I started the day with a jolt. I was flat on my back, mouth wide open, shouting with snore, taking full advantage of the fact that Lou had gone to teach an early Sunday yoga class and left me with full bed use in the cat palace. She had brought me a coffee. She didn’t want it to go cold. She grabbed my toe. My toenails are ingrown. I WOKE UP.

Ten minutes later I was in the shop buying eggs. An hour later we were driving to Nymans full of said eggs.

Nymans is a National Trust property that I’ve driven past so many times on the way home that I was determined to find out more about it. Lou has access to some Trust membership cards. We got in. I’m sure they budget for that sort of thing.

It’s Mother’s Day. This time of year is always full of the memory of my mother Thérèse. She loved the spring, the daffodils, the end of the darkness. She also died at this season, long ago now. I think of her whenever I see the spring blossoms. Mother’s Day is frequently bittersweet.

Nymans was shocking with colour today. Huge magnolias in full spray, a host of golden daffodils, some other narcissi and snowdrops and all sorts of blossom and proud shock.

As far as recommendations go, I would never suggest you go to any National Trust garden on the first hot Sunday in Spring and doubly not if it’s a day with a name. There they all were with their mums, the families, tottering around the loaded paths, clouds of attendant children shrieking like hungry seagulls, soaking the new cut sunshine.

The gardens and the remains of the house are a beauty to behold through the crowds. They were the demesne of the artistic Messel family until a terrible fire ran rampant in 1947. Now the doors are flung open to the public, displaying the few items that could be salvaged from the flames. There are some striking portraits by one of the last scions of the Messels – Oliver – who fucked off to Barbados after the fire and painted the glamorous high society beauties. He was very active and generative. He was living very well and terribly well connected – his nephew married Princess Margaret. Theatre design and parties and oh how lovely yes of COURSE I can make that happen for you my darling.

Some of the gardens are closed “opening in Spring”. We took the liberty of hopping a fence or two arguing that it’s past the equinox, the clocks have changed, and Oliver would’ve done the same. On the other side of the string fences there was a bit more peace and quiet. Still we didn’t stay there long. Off to St George’s Inn to catch last orders for Sunday lunch and then home to the cat-palace. They can’t be left alone too long, these cats. They have to be attended and pampered pretty much constantly. Lou is the right person for the job, as she’s up so damned early. I’m just along for the ride and enjoying the high ceilings and cute things to stroke.

I’d be very happy with a little country estate. You’d be very welcome. We’d learn the local mushrooms, plant trees and likely make a mystical happy stage akin to The Willow Globe. All we need is the estate, and enough money to make absolutely sure we don’t go Grey Gables. For now though I’ll have to keep going and playing in the ones that are available to the public or owned by friends.

A very lovely Sunday. I’m feeling much more chilled. A proper actual weekend too, as I’m up first thing and right back into dayjoblandworld tomorrow. Ugh.

Time to stroke a cat a bit and pass out.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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