I wondered if a special scarf would find me for this last blog in Series 2. The magic carpet may have done some night trips unknown to me, but no new treasures were found. I actually had one last HERMES in my home, not a ladies’ foulard, but a gentleman’s silk Ascot cravatte. I had never thought of wearing it myself, but had kept it for sentimental reasons as it belonged to my late husband. No doubt it was bought at the same time I was treated to all these silk squares from either Paris or Nice where he worked in the Sixties/Seventies. We would spend weekends in Thorenc in the Alpes-Maritime and men wore these neckties with an open neck shirt at the Country Club there. It’s a nice reminder of long lazy lunches. I associate it with lavender and mountain flowers, although the Hermes design is more exotic with what looks like passionflowers. I have photographed it by the garden fishpond in my Remembrance Corner.
For my final blog as busybeehazell…..and I do have future plans…..more of that later….I want to tell you about an uplifting experience I had a week ago. I decided to go on my own to visit the re-opened Marble Hill House which has been restored to its former Georgian beauty. It’s a Palladian villa built by Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, a former Lady at Court and mistress of King George II, a woman of letters and friend of the famous writers of the period. I hopped on a bus for three stops and was transported to life in another elegant era.
There was the choice of transport over the park with two big workhorses and open carriage. Tempting, but the sun was shining and I enjoyed the walk on grass under shady trees. A cricket match was taking place, families picnicking and various entertainments laid on for children, a warm day and not too many restricting face masks in sight! I suppose I am a romantic, but I love to visit these old places and imagine what life was like in bygone days. After spending a long time admiring the symmetry of Palladian design, hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, portraits, blue and white pottery, and struggling up a grand staircase to the first floor, then a narrow winding one to the second, I treated myself to afternoon tea in what was the old stable block. I threw caution to the wind about possible early diabetes, and thoroughly enjoyed a big slice of poppyseed cake topped with yummy orange butter cream!
Should I mention I had two tiny tasters of honey mead and ginger wine? I passed on the offer of nettle wine. I was pleased to find a birthday card in the English Heritage shop in the house with a sketch of a bee, made of recycled paper and impregnated with wild flower seeds. What does one do with a pile of cards after a birthday? This one can be soaked in water for so many hours, then planted in soil……and hopefully there will be the surprise of wild flowers later. I look at my silk necktie and remember the south of France.
My walk to the bus stop was somewhat slow and even slower as I picked my way down Water Lane towards the river and home. Imagine my surprise to be offered a small glass vase containing a pretty flower arrangement by a complete stranger! I accepted graciously and tottered on. Second surprise was to see a second lady coming up the Lane carrying an identical vase and posy. Now it was my turn to accost her. Her name was Rosemary and she was carrying her flowers back to Wimbledon. I got their explanation. There were six such arrangements which had decorated the lunch tables on board a pleasure boat sailing from Richmond to Hampton Court and back. It was a 50th birthday party for a man with Downs Syndrome. I immediately expressed regret for Joe (I think that was his name) but was told he was very happy and much loved. I felt quite privileged to have unexpectedly received such a nice gift of flowers from a happy outing. I have the Union Jack back in the pot with the hazelnut tree on my porch for the Queen’s Jubilee. It seems a good note to end on and I like to think I still have that no. 200 blog unwritten.
I have made so many new friends through writing the blog and hope we can keep in touch. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to publish a book of my scarf blogs so that is my final task as busybeehazell. I will not be retiring completely but plan on reinventing myself as NUTTYCRACKERS. After all, my name is associated with nuts and my surname with biscuits! There will not be a scarf in sight. No promises, but it might happen.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2, Blog 99.