Today was going home day and after a leisurely breakfast we packed up camp and headed for a near by village Moreton-in-Marsh.
We just fancied a stroll and peer through the shop windows. Cotswold cheese was in the high street so we payed them a visit. I was like a kid in the sweet shop with all the goats and ewes milk cheese on offer.
It was now lunch time and after checking out a few menus and Rich deciding he only wanted steak we found a little old pub called The Black Bear Inn.
We ordered and people watched until our dinner came. I was amazed to see the group of Asian students opposite had ordered two main meals and when the lady brought them out to ask who they were for they asked for extra plates and divided up the two meals between five of them. Now you think that’s a cheek. The next minute and another group of Asian students walked in and did the same. I can only imagine what the member of staff was thinking.
It was now our turn. Our meals arrived and boy did they look appetising.
Mine was Cotswold Lamb with new potatoes and local asparagus and Rich had steak and triple cooked chips.
That was the best lamb we had ever, just melted and the herb dressing over it complimented it perfectly. The steak just fell apart. Totally mouth watering.
So if your ever in Moreton-in-Marsh please call in to this Inn. You will not be disappointed.
Time to go home but not before a quick stop to admire a local memorial in the next village.
Suzy and Ben were very happy to see us when we got home. Our friends had been staying with Charlie and it was great that they stayed on an extra night so we could have dinner and chat about nothing. All the time whilst Suzy and her new best friend Charlie played and yapped around our feet. It really has been a lovely few days.
After a long journey the day before we only had a short trip to the NEC from our lovely overnight stopover.
Rich had prebooked parking which meant only a short walk to the exhibition, god bless the blue badge.
It was overcast but dry for now so we showed our tickets and made our way in. First stop breakfast. We ordered bacon and egg sandwiches. Now we normally love a bacon and egg sarnie with a little ketchup but they do things weird tup north. All the sandwiches were precooked so they just had to heat them. But as they did they added grated cheese on top! What is all that about. Wouldn’t recommend them. They filled a hole but reheated sarnies are not the best shall we say, especially with cheesy topping.
It was time to make our way in, there were so many things to see and we kept being diverted. So we made a plan. Into the main hall to suss our where we were to watch the live show later in the morning. As we neared the theatre area Monty was chatting away. Yes, The Monty Don. So we stayed and listened. He was a very interesting man, talking about his house and gardens at Longmeadow and about having camera crews on your land on a daily basis. Even told us all about Nel and Nigel. For those of you that don’t know, Nel and Nigel are his two gorgeous dogs who follow him around the gardens everywhere. Apparently he never wanted Nigel to be on the tele but Nigel thought different. He manages to wangle into most shots and we saw photos of him “helping out the sound and camera crew” adorable.
We also managed to grab our free goodie bag whilst here. Normally goodie bags are a bit sparse but this was an exception.
Full of packets of seeds, eye drops,Harribos (made Rich’s day 😜) a living willow wand, which I can’t wait to plant and see what happens, some snacks and of course a pen. You could also help yourself to many other packets of seeds.
We took the opportunity to sign up here for the next magazine. Apparently we had the right image and are now front page stars.
Then we came across a stall selling dog food. We stood and listened and ended up signing Suzy up for their package on the hope that it would suit her very delicate tummy.
It was time now to go and listen to Carol Kleine. We took our seats in the theatre. A very jolly man started getting the audience excited by offering out some free tickets for something. We waved our hands in the air but sadly he did not pick us. Perhaps he thought as we were now front cover celebrities we didn’t need free tickets. Carol was introduced and came on stage. She is a very jolly lady with a huge passion for plants. She had a selection of plants to talk about and sadly ran out of time. We made notes as some of the plants we had never seen before. Rich was even suggesting we have this and that, but he is not a gardener😉 she took a few audience questions which was good fun. A chap asked about his three Clematis and asked why one hadn’t flowered. Her answer, it sounds like its dead. 🤣 it was brilliant. Completely obvious and how can you tell what is wrong with a plant anyway if you can’t see it. Brilliant.
The talk was over so we plodded off bypassing the many stalls of tools and hot tubs. Keen now to go and spend our allowance on new plants.
The majority of people wizzing around had these little boxes on wheels full of plants. Rich was very keen to buy one of these and as it would fit in Miss Lexy for our future storage needs on our travels we succumbed and are now the proud owners of a lime green box on wheels.
Now the purpose of our new box on wheels is to fill it with plants but again we got distracted.
On route to the plant Marquis there were many stalls with the most amazing art work made of metals and coloured glass. We are currently decorating our spa room and like to collect different ornamental butterflies and bugs to put on our decorative trellis. A huge metal butterfly and dragon fly now occupy our box on wheels. Moving on route to the plants Rich stops again. We had spoken about putting up some wind chimes in the garden and they had here some pretty bamboo ones. So yes. You guessed it. Two of them have now joined the butterfly and dragon fly in the box on wheels.
Finally we made it in to the plant marquis. You have never seen so many colours and plants arranged so artistically, the first thing we bought was a Venus fly trap as Rich kept saying that he wanted one for the bedroom. As hard as we tried to head to the plants we had on our new list to buy a few more appear to have jumped in the box on wheels. The butterfly, dragonfly and wind chimes now being carried.
