I’ve never appreciated living in Sussex quite as much as I am right now. Of course, during the week, it means I spend what feels like half my day on the train, but at the weekends…well, I’m more than grateful. We’re surrounded by endless fields that come alive in May with lush verdancy, complete with grazing cows and the odd chicken (sometimes the VERY odd chicken…) And of course, we’re in a National Trust hotspot, bordering with Kent. And so, Mama Simmons and I took off in the car for a country road trip.
Sloping along the winding path through banks of wild flowers at Bateman’s, I stopped for a minute to feel the sun beating on my shoulders, and to breathe in the scent of a nearby azealia. I suddenly felt a million miles away from the dawdling, sweaty, claggy train journeys that bookmark my weekdays now. For those of you who haven’t been card carrying members of the National Trust since you were born (like me…), Bateman’s is Rudyard Kipling’s house, and boasts rolling lawns, overgrown meadows, a working mill, and the occasional friendly chicken.
At this time of the year, the wisteria was in fine fettle, there was green as far as the eye could see, and lazy bees drifted through rustling trees.
Ain’t nobody here but us chickens. (and duck).
Of course, a true middle-aged Saturday wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a garden centre. I got a bit overexcited. I’m going to be spending my Sunday morning planting up round carrots (wut!), purple cauliflower, strawberries and pineapple mint. PINEAPPLE MINT!
Bottom line: the National Trust is ace. Find your nearest properties here , but I’d strongly recommend getting a membership card – a young persons card is £26 a year, and you really only need to visit three properties and it pays for itself!