I was not disappointed.
We ventured to Grovely Woods and found carpets of scented bluebells in every direction. I explored new paths and inspected fallen trees for fungi. I tried to absorb the peace and fresh, damp earthiness in to my very marrow.
One day I will live in the woods, grow my hair and eat soup from an earthenware bowl.
Grovely Woods is a magical place. It was once a grand medieval hunting forest and is the largest woods in South Wiltshire. It's full of history and atmosphere.
First Broad Drive
I have been standing on this Roman road in the woods since childhood (not literally) and always find the line of 400 odd Beech trees stretching off in to the distance, eerily silent and breath taking. It wouldn't surprise me to see a ghostly coach and horses thundering along this track.
There are reputed to be ghosts that haunt the woods. In the 1700's four Danish sisters were accused of witchcraft by the locals following an outbreak of smallpox. They were taken to the woods (without trial) and bludgeoned to death. Four trees mark where they are buried, the largest of which has a hollow at the back where people leave offerings. I would like to find these trees. A woodsman, caught for poaching and hung from a tree for his crimes has also been seen, accompanied by the sound of a cracking twig .....gulp.
Early Purple Orchid
This orchid has strange spotty leaves. The magenta looked striking with the purple of the bluebells.
Sarah, Big Dog and Oliver
Big Dog loves the woods, so many interesting smells...
It was so cold you could see your breath! It was 9 degrees today, the average for May is 16 degrees!
Today (I know I'm obsessed with the weather, but I am British for goodness sake) it was 6 degrees, felt like 2! I thought of my friend and ex-neighbour living in Mumbai and wondered whether she was wafting in a thin cotton kaftan in the 33 degree heat. I have been wearing a woolly hat all week, only in the car and much to my daughter's embarrassment, which is reason enough to do it. I've been using it as a hair flattening device. I have big hair. It works, believe me. By the time I get to work, it has dried beneath the hat and is at least 2 inches lower.
On our walks this week we have seen (and smelt) wild garlic (mmmmm).
We have also seen many Orange Tip butterflies flitting about which are too darned fast to photograph.
Found I had been carrying an emergency broken biscuit in my handbag all week. I always told myself I would resist middle-age tendencies but alas, I am weak. I'll be collecting sugar sachets like my mother next.
Muchos weeding. I think I must like weeding in a sick way. It may be something to do with being a frustrated archaeologist. When I was little I would spend hours in the dirt collecting broken pieces of china from the garden, cataloguing them (bit sad) and then displaying them in a tray with little compartments. I was an unsociable hermit even then. The garden here is crammed full of rubbish so I'm in my element!
This was what I found just weeding the rhubarb! Even a tiny set of teeth (middle of pic).
You have to think - who ate from this china? What animal did these bones belong to? How old are they?
Our good friend, fellow bookworm and honorary Bungalow Girl , Basil, cooked for us in the evening. We particularly enjoyed her central heating.
We liked your neat garden Basil!
Mind you, our garden is looking pretty if you avert your eyes from the trenches, piles of earth, rubble and cement mixers - lots of things going on.
Blue and white bells & double tulip in the front garden
Made rhubarb and ginger jam with my home grown and newly weeded rhubarb.
Rhubarb and ginger jam
It goes very well with white, crumbly cheese.
Made tried and tested chocolate brownies for Mum's birthday. She got very excited and flew round on the swings in the park. Go girl!
My sister Samantha, Sarah and mad mother doing the 'plant talk'
My mum's garden makes me want to cry, look at that edging!
I certainly haven't inherited her green fingers.
My sister (with wine) and me (with another new Breton top!)
I knew she'd come round to embracing the old 'socks and sandals' thing eventually, it was only a matter of time.......