I'm warning you now, this is the blog equivalent of inviting your friends over to show them your holiday snaps.
I've been taking a few jaunts out of London recently - I used to love this city but I really am starting to get sick of it now and am taking every opportunity to escape where I can.
I have some catch up posts to do about recent visits to Eastbourne and Poole, but, because I happen to have the pictures here, I am starting with the most recent. for Easter we decided to go and visit the chap's Mother, who lives in Hemel Hempstead. I know, not the most glamorous of locations - but it turns out that there as acres of beautiful countryside surrounding the Hertfordshire new towns that I'd never knew of as a child. My mother didn't like to drive, she didn't like much really - but that's another story!
Anywhoo - off we went on the train on Friday arriving just after lunch. While visiting the mother in law is always fun, I have to admit to my primary aim for the weekend being a selfish one. It is bluebell season here in the UK and I have always wanted to walk in a bluebell wood. Off we went in search of flowers and lo and behold, in a section of Ashridge forest known as Dockey Wood, we found them.
Sadly the pictures don't really do the colour justice, digital cameras being notoriously bad at richness of colour and me being notoriously bad at photography - but it really was gorgeous!
The next day we ambled into Berkhamsted to do a little charity shopping and I had quite the score - three pairs of vintage seamed stockings, a sewing pattern, some fabric with a passably deco-ish print and some crochet gloves - whole lot £20
We then went for the best pub lunch ever at the adorable "Valiant Trooper" in the sleepy village of Aldbury. After two pints of local ale we needed a walkabout and went wandering.
The village grew up around the Church of St John the Baptist, which dates to the end of the thirteenth century.
The church is home to the marble tomb of Sir Robert Whittingham and his lady. This was brought to the church in 1575 and was originally housed at Ashridge.
These tiles are also from Ashridge
I have no idea what this is. there was a handkerchief and some nails in the sand. some sort of depiction of the resurrection I assume.
I was also fascinated by the first metal grave markers I have ever seen, from the late 1800s.
Oh yeah - and i also met the sweetest cat!
So all in all a lovely weekend. Chocolate, food, cats, beer, walking, history, shopping and family time.
Here's to many more jaunts this year!