Our first visit today was to Corpustry Mill Garden which is owned and designed by Roger Last who produced/directed over 30 films on art, architecture and design for the BBC. The garden was split into 3 sections. The first, around the house, was very formal and landscaped. The second was informal and centred around a large pond with lots of subtly placed figurines. For instance, at the edge of the pond in the water, under a brick built arch, was the top half of a lady's head and two hands as if she was drowning! The third I didn't see, but it has been dubbed by the group as 'the garden with 2 penis's' because of 2, apparently grotesque, statues of naked men!
We moved on to Alby Crafts and Gardens for lunch. I pulled down the drive and it soon became apparent I would not turn around and would have to reverse back out onto the main road. So I was offloading my passengers thinking I would collar a couple of gardeners for traffic control when this woman came up to me and said, "hello, coaches usually park in the farmyard next door and it would be a lot less stressful for you if you did it now!" What she meant was. 'Move! You're in the way!' She followed it by, "would you like me to help? It would be a lot stressful for you if you did it now". She was one of those really irritating people who is far too happy and bounces about all over the place. My reply to her was, "yes thank you I need someone to stop the traffic on the main road and the only thing that would have made this less stressful would have been for someone to mention when we booked, not to come in the main gate!" So my pax were still getting off and she stood with me for about 30 seconds before she said, "sorry I have to go!" And she went! Stupid woman! So my group organisers were given a high vis vest each and sent to stop the traffic and we quite painlessly got the coach to where it should be!
The shops here were rubbish, I found the garden boring and the tea room wouldn't give me a freebie! I've been spoilt with such nice places this week and this was dull. But it was essentially just a lunch stop.
From there we went to East Ruston Old Vicarage. I had been to this garden years ago on a day trip from the midlands but I didn't remember it until we got there.
The car park was full and there were 2 other coaches and although this is a 32 acre garden, you just couldn't get away from the crowds and I don't like people! They gave me a freebie here tho! Peppermint tea and coffee and walnut cake. MmmMmmm!
On the way back to the hotel I drove them through Wroxham, which is where you hire the boats for the Broads, and we drove through the centre of Norwich to see both cathedrals. A lot of people on the coach originated in Norwich so they were pleased to see some of their old haunts and how things have changed.
When we got back to the hotel, we were coming down the drive and a lady sarcastically said, "could you not get us closer to the door tonight please, there were complaints last night!" So I bumped up the curb and they stepped out onto the carpet! I'm surprised I didn't get a complaint from the hotel because no one could get out of the building unless they got on the coach and out the middle door!
I still haven't forgotten how they got me out of bed early on Tuesday morning so I have booked early porterage for them at 7.30 tomorrow morning for our return journey! Final dinner this evening and I really hope I'm not put with another chatterbox on my table tonight. I don't want a social dinner. Just eat and bed sounds good to me!