In the countryside, people are different: Quite a lot of them smile because they have got a weird concept called 'happy'. Generally caused by the fact they have just dug up a bloody huge turnip and had it for their dinner (with a carrot as a side). Or maybe they milked a cow quick enough to hear a full episode of 'The Archers'.
Either way, instead of watching international football on 50" TV screens, the past-time of wont amongst the country folk of Oxfordshire tends to be community gatherings.
And just last Sunday a garden 'open day' was organised in Beckley, a village close to where I live. The 'open day' bit basically means that lots of Beckley residents open their gardens to other members of the community to look round, and they also do things like serve ice-cream and tea to visitors.
One thing I did notice was that there were lots of older people there. Maybe a gardening gene kicks in when you get to a certain age. Or maybe you realise that when you get to 50 plus, a bit of light mulching hurts less than playing a game of beach volleyball wearing skimpy skids. Either way, I decided to get into the spirit of things and take Izzy to the event.
And because I am like Mother Theresa, but with less facial hair, I have got some photographs for you. I was a bit annoyed with myself because I forgot to take my Canon S95 camera (surely I should be getting commission by now), and so had to use the camera on my iPhone which is rubbish in comparison. The photographs are nowhere near as vibrant.
Here goes .......................
Pic.No.1 This is an 'open garden' in Beckley. It involves lots of old people discussing planting configurations, i.e. it's the old people's equivalent of a pub crawl
Pic.No.2 Here are some pink flowers mixed with some white flowers. I wish my garden looked like that. Instead, after two years of concerted effort, it can still only be described as scrubland
Pic.No.3 As luck would have it, I was just about to inspect my second garden when I bumped into a chum called Denise. Izzy is bessie mates with her daughter, whom I shall refer to as Sprog A from herein onwards
Pic.No.4 Izzy and Sprog A seem to be taking a leaf from my book, and found the path of least resistance whilst visiting one of the gardens. Don't do that - you'll get lardy!
Pic.No.5 One of the gardents had a gorgeous courtyard eating area snuggled into a walled garden
Pic.No.6 This was the Manor House of the village. It's where the big cheese would have lived centuries ago
Pic.No.7 And the Lord of the manor would have been able to watch his peasants working the land from his window. In this picture is a 'Ha Ha' it is basically a big ditch that is dug through a field to stop the animals getting in the garden, but doesn't interrupt the view
Pic.No.8 Oh look. I bet you didn't except this - another garden. This time with a bloody great willow tree in it
Pic.No.9 Izzy and Sprog A hiding amongst the branches of the willow whilst eating an ice-cream that was whipped up by one of the villagers in her garden. 50p each. Bargain
Pic.No.10 This house had a large conservatory looking out over the unspoilt views. But hark, what is that on the patio? It looks like a large brown penis
Pic.No.11 Izzy and Sprog A under an archetypal country arch with roses growing over it. It's more English than a cup of tea
Pic.No.12 A fine selection of Spring flowers
Pic.No.13 This was a small courtyard behind one of the houses. I didn't nick anything
Pic.No.14 It was fair to say that Izzy and Sprog A got gardened-out pretty quickly. They cheered up a bit when we arrived at a garden with a swing and then proceeded to fight over who's turn it was
Pic.No.15 This is the village church. It's older than that tin of spam in my cupboard
And so dahlink, that was a day in village life. Two observations: (1) there weren't enough picture of ME in this post; and (2) although it was nice looking round people's gardens, there weren't many tellies being thrown out of windows, or roll royce's being driven into swimming pools. The most rad thing going on was some old dear crocheting a tea cosy.
Not only that, but I was outed as townie. It started off with me pointing at a flowery thing and shouting "that blue one's nice."
"Oh yes dear, the Lavifolia Iridaceae really are iridescent aren't they?" said the garden's posh owner, who, unbeknownst to me was standing right behind.
Time to swot up on my floras and fauna's me thinks. So far I have learnt about 'roses' and 'daisies'.
How is your weekend going and what are you up to?