Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Pastoral Picnicery

This weekend is an exceedingly long one. The country is in the midst of a Royalist fervour as it celebrates the 50 years of Elizabeth II in the shape of the Golden Jubilee. And so we get two days of holiday. So while I've been spending time writing my regular Internet development column for Application Development Advisor on building a site description in RSS and RDF, I've also been out touring the countryside in the early summer warmth.

Saturday, after picking up the iBook from DJ, marypcb and I raided a SavaCentre hypermarket for various picnic items. Salads, breads, cheeses, fizzy drinks - even clotted cream, jam and scones - all filled our trolley (along with a 20 litre bag of cat litter for the mogs). We then headed south, ending up on a lovely meadow on the site of a lost royal palace: Nonesuch (or Nonsuch) Park. Some of the meadows in the park have already been mown, but we were able to lay down our blanket in the middle of unmown flowers and grasses. It wasn't difficult to imagine we were miles from the heart of the city - even though we could here the regular thunder of jets making their approach to Heathrow and the rumble of passing trains.

Sunday, we went further afield, out past Godalming, to Winkworth Arboretum. This is a 20th Century landscaped garden, full of trees from all over the world, with a couple of Victorian lakes in the valley. The curves of the hills hide little dells and copses, and paths disappear up ridges and around exotic trees. We found a meadow on one side of the lake that looked up a slope of red-leaved Japanese acers and fresh green European trees, dotted about with the bright flashes of the last of the spring azaleas. Fish were jumping, while ducklings paddled across the water, all leaping for the passing midges that rose as the sun set behind the hill.

And of course both times I'd left the digicam at home...

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