Sunday, 21 June 2009

Serious Leisure time

You may have noticed that I take my leisure time very seriously. When hubby has a weekend off, we fill it to the brim with nice things to do, and no chores. This weekend has been totally brilliant. On Saturday evening, we went to Nostell Priory near Wakefield (National Trust property) as they were holding one of their "Jazz in the Park" nights. We went with a largish party of family and friends and took a picnic. The evening was fine, but a bit cool - until we all got up dancing (even the menfolk!!) then we all got a bit of a sweat on!! The Elderflower champagne was ready in time, so we cracked a few bottles open - it really is the taste of summer. If you get chance to attend any of these, I can't recommend them highly enough. A fabulous way to spend a summers evening.

Then today was the young mans driving day (the one we got him for his birthday). We drove over to Stafford early morning to find the place, then we had a trundle around the beautiful Staffordshire countryside until it was time for his drive. I can't believe how much they taught him in such a short space of time. He got tuition in a mini cooper for 3 laps of the track - in which time they taught him gear changes, starting, breaking and steering!! Then they zipped him around the track in a Lotus Elise to show him how it was done, then they let him loose in the Aston Martin Vantage!!!! It was great to watch, and really funny listening to all the "mummies" having kittens as their little boys took to the track for their 1st drive. He did really really well and he looks like a bit of a natural at the wheel. He said that the Aston was easier to drive than the mini - perhaps that was a hint!!
After his drive, we all got to partake as passengers in an off road vehicle driving through some very scarey terrain!! The driver seemed amused by my terror, but I told him it would be far funnier if I drove - I think he would have been more scared than me!!!

After our time at the track, the sun came out and I didnt want to go home, so we took a look at the map and thought Stafford town centre might be nice for a wander round, but as we got nearer, we though that it looked like it might be twinned with Rotherham - to be avoided at all costs!!! So we detoured to Shugborough Hall - somewhere Ive always fancied a look around. It was a bit late, so we didnt get an indepth look, but it was really nice, with lovely gardens and a fascinating photography display of Patrick Lichfields work. I loved the walled garden, but they were having terrible trouble with their cabbages - nearly every one stripped bare (by caterpillars I presume). They had a working blacksmiths in the corner of the garden which was interesting. I would have loved to visit the "downstairs " bit of the hall, but we didnt have any time left, so I was promised a revisit.
Don't be fooled by the healthy looking cabbage in this photo - the ones at the back had no leaves at all!!

Then it was home - just in time for Top Gear!!
I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Have a good week. xxxxx


Caroline said...

Hope you enjoyed Top Gear, it made me giggle, as ever...
It looks like you had a gorgeous weekend! Wonderful how you find the time to enjoy these things.

Lydia said...

I really need to put my NT membership into use! I bet your son had a riot in those cars - he'll be getting expensive tastes though...


Lisa said...

What a fab weekend!
Love the sound of the jazz evening and it's great that your son got to accomplish so much on his driving session. Start saving now for that flash car!
Lisa xx

Gilly said...

Nostell Priory is lovely, isn't it? Did you see the herb garden? I haven't been to Shugborough, though we passed it once when we had a canal holiday. I do wish we had gone then.

Was it trad jazz?

Michela said...

What a breathlessly weekend!
Maybe you are so energetic because you drink real Italian coffee...!!!
Have a great week!

Lyn said...

Busy weekend?
Sounds fun, We have been to Nostell Priory and Shugborough (National Trust Members!) and I got a lovely biscuit recipe from Shugborough Hall Kitchen when they were doing a demonstration.
The driving looks like every boys dream!

Tabiboo said...

Looks like you had a most wonderful weekend.

take care and have a lovely week,

Nina x

nicola said...

thanks for visiting my blog!
leisure time should be just how you and your husband do it! i am awful at letting stuff lie to relax. i need a lesson from you. reading this post was a good start!