Happy Anniversary

A year ago today (28th February), we celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary with a visit to Chirk Castle – not far from home, to (finally) see their famous snowdrop display- and to join the National Trust as we fully intended to visit as many NT houses and gardens as we could in 2020. And then Covid 19 hit. Three weeks later we were in lockdown, restricted to walks from our doorstep; saddened, shocked and bewildered at what we were seeing on the news.

I feel as though I’ve been holding my breath ever since. Not in case I breath the virus in, but because if I let it out, I’ll be like one of those cartoon characters that smacks its thumb with a hammer and rushes outside to scream.

Twelve months of holding this in:


We haven’t travelled outside a 10-mile radius from home in eleven months. Haven’t eaten a takeaway, been on holiday, visited gardens, beaches, beauty spots, cinemas, pubs, garden centres or retail parks.

I had my car serviced last Thursday: I’ve driven 650 miles in 52 weeks, most of that between 28 February and 21 March 2020. Add in trips to the supermarket (12 miles round trip) and to the recycling centre (11 miles each way), four trips to see my brother (nine miles away) and that’s it. I’ve put petrol in my car twice, and it’s still half full!


Our previous visit to Chirk was in May 2005, so I’m sharing images from both days – fifteen years apart – to what has changed. I’ve tried to match similar views where I can, some may be the same thing from different angles. 2005 on the left, 2020 on the right.

Images deleted to free up storage space on my Media Library

13 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary

    1. I realised afterwards that I only showed one half of the garden. There is a more formal area nearer the house and this part is below in a glen going down to the river. Quite different but both beautiful. Well worth a visit – and a visit to The Bull’s Head afterwards!

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  1. We were considering a visit to Chirk Castle while on a garden-visiting holiday in Wales a year or two ago – who hasn’t lost count of the days, weeks, months and years at this stage! – and we most certainly would have gone there had we known we might see that beautiful young married couple!
    We put petrol in the car about a fortnight ago – the first time since the summer! – and, like you, haven’t been to or done any of those things you listed. It can get dreary! The vaccine is being rolled out but it seems to slow. My son and partner got it in the last few days – both pharmacists so prioritised so they can deliver the vaccine – and all went well, just sore shoulders.
    I am very enthusiastic about snowdrops and would love to drive around some of the snowdrop gardens in Wales and England but we have always been nervous about planning any travel at that time of year as the weather can be so unpredictable – though now, we’d jump at any opportunity to go anywhere. As Mary’s mother used say – I’d go to the opening of a door!
    Chirk Castle looks good; we should have included it in our visits. We were staying on Anglesey, The Bull’s Head in Beau Maris – and there’s a few lovely gardens near there. Plas Cadnant is really nice.

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    1. Haha, not so beautiful now – but thank you anyway. I’ve heard good things about The Bull’s Head, my friend stayed there a few years ago. Here’s hoping you get to Chirk one day – a morning there and the afternoon at Erddig – both gardens small but lovely in their own way. We are on 65-69 with the vaccine here – they seem to be going in age order so hubbie (66 in April) will have it before me. I’m happy to pootle about the village until it’s my turn.

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    2. Yes, we visited Erddig – on a day of torrential rain but still enjoyed it – but were so wet that we headed back to the Bull’s Head. We have stayed in Wales a few time – in Caernarfon – and went one time for a meal in the Bull’s Head because we were visiting a garden on the way out to Beaumaris – a Miss Jones (well, it is Wales!), who had come and given a talk to our of our local gardening clubs. I remember it was a steep garden between the road and the sea. The Bull’s Head is very nice – very good grub and nice pub though the rooms are a bit dated. It’s a beautiful area and very pleasant people.

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