Do you ever have a day when things don't go quite as planned but turn out to be a delight all the same? Well last Sunday turned out to be one of those days.
With the London Prudential 100 looming large in my cycling calendar I need to start thinking about lengthening my rides....time to get those little legs peddling! A 30 mile ride was planned, a big bowl of porridge eaten and a bannana stuffed into my jersey pocket and a bag of jelly babies in my top bag and off I went. Two minutes later I was back and it was on with the knee warmers, high-viz gillet and a buff; it was deceptively cool out there!
But it soon started to warm up and there were freerange geese in Mattingly to cheer me on!
Bowling along, checking my progress on the iPhone against my scribbled-on-the-back-of-an-envelope instructions I was going well. Then I must have taken a wrong turning, the phone battery packed in and I hadn't a clue where I was! I'd also eaten my snacks, needed the loo and my legs were starting to ache (25 miles plus already cycled) when I spotted a couple of yellow ribbons tied to a tree and a smiley lady with a walkie-talkie. A NGS (National Garden Scheme) open garden afternoon - I was halted with 'stop and look at our garden, there's lovely tea and cakes too'. Once I'd accertained there was also a loo I needed no other encouragement: tea, cake and a loo = cycling heaven!
And what I treat it was too. Brick Kiln Cottage, Lasham ( for indeed I now know where I was...) has a delightful bluebell wooded garden,
a plantation style tree house
which I even managed to climb into - an interesting experience whilst wearing road shoes!
The garden was divided into different areas connected by small paths so we were all able to wander through peaking at the garden from various different angles.
Parked up near the tea tent was this rather splendid shepherds' hut on wheels
The inside had a ( rather narrow, it must be said) bed and a working wood stove,
but It was the rusty, peeling outside that captured my attention.
Quickly followed, for the princely sum of £3, I had a marvellous clotted cream tea - complete with refills as required. What a treat! what a bargain!
A quick last look around, doesn't the wild garlic have beautifully delicate flowers?
Whilst this garden arrangement wouldn't look out of place on Easter Island!
But, as with the rust on the shepherds hut, it's the mundane still life that captivates me : the pattern and texture of an old worn path
and the heavy iron roller parked by the outside loo!