I hadn't been back to see the vast expanses of lavender for a couple of years, but it's getting towards the end of the season and I don't want to miss the sea of purple completely. I love bright colours and like the thousands of tourists who visit Mayfield Lavender Farm every summer, I had to lie in the middle of it and take pictures, and try to make them not look generic.
Which is impossible because I fear I am not that creative, and there are just so MANY people with cameras nowadays, all searching for the most Instagrammable picture they can get. I won't flatter myself by pretending that I am unique. I have already checked on Instagram today. There are hundreds of pictures that perfectly mirror my own. But it doesn't matter because each photo is so pretty.
Here is the Sea of Purple through my (Nikon 50mm) lens:-
Purple is my favourite colour, and lavender is one of my favourite scents. It reminds me of my Nanny, whose house smelled of it - she hung lavender bags on each of her coat hangers. I guess it's rubbed off on me, (literally?) - because now I hang lavender bags everywhere in my own house and I've even invested in a hanging basket full of French lavender. I often come home to find fat bumble bees playing in it.
But if you want that sweet, gentle scent to almost overpower you, you need to hit the lavender big leagues. A field full of rows upon rows of strands upon strands of tiny purple flowers is perfect. Next door there's a cafe where you can drink lavender flavoured Earl Grey and a shop where you can buy bunches of lavender to take home.
Dan checked us in to our destination on Facebook and one of his friends asked 'what is there to do apart from stare at lavender?' A valid question, and one I can answer by giving a step by step guide to How To Behave Upon Entering The Sea of Purple:
-Run into field armed with seven cameras.
-Run up and down the rows of lavender squealing and stopping intermittently to take photos.
-Look up and realise you are surrounded by approximately ninety five gazillion people all doing the same thing.
- Lay down in the lavender and gaze at the sky, through a canopy of purple fronds.
- Realise you are lying on a stinging nettle. Get up. Ankle now covered in large white bumps, gently throbbing.
- Determinedly ignore ankle, take more photos, make person you are with stand in a series of ridiculous and unnatural poses so you can take photos of them.
- Take a break to play Pokemon Go. Catch a cartoon worm.
- Find a big red phone box in middle of field. Surrounded by people. Get annoyed because a photo of a red phone box in a Sea of Purple is not as cool when there is a queue of tourists lining up to pose next to it.
-Attempt to take photos of phone box without getting anyone else in the frame. Fail because fields are heaving with people.
- Go to cafe and consume snacks laced with lavender. Find them oddly enjoyable.
- Laugh at families who have dressed their toddlers in white tutus so they can take artful photographs of them playing in the sea of purple, to print off and hang on the wall, failing to remember that toddlers are TODDLERS and therefore are covered in mud and chocolate despite having only left safety of car three minutes ago.
- Try to take more photos. Slowly come to realise that yours WILL look just like everybody else's and this is inevitable. Take photos anyway because they are PRETTY.
-Take camera away from face long enough to breathe in and enjoy this beautiful day in the country, and the lovely sights and smell that surrounds you. And the sound of a thousand bees, humming in perfect harmony.
Mayfield Lavender is open this year until 14th September. You can go any day between 9am-6pm, and entry is £1 per person. They hold a photo competition every year, visit their web site for more details.