14 September 2013

Dear Coco

I was sorry to have to say goodbye to you and Laddie, and I wish I could explain to you that I am just going on a short holiday with Omie Domes and coming back quite soon but I know that three weeks must seem like an age to you.
It was lovely to see Philip just before I left and for him to meet Laddie. I hear that he and Kerryn are coming back to live in Cape Town later on this year which is just fantastic.
Anyway, after we left you and the spaniels,  
 Mom and I had a drinkle at the airport with Simon and the Alf,  
 then we flew off to the frozen north which wasn't at all frozen but mighty hot. We queued for an hour or more in the airport with the rest of the northern hemisphere who all seemed to be congregating in Heathrow for some reason (including half the Afghanistan army) then we queued for another hour and a bit to get our hired car – a little Hyundai i10. We set the GPS/Sat Nav device for Sissinghurst, our first port of call, and set off into the traffic. All went well until I the Sat Nav ran out of battery charge and we found ourselves traipsing up and down the motorways of southern England trying to get off and down to Kent. We eventually saw a gap and ended up in Sevenoaks and ducked into a stately home for a breather, some lunch and a quick read of the Sat Nav instructions and how to charge it up. The stately home was called Knowle and it had lots of speckled deer and elderly ladies roaming about. This was where Vita Sackville West, who created the gardens of Sissinghurst, was born and she only bought Sissinghurst because she had to give Knole away to a boy cousin when her father died because it could only be inherited by a man.
 Anyway, we then set the charged up SatNav for Igtham Mote which is another stately home that Mom wanted to see again. This one has a huge dog kennel in the courtyard which is the only A-listed kennel in England. I thought it looked a bit large for you and Laddie.
 There were lots of paintings of dogs, 
  drawings of hounds hunting foxes,
 ceramic figurines of dogs,
  and cushions with scotties on them in the shop. As you can see, I was thinking about you and Laddie a lot!
 It was still really hot the next day when Mom and I explored Sissinghurst, which is Mom's favourite place in all the world. This is a large barn which has lots of cooing doves that coo really differently to our doves.
 Inside the barn was a board with some interesting things that had been spotted on the estate ...
 The plants here are quite different too - like this thistle - that I thought you would appreciate being a scot, (actually, its an artichoke - not a thistle at all!)
and this is the Sissinghurst vege garden being admired by Mom.
My first glimpse of the Sissighurst tower. 
 And this is Woody, who belongs to the gardener at the Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse B&B.
We had a really lovely lunch with Pete Rimmington at the nearly pub called the Three Chimneys, and then we went back to explore Sissinghurst some more. But I will tell you more about that in my next letter as it is late now and I need to go to sleep. I hope that Laddie is not too naughty. Give my love to the Alph and Simon,
lots of love to you and the Lad, from the Food Lady and Omie Domes xxx

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