One of the biggest problems of being a carer is the difficulty of having a day out or a break away from the person you look after. Logistically, a lot of arrangements have to be in place before you can get away and spontaneity is not a possibility. We have previously used a local care home for dad’s respite care but we thought we would give Country Cousins a try. They provide you with fully-checked live-in carers so that your relative can stay in their familiar surroundings and stick to their usual routine.
Last year we added RHS Chelsea Flower Show to out calendar and promised ourselves we would go in 2014. It is easy to think of reasons why you won’t be able to do it but in a moment of madness I booked two tickets online, knowing that this would commit us to having some time on our own together.
Our lovely Carer arrived the night before and the following morning we set off for our day out. We took the Grand Central train from Hartlepool to London King’s Cross. It was a relaxing journey. We had packed a lovely picnic and a nice bottle of Malbec, so arrived in London feeling relaxed and happy!
A quick Tube journey found us at Sloane Square Station and then a short walk in the warm sunshine took us to the gates of the Chelsea Royal Hospital. The show was every bit as lovely as we thought it would be.
We wandered from one area to another, noting our favourites and planning what we could do with our own garden. The weather was generally quite kind, with just one torrential thunderstorm sending people rushing to the indoor exhibits and leaving the site with lots of puddles for the rest of the day.
Here are some of our highlights.
We both loved the wide variety of water features and there is definitely going to be some sort of pool or pond in our garden really soon. This was particularly attractive:
This was also very appealing. The use of plants vertically was so unusual too.
For a bit of fun, we enjoyed seeing this outdoor sitting room:
There were so many amazing things to see but we both adored the Waitrose displays because the mix of flowers, fruit and vegetables arranged according to colour was so appealing.
We loved the tree ferns!
And some other highlights here:
A very unusual Bougainvillea.
Cushions of lovely flowers:
Towering glass flowers:
Crowds gathering to watch the BBC teams filming:
A tree house with revolving turret:
The scent of the Lilies:
The driftwood horses:
Two tired but happy people made their way back to King’s Cross, where we rounded off the day with a superb pizza and a glass or two of wine before getting the Grand Central back to rainy Hartlepool.
We had the most wonderful day!