I’ve had the most exciting day with Tip of the Iceberg (TOTI), my mind is racing and the smile just won’t go!
With a sleepy early start the first challenge was to squeeze into my bike leathers. The sun’s out already, but the traffic will be awful and we’ll zip past everyone. Success! My recent running regimen has paid off and I am now Hampton Fit J.
Chauffeur for the day is also TOTI’s construction expert Neil Stittle. If you per chance have a canal boat and ever need a creative hand to aid improvements then Neil’s your man – stittleboatservices.co.uk
So we arrive, and hour ahead of schedule as there is no traffic…half-term of course. But a coffee stop offers an opportunity get our heads in order, a bit of banter and to extol the virtues of motorbiking which I love but am a bit rusty on.
Driving into the Royal Park is beautiful; open grass land and my first spy is a flash of spots – a mistle or song thrush? Too quick for me. Then Neil has to slow further as the deer cross our path – pale, plump behinds with more spots – a favoured camouflage it seems. We cross the Long Water and suddenly in my mind I overlay the site I’d normally see – marquees, gardens, displays and stands, armies of folk in high-viz, trolleys of plants and myriad colour – onto this calm and peaceful view in front of me.
My heart skips a beat, I swallow hard; I have a display garden here, at the largest flower show in the world, set to be completed and looking gorgeous in only 5 short weeks. Mmmm no pressure then.
What follows is a rewarding meeting with the show’s top brass. Luckily the “Yes you are allowed to do that Caroline”s outnumber the “NO certainly NOT!”s but we’re all on the same wavelength and it’s great to get such positive feedback on our TOTI developments thus far. We manage to negotiate a bit of extra space round the garden, spend a while checking levels and realise that, of course, flat never really means flat, then a few pics and we’re off to the DELICIOUS Mada Deli, a Hampton Court essential.
Back in the Northamptonshire BatCave I give TOTI a reassuring pat. I know that on July 9th she’ll look spectacular adorned with her alpine jewels and I’ll be bursting with pride at the result of everyone’s hardwork…well, that’s the plan.