Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Windsor. The castle I didn't get to see.

I tried to get into Windsor Castle on two occasions. Problem is it was summer and the queues were long, and I should have done the smart thing to buy the tickets online, which I didn't. I also wasn't up to lining-up to buy them. 

I did, however, manage to walk through the town and pop into little shops here and there. Still, I missed the castle. This simply means I must return to England somewhere in the future to visit. 

You must pardon these last photos. They're not the nicest I've taken in England, but they need to here as they're my memories of this place. 

Just opposite the Castle

The only part of the Castle I saw

The Last Supper in the Windsor Parish Church

The altar in the Windsor Parish Church

Windsor's Crooked House

After Windsor, I took a drive in my KR13JKK Peugeot 207 Sedan on to Maidenhead in search of a Monsoon. Then, it was back to the hotel for one last night.

My home for 4 nights

Milton Keynes. Stories of berries and princesses.

What a road trip England turned out to be. First Heathrow, then Peterborough, Watford for Welham Green, Olney, Cheshunt for Enfield and finally to land in Milton Keynes on Thursday on the doorstep of a friend who had rice and chicken curry on the stove when I walked in!

Fueled by rice and curry, we went for a walk by The Grand Union Canal, which is perfectly situated just behind her home.

Come walk through me, it called. 

Aaahh... the Weeping Willows...

The Grand Union Canal

Pretty hedges on the way

I had to be very patient to get this photo of a bee on lavender

A pretty yellow rose for my mother. She would have loved the abundance of flowers in all colours of the rainbow 

They're really DUCKS. :-) Except for the swan and my walking companions of course

Can you see how I've slyly sneaked in yet another photo of my darling blackberries?

I was probably exhausted when I got into Milton Keynes (even after lovely Olney), but it really hit me on Friday after the visit to Daventry when I almost crumpled in a heap on her carpet. I was too tired to even go out to the shops that evening. That never happens to me. Never. Needless to say, I slept very well that night.

The next day after a leisurely dosa breakfast, we went to Grove Farm. It is a pick-your-own farm. Oh my... a pick-your-own farm. I didn't quite know what to expect when I was bundled into a jacket and red polka-dot wellies other than - Oh dear, this going to be a very wet and uncomfortable day out in the drizzle.

My thoughts proved to be SO wrong! I ended-up pulling out carrots and potatoes from the ground; cutting off courgettes from the stem; looking out for perfect cauliflowers and cabbages in a patch; making eyes at some not-yet-ready fruit; saw more blackberries, discovered that redcurrants look very pretty but are actually quite sour to eat and the best thing of all - picked so many raspberries! I know this is a bit of cheating, as you're not supposed to eat while you pick, but I will admit to popping a few (maybe more?) raspberries into my mouth as we picked.

This was perhaps one of the best experiences I've ever had in my entire life

Beetroot, courgette and courgette flowers... we looked and looked but couldn't find a marrow

I love thee oh redcurrant, even in all your sourness

Ladybird, oh ladybird

More blackberries and a view of the farm

Carrots galore, perfectly polka-dotted red wellies and some farm bunnies

This is the day I fell in LOVE with raspberries

Then on Sunday, after a night of prep by mummy, a mad dash to the shops (where I was introduced to Princess Sophia) and feasting on some delicious biryani, we had a Princess birthday party for one of the farm bunnies who turned 3. Look at the cake and cookies. All perfectly iced by mummy. What a lovely memory!

Cupcakes, cookies and hot chocolate for a Princess' breakfast plus a cake to match

Then - while this birthday party was still going strong - yours truly had to leave and head back to the hotel in Heathrow as my visit to England was drawing quickly to a close.

An excerpt from Milton

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

William Blake