-law and my lovely lovely grand-babies. Watching her negotiate M&S with a baby and a toddler did make me wonder if I ever did that, I suppose I must have. I was certainly much more fearful for Dylan getting lost among the clothes racks that I ever was of my own children, but that’s Nanna for you.

So now I am home, revitilized by the buzz of a few days away in cities, energized by meeting up with friends and family, sparked by the things I have seen and eaten. I walk through my garden looking at the tender perennials and think; “You will be allright for a bit – I’m off to put on my makeup”!

grasses and echinacea seed heads in October

18 comments to R. and R.

  • VP

    I’m chuckling at your satnav present after visiting here – I have so many lovely memories of you being here that I’d clean forgotten how long it took you to get to us!

    It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful time – having had a nightmare journey to/from London on Tuesday, I know exactly what you mean by that slipping/sliding technique.

    Lovely photo – shows how wonderful a garden can be even when it’s in the throes of decay.


  • VP

    BTW – I’ve worked out why Commentluv wasn’t working for me. It expects the http:// in the blog’s URL, even though elsewhere on the web these days you can happily leave it and the www bit out.

  • Sounds like a great few days. I’ve never lived in a city and when I do go to London which is fairly infrequent I always feel like a country bumpkin. Unfortunately I tend to find London draining rather than invigorating. I prefer a smaller place like Oxford or Bath. I agree though a change of pace is good. I do like a day pottering around shops, having a leisurely lunch and a visit to a gallery or the theatre.
    My enthusiasm for the garden at the moment has wained too. Maybe I need a day in the city to rekindle it!

  • A change of scenery with good friends has a remarkable effect upon me, too. Glad the r and r worked. xog

  • What a great break-all the lovely things in a few days-sounds wonderful, and those seedheads look pretty good too!

  • Dobby

    I shall expect a full demonstration of your new makeup next time I see you!
    Glad you enjoyed your time away and it has revitalised you. Perhaps you just ran into one of the few remaining gentlemen on the tube? There are some out there still.

  • VP

    Talking of ‘that age’ – I’m very worried that the information Wiltshire WI is tweeting is increasingly tempting…

  • I noticed the new header today- love it.

  • I am so glad you had a good time and you kept saying things that hit the nail on the head for me too! Getting a bit tired of the garden? Check. Losing enthusiasm? Check. Loving a visit to the big city? Check. Never losing the London walk? Check.
    Welcome home. I hope you are full of beans and pzazz. I brought quite a lot of energy home from a swift trip to Berlin so I might even go out into the garden and cut back the cutting garden! See you very soon I hope!

  • Glad you’re back all refreshed and revitalised – I haven’t been to London for a few years, and you made me realise that I missed it. Not that I want to move back, but I was there for over 20 years…. couldn’t wait to escape to the Big City when I was 18. Sigh…. and we must be in sync, which I find worrying. Have sharp new haircut, really chuffed with it, went upstairs and thought, ‘wow, this cut can take bright red lippy’ – and it could. We’ll shock the village.

    Now I have to go to London. Soon!

  • Oh it’s great to return to ‘civilisation’ every once in a while although having never lived in London I still find it rather overwhelming. Had to chuckle at your comment about being offered a seat on the tube – a young girl who was already waiting for the bus when I arrived at the stop yesterday urged me ahead of her when the bus arrived. Not sure how I felt about it :) Glad to hear that you have resparkled Karen.

  • Apologies if this comment is inappropriate.
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    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Not inappropriate at all – I have been looking at your website, and will be back to “sign up” when I have some time, it looks very interesting.

  • Great, glad to hear it – I would leave it a day or so anyway as the internet is slowing down as we speak – It’s an American thing, something about a new or re-elected president, I think.

    Also, I think your auto response email was a very nice touch, be nice once your on the site to get the low down on the system you use.

    Andrew @ Blooming blogs

  • I love London, for about 2 or 3 days then I just have to get out. I love hitting the shops when I’m in the UK and visitng garden centres to buy stuff I can’t get here – would you believe green string! Glad you had a great time, you work hard, you deserve it. love Christina

  • Isn’t it the big smoke ? Unless you’re getting confused with Edinburgh which is Old (well technically Auld) Reekie. I like the photo of the miscanthus and echinacea by the way.

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the image of the miscanthus.
      Your comment sent me off around the web to see if it was the big smoke, the old smoke and I came to the conclusion it might just be “The Smoke”! :)

  • Doesn’t sound restful to me! Glad you had a great time.
    * * *
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    If you would like to – please do re-follow there!