Monday 18 July 2022

Old Rufford Hall

No navigation today

As expected, today was very hot indeed and, with little or no breeze, it gradually became more oppressive. The hottest time was around 4 - 5 in the evening.

This morning we made a good start (well, about 10:30!) by moving the boat across to the service block for the usual round of emptying and filling. After moving back again we did very little else until lunch time, other than Christine prepared most of tonight's meal.

After lunch we decided that there was no way we could make the inside of the boat any more bearable (and it was already not) so we decided to take advantage of our NT membership and go just up the road to Old Rufford Hall for the afternoon.

We have visited here before and remembered that the gardens were quite attractive with plenty of room to sit in the shade.

As we checked in and had our cards scanned we enquired about the best place for what we wanted - cool shade! We immediately set off as instructed. The first part by the canal was very cool and a slight breeze but alas all the tables were of the picnic variety so not so comfortable for sitting to read, or doze.

We passed a couple of statues - one male and one female (the editor is not biased but the other picture did not come out too well on account of the direction of the sunshine!_We felt it grossly unfair that they could strip off and get cool whilst we would probably be thrown out for copying them.

We continued a little further to one of the orchard spaces where there seemed to be just what we wanted. The only thing missing was a breeze - by now the atmosphere was really stifling but nowhere would have been any better. 

So we sat and read (sometimes dozed) for at least an hour and a half. There were very few people around - indeed we heard later that the garden tours had been cancelled today on safety grounds.

The tea room closed at 4pm so with little more than 20 minutes to spare we moved there and had a delightful pot of tea and a cake, sitting in the shade in the courtyard. Everything was uncharacteristically quiet.

There was still a short time left before the gates closed at 5 so we went back to another bench in the shade for a further read.

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