As summer moves on I sometimes think the only thing's worth writing about is our travels to a foreign place. But now realise that its our lifestyle we've created over here that is unique, exciting and genuinely fabulous. Of course it has it has a few little challenges, but on the whole we continue to be unbelievably grateful for all that we get to see and do.
The people who cross our paths, from all walks of life, inspire and stimulate us to look a bit further and dig a bit deeper and stretch to try something new.
This lifestyle may not be for everyone but it sure is a whole lot more accessible to most of us than we realise.
Down in Hampshire we found ourselves in a glorious spot in the Test Valley. The River Test, well known for its fishing and arguably one of England's best, if you believe the locals, is quite a sight. Sadly you can't just wandered along the banks of it as every strip is bought and paid for, at quite a cost I might add, for the sole purpose of the sport. So being slap bang in the middle of the season we just admired it from the odd crossing, and David continued to dream about a days fishing while we found the old railway track. Stockbridge was our destination as we'd heard there was a great butcher - you wouldn't believe it Wednesday afternoon it closes!!!
But with the help of a delightful local ( and I have to say we have founds masses and masses of helpful locals around this country) we did discover a wonderful cafe so at least managed to refuel before the walk back.
The tracks that cross this beautiful countryside make it a pleasure to put the boots on, maps in the backpack, pick up the sticks and take the dogs for some glorious walks. Another wonderful reason to have dogs to take us out!
A few weeks around the St Albans area meant we got to know the place quite well and this is always a good time to catch up on all the
correspondence and the other jobs on the 'to do' list. A stunning garden to relax in and even enjoy that morning coffee or evening glass of wine on the terrace.
Then further north in the Cotswolds we could devour black berries by the ton as we walked the tracks. Always planning on taking containers full back to the kitchen and creating something rather delicious but every time ate so many while out walking that couldn't stand the thought of it.
But what a crop of blackberry's it has been - another reason to remember the glorious summer of 2013!! Even had a heated swimming pool up here and indulged in a luxurious dip before bedtime. Felt like we could have been in some warm tropical island resort!!
Enjoyed a wonderful trip down memory lane as we spent a balmy afternoon strolling through Windsor Park, caught an evening Polo match on Smiths Lawn and finished off with a Lime and Soda at the Fox and Hound Pub. Ah, so many great memories of this place and the years
spent in and around the area, especially for David. It was about this time of the year thirty three years ago, that we met right here on Smiths Lawn - and still loving life together!
Our delightful nephew Charlie, also treated us to a wonderful Sunday afternoon at Ham Club in Richmond. He's running a thriving coaching school, playing a number of competition games for his patron and also managing to have a fabulous time in the big smoke of London.