Wednesday, May 04, 2011

11 Days of Bliss

Eleven days off from work and it was wonderful!! A rare event of having two consecutive bank holiday weekends, plus a one off extra day bank holiday to celebrate the royal wedding, then take three days off from work for the days in between, equals eleven days off for the bargain price of three :)

Basking under the April sun

In the run up to the break I had been making a mental list of things that needed doing in the house and garden, of chores that needs catching up. I even thought I'll have plenty of time to do some blogging on those days. But all of that went out of the window as we immediately settled into holiday mode instead. With such fine weather outside and having so much time off, there's no point slaving off to your own expectations. Rather, it was the perfect period to kick back, relax, and do whatever we fancy doing on a whim, in our sweet time too.

We've been having a stretch of really, really good weather for the time of the year and such an occurence is very rare, anyone living in the UK would agree to that. So whenever we get fine weather here the impulse is just to go out and enjoy it whilst its there, you just don't know how long it will last. And I think it is this subconscious thought that was the main drive to just relax and play whilst having time off from work and with the sun shining outside (not always that warm though, but certainly good enough!).

And it was like being on holiday! We did the usual trappings of a vacation: days out and excursions, shopping, lots of eating, some drinking, night outs, loads of relaxing etc. With the additional perks of having far less travelling involved and much less laundry to do at the end. And of course lots of time enjoying our main hobby, gardening of course! We didn't work hard this time, just played hard instead and managed to do loads whilst enjoying every minute of it.

One thing that slightly suprised me about myself, something rather new to me, was my reluctance to use the computer during those days off. I thought I'll be spending lots of time online blogging and browsing, but instead I didn't feel much urge to use the computer at all. I was mostly content using the mobile phone to have quick glances of what's new online and remain in touch. Easy enough to use on short pauses in between activities and little idle moments in life (and don't you just love technology for that!). Somehow during those days it didn't feel right spending too much time on the computer when it's so nice outside.

But if you're on holiday mode you just want to get away from too much routine and reminders of work. And even if I took the laptop outdoors I would have still preferred to do something else whilst basking in the sun. So a break from normality was a break from the computer too (but not from my mobile phone!).

It feels a little bit surreal, having had probably one the best holidays we've ever had and we didn't go somewhere else, it was mostly on our own turf. Our garden is a themed garden afterall, exotic and tropical inspired, a form of escapism. So why not use it now and again to have a proper long holiday? And very low in carbon footprint too :)



  1. Although I massively enjoy using my laptop - having breaks from it is like drinking water when thirsty.

    Your holiday sounds perfect - and your post is very relaxed too.

    I wish there were some sensible greeting one could give. 'Happy Holiday(s)' seems inappropriately inane.


  2. It sounds like you guys had the perfect staycation! I wish *we* had gotten a day off for the royal wedding. A lot of people got up at 3 a.m. to watch the ceremony (not me).

    Lovely photos of your paradise. In my next life, I want to be a plant in your garden!

    :: Bamboo and More ::

  3. When I was working, I loved staying home on holidays. People would ask what I had done and I would say, 'nothing'. When life is so busy it is great to just kick back, catch up with people, eat, drink...and do a bit of gardening. What am I talking about? That is my whole life now! I don't know how I stand it! LOL

  4. Sounds like the perfect break. The garden is looking great plus, as they say "All work and no play....."

  5. Isn't that funny! Now that spring is in it's full glory I can't help to spend every waking moment of sunlight in the back. I've traveled long and far to find tropical locations with less bio-diversity then my back garden. The garden is the best form of escape. Jealous of your time off, but also happy to hear someone is lounging, it's so busy at the greenhouse now a days...

  6. So cool you had a chance to enjoy Holidays. We had holidays here too. Taking a bit of time off is great.

  7. Your description of your "holiday" even relaxed me a bit.

    Sounds like a great time, now GET BACK TO WORK! ;-)

  8. Eleven days - how nice! I'm glad you got away from the computer, otherwise, it wouldn't have felt much like a holiday. Isn't it great that you enjoy your own place so much it's like a vacation spot?

