We went to the lavender fields. It was a sunny morning, every year I mean to go and forget until it’s too late, so I phoned my mother, and off we set. Google maps promised it would be a quick 28 minute journey, and the roads looked okay, so what could go wrong?
A closed road threw us off route briefly, but Google maps seemed to cope, didn’t swear (like some people do when you ignore their directions) and the new route seemed fine. Except we came to a very narrow lane, and a lorry unloading, and two school mini buses that couldn’t squeeze past… I was also worried because I knew that one route went via the motorway, and I need to psyche myself up before driving on a motorway, I cannot just casually roll onto one and zoom along a couple of junctions before diving off again, like most people seem to do. There is wailing involved when I drive on the motorway. And often swearing. (And my mother was in the car, so neither of those would be appreciated.)
Eventually we found the farm. The small yellow car that had been glued to my bumper in the narrow lane also turned off, so I let her pass first, then parked in a different place. I felt she may have wanted to make comments about my driving. (To be fair, I had several comments about her driving, but I couldn’t see anyone would benefit from the exchange.) Mum was still chatting cheerily, oblivious to the stress/near-death experiences we had recently shared. She headed off for the washroom, and I noticed she had dressed to match the lavender. I hoped I wouldn’t lose her.
The farm is pretty. It’s set in the hills, and there were cows, and fields of purple lavender stretching to the horizon. Some people had booked a tour, and were trailing behind a 12-year-old in wellies (everyone tends to look like a 12-year-old these days). We took some photos, and Mum said we must bring my sister here (probably because she takes better photos than me—she uses a camera rather than a phone for a start). I agreed. Mum asked what kind of cows they were, but I didn’t know. Brown ones? We looked for a tea room, but there wasn’t one, only a van selling drinks in paper cups, and there was nowhere comfortable to sit, so we didn’t bother.
I bought some pots of lavender—three different types according to the labels, though I wonder if that was accurate as two looked identical. One was called ‘fathead’ which made me chuckle. The perfect gift for someone who I don’t like much. It has chubby flowers. I like lavender, mainly because neither slugs nor chickens like eating it (most of my plants get eaten).
The shop also sold lavender stuff (obviously). Bags of lavender, glass bottles of lavender perfume, purple soaps, crockery with lavender flowers painted across the surface. They also, bizarrely, sold frozen food from the COOK chain. Not sure why. Perhaps after trailing behind the 12-year-old in wellies, people are too tired to cook dinner, so they do a roaring trade in beef casseroles and lasagne. I wasn’t tempted though.
We shoved my plants in the boot, and drove home by a new route. It was just as bad as the first one, and I know there is an easy way, past the Sainsbury’s where I shopped when the family were small. Never mind, we made it back okay, and Mum didn’t stop chatting, which is a good sign (she goes silent when she’s noticed my driving…I think she’s praying). I’m going to plant my new lavender now.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find some good routes this week.
Love, Anne x