Sunday 1 May 2011

Marie's Sunday Six

Happy May Day and welcome to my first Sunday Six post for the month of May 2011!! My goodness but the year is speeding by, it is hard to believe but next month we will be halfway through the year already! I thought it would be fun today to share with you some of the things from Tatton Park yesterday that we enjoyed and that made us smile! We are National Trust members so we normally get to go to these National Trust Homes and Gardens for free . . . yesterday though, we had to pay an extra £5 just to get our car into the park! That did not make us smile, but thankfully we had £5 in change in my purse! We were hungry and thirsty when we got there too, so we decided to have a small lunch in the restaurant. We had two cold drinks, two sandwiches, a piece of cake and a piece of pie. a £20 bill did not make us smile either. I thought it was quite outrageous! We are not talking table service here. We are talking canteen/help yourself, sandwich in plastic box service here! I was too embarassed to say I didn't want it once it tallied up in the register, but if we ever go again, we'll bring our own sandwiches! But enough of that, on to the smiles!! The grounds and gardens were absolutely gorgeous!

The sight and smell of thousands of blooming rhododendrons made us smile big time! Every where we looked the gravel paths were lined with almost every colour imaginable of bloooming rhododendrons! The scent was heavenly and the colours, so very beautiful! That made us smile!

This Japanese Handkerchief made me smile! Have you ever seen anything like it??? I had not. Imagine a whole tree covered in these paperlike blooms, fluttering in the wind, each one centred with a hairy cherry shaped ball! Fabulous, and so unusual. It made me think of our Temple Dedications and the Hosannah Shout! All those waving white handkerchiefs! It was just beautiful!

Ivy covered castle-like turretts make me smile. Aren't they just so beautiful?? They make me think of Kings and Queens, Medieval Princes and Princesses . . . Dragon slayers and Druids, Greensleeves and mandolines . . . Romance and intrigue. I just love them!

This beautiful pond made me smile. If you look really closely you will see a bird in the lower middle part of the pond. This is called a Koot. That really made me smile . . . if you are fond of calling your other half an Old Koot, then this will make you smile too! A Koot is just a bird with a pointed head and a long sharp beak. Not so bad after all!

I don't know what these are called, but for a second there I thought we had stumbled into Jurassic Park! Very odd rhubarb leaf resembling trees! I felt as if at any moment some prehistoric man eating creature was going to come growling through the bushes gnashing it's teeth at us!! Most unsual!

Hidden Japanese Pagodas and dainty bridges over quiet streams make me smile. It's like being in another secret, hidden world. A world of quiet black laquer haired women, on dainty wooden shoed feet . . . tea ceremonies . . . paper fans . . . and paper houses. Cherry blossomed trees and flower rain, tinkling chimes . . . so very beautiful.

Coming upon little bamboo water baskets hidden amongst the ferns . . . that made me smile. A reminder of a simple life and time . . . so quaint and beautiful . . .

Long legged Iron Cranes standing as sentinals amongs the ferns and greenery, alongside a babbling brook made me smile as well. How very beautiful and ethereal . . .

And of course the old British Bald Headed Koot always makes me smile too!! Posing beneath the Wysteria Arches in bloom . . . I love that I get to share these beautiful things and my life with this wonderful man. That makes me smile the biggest smile of all! I do love him so!!

We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and I was thrilled that I managed to be able to walk through all the gardens and the Mansion house as well . . . although towards the end it was debatable as to whether I would be able to make it back to the car or not . . . I DID . . . another smile!

Lura continues to improve with each day that passes. I am so grateful for this and for all of your continued prayers and love for her. That also makes me smile! Please continue to visit her page and leave your messages of encouragement. It's been over 37 days now since she has been in hospital. Hard to believe. Your love, prayers and messages are helping to carry her through this very difficult time and we both appreciate them so very much!

Here's a nice salad for these warm days that are coming up. In the summer months I always have a bowl of hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator. They come in ever so handy for quick snacks and sandwiches, and salads, especially this tasty one here today!

*Caesar Salad with Boiled Eggs*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

If you have boiled eggs on hand in the fridge you always have a light supper in the making.

