Route marching around Richmond Park with a friend

Apologies for not having posted anything for a couple of weeks; I've had my dear friend Jill Neame staying with me from my home town, Christchurch (NZ). She comes to stay each year for five years (this is year 2) to walk another section of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route in Spain.  She needs to get some serious walking practice during her two week stay in London so it's a great opportunity to see London on foot and to get some more exercise.  I am always surprised how much more you see when you walk - I'm used to zipping around London on my 50cc Vespa moped or getting exercise by jogging around Tooting Common opposite my house!

I also had some painful surgery on my thumb nail on 29th May and have spent the last 10 days with a fat bandage on my thumb and my arm in a sling for the first four days to relieve the pressure so typing on my laptop has been nigh impossible! You don't realise how much you need/use your thumb until you can't use it.  I had to get Jill to wash my hair, attach my necklaces, chop vegetables ..... but I could unscrew the top of a wine bottle!!!  

Both Jill and I had wedding invites (hers last w/e and mine in July) so here we are modelling our new hats from Petersham Nurseries - these gorgeous Italian made hats made from 70% straw, are just perfect, not too formal and just enough flippancy to counter any formal attire!!

The first day of Jill's visit we decided to route march around Richmond Park. I'd visited the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park a few weeks ago (Bedazzled by Colour) to see the spectacular azaleas and rhododendrons but I wasn't disappointed when we visited the Plantation again, despite the azaleas being well past their best; on the contrary I found their faded glory much more appealing.  You have to forgive me for yet another blog post on Richmond Park; it never ceases to inspire and enthral.  It's hard to believe you are actually just outside the centre of London and if the planes weren't on the flight part to Heathrow airport which crosses the edge of Richmond Park, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the countryside. Entering from Roehampton Gate, the first thing you notice are the deer which is always such a wonderful sight of peace and tranquillity.  Sometimes a deer will saunter into the road and all the traffic has to stop while all the other deer decide to follow suit. They definitely have their right of way!!

After route marching around Richmond Park and the Isabella Plantation, we returned to Petersham Nurseries for a much-needed cup of tea and slice of cake

See subsequent posts for further route marching around London !!


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