I used to live in the small part of Surrey that is within Greater London and still remember it with affection. We had the best of all worlds there: twenty minutes to the city by train; a majestic length of the River Thames on our doorstep; royal parks all around us; and a short hop from some gorgeous countryside.
Fellow blogger, Jenny Woolf, recently published a post about Surrey, and has kindly allowed me to use one or two of her photographs.
This one makes me think of the bluebell woods on the Polesdon Lacey estate, where we sometimes walked Sam, the delightful Staffordshire bull terrier who shared our lives then. The woods were a sight for sore eyes if you could catch them when the blooms were out.
Polesdon Lacey is a National Trust country house at Great Bookham near Dorking and Leatherhead. The NT displays inside focus mainly on the Edwardian era before the First World War when owner and society hostess, Mrs Greville, entertained there. Guests even occasionally included King George VI and his queen.
More recently, in my time as a Surrey resident, we used to attend outdoor theatre on the lawns beside the house. I recall a particularly silly Shakespeare comedy competing with the tail end of noisy displays from the Farnborough Air Show one year. I think it might have been Much Ado About Nothing. Whatever, it was always great fun to enjoy a picnic, washed down with wine of course, and watch a play in the open air, even if we did have to huddle under blankets and even umbrellas as the evening wore on.
I'm repeating a picture of our lovely Sam to end this post. No Surrey reminiscences are complete without him and we still miss him, although we now have the comfort of our lovely Jade, whose pic is also easy to find on this blog. These two make a really good example of how different dogs have different characters. Sam was always raring to go, while Jade is a much more laid back little lady, who will often avoid play with other dogs and just likes to run alone to let off steam in places that are special to her.