3 children entering the garden through a walled entrance

I’ve been itching to get out and about and visit another National Trust Property after we visited Packwood House four months ago. The place I had in mind was Hanbury Hall in Worcester. It is only half an hour’s drive away for us so it was frustrating that I’d had to wait so long. I think this is why I got impulsive and went from being in my pjs at noon, to having the kids dressed fed and on our way just over an hour later.

Hanbury Hall was built by Thomas Vernon, a highly successful London lawyer, in 1710. The building is English Baroque but not like the styling of those that were built by the upper classes that had inherited their wealth. Vernon was one of the new emerging ‘red brick gentry’ who had gained his wealth by earnings. He commissioned James Thornhill to paint the walls and ceiling of his new country home with lavish mythological scenes.

The gardens were designed by royal gardener  George London, thoroughly structured and rigorously preened. The orangery, walled garden, orchard and mushroom house where later added to retain sustainability.

We started our visit in the gardens, starting at the sunken parterre which is beautiful in its symmetry of plants and flowers.

a sunken garden full of greenery and flowers

We moved on to the orchard and the kid’s investigated the snob’s tunnel. Then we made our way into the walled garden which was full of fruit and vegetables. They even had a trolley load for sale and we came away with a nice selection of herbs and a few chillies.

The Orangery and Mushroom house was next. Outside the orangery there were lemon and lime trees and the most gorgeous Chrysanthemums. The kids were astounded at how dark the mushroom house was, thank goodness we had torches on our mobile phones, a candle would have been nicer though.

orange crysanthemums

We made our way back to the house for a look around. I could mooch around downstairs but the sweeping staircase was too much for me so the others had to go on without me. I didn’t mind too much though, it was really nice downstairs, and I could spend a while admiring the paintings which depicted the story of Achilles.

There was lots more to explore but as we had left it so late it was getting near to closing time so we had to call it a day. I’d be happy to go back again some day though.

I’ve put all my photos together in a little video.

Our day out at Hanbury Hall National Trust Property in Worcester
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Country Kids

beautiful summer flowers in the park
photo curtesy of hubby G.

I woke up this morning in a bad mood.
Since I got sick, in the dreams that I remember I have always been walking. In my dreams I have not been sick, I’ve just been me.  Last night I was not walking in my dreams. Last night gave me a dream in which I was disabled. It was like my subconscious has finally caught up with the reality that I am disabled and I’m not going to get better.

When I woke I was upset and angry, even my dreams were disrupted now as well as my real life.

Then I realised something.
Yesterday we had decided on a day out today. We had decided where to go, and I’d got everything ready for an earlyish start. Everything but my power chair. I had not charged it since our last outing for Star’s birthday last week and the battery was really low. We do keep it in the boot of the car for ease, but we know it has to be charged after every use, even if I only use it for a short while.

So, I guess that’s what my subconscious was trying to tell me, we were not going anywhere because we’d forgotten about my wheelchair.

I do have a manual wheelchair but to be honest I’m not that keen especially when the kids are with us. I like hubby to be able to look after them and me to look after myself. Also, because of my condition I do find being out in my wheelchair very uncomfortable and if I’m being pushed then my hubby feels guilty. At least if I’m in control then no-one needs to feel guilty about every bump.

We got the wheelchair in to charge but I didn’t want to use it until it was fully charged and by that time it was too late to go out…or was it.

We had resigned to stay in but it was such a lovely sunny day, yes, August Bank Holiday was hot and sunny, what a surprise! So we decided to go to the park.

We tumbled into the car with my manual wheelchair, at the park I could look after myself, and off we went. Arriving just five minutes later we parked up and got out. Then hubby realised he’d forgotten the footrests for my chair! He wanted to go back home but I said if we did we’d go back then it was to stay. (I told you I was in a bad mood!) Then I got my walking sticks and declared that today was a nice day for a walk.

I walked into the park and found a bench to sit on while the kids ran around. It was probably about 15 metres from the car which is a huge amount for me to walk outside but I was determined to do it. I rested for about twenty minutes then we went into the shop for ice-creams. That was another 5 metres I walked. We sat on a bench outside the shop to eat our ice creams and I decided that today was not turning out too bad after all. (Even though I’d forgotten my phone and couldn’t take any photos of the lovely flowers.) Then I walked all the way back to the car.

On the way home I made hubby stop at the garage so he could get me some cash from the cash point. There was a queue to get in the garage so I grabbed my sticks and got out and walked to the cash point myself. I even had a walk in the shop!

I don’t know whether it was the dream, or the shear frustration of being immobile and so dependant on my wheelchair, but I did a lot of walking today. In total, probably no more than the distance of three double decker buses with rests in between each one, but for me, a huge challenge that I took with pride.

I woke up in a bad mood today.
Tonight, I’m sitting here with my feet elevated, the pain feels like chilblains all along my legs and my ankles are swollen like balloons. I’m totally shattered and longing for my bed and I’m wondering if I’ll be able to walk in my dreams again.

