Can you imagine that in the short time I have been here in London I have visited Hampton Court twice?
First with my friend Anne, with whom I visited the Chelsea Flower Show, and then with Louise, my Facebook friend from Dover. Both times were so fabulous!
Of course coming twice did not escape the attention of Henry VIII - and so I met him in the courtyard. In his youth, they said, he was a beautiful man "with a very fine calf" - most important in those days, because they wore silk stockings (see, Tom: he wouldn't have faced any problems at the security control of an airport). We pondered on the role of women, marriage, love, faith and politics in those days. I don't envy them!
The weather was quite up and down - so at first we could throw only a few longing glances onto the gardens outside.
But then - lucky us - the sun came out and we really raptured. I have many fine photographs, also from the little Tudor Garden, but I will not bore you (more than I do by my daily 'telegrams' from London :-)
We admired the Great Vine, planted in 1768 for King George by Lancelot Capability Brown. The plant in the hothouse is incredibly huge, and even up until 1920 the (numbered) Hampton Court grapes were only for the Royal Family.
And behind these gates the Thames, "The river glideth at his own sweet will" - as William Wordsworth said in his poem 'Composed on Westminster Bridge'.
For information see: http://www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace/