During the blissful years before the Kingdom tried to claim Eileen back again, she and Derek spent a lot of their spare time visiting country estates. She would admire the houses. He, of course, studied the gardens and if he managed to spot the Head Gardener or any of the staff and have a quick word with them, Derek would consider it a really good day out. Eileen would find this amusing, knowing full well the Palace gardeners would have found this irritating - how dare a mere human quiz them. Yet Derek never had any problems here, impressing almost everybody he met with his wonderful gardening knowledge and that he was always keen to learn more. His gardening skills benefited from his willingness to ask and learn. His roses are widely acknowledged as the finest in Kirkham. trung as she can hardly tell/show Derek this without bringing a lot of trouble down on her head.
Eileen and Derek explored most of the stately homes in Southern England. Eileen was beginning to move further north when the Kingdom decided it was going to get her back again. Eileen is determined, when life is supposed to be what she meant it to be (only one viewpoint really matters to Eileen!), that she and Derek will explore these at their leisure. Eileen has visions of luxurious coach trips while she and Derek do anything but. Derek wouldn’t mind driving to some of them but strongly suspects his wife will put her foot down here. One advantage of coach trips is Eileen can grip his hand and hold it sraight from the off. Jenny and Paul like their own garden at Brenebourne but wouldn’t dream of going on this kind of trip, seeing it as for the “old folk”. Jenny says this with a smile. Her mother can hardly argue this without proving why she isn’t old in human terms. There’s no way Eileen will do that.