A Weekend with the Parents.

7 August 2016

The mister was away this weekend, working at the Countryfile Live event in the grounds of Blenheim Palace. My parents and I had tickets for the show on Saturday but because I still wasn't 100% at the end of last week, I decided to stay with them all weekend. There's nothing like a little mothering and a few nights in your childhood bedroom to chase away the last remnants of a horrid bug.

And oh, how this weekend did me a whole world of good. My parents' garden is one of my happy places and curling up under their parasol with a book instantly makes my worries melt away. After carrying my case up to my room on Friday afternoon, I sat outside with my mum for a while having a catch up before heading into the kitchen to help with dinner. Sitting in the garden also gave me the chance to think about what I'd like to do with our own little outside space and to hopefully (perhaps next year now!) realise all my homegrown vegetable plans - Mum's currently growing courgettes, beans, spinach and blueberries.

Saturday morning was a slightly earlier start than usual but it almost felt like we were going on holiday as we had a quick breakfast before packing up the car to drive to Blenheim for the day. Once we were on the move, all thoughts of bed were quickly forgotten and I think that a lie-in would not have made being stuck in traffic later any sweeter as crowds descended on the event throughout the day.

The beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace.
It was a baking hot day but there was such a great, festival-like atmosphere in the grounds when we arrived, granted with a slightly older average age range than festivals I've been to in the past....and so many dogs - who looked just as hot as their owners, but there were lots of places for them to have fresh water and many of them were wearing ingenious wet coats to keep them cool.

We stopped for a coffee when we arrived and spread out the map to pick out our must-sees. There were lots of activities on offer, from archery to off-road driving, but the animals were the main attraction for me. I spent a while by the dog arena, learning how to train my future pup, saw some stunningly impressive shire horses in the equine arena and spent far too long in the farmyard area, exclaiming over the piglets, lambs and chicks. It has definitely put me off eating any of those animals for a wee while!

We found the mister and dragged him away for a spot of lunch. I was feeling a little dizzy at that point - a combination of heat and the last remnants of this dose, and the fact that I just hadn't walked so much in over a week. I was exhausted! There were so many food stalls, a huge range of delicious treats on offer (unless you're coeliac of course!) but I did manage to track down a place selling gluten free burgers - venison and bison no less! Thankfully there were no baby deer around to shame me into just having the bun... My appetite is still not back to where it was before but there's something about eating outside, I inhaled that burger.

Waving goodbye to the mister who headed back to his stand, we then wandered around some of the others - browsing all the delicious food for sale (was very tempted by some fudge) and the impressive array of country clothing. I briefly pictured myself going full-Mitford sister in a tweed ensemble before seeing sense and picking up yet another stripy Breton top. Slightly wintry for this weather but no doubt perfect for our trip to Ireland!

Saturday evening was whiled away in the garden again, with a light dinner after our large festival lunches.

After yesterday's early start, I had a little lie-in this morning...I'd got used to being back in my childhood single bed again - the first night was slightly hairier as I almost rolled out a few times. I had a quiet breakfast with my book before joining mum and dad for some coffee. We then headed over to collect my Nanny before going out for Sunday lunch, just the four of us. We went to a restaurant that we've been to a number of times over the years and they always do an amazing Sunday roast, even gluten free. With memories of the little creatures from yesterday still fresh in my mind, I opted for the veggie roast - a spiced lentil and spinach roast with a mushroom and thyme gravy. It wasn't incredibly photogenic (quite brown!) hence no snap of my food but it was so incredibly good and wow, so filling. They had a gluten free beer too which I hadn't tried before - a pale ale and, although it hasn't surpassed Celia or Estrella's gluten free beer, it was light and refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to a slightly heavy meal.

I feel refreshed and better than I have done in over a week. I hope you all had wonderful weekends too - do drop me a comment and let me know what you got up to, or pop over and say hello on Twitter or Instagram (I'm @happygoluckycat on both, helpfully).


  1. Home grown veggies sound like a lot of fun! I would love to have a bit of a garden to grow my own.

    I'm a big fan of a lay in but I'm a bigger fan of missing the traffic too!

    It sounds like a really awesome little event to go to, definitely my kind of festival with the dogs and older people. I really love going to steam rallies in the summer time, but I don't get to do it as much now that I'm not living in the UK at the moment. They are always full of my kind of people... i.e dogs haha! And quiet people which I like.

    Shire horses are gorgeous creatures! I haven't seen one in a long time.

    What an awesome weekend! I hope you're feeling much better too!

    Happy Monday!

    ~ K

  2. Glad to hear your time away did you some good and with those views in your parents' garden it's easy to see why - it looks so calming! Love the shots you got at Blenheim Palace too and the pigs are so cute. The food you got at the pub sounded so good too! - Tasha


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