Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Day In The Domain

Today was the annual event where the town turns out for a day in the thermal domain.  The domain has been preserved in all its Edwardian glory, complete with bowling greens, a skating rink, petanque courts and pleasure gardens.  The weather was perfect, not too hot but beautifully sunny and from the hillside in the domain we could survey the surrounding countryside.  The brass band was the first to play and then the rotunda was used all day for different artists. 

There were lots of fund raising stalls and craftsmen and women selling their wares.  I was very tempted by some silver jewellery and paintings but Mr Shoestring was not impressed, so I kept my wallet safely in my handbag.  But we did agree on some tasty Indian food courtesy of the local Indian restaurant.  Delicious. 

Here some of the thermal water is released into the stream running through the domain.  It is very picturesque and attactive, especially when the steam catches the light in the early morning or at sunset. 

We bought quite a few plants from a stall for the garden at Shoestring.  For me it is more enjoyable to buy from local nurseries rather than nationwide chains; you know your plants are used to the conditions where you live and are more likely to survive in your own garden, plus which the profits are going directly to local growers. We raced home eagerly and planted them in the part of the garden we are currently developing.  There was a gardenia (not sure whether it will survive the winter, something of an experiment), some heucheras of differing hues and several ligularias with spotted and curly leaves.  (They will be at home with all the variegated specimes we seem to be gravitating to of late.)

There was a lovely exhibition at the old Post Office building where the local patchworkers displayed  their latest creations, and a car club of enthusiasts who collected old Riley cars had descended on the town, which added to the vintage atmosphere.  

I spent the afternoon with my dear friend Mrs Peaceable in the courtyard at a local cafe in the old bank building.  Needless to say, we put all the problems of the world to rights and felt very pleased with ourselves after a large coffee in the sunshine.  When I returned home Mr Shoestring had just completed watering the garden to welcome our acquisitions to their new home, then two more friends arrived for a cup of tea and we all compared our purchases of the weekend.  What a lot of pleasure we can glean from spending $1.50 on some bric a brac!  A harmless addiction, surely?  

At this time of the year every day in the sun feels as though it may be the last for some time and we enjoyed it all the more for that reason.  Here's hoping that we have a long and warm autumn, though of course with plenty of rain for the farmers and gardens. 

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