Saturday, 10 April 2010

Hever Castle in the Spring

Some are wearing fancy sundresses with sandals. Some have on the summer uniform for around here—capris and flops with wrap around sweaters and Bodin tshirts. Some of the men have manpris or jeans and tennis shoes with ragged tshirts. The other half have linen shirts tucked in to freshly pressed kahkis and funny ‘Indiana Jones’ sun hats that don’t do them any favors I’m afraid.

The whole place is ablaze with daffodils. Thousands and thousands of daffodils. Daffodils beneath the ancient groves of trees. Daffodils like carpet in the orchard at the base of the castle just this side of the moat. Daffodils with pink flowering trees among them. Some look like delicate stars. Some are big and fat and look like the sun itself. Bridger says the ones with orange middles look like faces, and I giggle as he imitates what they would sound like if they could speak.

Two hours chasing one another through the wooden maze and up and down the long metal slide. I sit in the sunshine. A tad uncomfortable but immeasurably happy. They try the zip line. Spend ages on the swings as Caid has discovered that this year he really doesn’t need a push and continually shouts, “Look how HIGH I am!” as if he can’t believe it himself.

We run to the bathroom and discover that the playground is nothing compared to the rhododendron trees. They teach the English brother and sister pair the term ‘hide-out’ and climb as high as they can and play pirates. Soon the game is disrupted when Caid’s sword—his BEST sword, the one he plays with every single day and carries with him everywhere—breaks. I can’t stand to see him so very heartbroken and we run right away to the gift shop and buy him a new one. Best £2.50 I’ve spent in ages.

Time for snacks. We choose a place near the field and overlooking the daffodiled orchard and the castle. I splurge—it’s a splurgish kind of day—and buy us a gluten free brownie and juice and crisps. Yum. We sit and chat and the boys get gooey-chocolate faced. Then they run and test out the new sword with ferocious duelling in the grass. I get a look from the mom at the table next to us because she has just yelled at her two to not wrestle, and I don’t make mine stop.

We walk to the Italian gardens. Turn a corner into the ‘blue garden’, and it instantly stops us in our tracks. Caid is climbing the rocks to sniff the blue polyanthus. Bridger kneels right down on the ground and sticks his nose into the flowers. Informing me it’s the hyacinths and not the violas that smell so “lovely.” I stand in the middle transfixed. Breathing in the delicious smell of hundreds of hyacinths and thinking I live an amazing life.

We walk back to the car the long way. Exploring a cave and a little sheltered area that Caid likes. I start to get tired, but I wouldn’t have traded the day. Sunshine. My boys. The flowers.

I sure am blessed.

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