This weekend we took on a nice slow pace, soaking up the great outdoors as Spring descends on us in England.
On Saturday we took a scenic drive to The New Forest in Hampshire http://www.thenewforest.co.uk/ 'When William the Conqueror saw these acres of deer-filled heathland, pretty glades and wild wood more than 900 years ago, he couldn't believe his luck'...couldn't have put it better ourselves. The New Forest is absolutely amazing...it's easy to see why it has been enjoyed by Royals over the years (unfortunately for hunting most of the time..arghh). It is filled with trees, marshland, wild horses and, yes, deer!
We meandered around the pathway, soaking up the atmosphere while on the lookout for deer. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw a herd grazing a great distance away. So you can imagine our absolute elation when we found that if we followed the path and then cut across the marshland (mud and all...nice 'clean' shoes...NOT, but fun anyway) we came to a bunch of trees that directly overlooked where the deer were grazing and lazing about, behind the safety of their barrier fence. We have been told that deer are very timid...well, you would not agree if you had seen these deer...I swear they knew they were safely behind a fence because they didn't even move when the boys tried to 'get their attention' for me to take a full frontal photograph. A couple of bucks decided to 'have it out' not far from where we stood. The sound of their antlers colliding was amazingly loud and they clashed repeatedly. The doe's just continued to lay on the grass, apparently unphased by the whole show of testosterone.
After we watched the deer for quite some time we settled down at a picnic table in a lovely tree lined clearing where we enjoyed our sausage sizzles (cooked on our little butane gas cooker), whilst surrounded by the cutest little birds - known as the Dartford Warbler.
Once we finished lunch we got back into the car and headed home along the south coast. We stopped along the way at a church in Hinton and were a little disappointed that it is only a couple of hundred years old...still pretty though. Then we stopped along the coast and Barton-on-Sea where we went for a nice long stroll along a walkway that runs the length of the beach. It was absolutely gorgeous as the sun reflected off the water making it look like the lovliest blue topaz. We also stopped at Milford-on-Sea before we took to the open road (and the motorways) and headed back for home.....A truly magnificent day. Even Storm seemed more relaxed as we unwound last night before bed.
Today we went back to St George's Anglican Church in Waterlooville. It was such a beautiful sunny morning that we decided to walk to church today. It took us around half an hour and was a lovely way to start the day. After another lovely service, where everything seemed so easily familiar, we stopped for a coffee & hot chocolate before strolling home again. The sun was shining so beautifully as we found our way home. It took us about an hour to get home because it was just too lovely to rush. Once home we enjoyed some lovely croissants with ham and cheese...a perfect end to a perfect day.....ahhhh