Well, in spite of the dreadful weather forecast, we took our chances and three car loads of us left at ten and made the two hour journey to Westonbirt, prepared to brace ourselves against the impending storms that had been promised on the weather forecast.
Unbelievably the journey there was sunny. However, disappointingly once we were on route from Northampton we lost the vibrant colours of our Nothamptonshire roadsides as we travelled through Oxfordshire. Is there something different in the Oxfordshire soil? How come there were green trees and dead trees, but no colour? Is Northamptonshire the “New England” of England, or something? As far as the eye can see in Northants this week there is colour. But as far as the eye can see in Oxfordshire and in the Cotswolds it was like we were back a month ago, dull and boring green.
Just after Tetbury we started to get excited as we saw our first glimpse of some colour on our journey, and remembered that it was almost on the doorstep of Westonbirt that we suddenly had seen some colour in the trees the last time we had been there. Is it part of some master plan that the journey there should be colourless, so that we appreciate Westonbirt all the more when we get there?
Amazingly, we had arrived within five minutes of one of our other car loads of friends, but as we arrived, the heavens opened, and we stayed put until the shower abated.
As the rain “shower” died down we made our way to use the facilities, and then the smell of the barbecue hit us, so we just had to go and investigate. We luckily found a table before we got to order our burgers, and I decided that the suet pastry pies with mash and peas looked more tempting. Mmmmm! Well worth the £2 extra.
After the next shower we made our way to the Acers, in case that was all we would get to see. I don’t think they were as vibrant as they were on this same weekend last year, but it has not been a good year for colour this year anyway.
We almost were back at the cafe area when the heavens opened, and we got absolutely soaked before we managed to get to shelter. A hot cup of coffee and a cake helped to warm us up before we made our way back to the cars. But before we got there, guess what? Yes, we got another soaking.
It was a wet journey back until we got into Oxfordshire, when the rain seemed to get a little lighter. However, when we reached Northamptonshire, we had apparently outrun the rain belt, as the roads were all dry.
I was glad to be back home and into some dry clothes, having battened down the hatches ready for the impending storm……..