I was born in a snowstorm (well not actually "in" the snowstorm but I was reliably informed by my parents that the snow was "up to the first floor windows and we had to dig ourselves out"). It continued to snow on my birthday for many years and then came much milder warmer winters and, though I stood with my nose pressed against the window pane, no snowflake did I spy.
To make up for the lack of birthday snow we have made an annual visit to see the carpets of snowdrops at Hodsock Priory. We started visiting the second year they opened for visitors, must be 20 years. At that time plants were sold from a lorry trailer and the "facilities" were basic but good. Most importantly, over the years, we saw the displays improve and the facilities change beyond recognition. I can honestly say they built some of the best loos I have ever visited with fabulous snowdrop decoration on the walls. So you can imagine my concern when I read Diane's post describing this year's changes.
Still it was my birthday tradition and, despite snow being threatened (promised!) we decided we would make the journey. Oh dear, Diane had it right. On arrival you paid your entrance fee at a kiosk and then, instead of entering the grounds via the Priory entrance,
you were directed to two marquees, one was the cafe, the other the gift shop/ "lecture" room and then, gasp, horror, you were greeted by 3 portaloos! Oh dear what a change!
All the area around the house was roped off "because of wedding etc" but there wasn't anything happening that day. In the past they didn't hold any weddings in February but, obviously, decided more lucrative to have weddings all year round.
Even the snowdrops were disappointing, I know you can't expect them to come out to order but I did think that, even in the areas where they were out, that there were less plants. This area in the woodland was one of the best parts.
The Hamamelis Mollis didn't fail us, what a gorgeous smell.
As it had started to snow we walked a little faster around the grounds than we usually do, calling for a quick warm at the fire.
We didn't have our usual tea and cake, paid a quick visit to the shop and, as we were leaving they made their biggest mistake................... "would you like to fill in a survey form?".............. It probably went straight in the bin but I thought I should make a few pertinent points!
Enought moaning, Carol, so what were the highspots of your birthday you ask. Well, as I said we did get snow.
Quite a bit by teatime!
I received some lovely presents including this fabulous "Percy and his friend" bag from my sister.
A new book
Oooh look it is signed (bet DH autographed it lol)
A new CD (this is one a blogger had mentioned and linked, apologies that I can't remember who it was). I'm looking forward to listening to it.
These didn't last very long
and the smell of these beautiful flowers sent from the Scilly Isles by my s(c)illy friend in Canada was just wonderful.
I also received some great cards, just look at this beautiful vintage one from my friend DH (she tells me I have a late birthday surprise taking place in June, I just hope I'm not jumping out of a plane..........). This is the inside, the front is at the beginning of this post.
I love this illustration of "Ladies who Lunch"
A cute owl
and a rather grumpy cat (not surprising since Blogger decided to turn him over!)
So, will I go back to Hodsock Priory next year? Well, perhaps, really hoping that this year was just a "hiccup".
I've consoled myself with some lovely snowdrops in our garden.
Crafting, oh yes, finished the baby blanket and something special for a swap I'm taking part in but you won't be able to see that until my "swap" partner receives her parcel.
Hope you are having a lovely weekend, it is a bit brrrrrrrrrr here so I'm staying inside where it is warm and cosy.