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Friday 31 May 2024

Chelsea Flower Show and More: May in Review


Dear friends. The two main highlights of May were the Chelsea Flower Show and our 4-day cycling holiday along the Way of the Roses.  I'm going to major on the flower show as you can read about the cycling break here.

Plus the rest of the month's trivia. Picking up from where we left off, with the last few days of April. 

Sunday April 29

Dreadful weather. Cold, raining. No walk. Forgot to take lamb out of freezer so rushed to shop to get a chicken.  We went to Olive's party for an hour  (she is now two years old).  Sun eventually came out. Re- watching Clarkson's Farm 2nd series in readiness for the new series which drops this week. 

Monday April 29

A bit of blue sky and warmer at 15, but nasty wind particularly on way back. 35 miles. First trip to Chipping Ongar this year. Quite tired. Went to dentist for review of root canal treatment.  All good. The bone has returned. Who knew we can grow bone? Steak for dinner

Tues April 30

Had a message from Canva to say I've made 500 creations. Good to see I'm getting value for money!

We did a walk, 5 miles. J made me get too close to one of the longhorns.  Cue my alarm as she spun round!  They are very placid but don't like their space being invaded.

Watched last episode Blue Lights. 

Weds May 1

Cloudy and mild, sun came out on bike ride, 28 miles to Lee Valley. Wasn't feeling it. Had to put foot in mud in a narrow country lane to avoid a Landrover. Shoes had been pristine. 

Thurs May 2

Cloudy, cold. Did a shoot 1 outfit and a Reel, meant to do more but J was tinkering in garden (my photo studio!)). Voted in election of London mayor.

Fri May 3

Raining. Decided to go to Tate Modern. 3rd time lucky with Yoko exhibition....but still didn't make it. Somehow took a wrong turning and Google kept re orientating so I was walking further and further away. In the end went home - wet. Fish n chips. Started Shardlake (Disney). (It's a so-so). 

Sat May 4

Up early as we'd planned to do bike ride before yoga. J wasn't up for it. Did walk and yoga, just 3 of us. Was soo tired afterwards. Still pain in right buttock. Hurts to sit down. 

Sun May 5

Sunny morning.  Feeling more energised.  Did ironing then weeded drive,  planted 2 dahlias and pruned honeysuckle. Roast lamb. J serviced my bike.

Mon May 6

Bank holiday. Raining.  Went on bike ride to Olympic Park. The bike is performing much better now. Raining was light on the way. Not much traffic.  Sad news, my 60 year old cousin in New Zealand died.

Tues May 7

Mostly sunny. We did a walk in the forest. Picked up my new glasses from Boots and went to garden centre. Unfortunately J had left the pressure washer in the boot so there wasn't much room.  I didn't buy as many plants as planned. 

Weds May 8

Sunny. Did short bike ride to Epping. Did a lot of gardening,  planting what I bought yesterday and weeding. Started Dark Matter,  Apple   (It's a No). 

Thurs May 9

Sunny. Went to garden centre again and got some pelargoniums and other plants, compost and fat balls for the birds. Did some planting. Olive and Rachel popped round.

Fri May 10

Sunny. Did walk 5 miles. Caterpillars keep dropping from the trees.  I had three on my clothes! Yuk. 

Sat May 11

Sunny. Bike ride 30 miles, Epping, Nazeing, Broxbourne to White Water Centre. Missed last night's aurora, once in a lifetime, was asleep.  Watched Clarkson's Farm, laughed so much when he and others were being nibbled by goats.

Sunday May 12

Hot today,  26. Tried to stay awake for the aurora but kept falling asleep.  Did a 2 outfit shoot early and then various housework jobs including ironing.  Forecast has improved for our 4 day cycling holiday!

Monday May 13

Sunny start.  Did walk, first on my own for ages. Wrote 2 scheduled blog posts. Finished Clarkson's Farm series 3 and started series 1 again.

Tues May 14

Wet start and no water. Ascertained via WhatsApp it was our road and quite a big area. We did a damp forest walk. Finished packing for tomorrow's drive to Morecambe in Lancs and our 4 day cycling break. 

Weds May 15

Left at 8.30 for Morecambe.  Smooth trip, arrived by 2. I went for walk while J sorted the bikes. Had terrible night, too hot, bed hard, couldn't sleep.  The sunset looked good behind the Eric Morecambe statue.

