There was a brief interlude in the steep learning curve that is lay ministry in an interregnum (sorry, vacancy) last weekend, as we travelled north up the A1M for a wedding in Lincolnshire.
A truly excellent and relaxed occasion it was. The wedding itself, a civil service in a hotel, gave me much to ponder if contrasted with the language of a church ceremony. The reception was in a lovely marquee on the family’s farm with lots of games, a bbq buffet with few food miles, and I even danced (to the shock of my son I suspect). But another treat was on store, as we stopped on the way home at another farm connected with the extended family of our friends… this time at Hitchin (near Letchworth).
Hitchin Lavender has restarted a historic tradition of growing lavender in the area, and now makes a wonderful lunch stop between late June and early September, for anyone wishing to step off the A1M at J10.
The refreshments in the old barn were delicious, and there is shade to sit outside if you have a dog. There is also an excellent gift shop selling the delightful goods made from lavender grown on the farm. Then for a small fee (which includes the scissors and bag to cut some lavender for yourself) you can walk the fields, which now include not only lavender but the most gorgeous sunflowers. The whole thing just made my heart lift, as is a fantastic antidote to long-distance car journeys.
We were particularly impressed by the artist sat quietly in the edge of the sunflowers painting. I have no idea who she is, but would love to find out. I also thought the husbands photo a real cracker… and I think both could be real winners if they ever entered competitions!
We even bought a couple of lavender plants to bring home – one for us for the back garden (we’ve already got a plant of their lavender in the front) and one for Dad, as a thank you for looking after the dog!
One tip – be careful in the lavender fields if you’re wearing sandals; bees sting!