It was Archie's 10th birthday on Wednesday and it started off as all birthdays should, with presents.
Archie's always keen to unwrap his gifts, he knows that they mostly contain edible goodies and he's such a greedy boy. He wasn't disappointed, the things we chose for him were met with his approval.
Wednesday was the day when lockdown restrictions were eased in England, we're now able to exercise outdoors as often as we want and we're able to travel in a car in order to exercise too. With this in mind, Leeds City Council have reopened the car parks in the parks in and around Leeds, which meant we were able to visit Lotherton for the first time in nearly eight weeks. Archie was pleased with his birthday outing, Lotherton is his favourite place.
I thought it would be busier than it was, there weren't very many people there at all, though nothing's open, just the grounds. The playground is closed and the play equipment is taped off. The cafe and shops are closed and so is the house. None of that matters to Archie though, he just loves a stroll through the woods.
It's such a lovely time of year with so much in bloom. The wild garlic is in abundance right now, the woodland floor is carpeted with pretty white flowers.
We passed through the orchard. A couple of weeks ago it would have been so pretty with all the blossom on the trees. I feel we've missed out on so many things this year being confined to our own neighbourhoods.
There were one or two trees still hanging on though so we haven't missed out completely.
Lotherton has some beautiful trees, all different kinds, but there's quite a few horse chestnut trees and they look magnificent at this time of year when they're adorned with their 'candles', the upright flower spikes.
The wisteria in the William and Mary garden is past its best but still looks glorious growing against the walls.
We came across many juvenile birds during our walk which just sat there and looked at us. I suppose they've been so used to having the whole of the grounds to themselves since they've been born, we must be the first humans they've come across. Luckily, Archie isn't bothered by birds and chooses to just ignore them.
Archie enjoyed his walk and then it was back home for a couple more treats and an afternoon snooze before being served his favourite meal, fish. I think he had a good birthday.