Well, today ended quite nicely.
Woke up, and had the urge to trim the bushes in the front garden. Basically, it's been neglected for years (according to my MIL), so I decided that I need to whip it into shape. I spent 3 hours trimming 4 bushes. Got some sun, and my arms and back are sore from using them so much and holding basically a tree trimmer above my head for hours on end. But, it's nice to look out and see what I've accomplished.
After taking a shower, Ian surprised me by coming home in between jobs. He was going out to Hamble, which is on the River Hamble, down by Southampton. There is Victoria Park and Netley Abbey, which Ian has told me about but we've never actually gone and seen.
This is the Garrison Church, which stands on the site where Netley Hospital was during the Crimean War. I had seen it before while coming back from the Isle of Wight on the ferry, but it was kinda awesome seeing it up close and personal. Unfortunately, they're doing renovations on it, so you can't go inside at the moment.
The church and hospital were originally planned by Florence Nightingale, Queen Victoria, and PM Lord Palmerston (his statue is in the middle of Romsey and can be seen in my Day 90 post). This is what it used to look like when the hospital still stood:
The hospital part was torn down in the 60s, but during WWII, it was used by the Americans. Ian and I surveyed the way the grass was, and you can actually see where walls may have been before just by the different colors of the grass.
After the hospital, we went to Netley Abbey. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL (well, what remains, anyway).
It was originally founded in 1239 and used as a house for monks. They even had a plaque where it said "these arches are where wash basins were where the monks used to wash their faces, heads, and hands at daily." It remained the monks' house until 1536 when Henry VIII had it closed down and gave the house to William Paulet. He then turned it into a Tudor home.
Apparently the vegetation over grew after the Tudor home was closed, and it became a symbol of the "romantic period." Painters and writers used to go to the Abbey for inspiration, and there's a myth that Jane Austin went here to write one of her books.
I thought it was amazing. There were carvings from what could have been soldiers from nearby that dated back to the 1850s on some of the walls. There was a section of original floor that was made out of tile. But what got me was this family was there and they were climbing ALL over the little house in the back, when there are signs ON THE BRICK that said "Danger Do Not Climb On Rocks." They were a French family. But still! I just can't believe someone would do that. And then the little girl was trying to throw a soccer ball up to her brother through one of the windows, and it just kept hitting the wall...and Ian and I were standing RIGHT under it. Oh well.
But yeah, it was gorgeous. If you're in the south DEFINITELY check it out. It's MUCH bigger than we thought it was going to be.
Tomorrow it's back to reality of taking my MIL to the Dr and housewife duties...lol.