simon, tea, nancy mitford and the soothing sound of a ticking clock in the drawing room.

darlings

the last few hours in London are passing Most Pleasurably.

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meet simon. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

of the Very Intelligent narrowed eye expression. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and a great *lookofftocameraTwo* gaze. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a splendid slump and a purr when finished writing in his moleskine. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we made tea (simon demurred in favo(u)r of a small sip of water for himself)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and gazed out into the very nice garden. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thrilled to see some good friends. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

simon enjoyed bits of cold comfort farm being read out while he snoozed. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAseriously – if one HAD to travel all the way to South Africa (although it is a glamorous proposition, we’re Aware), there is Not a nicer way to spend the last few hours with a simon, tea, nancy mitford, stella gibbons and a ticking clock.

we’ve known a few simons in our time but this one has to be the absolute Best.

just saying.

ok.

so we’re about to leave.

don’t expect to hear from us until we LAND in Cape Town sometime around teatime on Friday.

mainly because we managed to break *sighs* the US-to-UK electrical adaptor which means we are r u n n i n g out of j u i c e as the Americans say and won’t be able to re-charge until we can plug in the (hopefully more sturdy) US-to-SouthAfrican electrical adaptor device.

travel does broaden the mind but sometimes threaten the intellect.

see you below the Equator*

*right, non?

Most Excited.

a garden preview with buds in bloom.

darlings

before we pop the kettle on to make a Pot of tea and then have a quick nap before our evening’s engagements…….we wanted to show you where we’ve just been.

but we are not Sure we can tell you where it Was.

we offered Picture Approval to the Head Gardener who gave us a delicious preview of a splendid Garden not yet open to the General Public (so Chic – and we had to carry a hard hat as well) and he airily said, “no need” but we forgot to say “can we say where we were?” and so we’re going to Keep Quiet about where-we-were but if He wants to pop a little comment in the comment-field (hint) to say it’s Quite OK to do so – we’d love that.

UPDATE: he said yes (see comments) – we were Here!

for now – flowers – flowers – blooms – trees – leaves – sunlight kisses on Live oak trees and  sunbeams on swift and vocal hummingbirds and one delicious Drowsy Bee nourishing itself inside a fully flourishing floral delight.

after the garden pictures, we have provided a helpful (or what we Hope is helpful) link to Vita Sackville-West’s Gardening Diaries from the late 1940s to early 1950s – just to add contrast and depth and because we were so overawed by the beauteous garden that we don’t quite know what to say that would be better (plus you May recall that we Share a birthday with Vita in RL…….just saying…..).

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firstly – the bounty from the Farmers’ Market – aren’t those creamy-white roses so Terribly Syrie Maugham?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

then we drove (not far) across town for Brunch and spent a few moments in reverie in the back garden by the water feature and leaned down to nuzzle with……OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the most delicious golden (in Southern California). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

who nestled down by the elegant and pretty Raffish brown leather couch as we all had brunch and talked at the sunny table nearby before piling into a large motor vehicle and being driven to where-we-cannot-say.

Voila!

the garden (in Preview mode).  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as promised – a drowsy bee sipping (does a bee sip?) pollen. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and now for Vita: 

books

we must remember, of course, that February in England in those days (and now, we hear) was Very cold and the plants would be grasping different soil and probably hibernating waiting for signs of Spring.

and now to Nap with newly-minted memories of gardens in preview and dreams-of-gardens we may plant ourselves (or get a lot of help with from People who Know) in the Future.

*softYawn*

did you have a nap?

it’s always a good idea on a sunday, especially when one has been In The Garden, darlings.

medical leave day 19: a walk in the park and GB flies in from the Other Coast

a delicious day.

we took it very slow. and things are getting easier. most noticeably because we are getting out a little – a little further each day too.

we took a stroll across washington square park (On Our Own!) and rested a lot (tis strange how long it takes to get anywhere when one has to rest at highly frequent intervals but we did manage it).

mC came to meet us at NYU where we spent some time with friends. while we waited for her we sat here on this window seat and read a while.

this was the view out of the window from that lovely spot. a rare sight – a back garden in manhattan.

then – back chez nous – Another Parcel (we Adore a Parcel)! some more delicious sunday supplements from the English newspapers courtesy of our splendid friends @ilicco and @kate_day. so kind. especially good to ward off any potential blues on the horizon. one cannot be sad with the british telly reviews of Downtown Abbey, darlings.

GB arrived! now GB is our Most Traveled (American, so we are only using this spelling) Friend. he flew in from the Other Coast to come and stay and cheer us up for a couple of days.

and he brought us a present From JAPAN (we are So Lucky to have all these lovely friends bringing and sending delicious gifts – we are truly grateful in our time of confinement)