We woke up early on Saturday morning to the most gorgeous bright spring sunshine and the whole day stretching deliciously ahead with no plans. We ponder what should we do with this gift of a day and suddenly a little spark of spontaneity ignites. A Picnic Breakfast perhaps? Yes?
The idea is met with enthusiasm and we spring into action. As this is a Spontaneous Decision and has not been pre planned, I do not really have much in the way of picnic-breakfast fodder to hand. So I make the best of what I can find. I hard boil four eggs. Make up a stack of strawberry jam sandwiches. Some yoghurt drinks and apples. That'll do, it'll taste divine of course because we will be eating it al fresco and will have a View.
We get dressed and exit the house quite rapidly :: in fact I wear the most ridiculous clothes because I pull them on with speed and without a thought. I wear pale linen trousers with a blue flowery summer vest-dress over the top and a bright magenta long sleeved top on top of the dress. Crocs-and-socks. I brush my teeth but forget my hair, so I go out with serious bed-head (I only realise all this when I go to the toilet mid morning and accidentally catch a frightful sight of myself in a full length mirror).
We are miraculously out the house with a picnic and seating facilities packed by eight thirty AM, journeying the quarter of an hour up the road to Bolton Abbey. There is this little sandy river beach that makes the perfect picnic spot, and although it is often busy with kids and dogs, at this early hour we have it to ourselves. We set up Breakfast Camp with our brand new chairs, bought especially last week with just such an occasion in mind. An occasion where one can park the car in close proximity to the designated picnic spot, meaning that chairs can conveniently replace blankets.
Breakfast is delicious. I would like to tell you that we do this sort of Spontaneous Breakfast Thing all the time, but the truth is we don't. Can you remember this post way back in April of last year? That was the first and last time we did such a thing. But OH!! We MUST do it More Often! Yes, mental note made, lets do it again very very soon, because it was quite the most wonderful start to the weekend.
After breakfast, we go walking through the magnificent woods at Bolton Abbey. It's still only 9.30am and still very few people about. The woodland is absolutely breathtaking, the colours awesome. I recall walking here at a very similar time last year. And I recall being bowled over by the very particular Greeness of this time of year :: it has not diminished one year on, I am bowled over all over again.
The wild garlic carpets the woodland floor, and the smell is incredibly nostalgic for me (as a child, my brother and I used to play in a wood carpeted with wild garlic)
But aside from the abundant greeny-greeness, it's really the bluey-blueness that grabs my attention and makes me hop and squeal and flutter.....
Oh yes, it's bluebell time! Woohoooo!!!!!!
Oooo we point, we exclaim, we oooohhh and aaaahhh, it's all so beautiful!
So instead of walking the flat path along the riverside, we take the high path that climbs up and away from the river, because thats where all the bluebells grow. We wind up and up through the tall trees and the banks of blue and green....
....higher and higher until we can look out across the treetops to the distant moorland of Barden Fell.
After a rest on a rustic wooden bench, we continue onwards....
....onwards through the greeny-green and the bluey-blue....
....through sun dappled shade....
....sometimes strolling, sometimes running.
Eventually the path meanders downhill and we arrive back at the riverside. The Little People, who have been running for much of the way, request a rest stop. So we come off the path and down onto these mossy rocks to sit a while beside the water in the sunshine. It's glorious.
But I am suddenly finding that boiled eggs and jam sandwiches seem so long ago, and that I am overwhelmingly craving cappuccino and cake. I cannot stop thinking of coffee and cake. I want it. Right now. No more bluebells, trees, rocks, rivers. Take me to the cafe for refreshment!
Ahhhhh yes, that's where I want to be at 11am, sat in the sun, sipping frothy coffee and nibbling something sweet and delicious. This is the Cavendish Pavillion cafe at Bolton Abbey, and a mighty fine cafe it is too. Coffee :: delicious. Cake :: equally so. Actually, I don't end up with cake, but instead opt for a Pecan and Maple slice, with dark chocolate topping.Mmmmmm-mmmmm.
11.30am and there are now many, many, many people at Bolton Abbey. The cafe terrace is now packed. And our car, which was the very first and only car in the car park at 8.45am is now sandwiched between a hundred others.
So we decide to head home away from the crowds. Shall we drive the scenic route back?
Yes lets drive along this wonderful little road which looks like it goes to nowhere.
You can see that at this point I have to leap out of the car and open the gate so that we can drive on through. What a road!! It never fails to please me, this little road. Makes me feel all happy and carefree and glad to be out and about in such a gorgeous little corner of the world, on such a gorgeous Saturday morning.
Now I really must try and remember my Mental Note to Do This More Often.