Monday 16 May to Monday 23 May – Blenheim Palace

Monday 16 May to Monday 23 May

Once again this week has been spent with Ella, catching up after our big day on Sunday, and just enjoying doing the normal day-to-day things.  Ella’s British Passport arrived this week, so as soon as her Australian Visa is organised, she will be all set for her holiday with her Mummy and Daddy to Australia in August.

Blenheim Palace

On Saturday morning, 21 May, we collected our hire car for the weekend – a Mercedes C Class, so that we could all fit comfortably for a day’s outing to Blenheim Palace.  Unfortunately, by the time we put the baby’s capsule in the car, there wasn’t enough room for two adults to sit in the back seat comfortably, so we drove back to the car hire place in Slough to return the car.  Luckily for us, a Ford Galaxy had just been returned, so we were able to get it for the same price.  The Galaxy is an upmarket 7- seater, with the second row of seats having three separate bucket seats, which easily fitted the baby’s capsule and two adults, very comfortably.  With the third row of seats folded away, we had heaps of room for the pram etc.

After our false start, we left here at about 10.00am and drove to Blenheim Palace, which is just past Oxford, about an hour’s drive.  Blenheim Palace, which is a World Heritage Site, was built between 1764 and 1774 and was the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill.  The Palace is the current home of the Duke of Marlborough, the descendant of Sir Winston.

From the moment the four of us (with Ella in her pram) walked up the long driveway and under the main entrance archway and through the gold inlaid gates, we were impressed with the huge palace, which sits on 2 000 acres of land.  We looked around the ground floor of the palace before Janet fed Ella and then we had a nice lunch in the Water Terrace Café, overlooking the Water Terraces.  After lunch we went for a walk beside the lake along the Garden Lakeside Walk past the Boat House to the Dam and the Cascades, returning to the palace via the Arboretum, the Rose Gardens, the Temple of Diana and the Italian Gardens. There are many acres of manicured lawns and almost park-like areas where families can have picnics – dogs are even allowed as long as they are kept on a lead.

While Janet fed Ella again, the two of us went for a wander (to take more photos) and saw hundreds of ladies dressed in pink walking down the hill from the Column of Victory – they were walking either 10 or 20 miles to raise money for the Cancer fund.  The Column of Victory is 41 metres high and stands at the entrance to the Great Avenue in “The Park” and has a statue of the 1st Duke on the top – he is dressed as a Roman General and is holding a Winged Victory.

There is even a little train that takes you from the palace to the Butterfly House, Pleasure Gardens, Maze and Adventure Play Area, but we decided that we would leave that part of Blenheim until Ella is old enough to appreciate it.

On Sunday 22 May, we were all invited to Ella’s Godparents, Wanda and Alan’s house for lunch.  We spent a very enjoyable afternoon with them, talking, laughing, eating, looking at Ella, and just enjoying each other’s company.

On Monday 23 May, we spent a quiet day because little Ella has a head cold and is not well.  Janet took her to the doctor, who checked her over and said she doesn’t have any throat/ear/chest infections, so that is good news.  She had a very restless night last night and needs lots of extra cuddles today – there are two very eager volunteers!!

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