1/2 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 20 slices)
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
the juice of 2 fat lemons
2 TBS of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more, shaved with a vegetable peeler
2 TBS light mayonnaise
2 anchovy filets
1 clove of garlic, peeled
8 hard cooked eggs, peeled
(Reserve 4 yolks, cut the remaining whites and eggs into bite sized pieces
2 heads of Cos lettuce (Romaine) cut into bite sized pieces

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Lay the baguette slices on a large rimmed baking sheet. Brush on both sides with 2 TBS of the olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, turning over halfway through the baking time, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Combine the lemon juice, grated Parmesan, mayonnaise, anchovies, garlic, 4 reserved egg yolks and remaining 2 TBS of olive oil in a blender, along with some salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

Toss the lettuce, croutons, dressing, shaved Parmesan and remaining egg whites and eggs together in a large bowl. Serve immediately.

A delicious low fat dessert in The English Kitchen today, Toffee Apples with Vanilla Mascarpone.


  1. I am so glad that you had sucha lovely day yesterday. But what a price for everything Marie. It is quite rediculas. Thast why Mary and I very seldom go to these lovely places... A few weeks ago Peter Mary and I went to westonbirt Arboretum we had a free ticket in as there was a mobility show on...but if we had paid it was £8 EACH TO PARK then later it was around £10 for a coffee...then lunch was well over £30...don;t think we will be going there in a's a pity though as it was so lovely there.
    You know I had never thought about keeping boiled eggs in teh fidge..thanks for the tip..will boil some later today...Church today we are joining our sister church at Bathampton so will be nice change...then lunch with Beth and Max.
    Love as always, Sybil x

  2. Sadly, the prices you paid no longer shock me after a decade of living in Europe, but I do recall first visiting England in the 1980s and being appalled at the costs, which were about three times the prices in Australia. Here in Sweden, you would have to pay the same, so we always take a picnic basket with us on every outing. We simply can't afford to spend that sort of money and I can't see the point.

    But that said, I'm pleased you were able to put it behind you and enjoy the day together. I loved your tour around the beautiful grounds and especially the ivy covered turrets. I have dreams of knights and damsels in distress as well when I see them. And doesn't your weather look superb! Spring at its best.

    Thank you for the salad recipe. Another to bookmark now the weather is warming up. I like it that you use hardboiled eggs. The one thing I used to order for lunch in Australia was a cesar salad, without the egg, because I can't abide a runny yolk. Now I can have the egg as well! :-)

  3. I feel many people think on the same lines as yourself and Sybil, Marie.These places do not know what to charge for almost anything.It is so frustrating though when one enjoys such pleasures,it costs a fortune for a day out.Your pictures are beautiful.I think I will stick to having a look around these places on the internet LOL!!Not quite the same as being their but nevertheless,at least it is much cheaper.A Blessed May Day to you Todd and Mitzy.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  4. You did have a lovely day and all the pictures were just beautiful. Spring is finally blooming here too and it just takes my breath away sometimes. Thankfully you had more smiles than not! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  5. I am glad that I could walk through those lovely gardens with you without having to pay the fee.... and if we ever do get to go there in real life with you, I will be sure to pack a sandwich in my purse,

    Thank you for continuing to ask your readers to pray for me. I really appreiate it.

    I took a pain pill early this morning and it made me sleey. I fell asleep after breakfast and I just realized I am late for church.
    must run, love Lura

  6. That giant rhubarb-like plant is gunnera, Marie. We have one by our pond, er I think...haven't been up to check if it survived the winter.
    Yes, the NT certainly know how to charge; they are not very popular in this neck of the woods.

  7. Hi Marie, such beautiful pictures make me wish again that I could come to England! The prices don't surprise me at all. In America it's outrageous everywhere we go like that - parks, museums, ball games even. The price of a bottle of water at the airport is ridiculous and since you can't carry your own in anymore you're just stuck with it! And since Jerry and I are traveling soon I was reading the list of do's and don'ts and found we can't even take snacks into the airport in our carry on. Perhaps someone could put explosives in peanut butter crackers? I'm not sure of the reason but it's a rule and we have to follow it. I wouldn't mind if the prices inside the airport weren't so bad. At least there's something beautiful to see when you get there! blessings, marlene

  8. Bald headed old coot! Thats so funny,, lovely post Marie so inspiring..


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