Considering I am a proud Mancunian and have never lived anywhere else I am surprised that I have never visited the Tatton Park Flower show before. Every year I say that I must go but until this year it hasn’t happened. This is it’s 17th year, having been first held in 1999. Maybe because it’s held around the time of my birthday, July 23rd, I’ve usually had a few days away or other plans, or more likely not enough time. The full time worker’s biggest hate – not enough time!
Well this year I have been in retirement a whole year – GOSH where did that time go?? And believe it or not I still feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day, as you may know I still work 60 hours a month until colleagues are trained up to take my place in the team, but even with so much free time I keep myself so busy loving life.
So this year was to be my year for a visit to the show. My decision was also greatly helped by free tickets won in a competition sponsored by Croft Original sherry.
My husband was unwell in the week of the show and was hopeful of going with me but on the day decided he still wasn’t well enough, it was too late to mobilise a friend so I went alone. I am used to visiting places alone, it is something I actually like to do!
I travelled to the show using public transport, even though I can drive I am getting used to using Public transport more as we do not wish to run 2 cars. I think I could write a post just about this topic alone.
Anyway, I must stop rambling and get to the point. After a longish journey by bus and train I finally arrived at the show ground. It was a scorching hot day (at last sun in Manchester!) and as I had been travelling nearly 2 hours my first stop was at the very temptingly parked Ice cream van – just inside the show gates. I decided as it was my birthday weekend I would enjoy a Mr Whippy with a flake, as I enjoyed a leisurely stroll round.
I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the show and didn’t feel the slightest bit lonely. There was so much to see from immaculately grown vegetables to the creatively erected show gardens. It wasn’t my first ever visit to a Flower show as I went to Hampton Court with friends over 20 years ago. From my very poor memory I seem to remember that it was more crowded than Tatton.
Tatton was very well organised and I was struck by how spacious it was. There was plenty of seating from benches, to deckchairs and tables and chairs for visitors to rest and enjoy refreshments.
I’m proud to say that I’m trying to be more thrifty, which is a big ask for me as I am a spendaholic! I bought a sandwich and a bottle of water at Little Waitrose at Manchester Piccadilly station and claimed my free cup of tea as a cardholder. All for £2.50. So as I had won my ticket my whole day cost me under £20 – that’s what I call a result. As stated earlier it was a scorching day and I was pleased to see that there was also plenty of shade and toilets without queues.
Oh and the flowers weren’t bad too! In fact they were incredible so beautiful and lovingly grown and diplayed. I enjoy my garden, especially my new one, which has been landscaped and planted so well by the previous owner of our house. It is so easy to maintain with well planted borders. But it’s fair to say John and I are only fair weather gardeners who keep it neat and tidy so that we can sit in it and admire it whilst drinking beer and wine. it must be lovely to be so enthralled with growing and cultivating. I have so much admiration for green fingered people.
All in all I had a wonderful afternoon I enjoyed a leisurely stroll around in the sunshine and was enthralled by what I saw. The majority of visitors appeared to be 50+, some may question whether it is that we become boring and lacking adventure in our third age. On a personal level I like to think that I am content and enjoying the simpler things in life now I’m retired. I gain pleasure in looking at life from a new perspective. I have time to smell the roses!
As an added bonus my pedometer showed that I had walked 15,266 steps and covered 4.7 miles! My efforts to improve my fitness levels continue.
Have you been to a Flower show? Or have you visited somewhere for a lovely afternoon that you want to share? Please comment and let me know, I love hearing from you.