The magic carpet has had a week of furlough after one hundred days of daily duty. It is now in commission again on a once a week basis. I wondered where we might go on our first adventure. There were a few hiccoughs to get through first, not the least being another hospital visit for an eye injection. A daughter and son in law came to the rescue with transport and all was well with the jab. The following day I was whisked off for a few days R&R in Wiltshire. I don’t know about the Rest bit...I’ve been on the go a lot.....Recreation on arrival was my supposed role as the visiting celebrity to present the prizes at Sports Day..... there were only two contestants aged seven and two, my great grandsons, who had made the Olympic torch and their own trophies, paper cups covered with tinfoil and run their races in the back garden. It was quite a solemn ceremony with a handshake and a congratulatory handing out of the cups. Next morning I turned up again when the eldest was sitting at his home schooling desk working out three quarters of fifty-six with his mother as teacher. Yesterday’s celebrity was now amazingly the School Inspector, making sure school hours were being observed by all in the household. I had better turn up as Great-Granny Busy Bee next time, lest they forget my true identity!
In the meantime, my flying carpet was restless wondering if we were really going off to Giverny this week. I know the water lilies are blooming now. I had better go for the French look so I packed my Louis Féraud scarf, my dark glasses and wondered how Brigitte Bardot is looking these days. Rather wrinkly like me, I expect! I mention her as Louis Féraud dressed Bardot in most of her films, after she first appeared in his little white dress in the Sixties. Féraud was a painter at heart influenced by Van Gogh, turned designer who was decorated as Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, won the prestigious Golden Thimble Award twice in 1978 and 1984 and in 1991 became Prince de l’Art de Vivre. What personal success this Frenchman had with his fashion designs, building an international business with a daughter following after him as a designer. Alas, he died with Alzheimer’s and the group passed from being a French set up to Dutch ownership and then to the giant German Escada company.
So here I am wearing my Louis Feraud geometric design silk scarf in purple, turquoise and beige with dangling matching earrings and we are off to see the water lilies. I don’t expect to see Brigitte Bardot. Her passion is animals rather than gardens. The journey on the magic carpet was quite smooth, but what is this? We landed at the garden but there is no mention of Monet, the few people around are all speaking English; there is the lake, the water lilies, the white bridge, it is one of the most beautiful gardens I have seen, but is it Giverny? I was admiring a stunning Judas tree, the Cercis Siliquastrum with its purple pods echoing the colour of my Feraud scarf when I overheard someone say she had never seen the National Trust garden at Holt look so beautiful. National Trust? Holt? That magic carpet had tricked me with a short Wiltshire journey instead of crossing the English Channel. Did I hear it mutter....who do you think you are posing as some kind of celebrity doling out the prizes of Maltesers and Chocolate Buttons at Sports Day and then next day as the School Inspector? If you can do that, just imagine this English garden is Giverny. You’ve seen your water lilies, and did you know what was three-quarters of fifty-six when you were seven?
I hope It will be more trustworthy next week when I write Blog 2 in this series.
Ps. At the end of the day, it seemed appropriate to experiment with a new gin and tonic to match my purple scarf. A little weird.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Blog 1, Series 2.