Don & Helen Spain 2010 travel blog

Penny Wendy and Don on tower at Sissinghurst Castle

Robert Milly Don dinner at Priest's House, Sissinghurst

white garden - Sissinghurst

Sissinghurst Castle tower

Priest's House taken from the tower




hedgehog who visited us



First thing to note is that whilst I have put in Ashford as a reference, it is a little further on from Sissinghurst, which is a village as well as the Castle / Garden and Tenterden which is the biggest little place nearby.

The day began with a sleep in and breakfast of boiled egg and toast, and not "huevos pasados por agua". Bonus. We then went and supported the English economic recovery at Tescos by buying much more than we needed for the following week. Minor issue was that I had forgotten Penny (one of our guests for 2 nights) was a vegetatian, and so had gotten in a good supply of non vegetarian protein. (OK it was lamb and beef and pork sausages).

We then called in to pick up the hire car....a passable ford mondeo with lots of room and just 1200 KM on the clock. And a GPS, which as a regular reader you will want to want to know we called Vera). Having gasined confidence with Vera, we set a postcode in for Sissinghurst Garden and off we went. There in 90 minutes, and the keys were in the key safe, so we quickly settled in and went for a walk in the garden.

A frost in the past week had skittled the dahlias and the pelergoniums, but otherwise the garden was in remarkably good shape. We came in from the cold, and lit a fire, opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed a casserole in our very well appointed kitchen.

The Priest's House at Sissinghurst was a wonderful choice for us. Not cheap, but it allowed us to settle in the one place for a week, and to ask others to join us. We happened on the place when we spoke with Helen's brother Graham. We had started to worry that we would not get a place due to mid-term holidays, so when Graham suggested we go "up-market" and since we had done this in 2005, we searched the National Trust and lo and behold, a cottage "in" the Gardens. Perfect.

Not so perfect was the washing machine. It was quite inscrutable. I think it washed the clothes twice, and dried them once. One of those machines that does both, but only if it wants to obviously. But at least the clothes no longer stood up to greet us in the morning.

Next morning (23rd) was bloody freezing. A cold front had passed through, with some rain and the normal grey sky. Again we walked in the garden, checked out the tower where Vita Sackville West did her thing...(google her if you're interested) and then made up two batches of home made soup. A lazy day.

Sunday (24th) was the day to collect Wendy and Penny from Staplehurst Station. After a false start, we did just that, and renewed our acqaintance. Wendy and I were penpals from about age 10, as were my sister Pam and Wendy's sister Penny. I first met up with Wendy in 2005 when I flew to Belfast, and later she came to London. Penny lives in London, and we have been able to stay with her on more than one occasion, so it was with great pleasure that we welcomed them to "our place". More tours of the garden, and some more shopping to repair the hole left in the dietary calendar by the removal of said non-vegetarian protein.

I think we sank several bottles of wine before we got off to sleep.

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