In the meantime, on a more practical and cheerful note, I do have help with the laundry.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
In the meantime, on a more practical and cheerful note, I do have help with the laundry.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Created in the 18th century by the Hill family, the park is now recognised, according to the leaflet, as 'a masterpeice of the School of Naturalistic Landscape' and is Grade I listed by English Heritage.
It embodies all the eccentricities of both the Gothic and Romantic ideals of the age; and even though it is very strenuous it is great fun. When Samuel Johnson visited Hawkstone in 1774 he described the follies as having 'striking scenes and terrifick grandeur'.
Above, along Reynard's walk, you can see the recess in the red sandstone rock called Reynard's Banqueting House. There were steep pathways and steps and hidden nooks.....
places to hide, amongst branches.....
.....and roots in the Dragon Wood whose paths led to
the Monument, which Paul climbed but this time, I declined and sat amongst the trees whilst he surveyed the landscape. The monument was erected in 1785 by Sir Richard Hill to comemorate his ancestor Sir Rowland Hill, first protestant Lord Mayor of London. It is 100ft high and from the top there is a panoramic view of all the surrounding counties.
We clambered over the Swiss bridge, trying not to look down........
then under the Swiss bridge, were we really up there? ...
Once you are in the grotto there are windows to light your way
the awful precipice, but the most spectacular feature for me was on the way up to the grotto.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Normally at the time we visit is is quite peaceful but on Saturday it was bustling with activity as there were boats of all kinds coming and going and people rushing around setting up bunting, signs, portaloos and extra rubish bins to cope with crowds expected the following day for the Erewash Canal Festival. We had a stroll along by the River Trent where there were hoards of youngsters in kayacks and Canadian canoes being shouted instructions from both banks of the river. On the opposite side was a huge campsite full of green canvas tents where, presumably, they were all spending the weekend.
It was, for once, a warm dry day with a little sunshine and during the walk we saw, herons resting at the side of the water, a screeching, cantankerous squirrel along the old tramway and huge dragonflies flitting over the pond, one of which settled on our friend's shirt but flew away at the first sign of a camera.
Near the sculpture is a water feature which is still to be completed but you can see how it is going to look from the photo below. It should be spectacular except for one small problem which may be hard to combat - goose droppings- deposited by the numerous geese wandering around the campus which normally inhabit the nearby lake. We walked past the lake and along a path which used to be another section of the Nottingham canal.At the end of the path, just before you reach Derby road, is this lovely building which is a former gatehouse of the Wollaton estate.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I must nominate 5 other bloggers 4 of whom are regular visitors and 1 of whom is a fairly new visitor. I also have to link back to the giver of the award. I think I can do that. One or two fellow bloggers whom I could have chosen are taking a 'blogging break' or are on holiday so here goes with my choice:-
Sal at Sal's Snippets
Fern at Fern's Lakeland
Simone at Linden Grove
Rosie at Wuddled Murds
Pamela Terry at The House of Edward
Hope you all enjoy your awards, but please don't feel under any pressure to accept or pass them on if you don't want to, I will understand.
Friday, August 22, 2008
As you can see from the above photo I now have a whole shelf full of books on Richard III and other related issues. I joined the society in 1974 and only gave up the membership last year when finances became an issue and all memberships and subscriptions had to go.
If you want a light, easy and exciting introduction to Richard then read The Daughter of Time. The basis of the story is of a detective, hospitalised for a few weeks wanting to solve an unsolved crime - this one being did Richard commit all the crimes he's been accused of over the years. With the help of a young, gangly American student to do all the leg work, he weighs up the pros and cons and comes to his conclusions.
Other novels that depict Richard in a more favourable light are We Speak no Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman and The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman. You can tell from the book covers how old these are and it is such a long time since I read them but I can't bear to part with them.
Many books have been written about Richard III he is, after all, one of the most enigmatic and interesting characters in our history and certainly a man of mystery. He was also a man of his time, a time in which it was harder to survive than now with different values and morals to ours. I don't believe he was 100 percent innocent, he was born into a time of war and bloodshed and he had to fight for survival; but neither do I think he was as bad as he has been painted.
I don't think he was guilty of many of the crimes that have been foisted on him by Tudor propagandists - including one of my other heros - William Shakespeare, who, after all was a man of his own time and would sometimes have had to write to please his Tudor patrons.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I love fruit at this time of year. Soft, luscious plums straight from the tree in our garden and crisp, new English apples bought from the local shop. It seems to have taken ages for the plums to ripen but now that they have I just know a jam making session is forthcoming.
As well as the heavily laden plum tree we have brambles intertwined with the holly hedge at the top of the garden and they have given us our first blackberries of this year.
Now, do we eat all the crisp apples or do we keep a couple back to make an apple and blackberry pie. Decisions, decisions!
I am also eagerly anticipating the ripening of the crab apples so that we can make some crab apple jelly. Another week or two and they should be perfect.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Last time - link - we walked up here we walked in the opposite direction and found that quite strenuous; as I looked at Hen Cloud from here I didn't know whether I would make it or not. I did wonder if it might be a step too far. Even the sheep looked a bit dubious at my ablilities but then gave their approval by carrying on munching their breakfast.
Nearly there, I can't believe it, although my knee is startling to ache a bit. I hurt it a few weeks ago getting out of the car quickly to move the wheelie bin from the middle of the drive, where the bin man had left it, so that we could run the car up onto it. I turned my ankle on my shoe heel but it was the knee that suffered. It has bothered me ever since when I go up and down stairs.
Well, I can't believe this, me and my 'cronky' knee have made it to the top. Wow, the view is tremendous.
When I wrote the last post I'd looked up the family on the 1871 census and found what a big household it was. For those who were interested in the friend of the family her name was Maria Roberts, age 29 and her birthplace was given as Landau, Germany; her occupation was governess. I think this is really interesting! Was she a friend staying with them who was a governess? Or was she a governess to the children of the family and considered as a friend rather than an employee?
I moved on to 1881 and the household is even grander - obviously in it's heyday. There is now a french lady's maid in the house called Irina Landreux, age 30, her birthplace, Paris. There are more servants including a maid called Sarah Tortoishell who was born locally in Rocester - what a lovely name! The girls are Isabella, Etheldred, Hilda and Mary, aged 29, 24, 22 and 18 respectively- the boys, Bertam and Gerald were not at home on census day - probably at boarding school or university. In fact I found a Bertam Heywood a boarder and scholar in Winchester so perhaps the boys went to the famous boarding school there. Thomas Heywood is recorded as being a Baronet, Magistrate and Farmer of 100 acres of his own land. Of course, only the household servants lived in the house, many of the farm labourers and estate workers would live locally possibly in estate property or tied cottages.
By 1891 the household had decreased in size and only Etheldred is at home on census day with some of the servants. Thomas, Margaret, Isabella and Mary are at their London home, 39 Lourdes Square, Chelsea, Hilda isn't at Doveleys or in Chelsea and Bertam and Gerald were probably at University or living elsewhere.
I hope you have enjoyed this 'snapshot' of a wealthy family in the late 19th century.