I have excelled as a (somewhat caffeinated) tour guide today, warming Mom up with a stroll around the garden followed by a walk on the path behind the houses, and then taking in the Northumberland countryside with stops in Etal (including lunch at the Lavender Tea Rooms), Ford, and Ancroft (to see the 11th century; or at least that's what the pointy sign said...in fact, it was a church built in the 11th century. A bit disappointing when you were hoping to see the whole century, but it was some consolation to learn that the church -- St. Anne's -- was named "for Jesus' granny"). We motored to Berwick for a converter (Mom) and waterproof trousers (small boy, for a field trip tomorrow), making a detour so I could show off Cocklawburn Beach. And on the way home, we drove past Norham Castle and visited the church and the enchanted circle of ancient yew trees.
Then we fed her some grilled-veg pizza and salad, and eventually two teens and a small fella walked her (and her clean laundry) across the green to her lovely lodgings.
What -- photos, you ask? No, I say. I forgot to take my camera (I know, right?!), and Mom's phone was charging here at the house. I did manage a rather lame snap of my lunch, taken with my cheap emergency phone, but then couldn't work out how to import it to the laptop.
But just as I was sitting here about to succumb to despair about my lack of blog-post material, I glanced out the conservatory window and saw this.
Here's hoping that a blurry nervous pheasant is better than nothing at all...
I challenged myself to post at least one photo every day in May, but that gets tricky on days like today. I spent the first part prowling charity shops with a friend (result: these books, this twirly skirt), and the second part driving to and from the Edinburgh airport with my lads -- to pick up my mother! She is fresh from two weeks in France, and none the worse for wear (in spite of a fast-paced château-bagging schedule). No doubt we will have some bloggable adventures in the coming weeks...
These iris grew from bulbs I dug up at Grandma's house before we turned it over to new owners. I planted them under a tree that was a memorial to our kitty Barbaloot, so I think of the area as a little memorial garden. The flowers looked so lovely at sunset the other day, so this seemed a fitting photo for today.
One of the loveliest things about living a stone's throw from Northumberland is being in close proximity to my dear friend Tess, "met" via blogging some seven years ago. Since I moved to Scotland, we have met monthly to eat, chat, drink a cuppa or two, and engage in activities ranging from gallery browsing to beach walking to searching out the perfect used teapot.
Today we had a wander around the spectacular Alnwick Garden, where tulips reigned and apple blossom was just coming on.
We admired that extra little celestial touch on the delphinium supports.
And although the cherry orchard was slightly past the billowing white cloud phase, it impressed nonetheless.
The veg garden featured some spectacular scarecrows (not shown: a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)...