Dr. M. Redux . . . courtesy of the National Trust!

It is fifteen weeks today since I went base over apex and broke my leg. But I have made good progress, and I’m pleased to say that since I saw my surgeon at the end of March, and finished with formal physiotherapy sessions, I have been able to get behind the wheel and drive again. And we have been fortunate that despite the mixed weather that April has brought us so far, there have been one or two really spectacular late Spring-early Summer days that have permitted us to get out and about.

20160410 018 Hanbury HallI still can’t walk more than about a mile and a half before I feel the need to sit down and rest my leg. The ankle and lower leg swell up quite badly, and where the various pins and screws are holding my bones together, it really does hurt from time to time. That hasn’t stopped us, however, and two weeks ago (10 April), a Sunday, we decided to head out to our ‘local’ National Trust property, Hanbury Hall.

It was a glorious morning, if not a little chilly in the stiff breeze. We were hoping to see Spring flowers in the parterre garden. And we weren’t disappointed. What a magnificent display of hyacinths!

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The Hanbury parterre

Last Wednesday (20 April) was an even better day, weather-wise. Warm and sunny, and a joy to be outside in the fresh air. So we headed southeast from home, just 17 miles by motorway (and less than 30 minutes if there’s little traffic congestion) from home to Packwood House, another National Trust site we have already visited on several occasions also, but about which I don’t appear to have posted anything on my blog. That will have to be remedied. Packwood is a much-restored Tudor manor house. One of its signature features is the Yew Garden.

Anyway, we just wanted to enjoy the gardens, the lakeside meadow, and have a bite to eat in the lovely refurbished café there.

Packwood map

The Carolean Garden, and its beautiful yellow border . . .

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The sunken garden, part of the Carolean Garden, installed in the 1930s.

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The Raised Terrace, leading into the Yew Garden, from the Carolean Garden.

Scenes around the Yew Garden . . .

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Packwood House from the Lakeside Meadow.

Until my leg heals further, our National Trust visits and walks will be limited to a wander round the gardens closest to the various properties. A walk at Croome Park, for example is certainly not on the cards in the foreseeable future. But, after being confined to a chair for so many weeks, followed by limited movement around the house, it’s great to be in the great outdoors. And our membership of the National Trust is, as always, a great encouragement to make the effort to take an outing.



A triple century . . .

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Yes, this is my 300th blog post! I can hardly believe it. What started, rather tentatively in September 2011 (when I first tried my hand at blogging on WordPress), has become a regular pastime for me.

I posted my first public post on 1 February 2012—all about a visit we’d made in 2008 to a pumping station on the Kennet and Avon Canal. And from that modest beginning, my blog A Balanced Diet has grown quite significantly. Maybe it’s rather self-indulgent, but I’ve written this blog for my own pleasure. However, it’s also quite gratifying to know that so many folks around the world have also found interesting some of what I write about.

Visitors to my blog have grown over the past four years, and there are few countries that are not represented, as this slide show illustrates year by year.

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And, to date there have been almost 88,000 views.

views and visitors

Popular topics include genetic resources (and especially one post about potatoes in the Andes), various travels around the world, and our visits to National Trust properties.

But also popular are my two blogs about the investiture I attended at Buckingham Palace at the end of February 2012, and what to wear to an investiture. I think other honorees have faced the same dilemma I did. Another popular post, about cricket, must reflect the popularity of the sport and the various formats played around the world. Last year one of the most read posts was the obituary I wrote for my friend and former colleague, Professor Trevor Williams.

It’s strange how an idea will suddenly come to me, and then I can see how a blog post might be written. It could be hearing a piece of music, reading a book, or seeing something on television.

I hope you will continue to enjoy my random musings as much as I enjoy putting them together. Finding additional information from resources like Wikipedia (and yes, I have made a subscription to support that) and YouTube make my task easier. There’s often no need to go into great detail as there are already better resources out in the ether. I’ve uploaded more than 6000 images! I must have written more than 300,000 words over the past four years, maybe more. Well, as long as the ol’ neurons keep on being fired up, I’ll continue to blog.

Do keep coming back.