Wednesday, June 09, 2010

So. About our Last Two Days in England --

 Our final billet in England was right beside Kew Gardens, so of course we spent a day there. That was the second day, though. On the first day, we had lots of other things to do.

First, we wandered through the Walled Garden at Sunbury and went into the Embroidery Gallery to admire the beautiful Sunbury-on-Thames Millennium Tapestry. The Walled Garden apparently started life as the vegetable garden for a house that no longer exists. Now it is a charming place to wander or to sit on a marble bench

and admire the plantings. One of our guides (a friend of our friend) was a long-time resident of the area. She was able to point out familiar figures in the tapestry and reminisce about when Queen Elizabeth came to visit, which brought the whole thing to life for me.
Then it was time for the garden party. (Raise your pinkies, everybody!) Actually, it was a public garden party, so even the likes of us were allowed to attend. The party is an annual event to raise funds for the Princess Alice Hospice. It was held on the grounds of Monksbridge, an eighteenth century house on Thames Street. (The link I've provided takes you to the representation of Monksbridge on the Millennium Tapestry).

There were craft booths and champagne stands and balloon races -- though nobody seemed to know where the balloons were racing to, or how anyone would know who had won!

 I sat beside the Thames and communed with the local wildlife. I had forgotten about wagtails. They are charming little birds, and aptly named.

After the garden party, I figured we would be heading home, but our new friend called her husband, who motored up in their boat, picked us all up, and took us for a little cruise up the Thames. We sailed happily along, drinking tea, eating chocolate cake. While the gentlemen manned the tiller and discussed manly subjects, the ladies sat at the stern and talked about the long-time affair that Edward VIII allegedly carried on with Freda Dudley-Ward, the (then) lady of the house at Monksbridge, before he met Wallis Simpson. We also competed for the attentions of the Affenpinscher who belonged to our friends-of-a-friend. He moved from one lady to the next, sharing his affections with all of us, equally. Smart little dog, that one.

After our Thames adventures,
we walked back to the car and drove home. That's when I spotted this road sign. Robin saw it and said "It's not really a zebra. It's just a camel with stripes." I tell you, those English.

Anyway, that's enough for one day. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Kew.


willow said...

Fun! My pinky's up!

AngelMay said...

I love the garden. I love orderly, neat things. (Not that I am always orderly and neat... but still... )

Sandra Leigh said...

Good for you, Willow!

Angel May, I feel the same way -- but I'm never orderly and neat. Maybe that's why I love these gardens so much -- because I can come and admire them without actually having to put in the work. Sigh. My mother said I should have been born a princess. ;>)