If you're not from around here, you may not be aware that July 12th is a special day in the NI calendar. Special because we get the day off, or as was the case this year, the next day off, in lieu. Some people like to spend the day dressing up and marching up and down a bit but many of us don't understand what that's all about and do other things. We went to our nearest National Trust property, Mount Stewart.
It's my age. I'm at that point, with two growing boys, where certain things appeal, when once they didn't. I've been to plenty of NT properties over the years but I feel that it's only really now that I'm appreciating them. They're exceptional. Beautiful. The gardens and grounds are thrilling adventure playgrounds for the boys: with trees grown, it would seem, especially to be climbed, woods grown especially to be scrambled through and lakes designed especially to be fallen into – Seth (3) fell in.
So, blessed by super-fine weather, we had a splendid day outside with the trees and ducks etc. My photos can't capture the real beauty or strength of colour found...out there...but a few things stood out that I wanted to show: There's the pea soup-like pond with it's vivid green (good enough to eat); the leafy magenta carpet (again, the photos don't capture just how vibrant that colour was) and lastly the illuminated canopy.
Next week we're camping at Castle Ward so armed with camera, boots and beard I'm sure I'll be bringing back more crusty outdoorisms.