Tomorrow we are going out for the day. I will be taking my power chair which is now fully charged.
I will wake up in a good mood.

My Random Musings

Lucy At Home

silhouette of two children in a dark tunnel

For this week’s Sunday photo I’ve chosen another one from our visit to Hanbury Hall.
This is two of my children in the snob’s tunnel. I wasn’t sure what a snobs tunnel was so I looked it up. Apparently, it was so the gentry of the household could sit and enjoy the garden without having to see the servants running back and forth from the vegetable garden to kitchen. Now, you wouldn’t want a maid to spoil your lovely garden view, would you! Snobs indeed. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the pleasure of going through the tunnel myself, maybe I’m a snob, or maybe it was just a bit too wet and muddy for my wheelchair. I’ll let you decide.

(Disclosure; This photo was taken by my hubby not me.)

I pin My Sunday Photo pics I visit on my Pinterest Board. Please let me know if you wish your photo to be removed.


Sunday Snap

It’s been a funny week with such a mixture of things happening.
I had to visit the GP because of my swollen ankles, they’ve hurt so much I’ve barely been able to stand this week. He thinks I may have poor circulation so I now have to have an ECG and blood tests.

On Tuesday I was in the kitchen clearing up after lunch when I heard a crash. The kitchen is at the front of the house and looking out the window I could see a big red van in a weird position outside. I thought he may have hit my car which was parked on the pavement outside my home. Thinking quick (unusual for me) I wrote down his registration number before making my way into the living room where Graham was vacuuming the carpet (that’s why I didn’t just shout him.) Graham immediately ran outside but the red van was driving off. He had hit my car and done a fair amount of damage. It’s lucky I got his number because my insurance are able to claim off his insurance which means I don’t have to pay the excess, which would have added insult to injury.

But it’s not all been bad because on Thursday it was Star’s 12th birthday. No, party though, we have a tradition that has been going for four years now. We go to Pizza Hut in town, and then visit toy shops to spend her birthday money. To make it more special we make a point of not visiting Pizza Hut at any other time in the year.

Star had a lovely day with some lovely presents.  I can’t believe she’s grown up so quickly, she’s so big too, I reckon she’ll soon be taller than me and I’m not short.

Star’s birthday also marks the end of birthday season…yes, I have four kids all with birthdays in the six weeks over the summer. My first born arrived in January! The only birthday left this year is mine!

Here’s her birthday cake. I’m happy with the Raichu but the icing on the cake is not up to my usual standards. Star was happy with it though and that’s what counts. Plus it tasted yummy!

What word sums up your week? Come and see what everyone else has been up to this week.

The Reading Residence

Your garden can be a peaceful place full of plants and wildlife, and there’s no better way to enjoy the last bit of summer than to get outside in the fresh air. However, if you’ve got kids (little, or grown-up); the garden can provide hours of entertainment and fun. Therefore, it’s worth investing some time and effort in providing an outside space that the whole family can utilise and enjoy; whatever the activity. The following are some ideas for those who want to give their garden a boost and encourage everyone to spend more time outdoors.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/garden-7283/

The Food

Eating al fresco is always a welcome treat and can encourage even the most garden-phobic off the sofa and into the fresh air. Therefore. It’s worth investing in a few items that will make your outdoor meals a delight (whatever the weather). You can start with a classic BBQ; they’re not just for summer and can add that scrumptious, char-grilled flavour to an array of food all year round. Provide adequate shelter, with a canopy or covered patio area, add a patio heater, and start throwing some treats on the hot coals.

You can see the summer out in style with a family get-together; ensure everyone brings something tasty for the barbecue and perhaps a side dish. Or, wait for autumn to set in, before inviting everyone over for bonfire night; get some sparklers in mittened hands and pop some sausages on the BBQ to sizzle away. Your patio heater will provide warmth to the guests, and you’ll all be filling up with tasty barbecued delights. Quality outdoor furniture is also a smart investment, so everyone can be comfortable as they eat.

The Fun

It’s always fun to watch the kids playing in the garden, and perhaps join in yourself, so it’s worth thinking about how you can make your under-used lawn area a great place to hang out. Consider adding a goal net and a football for those who want a kick-about, or you could check out what trampolines are on the market and bring one into your garden for hours of bouncy fun. Fill the shed up with garden games like giant Jenga, bats and balls, and Twister, so that there’s always something to pull out on a good-weather weekend.

For a fun and simple garden game; water sprinklers can be enjoyed by kids (and dogs) during the last few weeks of summer (or during the colder months if you’re feeling brave). Get towels and warm drinks at the ready, switch the hosepipe on and enjoy the giggles and screams.

The Relaxation

You’ll want to chill out after all that food and fun; add a few seating areas to your garden space and add softness with outdoor cushions and throws (you can bring these out from inside). Lie on the lounger in the sun, or sit with a mug of tea on a bench and just breathe in the fresh air and relax in nature. Your garden space should have something for everyone and can be enjoyed all year round, so don’t forget it and get outside!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.