Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Moments with Sara Pt.1

How can a week pass by so quickly! Sara from Southern California and her husband CT have 'been and gone' already. Sara was a delight to meet and I know we have made a life long friendship. I did take some photographs but not as many as usual (more on Sara's blog eventually of course). Photographs were a lesser priority to spending time talking and sharing our lives and getting to know each other better and taking into account that we may never meet again in the flesh.

My first photograph at the airport was so blurred I had to delete it. Not easy to take an indoor photo without my tripod when my hands were shaking with excitement. I recognised Sara and her husband way back in the hall before they even came through the gate. The photographs that I did take I will share over a few posts.

This is the day we visited Chartwell, the country home of Sir Winston Churchill. (For new visitors you can see much more on Chartwell by clicking on 'National Trust' on the right hand sidebar).

Sara was able to experience some real rain which she loved. It was so wet that we were given plastic sleeves to put our umbrellas into before we could enter the house. Walking through the orchards and gardens was a real battle against the wind and almost horizontal rain. A great contrast to the hot and sunny weather we experienced from then onwards.

We parked the car alongside these beautiful meadows full of wild Buttercups slightly shrouded in the rain and mist.

And here she is - Sara assuring me that she was loving the experience of the heavy rain that she rarely saw in Southern California.

Any ideas - this bucket looking thing high up in the tree? With tongue in cheek Alan decided it was a portable loo for tree climbers!

Winston's swimming pool

This particular day had many facets of an average day out in England for Sara to experience. We were delayed on our outward journey through heavy congestion on the motorway waiting to cross the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the Thames. Having got so thoroughly wet we decided to not eat at Chartwell but make our way back to the other side of the river to eat. Again we were held up in congested traffic waiting to cross back to the north side of the Thames through the tunnels.

We decided to eat at The Bell Inn in Horndon-on-the-Hill. This pub has a great chef and has won awards for the food. We arrived at 2.0 pm only to find that they stopped serving lunchtime food at 1.45 pm. As we took Sara and CT inside to look around and use their facilities our nostrils were bombarded with delicious aromas that sadly we were unable to partake of.
Worth clicking on the link to read the history of this Inn which dates back to 1445 and see photographs.

Sorry about the quality of the picture (I should carry my tripod for indoor photos) but one of the interesting things about this pub is the fact that every year for the last 100 years an Easter Hot Cross Bun has been preserved and hung amongst the rafters.

Disappointment over we drove to a Harvester chain on the way home and did have a meal that we all enjoyed.


Melanie said...

What beautiful gardens Barbara and how special that you were able to share them with a blog friend. Did you listen to the Radio 7 broadcast of the Churchill's letters to one another? Very touching.

Elizabeth said...

This is so thrilling for me to see!
So glad Sara is enjoying the visit --rain and all.
Loved Winston's swimming pool.

Where is the restaurant at Horndon -on the Hill?
I only know the HalfWay House and the little church there near the Arterial Road.

JC said...

I think it's great that you got to meet a fellow blogger.

Nice photos too ...

Susan said...

How fun and exciting for the two of you!!! What beautiful scenery there were blessed to see.

Queenmothermamaw said...

That was a dream come true for both of you. The pictures of the grounds are great. I love the Churchill story. I am a history lover.

Betty said...

I'm so happy that you and Sara were able to meet face to face...but time just flies by...our visit with Marion and John was like a vapor, the two weeks were gone in the blink of an eye...but the memories last as long as we live...

I enjoyed the Churchill visit...I wrote a report on him as a student in school and I still remember parts of it....


a woman who is said...

She looked pretty happy to me, rain and all. Who wouldn't be. I am mostly jealous of the two of you visiting over cups of hot steaming tea :)

Deanna said...

Thank you for sharing with us your pics of your visit with Sara.

How wonderful to get to see the sights.

I'm enjoying your blog.
Blessings to you from Kansas,

Mike said...

Nice tour, somewhere I have yet to visit, and imagine loving the rain!

Jeanne said...

Much love and many blessings

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Barbara, this looks like a beautiful tour. What gorgeous grounds. Sara looks so happy and I know you were a wonderful hostess. Isn't it fun to meet bloggy friends. I'm glad you got to share some time. I wish I could have been there. Maybe someday.

Willow said...

Lovely photos! I'm so glad you and Sara were able to spend so much time enjoying each other's company and friendship.

Knitting Mania said...

Sounds like your visit with Sara was wonderful. And believe it when she said she was enjoying the rain and cooler weather. It's been so hot down here. Yuk!!!

We are on the road heading for Montana and looking forward to the rain and cool temps. ourselves. And then to sister's for a short visit, (we can't wait to meet baby Avey), then to OR for our nieces high school graduation. A fast and short trip, but we are so excited to check on the house and see our families!

God's Good!

Paula said...

wow, what a fun day. I love the pic of the big tree and fence. What are the flowers that are behind Sara in the pic? I was thinking at first maybe Wisteria, but then later thought maybe it was a rhododendrom.

Tea Time With Melody said...

Shoot! I missed being a stowaway lol. Looks like you all had a great time, can't wait to see more pictures. I love the gardens here the colors are so vibrant especially in the rain.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Portable loo...giggle.

Your picture of Sara's smile says it all! I know Sara, and that smile. She is having a fabulous time!