Four years ago we went along to what was then a bit of a local novelty, a lavender field open day. Back then it was quite a low key affair, you parked in the farmer’s yard and wandered down to the field at your leisure. Theo was nearly two at the time and famously did not think much of being lead into a field of flowers for a photo opportunity. One of the photos I took of him went on to appear in a Pinterest “taming tantrums” advert and has caused quite a bit of amusement in the years since.
When we returned to Lordington Lavender at the weekend, it was with a nearly 6 year-old Theo and his sister, who coincidentally was approaching the same age as he had been on that first visit. A lot had changed in four years, they’ve introduced an advance booking system and several fields have been turned into parking, with a tractor and trailer now giving rides to the field.
A friend who has visited regularly for the last 5 years tells me 12,000 people visited on the open days in 2016 paying £6 a ticket. What was once a local curiosity is (I imagine) now a big part of the farm’s annual income.
But the big question was what would Alice make of the whole thing?
Whilst all around me little girls were floating through the fields in long white lace dresses, pausing for angelic glances towards their camera toting parents, this was the face I got, yet again.
I confess, these photos don’t really tell the whole story. When we first arrived (with friends and their offspring) all the kids all had a wonderful time running up and down the lines of lavender. It was really only when I tried to step in and take photos that this happened. So in a list of things to blame (me, the camera, the lavender) the lavender really seems the least likely suspect.
I did catch her off guard for a few pictures, but she absolutely stubbornly refused to have a photo taken with her brother or to be coerced in any sort of way. Fortunately though Theo seems a little serious looking in his photo, he’s definitely warmed to lavender photos since we last brought him, though that could have been down to the promise of tea and cake at the charity cafe alongside the field
One of our friends even managed to get a photo of the three of us… next year I’ll drag Jim along too and maybe just maybe, 2018 will be a year with no tears or tantrums!?
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