We left my brother and sister-in-law's house in Epsom to spend the weekend with Daughter 2 in Walthamstow and then returned with her to Epsom on the Sunday evening. On Monday we all went to Nymans, another National Trust garden which I've wanted to visit for a while (ever since we went to the Linley Sambourne House in London, also recommended, and discovered the connection - Linley Sambourne's daughter married into the family that owned Nymans). The house has a slightly complicated history: it was majorly remodelled twice to suit different generations' tastes and then almost completely burned down in 1947.
This bit remains undamaged but the rest, sadly, is a shell.
But the gardens are very lovely, as are this dogwood and Daughter 2.
It seems to be the year of the carved bench.
Then on the Tuesday, we all went to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and saw Monty Don and Joe Swift (tv gardening presenters) and of course had to take their photo, like other people in the crowd, though this is very silly really, especially since our friend George is the Scottish equivalent and we don't feel especially star-struck in his presence. But, you know. Monty Don! The poor things chatted away for the tv camera just as if fifty elderly ladies weren't waving mobile phones above other people's heads.
The flowers were also very fine.
On Wednesday, back in Walthamstow, Daughter 2 went to work and we visited the Royal Academy to see the David Hockney portraits exhibition, which we enjoyed (though they seemed a bit rough and ready to us, but maybe that was the point - there were 82 of them and anyway, we're no experts).
Then we went to the Summer Exhibition. I have no idea why anyone would buy this orange picture - can't remember what it cost - or pay £30,000 for an entirely white canvas.
Or this one, by the Boyle family, which costs £96,000. There are no doubt subtleties which elude me.
Then we came home and found that some time during the eight days we'd been away, the fridge had packed up. Luckily there wasn't all that much in it, and even more luckily it wasn't the freezer, which is of a similar, extremely aged, vintage. We have now ordered new versions of both, which arrive on Monday. Meanwhile, we're fridgeless and it's warm. However, this is a first world problem and we'll survive.
So that was all very lovely (except that we had to leave Daughter 2 behind; and the dead fridge problem). And now we're home. And getting slightly impatient to meet our new granddaughter, due to enter the world at the end of the month. I hope the world gets itself a bit more sorted out soon.