Monday, October 15, 2012

Sussex for the weekend

On Friday we drove down to Sussex to visit my mum, a nightmare journey not helped by my foolish decision to not take the short cut we usually do. A terrible mistake as we hit rush hour traffic by Slough and were delayed by over an hour. We arrived at my mum's house with a sobbing, hungry baby who was way past his bedtime. But it's all soon forgotten.

Saturday was a glorious day with ravishing Turner skies and sun showers. In the morning we went into nearby Lewes to catch up with one of my oldest friends and enjoy breakfast at Bill's (I had Eggs Florentine).

Lewes is now a pastiche of itself, with 'black face' Morris Dancing and extortionate farmer's stalls. Everyone is dressed in Jack Wills, Barbour, Joules or linen and there are more antique shops crammed into a square mile than is good for anyone. The epitome of the English arty middle classes if you could ever want to find such a place. I explain to the cashier in Waitrose that you are charged 5p if you want a plastic bag in Wales and he is bemused.

Back home at my mum's and my sister is there. It's so lovely to see my son with his auntie.

I inspect the damp heat of my mum's tiny geometric green house. Aubergines and peppers hang.

She has a small apple tree too. The fruit inside the apples is as red as their skins.

The last of the passion flowers cling to the fence.

After lunch we decide to go to Sheffield Park and Garden to see the tree colours. We drive down this road which is called Witches Lane.

Designed by Capability Brown in the 18th Century, it's a stunning place, especially in Autumn. The rain threatens and the wind picks up so good photos are difficult.

We find the most incredible and perfect toadstool fairy ring growing up through the orange leaves. I hadn't seen one since I was a child.

Through the Rhododendrons.

Huge mushrooms have appeared between the pine needles.

Here's Sheffield House which is privately owned so you can't go in. A shame because it looks really fantastic.

We go home for dinner.

My mum has exquisite taste in home furnishings.

Jelly mould collection.

Huw and my sister drink red wine.

After stuffed peppers and home made apple and blackberry crumble we say goodbye to my sister who is going back to London. An interesting evening follows in which Huw, mum, her partner and I intensely discuss, as we always end up doing, meditation, reincarnation, consciousness and 'truth'. Language is a huge barrier for us and we always end up agreeing that after hours of talk we are only arguing about jargon.

On Sunday morning we leave at about 12 to get home to Wales before dark. But before we leave we take a short stroll to my mum and her partner's impressive allotment. The first frost has been that night.

Brussel Sprouts.

Squash grown from a packet of seeds that my grandmother, who died in 2004, gave my mum many years ago.


Rainbow chard.

The dew is still on the grass at 11.30am. My mum's partner who is from Nottingham chats with some neighbours at the swings. Their accents hail from The North too though they have lived in Sussex for 18 years after moving down from Yorkshire. "It's a totally different world down here" they agree. Living in Wales, we get the nod of recognition too. "You don't realise until you go back."

We leave and start the 4 hour drive home. I watch the landscape change and the clouds gather.

Over the Bridge to Wales, home with my jar of homemade blackberry and apple jam and greenhouse peppers. It was nice to go back.


  1. Sounds like the sort of 'discussions' we have at the dinner table until my very bored little sister says 'Will you please stop talking about religion!!'
    We're off to West Sussex to visit my father in law and his wife in the doesn't look as nice as it does in your pictures, but I get what you mean about antique shops and wax jackets...there's an awful lot of posh charity shops too!

    1. I can't talk about 'spirituality' stuff with anyone other than them, it's really strange! I don't know West Sussex that well - bet the charity shops are amazingly posh!

  2. Beautiful photos as always. I had to google "aubergine;" here in the Far West we call them eggplants, which is far less exotic-sounding.

    1. Eggplant is a good word though! Courgette anyone?

  3. I would love to be in on your conversations. It would be amazing.
    I think THAT would be more amazing than seeing all your castles.

  4. This reminds me of the ADIML post where I first met(?) you!
    Excellent post. Made me hungry/inspired :)

    1. Thanks! I don't remember that post at all... must go and find it one day! Glad I could inspire you, you should update your blog more lady!

    2. I think I remember that you cooked brownies from the Green & Blacks book..!
      Awh, I will, I need to photograph more again! :)


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