  9. You timed your break really well for the gorgeous weather. And there I was worrying you'd be suffering from heat exhaustion finishing your pond!

  10. How true is that Esther, definitely agree here. I’m glad the post came across as relaxed, I’ll try my best to prolong that as we get back to our usual working lives :)

    Choice compliment Gerhard :) And yes it was a perfect staycation. You guys would have loved the atmosphere here during the royal wedding!

    Hazel, funny you mentioned that as I’ve mentioned several times during those days on how this ‘staycation’ feels like a preview on how retirement feels :) One lesson I’ve learned is we better make sure we’re financially sorted and stable on retirement, as permanent ‘staycationing’ can get expensive too, lol!

    Thanks Missy, it was a fabulous time off. Lots of play indeed and not a dull moment :)

    Thanks Fer! Taking time off now and again is good to recharge your battries.

    Glad my description relaxed you a bit Alan :) Oh yes, we’ll get back to work indeed (albeit a much slower pace, hehe!)

    It’s wonderful HolleyGarden :) Being able to just relax and enjoy the garden somehow indicates that it has reached a certain level of maturity too, and it’s great!

    Martin, I think the weather is a lot to blame for too for making it such a lovely time off. What a lovely stretch of good weather, no complaints here :)

  11. I agree Nat! Once the spring rush is over hopefully work load will ease off in the nursery and you can take it easy from there :)

  12. I'm glad to hear about your vacation.

    That is a wonderful plant in your picture. Is it a Dasylirion? Nolina? I want one like it.

  13. I know how you feel! Who wants to stay inside when the weather is gorgeous? Gardens are meant to be enjoyed, and you have earned your days of pleasure.

  14. Sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the long stretch of holiday, and why on earth would you want to turn the computer on! You clearly had a great time, and you are so right, you have to enjoy the good weather while you can, this might be all the summer we get this year... I love the pic of the lush ferns and hosta with the bamboo and urn in the background. Why bother travelling when you have created that on your doorstep? Have a great weekend doing more of the same.

  15. Carmen Mastin6 May 2011 at 19:42

    Having a few days away to see nature in the raw. The Peak District and the wilds (We hope) of Wales. I agree the packing and unpacking for holidays is a bind and I too get the greatest enjoyment of my garden. I shall never in a million years get anywhere near to creating a paradise like yours. In fact this year I feel a little despondent as I have lost many of my structural plants in my garden and although the ferns (except my Australian Tree Fern - no sign of recovery yet) and hostas look well it's the canopy which is missing. I am trying hard to think of very hardy plants to replace the old ones. I know that they say a garden constantly changes - but I like to be in control of the changes. Still it hartens me to see your garden and your enthusiasm. Is there a pill for getting that back?

  16. Hi Bom, it's a Dasylirion quadrangulatum. I love the way the leaves gently billow with the breeze. Hopefully you can get one soon.

    How true Debs! It's great to just enjoy the garden from time to time without doing much else.

    Thanks Janet! Ferns and Hostas do make a fab combination. I hope this warm weather we're having is just a taster of an even better summer, cross fingers! Have a lovely weekend too and don't work too hard in the allotment :)

    Hi Carmen, I can imagine you're having a lovely, relaxing time. Peak District is still on my list of places to visit, who knows maybe this year. It has been a very harsh December and it took it's toll on many gardens and gardeners, with exotic plants taking the most battering. It's not easy, alot of gardeners have lost so many plants after particularly last winter. We have our share of losses too, which I'll blog about at some point.

    It's not uncommon at all to hear so many being disheartened from the hobby. I personally try not to get fazed by set backs and just try to move on whenever I encounter difficulties such as last winter. I think the pill you can take is simply called time; just give yourself some time and eventually you'll get your enthusiasm back, and when it does you'll be more empassioned more than ever :) Give your tree ferns some time too, it's still relatively early and they could just be sulking. When you get the urge and feeling inspired to make changes with your planting hopefully we can help with suggestions. Enjoy the rest of your holiday and have a lovely weekend :)

  17. Just my kind of holiday these days, laid back! Your garden is looking great. Technology is fantastic, I can do this stuff on the computer but when my daughter said text me, I had to say, I don't know how.


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