At 10am this morning I went into Daughter’s room and asked her what she was up to this morning. “Marking,” she said. I’d thought so. Besides her day job she also lectures for the Open University and this year she has third-year students which means extra work as it’s dissertation time. Although she came to stay “for about a year” at the end of last summer, she now spends more time away than she does here, and is off to Bedfordshire later this afternoon where she’ll be for around ten days. I’d hoped that she might suggest a coffee somewhere – a bit of mum and daughter time – so tried not to look too disappointed and took myself back downstairs and settled down with the Sunday papers.
At 10.30 my phone pinged with a text: Daughter. If I’d done that she’d have told me I was lazy! ‘Want to go out for a bit?’ asked the text. Yes I did!
“Where are you going, “asked Husband.
“On a guilt-trip,” I told him. Daughter claimed that it was nothing of the sort but I think it was a little bit – she was just being kind! We decided on Mappleborough Green Garden Centre, just a couple of miles or so away. It used to be a run-down little place of the old-fashioned nursery type (not that there’s anything wrong with that – you often find that the staff in such places are more knowledgeable about plants which, after all, is the purpose of their existence). Then, a short while ago it was taken over and a big renovation programme took place. You could say that it began to blossom! Despite its proximity to home, Daughter had never been there.
In the coffee shop the cakes looked divine, the salad bar fresh and and the meals sounded very good. We resisted and just had coffee and then went for a look in the shop. Not dissimilar to many garden centres (what a misnomer that has become, though to be fair this one has a good sized outdoor plant area), the merchandisers are still to be congratulated on how attractive it all looked. Both Daughter and I love to look at so-called artisan foods, a term used to describe that which is not mass produced, using traditional methods instead.
We picked up a few bits and pieces including Spiced Garlic Pickle. I’ve bought this before and it’s hot-hot-hot as it contains a large quantity of sliced garlic cloves but soooo good! I’m looking forward to it with cheese and crackers. There were also locally produced wines and cordials
A display of tableware caught my eye. I was very taken withe the lemon dish (in the bottom right hand corner) and could picture it filled with lemons and limes. Then I thought about the 1930s green glass dish which I use for that purpose and how that one would end up sitting unused in a cupboard and that would be a shame because I like it. I have too many dishes already thanks to a habit of buying chinaware that I’ve fallen for in Spain or Portugal, so reluctantly, I put the dish back down,
A little further on we came to another feature of the modern garden centre – the clothing area. You have to wonder why they started selling clothes. I do find, however, that they are often quite nice clothes! Nothing in particular appealed enough to make a purchase, though I did admire a long flowing cardigan but daughter said it looked like a dressing gown and I decided that she had a point!
Another standard feature seems to be the books and card section. I think these 3D cards are great.
Back home Daughter ironed a few items, packed her bags and left me to miss her again.