Wednesday, June 03, 2015


We've been away for a long weekend with the family, including my brother and his wife and daughter, to Harrogate in the north of England. It was very nice, though mildly exhausting. We had three apartments among us but congregated in one of them. It's always slightly hard to get ten people plus two small children a) deciding what to do and b) actually getting going. By the time a consensus has been reached, the men need to go to the loo again and the children have removed their shoes and socks. However, we had a trip to Harlow Carr Gardens, which are run by the Royal Horticultural Society and are beautiful. We went there in late summer last year so it was interesting to see them again in early summer (or late winter, according to what you'd think if you were judging by the weather).

Their alliums were spectacular. I have good alliums too but not in such enormous numbers.

They had some lovely Himalayan poppies too.

These aquilegias are a beautiful colour.

Another day we walked in the Valley Gardens. My mum was working in London for the Civil Service when World War 2 broke out so was still in London during the Blitz, which as you can imagine was pretty horrendous. Then there was an opportunity to apply for transfer to Harrogate, a pretty town much nearer Edinburgh (and her parents) and also, crucially, not being bombed. So she and her friend spent the last couple of war years there and Harrogate had a very special place in her affections. She used to talk a lot about the Valley Gardens, which are also very lovely.

I thought about her as we walked. How she would have loved to be with us and to see the babies.

Chaps were obligingly playing with remote control boats in the boating pond. This was quite entertaining. One of them let Grandson have a go, which was very kind of him. Niece held Granddaughter firmly in case she felt like a paddle.


  1. Lovely garden pics! Yes, large groups can be a bit hard to get started for the need a tour leader.

  2. What a delightful place to visit.....The gardens are so beautiful. I wish I could see more of them. And your grandchildren are always a joy.

  3. Ah yes group inertia. Quite frustrating especially with little ones I imagine. We haven't quite got to that stage. It would be vital not to do anything that needed to follow a strict timetable involving say, the last train back from somewhere.

  4. It sounds like a perfect weekend Pam. And your line about men going to the bathroom and children untying shoes made me laugh out loud - repeatedly. You're so funny! I always love it here -- you always remind me how precious life really is -- and I, too, sure wish your Mum could have been with you all. XO

  5. Anonymous3:09 pm

    After last year's frustration in the Dolomites when there were five of us I now refuse to holiday with anyone but my partner, five was three more than necessary.

    Darling pictures of the little ones and the gardens are pretty good too...