Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lovely Day

I can't quite believe day 2 is already over--it's not just that the time has gone so quickly already but that time itself seems to have moved differently. Have I been here two days or three or just one? All I know is that it has been lovely.

Today was a quintessentially English day. Sue and I planned to get out early and be at a National Trust house by 11 (we didn't quite make it on time as we were chatting in her kitchen). As we got there, it started to rain--but this was typical English rain in the grounds of a typical English country house/stately home so it didn't really bother me. Instead, the idea of being a little damp, pottering through lime groves and walled gardens, looking at beds of hollyhocks, delphiniums and lupins, matching the names with the hens (Madame Poulet, Mildred and the girls) and then warming up in the cafe with home made soup (using ingredients from the organic walled garden) all just seemed perfect. So that's what we did. I took photos too but as my cord is in Queens, I just pulled a few from the internet that missed that lovely drizzle against which the variety of greens just look their greenest. I'll post my photos next month.

Here's the outside of the house and the lake:

After lunch, we went around the house itself--it's not as large as it looks above as it is a pretty shallow building (much of the Tudor original was demolished in the 17th century when the horribly inappropriate portico was added). There were a fair number of rooms to see, a chapel, an oak gallery and there's apparently a hidden chamber that isn't accessible. The National Trust volunteers were as sweet and helpful as ever, with one woman telling us about the 1520s nobility whose heralds and emblems filled the oak gallery, while another man showed us Regency menswear--embroidered waistcoats, frock coats and a full suit.

We just finished the house in time to drive back for the school run. And then it was, in quick succession, dinner, reading, a little television and now bed.

Off to my parents' house tomorrow. Time is certainly flying.

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