We collected her from her home in the morning - a little earlier than we (okay, I) would've normally liked to be up and out on a Saturday - but I wanted to give us enough time to find the place (navigational skills are another weak skill of mine even with a sat nav) and I didn't want us to be rushing around to get to mass on time. The mass that I thought would be on at 12pm.
I'd got the time wrong and the mass that day wasn't until 2.30pm because it was a special day - the 750th anniversary of a particular saint's death - the one who the main chapel at Aylesford Priory is named after, St. Simon Stock.
We watched the ducks go about their business, and we fed the geese and gosling some of the bread we'd brought for our picnic. We ended up eating indoors as it was a little too windy to be outside; you didn't eat much, though. You've had a cold since I took you swimming on Wednesday so you've been a little off your food. Grandma loved watching you play and stealing snuggles when you'd allow. Granny and Uncle Oli joined us after a while and, after another cup of tea, we headed to the mass.
One of the smaller chapels was called St. Joseph's so we explored for a few minutes and I fell in love with the floor. Yeah, I have this thing with floors. Particularly since there's an account called 'I have this thing with floors' on my current favourite social network. I spent too long trying to take a good photo of the part that said 'Joseph'; it was too much to ask for you to stay still on it, though!
You didn't much like keeping quiet during mass, so you and I wandered around the grounds for a while before you eventually settled close to Granny. Grandma took you for a blessing during the communion and you enjoyed the singing of the Irish man behind us. He was also named Joseph.
After mass we changed your nappy in the Rosary Garden, al fresco, before then wandering through the Peace Garden. You needed to sleep but you were refusing with all your might. Granny eventually persuaded you to nap for long enough to allow us to drink tea and eat birthday cake; phew.
Before heading home for tea, bath and bed, we visited the ducks and geese again, and you even saw a black swan.
It was a very peaceful and relaxed day where the pressures of the outside world seemed to melt away. The sky was bright and the leaves were beautifully green. Grandma loved spending her day with you and, to me, time together is more precious than gifts.
Thank you for a lovely day x