Oh happy day! We left a bit earlier for Ashburnham Place, Rod’s current favourite fishing haunt, and popular with me because the grounds are so magnificent, and so is the cafe, the Orangery. I dropped Rod off by the lake and made my way to the cafe, wondering if it might be very crowded and if I should have made a booking…….but joy oh rapture, no queue, no masks, everything out of doors, and I got my Ashburnham special ploughman’s.
I know it is utterly naff to photograph one’s lunch, I wanted to share it with you digitally, certainly not actually. The cheese scone is to die for, and would feed a family of four. Cheddar cheese, home-made chutney…what’s not to like? I did also buy Rod a piece of coffee and walnut cake and managed to carry it over to the lake without it turning totally liquid in the heat.
Ashburnham Place has always had a camp site, but this year it has opened up another massive field by the so-called broad water lake. The setting is idyllic and they have organised it very well with portaloos and portable showers, fresh water taps, electric hook-ups. I guess about 60 caravans and tents were there. Lots of children on bikes, kayaking on the lake, a swimming area, and acres of woodland to go for long walks or jogs. I am so delighted for them as they lost a great deal of money during lockdown, and this is perhaps a chance to recoup some of the loss. I got chatting to one family who said they had come across it by chance, and were there for 4 nights, £100, which is pretty reasonable. So dust off those tents folks, and head for Ashburnham Place.
Rod was the only angler on the other lake, which suited him fine, away from the crowds. Me too in the end. I read, snoozed, and then went for a walk. Just a tour of the 3 lakes is 4 miles, and the woodland is so peaceful. The feng shui of this place is exquisite. I feel very relaxed after going there, and I can understand why it is a centre for retreats. Rod caught mainly rudd and roach but also managed a tench, which is what he was really after. I wondered if the brightness and heat would be against him but luckily not.
The perfect evening.
I have discovered the new litter: discarded masks. It is maddening enough to have to wear them, but to trip over them in the car park and along the road is even more irritating. I think people rip them off as they leave the shop, stuff them in their pocket, whereupon they promptly fall out.
Thank you so much to the people who have contacted me to say they are following the blog. I am fearfully excited to know that people are still reading it. I keep wondering when the cut off point may be: perhaps when my dentist reopens? Do contact me with any feedback, always delighted to hear.