How is it almost August already? Whenever I compile these monthly updates it makes me think that I’ve been doing a lot of swanning around, but in fact the vast majority of my time has been spent working (keep an eye on my professional blog at rachel-ingram.co.uk for how much I’ve done each month, if you don’t believe me!). I’ve averaged one day a week off this month, but I’ve managed to fill them with interesting things.
An early highlight of the month was visiting the Real Flower Petal Confetti field near Pershore. I could easily fill another blog post with photos, but they’d be very similar to the ones I took last year, so I’ll only include a couple here.
The field is open for one week each year, and it was even busier this year than last. People come from all over the country to see it – photographers especially. The sea of delphiniums in different shades really is a spectacular and almost ethereal sight.
This year there was also a Union Jack made from carefully planted flowers, though this needs to be seen from the air to be appreciated. Luckily, we have a plane :). Lee took this on one of his flights with a student.
This was a lovely view of the Malvern Hills on the same day as the flower field.
Also that day, we called in at Nympsfield Gliding Club…
…and its nearby lookout point, where there is also an ancient long barrow. It was these poppies that caught my eye though.
On the subject of flowers, another place in the Cotswolds that’s really worth visiting this time of year is the lavender field at Snowshill.
Cotswold Lavender is hugely popular and there are tourists arriving by the coachload, but it’s surprisingly easy to get a patch of lavender field to oneself for photo opportunities.
I’ll try to do a post with more lavender photos at some point. If you decide to visit, don’t miss a wander around the village itself. It really is the perfect Cotswolds village (fans of Bridget Jones may recognise this scene).
The Snowshill Arms – the two-gabled building you can see beyond the churchyard in this photo – is a great place for lunch, too.
I had a solo flight in the beloved Robin late one afternoon – it really is a great way to clear your head and de-stress – and I flew over the lavender fields to see what they look like from the air. Not as impressive as from the ground, but interesting nonetheless.
Here’s one of Broadway Tower from the same flight…
…and one of me…
…and one of the Robin. :)
My helicopter training continues and I have somehow managed to clock up 15 hours – a third of the way to the total hours needed for a licence and just five more until I’ll be allowed to fly solo, as and when I’m ready. Flying solo feels a pretty terrifying prospect right now, but I know I’m getting closer to it because this month I have managed to take off, fly a complete circuit and land, including handling all aspects of the flight such as radio and checks, without my instructor saying anything. This is a big step forward, so I’m pleased with how it’s going. I’ve mostly been flying the teeny tiny R22…
…but I also got to fly the R44 again this month, and one of the airfield plane spotters, Gavin, sent me these amazing photos. My instructor and I thought it was funny how serious we both look!
I also found this awesome photo on Flickr.
A couple of weeks ago I took the train down to London for the day to see my sister and we had a lovely day mooching around Piccadilly. We had lunch at the Duck and Waffle, where the menu is described as “duck driven” but with a “not duck” section too. Then we wandered around Fortnum and Mason and the National Portrait Gallery. I have more pics, so I’ll share them in their own post whenever I get the chance.
On Saturday I spent the day in glorious Bath with my friend Emma, for her birthday. A local jeweller was running a treasure hunt with prizes worth £10,000, so we did that and then spent the afternoon at the amazing Thermae Bath Spa.
This was an interesting discovery behind the Pump Room. Despite having been visiting Bath all my life, I didn’t even know it was there, but it was quite magical and had the air of a scene that hasn’t changed for centuries (like many other places in Bath).
I’ve still been finding time to volunteer at Guide Dogs, and the standout pup this month was this especially cute and snuggly Golden Retriever puppy. Those little paws!
In other news, I have a new dress, pictured here before a meal at Wildwood in Stratford. You probably can’t see it here, but the dress has hot air balloons and the Parisian skyline on it. I can never resist hot air balloons.
I’ll leave you with this photo of a spectacular sunset from the other day.