Granny stuff – and spring has sprung

Was on Granny duty most of last week – hard work as ever. Battleaxe feels really tired. The week before I had a trip to London – met old friend Diana, then Philosopher came up and we went to some exhibitions the day after. Weather has been fabulous – pretty flowers in the garden.

Yellow tulips….

    So, what did Granny get up to?  We took GD riding at Fairlight Hall again – the woods were beautiful, and so peaceful. Here is a pond with lovely reflections. The water was heaving with tadpoles – provided inspiration for a poem I am working on. Remind me to tell you about transformations, transitions etc on another occasion… Here, also, is the riding menage. It is hard to tell if GD enjoys the riding, but she says she wants to go again, so we must assume it is OK.

Lovely reflections in the pond

       According to her mother, GD is very stressed at the moment at the prospect of doing GCSE’s in a few weeks, and she has also apparently been bullied at school. That is not good at all – can the school not do more to protect vulnerable children? It has been tackled, but should never have happened in the first place.  Anyway, the result of all that was that she was very quiet and withdrawn – spent much time in her room doing her own thing – but then I suppose most young persons of her age do that.  I hope she will feel better when school is out of the way. It is not yet certain what she will do next year – Birmingham has cut specialist provision for young people like GD, and the college her parents want her to go to has only limited places.
    The next day we took her up to Beachy Head, which she always enjoys. I think she appreciates the space, and the silence… We had a slightly breezy picnic, and as Philosopher’s hip is not good for walking right now, her and me went down the steepest possible slope and walked down to Eastbourne – met Philosopher down there with the car. The skylarks were singing their heads off – must have had nests on the ground near where we were walking.

Walking down to Eastbourne – there is Hastings in the distance

    Next day, we went for a very long walk indeed in the Country Park, with lunch in the Coastguards Tearoom – what an excellent place that is. The food is excellent, and very cheap. They do fantastic home-made soup. GD ate an exotic combination of chicken and mozzarella panini with added crisps, gherkins and coleslaw.  She likes strange food mixtures – her breakfast the next day was a strawberry jam and Bombay mix sandwich….

The Country Park – slightly misty
Bright gorse
May blossom

    Had the most terrible journey up to Birmingham on Thursday – I suppose it was the day before Good Friday but you would not believe the traffic… we left Hastings at 11.15 and did not arrive in Brum until 6pm!  We could not go on the M25 at all – it was just solid – no accidents, just congestion, and of course by the time we got up to the M40 and M42 it was rush hour… GD was quiet in the car – mostly reading an Argos catalogue. When I was at work, I used to be very partial to an Argos catalogue myself – ideal for wasting time…..
    Here are a few photos from our London trip. Just a random selection.

Late afternoon near Tower Bridge
Water at Somerset House
A London Plane comes into leaf – Cleopatra’s Needle in the background
Blossom of the Foxglove Tree
Shard beyond the cherry trees

    And finally, here are some photos from the garden. How vibrant the colours are. But it is so dry….

Amazing orange tulips
Dicentra – Bleeding Heart. One of my favourites
A new blue clematis


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