Monday, 29 September 2014

Weekend With Friends - Part One of Two, Charlecote Park

The week gone by had seen me spending large quantities of time preparing and cooking meals and cakes for the weekend. Think Mr P thought me a little mad, but I was pleased I did this because it meant I could enjoy the weekend with our guests and not stress about what food needed to be cooked. Saturday we woke up to glorious weather and headed out to Charlecote Park. I thought we'd been there before, as the pictures of the outside looked rather like some other National Trust property we'd been to. But as we arrived I realised we couldn't have been there before. The carpark is situated right next to the most amazing farm shop/nursery.

They were selling masses of amazing gourds the likes of which I have not seen since we had visited Switzerland during this time of year.

I came back with this small basket to use for display.

I also bought a lovely bunch of dahlias. Anyway time to show you the house, as we did eventually get there!

This is the gate house! How to show off, golly I could get my home into this building several times!

The main house, with the small front garden! We were given a talk about the property and its history, which I think always helps you to understand what you are about to see.

Arty farty picture!

Then once inside we were greeted with another talk about some of the clothing worn. Apparently what look like two small girls in the centre of the picture is in fact 2 boys.  They were dressed like this so that when they were playing outside no one would kidnap them to use for labour. Also note the child on the very right hand side is suspended in mid air! Anyway the talk was very informative. Not sure I wanted to hear it all when we were informed that the family would only have a bath once a year in June! This was then often followed with a wedding!

The house tour was not massive, as a large chunk of the property is still used by the family. With the sun shining we had a picnic and then went for a walk around the grounds.

Golly this church looked more like a cathedral than your local parish church. Back to the farm shop to buy our goodies. Can't resist showing you more of the products. Golly to live near here must be wonderful, to have such a choice of vegetables and fruit etc.

We decided to try and hunt down the church that had looked like a cathedral. Inside were lots of kneelers beautifully stitched by some of the ladies in the church.

The church was so spectacular as it had been paid for by the owner of Charlecote. After our tour around the church we decided it was time to pay a visit to the local pub. As we entered I could not help but notice that there were vegetables on the bar. Wondered if it was some sort of bartering system!

After half a cider I decided a toilet trip was needed before we headed back home and whilst washing my hands was watched by this rather sexy gentleman! A kind of Mr Darcy moment!

 I know shocking a minister's wife using the word "sexy"! Will I be excommunicated?
Well you'll have to wait for part two for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Weekend With Grandchildren

I'm getting a bit behind with everyday blogs due to me going on a bit about my hols. Two weekends ago No 3 and all came for the weekend with gorgeous Rowan.

 Oh have you seen this stage of babies to learning to feed themselves? It's quite disgusting, until you stop and think well I probably was the same when I was learning to feed myself!
They chose last weekend to come as it was the twin babies 1st birthday party in Leeds. So Leicester is a half way point between their home and up north! So Saturday morning we all enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then all of us piled into their car. This seemed a good idea and Rowan was an angel and slept until we hit a traffic jam on the M1! Then, to put it mildly, he was not impressed, and didn't hold back his feelings! The men were in the back of the car and they did their best to entertain him. But reluctantly they had to result to some bribes with food! BANANA! Now my daughter had him all dressed for a party but by the time we arrived there he was not looking his best! Banana smeared over his party clothes. Needless to say Rowan was ready for action once he was let out of his seat!

Having seen the twins just a few weeks previously I was sooo surprised to see how much they have changed. They are both now sitting up and crawling around.

I think this one is Karis trying to do the splits!

They are just so cute.

Of course there has to be cake for a birthday party.

Note the salad bag tucked away in the corner!

It was great to see Rowan interacting with the girlies. Can't wait to see them when they all get a little older.

I think the twins were rather bemused with us all singing happy birthday. Note the bag of salad still looking full!

Rowan had had enough of wearing party clothes and starting to relax and make himself at home.

Presie time, but the inevitable happened the girls were more interested in the wrapping!

Sunday we were busy chatting when we became aware that Rowan had gone rather quiet! He'd found this bottle of whisky and he looked as if he was trying to drink it. At the time it was rather funny, but I realise now that I need to start moving things like this out of his reach. Golly it would not have been funny if he had tried to drink it!

These last few pictures have been taken this week whilst they have been away and golly I think he has changed again.

OK I think I have babied you all enough - good night and hope you all have a good week.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Italy - Final Holiday Blog

Ok we finished last blog at the end of a day in Florence. I could bore you with more pictures of gorgeous Tuscan buildings but I'll try not to. We did something we've never done before and that was reserve a table at a farm. This is no ordinary restaurant. What happens the couple open their home and feed you an enormous home cooked traditional cuisine. You do not know what you'll get - pot luck. Here is the farm.

The next three pictures are just the starter!

Then comes the antipasta

This is all served with bread and as much wine as you care to drink. Then comes the main meal! I must tell you this is the only time, in my life, I have turned down the offer of salad!

Needless to say I could not eat all this food. I kept telling Mr P to eat really slowly so that desert would come much later!

The bottle on the left was a gorgeous orange desert wine - which got drunk! The one on the right was grappa Oh my was it strong. I tried to take one sip and virtually spat it out across the table! Thank goodness the hosts did not see me!

To finish with of course ....

The next day we hardly ate anything! Thanks to my dad for this meal as he gave us some money for our wedding anniversary.

Here are the lovely couple whose farm it is and she does ALL the cooking, on her own.

As you can see the grapes are changing and time to head back home all too soon came.

Our trip back took roughly two and a half solid days of driving. We certainly had travelled a long way south. We had a fantastic holiday, saw some wonderful scenery, had lots of lovely time together to talk, laugh and just have time to be quiet in each others presence. Thank you my lovely hubby for a great hols. Thank you too for sharing in my hols too.