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Blog 2 - Butterflies

It seems quite fitting that my second blog in Series Two should echo that of Series One, LA FARFALLA. That was set in Italy, where I flapped my arms to ease my apprehension on a chairlift high on Capri. Today’s experience is set in a very English scene, the New Forest with its ponies and foals roaming freely, and cows wandering on busy roads. One could almost imagine one was in India seeing these cows!

As you all know, I have a big collection of beautiful scarves and when I got to Blog 98, I thought I might buy just one more to end the series, rather like giving myself a reward for all that writing. It was not to be. I was limited in my shopping because of the pandemic, so I shared with you the scarves already in my collection for my final two blogs.

Last week, I told you how my magic carpet tricked me into thinking I had landed at Giverny and I was still in Wiltshire. The following day, my eldest daughter promised a surprise outing for me and my younger daughter with a special treat for each of us. All we knew was we were heading for the New Forest. I could not imagine what the treat would be......surely not a bicycle ride or heaven forbid, horse riding! We didn’t pack a picnic, so I guessed it might be a rare meal in a re-opened restaurant or pub. My treat was the first surprise. We parked in a small hamlet with a limited number of shops, a greengrocer, a butcher, a baker and can you believe it, a charity shop! This was indeed my special treat. My elder daughter does not approve of my treasure hunts so it was indeed very generous of her to arrange such a visit. She had ascertained the charity shop was open and likely to be well sanitised and safe. Only three people allowed in at a time, so we stood patiently outside until the shop was empty. I felt a shiver of excitement. The first rack inside the door contained scarves and there was this silk satin stunner within an arm’s length. Perfect in every way, soft pastel coloured peonies on a shell pink background with two butterflies hovering in one corner. Hems hand sewn to meet my high standards. I was delighted. I also bought a jigsaw puzzle of The Ramblas of Barcelona for my daughter (happy Spanish memories for another day there); was happy we had supported a local children’s hospice, and anticipated further delights.

Amazing how one can get excited about boxes of freshly picked local strawberries, gleaming and luscious, bunches of ill matched rhubarb sticks from a nearby garden and the smells of fresh baking from the bread shop. We resisted the latter, not knowing we would return later when there was a change of plans.

Treat for younger daughter was to a specialist tree, shrub and plant grower just outside the village. We had seen a spectacular Judas tree at the National Trust Garden the previous day, so her treat was finding a nice specimen for her country garden. Alas, it was disappointing, but understandable to find the garden centre’s old fashioned Robin Nest Cafe closed. I believe it got its name from robins nesting in the wooden cabin. So it was back to the village baker to buy pasties and yummy goodies. Whilst waiting for our pasties to be heated, we were treated to some of these luscious local strawberries dipped in white chocolate. What a generous freebie from the baker! We ate our unexpected picnic in the car sitting in the local car park. A little different from all the Italian delicacies we ate on the Amalfi coast which I associate with my other butterfly scarf, but an equal pleasure.

We then visited friends with a small holding, horses, chickens, aviary, fishpond, and a wonderful copse of fir trees. We collected huge fir cones and marvelled at Nature’s bounty. I found two tight cones which look as if they have been carved from solid wood, Nature’s sculptures.

I will treasure my new silk scarf and fir cones and yes, I have donated two of my un-featured scarves to the Cancer Research shop on my return to Richmond. Blog 3 of Series 1 featured a Liberty scarf. As I dropped off my donation, I noticed an expensive Liberty scarf in the window, but I walked resolutely away. Maybe, I could treat myself to one more scarf when I reach Week 50. My goodness, that’s nearly a year ahead!

For the moment, you may be inspired by my butterflies to take exactly fifteen minutes of your time between now and 9th August to join the Big Butterfly Count 2020 run by Butterfly Conservation supported by Countryfile, David Attenborough, Alan Titchmarsh and Joanna Lumley. I think we all have to stay in the moment, smell the flowers and count the butterflies!

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Series 2, Blog 2.

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