My plan for a while has been to erect a new arch near to our fruit cage at home and plant some roses to attract the bees and make a lovely view when we sit in the spa. I left Rich looking after the box on wheels whilst I chatted to a man about appropriate roses that would have many small flowers and bloom a few times a year. I decided on a deep pink variety and beckoned Rich over with the box on wheels whilst the lady went and sourced our two plants. But what is this? Box on wheels seems to have a new addition. You really can’t leave Rich, our new gardener alone for 5 minutes. He had bought a stunning plant with deep aubergine flowers to go in a pot on the patio at home. Mmmm ok. This was getting interesting. With some rearranging I managed to squeeze in our two new prickly roses (dad won’t be amused as he doesn’t like me having spiky plants in the garden 😂) we battled our way through the crowds bashing their legs with our spiky branches, back to the van which thank fully we had parked close by to drop of box on wheels.
It’s always amusing when you buy something big and forget that you have to get it home. Or in our case sleep and cook dinner in that night. But with some thought our new box on wheels complete with many plants now sits on our chair. Most people have a case of flowers to decorate their interior but not us.
Back to the show it was cake time. We had spotted a vintage tea marquis so we made a beeline there. It was very pleasant, gentle music, ladies in vintage clothing and lots and lots of bunting and lots of home made cake.
The huge wedge of Victoria sponge and carrot cake didn’t last long. Delicious.
So with the time passing by we hadn’t even explored the halls showing the food exhibitions but we decided enough was enough (and our allowance was well and truly spent) it was time to leave and make our merry way to our campsite for the night in Bourton-on-the-water in the Cotswolds.
We took turns to drive Miss Lexy. Rich had a nice wide motorway. I did the last leg which was tiny flooded lanes and a very steep hill. The local traffic must have cursed us as it appears Miss Lexy doesn’t like narrow steep hills. We chuckled our way along bumping away until we reached the very peaceful campsite. We had a lovely evening with a dinner of rice, chicken, pineapple and salad. You may wonder how we managed this what with our new interior decor?
Hooray work is over for the day so Rich collected me in Miss Lexy and we started our journey to just outside Birmingham in preparation for our day out the following day. Now we do like a road trip especially in the van, but when you include the M25 in the mix it’s a pain in the bum.
Our journey should have taken us 3 hours but I think we sat for most of that time on the M25.
In the end we gave up heading to the campsite and thought we would head to another close to Warwick. It had to be the most unwelcoming campsite we had ever been to. Talk about stroppy camp site lady. So we swiftly pulled away and pondered what to do. With some roads full of rain water we didn’t want to drive to much further and our stomachs were grumbling.
We have a handy little app that shows us places to camp for the night and after a few phone calls we decided to try a pub called the Stratton Arms. Never have we been made to feel more welcome. Phil the owner met us as we pulled up and promptly had the hose for us to fill up with water, then parked us up and plugged in our electric. We ordered some chips to go with our dinner and payed our £4 for electric. The beauty of Miss Lexy is we can enjoy a scorching hot shower after a long journey and relax with our feet up.
Time for some sleep to prepare us for the adventures ahead tomorrow.
Last year we planted some new Fragaria plants. It was a very hot summer but they did reward us with a small amount of fruit.
They then grew long runners which we painstakingly planted and cultivated over the winter. Weeding round them and taking off the dead leaves.
In the spring we put new weed Matt around and feed them regularly.
Have you worked out which plant we are talking about yet?
They started bouncing in to life a month again with delicate white flowers which transformed into small green fruits.
Finally, Sunday evening we were able to pick the first gorgeous deep red perfectly formed fruit. No we didn’t scoff it down. We washed it, admired it, photographed it and then and only then did we cut it in half and taste the very juicy, sweet flesh.
So now looking forward to more of these fruits over the coming weeks.
My favourite way to eat them is sliced on cereal or on pancakes with a scoop of ice cream. Hurks prefers to sprinkle them with sugar. How do you eat yours?
So once again I’m up at silly o’clock whilst Mr Hurks enjoys a lay in.
I was quite excited to be up so early as I had a project that I was keen to get underway. Bev had kindly given us a wicker heart for the garden but it was a bit lost on the fence. It needed brightening up to be able to see it from the house. That and I’d decided to do up an old hanging basket to add some more colour in the garden.
Armed with a can of pink spray gloss I set to work. A few coats later and ta daaaaa. Not bad even if I do say myself.
I was also met by a new flower this morning. A poppy which had been tightly in bud the day before had broken free from its casing and looks stunning in the early morning sun.
New climbing roses that we planted last year are also starting to show us their colours. A few more days…….
Some of the other plants we put in are also doing well. Some have not survived but hey ho. Means we get to try something else in there place.
We headed out this afternoon to a campsite not to far from home to have a night in Miss Lexy.
Last weekend we didn’t get to try everything out so off we set to try again.
A very happy chap met us at the campsite and said we could choose any pitch we wanted.
So after sussing out the awning and putting the roof up to make the van cooler we sat down to relax in the sunshine.
We hope you’ve all enjoyed the sunshine as much as us today. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.