Thurs May 16

Morecambe to Settle. We were mostly at the front. Lovely lunch, though v big, at Austwick. Cheese and red onion panini with coleslaw and chips. Only 36 miles so got to Harts Head, Giggleswick, by 2. Good opportunity to sort out promo for today's blog post and read the paper. Mostly country lanes today.

Slept better.

Fri May 17

Settle to Ripon. Hardest day in terms of hills, though Fitbit rated the next 2 days a lot harder for me. I tried to work hard using eco more then I would. Huge hill out of Settle. I got to top first and took pics.  Went through National Trust grounds near end. We and 2 other couples had dinner in an Italian restaurant. Huge lasagne. Quite a few laughs. Very small bed and hot, poor sleep.

Sat May 18

Ripon to Pocklington. Met up at Ripon square, market on.  Here we are at the morning brew stop. 

Had lunch in York, very busy with tourists.  Lunch not great, J ate someone else's order because it was called out incorrectly.  Had tuna melt, huge, left half. We were all in the Feathers at Pocklington.  V sunny day. Best venue. Had sausage and mash. Slept quite well. 

Sunday May 19

Last day, Pocklington to Bridlington.  Quite hard as the tea stop wasn't until 20 miles and then another 20 to the end and lunch. Sunny but nasty cross wind made last few miles tough. We finished 4th/5th. Had to wait at vans for everyone else so we could go to the finish together.  Cold in the wind.  At least we had benches to wait on. 

After our group photo at the finish we set off for lunch at the leisure centre. Bike said I'd burned 978 calories.  A little challenging getting back to coach park. We weren't entirely sure of the way. Then had to wait until 4.45 for bikes to be put on trailer. Ours were carried in the van. We had a somewhat uncomfortable minibus ride for 3 hours back to Morecambe.  Was 8.15 when we returned. Decided to forego dinner. Had a better room with sea views but couldn't sleep. Hot and noisy

Monday May 20

Down for breakfast 8.15. Some of the others there. Had fry up but no lunch. Horrible day. The car had been damaged and was covered in  bird poo. J was highly stressed and we had problems with the sat nav and EV charging. Eventually home by 4.30.  

The roses are all out. 

Tuesday May 21

Went with Oxana to the Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Members' Day.  It started raining around 11.30, but fortunately we'd been queuing in the "Potting Shed" for coffee.  We then spent a while in the Grand Pavilion.

My favourite show garden was designed for the Terence Higgins Trust. I loved the little pops of colour among the grasses. 

I like to surreptitiously photograph women to get an idea of what everyone is wearing. This year it was very clear:  midi skirts and long dresses!  Plus white trainers. They show no sign of going away. Women of all ages were wearing them.

Weds May 22

Still raining. Freezer making alarming noise. Has been on blink for ages. Ordered new 1. Did walk, forest. Shopping delivered.  Did 2 NetGalley reviews and quite relieved to find I only have two unread books on my "shelf" now. 

Thurs May 23

Cloudy, sun came out late pm. Did some admin and wrote a  post.  Did a little weeding. Olive came round. Freezer gave up ghost. Had to throw a lot of food away as I wasn't sure how much it had defrosted and didn't want to risk it. 

Fri May 24

Cloudy. Became brighter. Did walk then Pilates.  Still quite tired so didn't get fish n chips. Spent 40 mins talking to Curry's to add recycling to the freezer order.  Went with J to Syntner to get quote for car  (damaged at Morecambe). 

Sat May 24

Sunny start. Did  2 blog shoots.  Cleaned out freezer cupboard ready for new one. Did some cleaning and gardening.  Weeds out of control at back. Watched FA Cup.

Sun May 25

Freezer delivered 9am. Did 2 hour walk. Spent a few minutes watching the Ride London cyclists whizz by. Roast chicken. Made restaurant reservations for Skiathos.  Wrote a post on tablet, nearly lost it but phew managed to save it. (Use Word next time) 

Mon May 26

Bank holiday.  Sunny intervals but a little cooler.  We got on our bikes for the first time in a week and went to the Lee Valley country park and whitewater centre.  Wrote a couple of blog posts. Started packing - I'm off to Plymouth tomorrow for a few days.  

Tues May 27

Long drive to Plymouth. Staying with mum for a few days then going to Somerset to see my friend Margery. On Saturday we're going to the Kettlewell Colour Studio.  More next month!


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