Wow.. it's rather hot out there today
My Mum drove to my house last night and arrived about 9:30pm. We chatted for an hour or so, and then headed to bed as today was Hampton Court Flower Show. We've been to Chelsea for the last 7 years or so and have been to Hampton Court once before, about 4 years ago. I suggested we go this year as I had a lot of holiday to use up and after an amazing day at Chelsea Flower Show in May, we thought Hampton would be just as nice.
I enjoy spending time with my Mum - We both love flowers and gardening so it's nice to share an interest. Also, I feel this is my way of showing her I'm grateful for all the things she did for me, when I was growing up and I know she sacrificed a lot. I think I've mentioned before, but my parents had quite a few daughters - Out of all of us, I was the only one who went to a private school as I passed the 'assisted place' exam and went to a different school to my sisters from the age of 11 to 18. Despite it being an assisted place, there were still fees and despite my parents still being married, my Father refused to pay a penny towards my school fees as he said 'If the local comprehensive was good enough for me, it's good enough for her'
Thing is - All the kids who bullied me mercilessly at primary school went to the local comprehensive and by going there, I would have been sentenced to at least another 5 years of utter, utter torture. So my Mother got a job as a cleaner and paid my school fees for the entire 7 years on her own. People always wonder if that created any jealousy between my sisters and I, however we've spoken about it and none of them seem resentful, even though we weren't close growing up, they also knew how badly I was bullied as a child.
So now I'm a 'grown up' and have a successful career, I think it's only right I treat my Mum - So I pay for everything: Tickets, travel, lunch.... She shouldn't have to put her hand in her pocket. I think she likes being spoilt and I like spoiling her :-)
After a pretty decent nights sleep, we got up and headed off - Unfortunately, I forgot to weigh myself :-( I'm a bit annoyed with myself to be honest, as I really wanted to know what I weighed at the end of June. However, looking at this long term, one day really won't make any difference at all, therefore I'm going to do that tomorrow morning and post the results, then! Breakfast was my usual porridge and we set off to Hampton Court by 8:00am..
The traffic.. Dear God, the traffic! Despite thinking we'd be there by 9:30, it took us over 2.5 hours! We didn't get there until about 10:30 and weren't actually at the Flower Show until 11:00. We were thinking of having a sit down, a nice cup of tea and waiting until the gates opened at 10:00, however as it was, we ran to the toilet and then grabbed a bottle of water as the heat was crazy.
The first thing we were struck by, was the fact that all the gardens seemed to be all over the place - some were on the left, some on the right - it was almost as if the trade stands had got the pick of where they wanted to pitch up, and the gardens took second stage. We wandered around for an hour or so, getting really hot and finally stumbled upon the gardens. I have to say, neither of us were that impressed. They seemed to lack vibrancy, energy - they just looked really, well, dull. I don't know if that was just a mismatched expectation, but I could tell my Mother wasn't that impressed either.
Lunch time came and the sun was beating down on us without a cloud in the sky - I'd been rubbing factor 50 into myself all morning so thankfully didn't get burnt. We headed over to the food vans and I was shocked that I couldn't seem to find anything that seemed remotely healthy - Loads of burgers, pulled pork wraps, cakes, sandwiches etc, however nothing, well... healthy? I'd almost given up looking and was going to stick to water and grab something once we were out of the Flower Show, when I found a small stand that sold ready made salads - Hurrah! That will do nicely :-) THEN... I found a van that did healthy wraps, falafels, veggie burgers, so if you are planning on going to Hampton Court - Don't worry, there are a few healthy things there.... You just need to know where to find them :-)
After a brief sit down and lunch under a lovely tree that provided us with some shade, we headed to the marquees as we thought it would be best to be out of the heat at lunch time. The flowers were stunning, however it was so hot and humid that we could only last a few minutes at a time - I also think that by Thursday, the poor flowers might be suffering somewhat so won't necessarily look their best.
By 1:00pm, both my Mother and I had had enough so we headed out of the Show and back to the car - Unlike the 2.5 hour journey it took to get there, it took a meagre 50 minutes to get back home. We had to open the car doors and wait for at least 5 minutes and the inside of my car was a Greenhouse! It was over 30 degrees - 32.5 degrees to be precise and wow, could we feel it. Thankfully the air con soon reduced the temperature, so we weren't sweating the entire way home. I'm now sat on my sofa, having hoovered my front room, straightened my hair for tomorrow (Interview!) and am watching the Tennis on BBC1. My Mother has headed back home, after a nice cup of tea and a brief sit down.
Tonight I'll be eating a wild Boar steak with some sweet potato mash and peas - It's been in my freezer for nearly a year and I'm still trying hard to waste less food so am currently going through my freezer and cupboards and seeing what I can find to use up. I'll also be reading through the job description and doing a little bit of 'prep' for my interview tomorrow - Fingers crossed :-)