3. Wednesday · Places that Inspire

Playing Catch Up Once Again

So after the laziness of the last month I am throwing myself back into my normal routine of balancing work, writing, family and fun, though not necessarily in that order, hell you never know might even fit housework in lol.

I have posted the May round up page finally you can check that out here… May 2014

This morning I have dancing, followed by work then when I get home tonight I will be filming this months Vlog, in which I shall reveal the winner of the June Caption Competition I run on my Facebook page.  If you haven’t already like my Facebook page please come over and say hello there, that is the place where I do the caption competition every month where you have a chance of winning an Amazon Voucher, I share loads of random stuff I see or like there and is linked to my Twitter so you see the strange, weird and wonderful messages I send out into the Twitterverse as well.  I am also considering doing something more creative with my Youtube Channel at the minute I really only use it for the Vlogs once a month (as you know you can’t upload them straight to WordPress).  I did upload some videos there yesterday from the Stratford visit of our boat trip on the River Avon, this is one of the three…..

I really wish I was heading back there soon, if you get the chance to visit and the weather is half as nice as it was for us get on a boat, we did joke about getting a rowboat but that seemed too much like hard work.

I also had my eyebrows sugared yesterday, you might have seen the before and after pics on FB but I also took some photos and hour then two hours after so you can see how quickly I recovered which I will add into the Vlog.

(Okay I am writing this Tuesday evening for publishing Wednesday so I need to check I have everything I need and get ready for tomorrow)

6. Saturday · Away Days · Me And Mine · Places that Inspire

The Bard

Just a really quick post today as we are out for the afternoon and the evening but just wanted to let you know we had a lovely day out in Stratford Yesterday.  Sadly we did not have time to visit every where I wanted to so another visit will have to be arranged, isn’t that terrible lol but I thought I would share a couple of really quick pics and if you visit the Facebook page have posted a short video from our boat trip on the river.

Typical building
Typical building
The graves of The Bard and his wife
The graves of The Bard and his wife
Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre
Lots of boats....
Lots of boats….
And Swans
And Swans

I shall write more about the visit in a future post have a good weekend, must dash going out for a meal xxxx

3. Wednesday · Places that Inspire

500 Posts and An Amazing Stately Home

500 hundred posts I can;t believe I have reached that mile stone already and that so many of you are still here sharing my journey, some of you have been here since the first post, you are such gluttons for torture lol.  I just want to say….thank_you

Now I actually did something a little different while I was at Castle Howard in that I took a note book and scribbled a few thoughts down during my visit to share with you rather than just sharing a few pictures.

The first lines are scrawled as we take our seats on the mini bus…

Before we even set off the whingers are off ‘it is a minibus it’s supposed to be a coach’, ‘it looks like an ambulance’. ‘it smells’  The irony is at their age if they were so concerned with comfort then at their age they should have taken the train, it would actually have probably worked out cheaper for them.

Not a brilliant start to the day but determined not to listen to their moaning I put on the headphones and turn up the music my next entry is as we let the first group off in York centre,

As we pass through York I am reminded just how much I love this place and that I really must bring the monster again now he is older.  I am tempted to try out the new big wheel thought when the time comes am not so sure my resolve will hold though the monster would love it and want to go on so who knows.

image courtesy of Google
image courtesy of Google

We then depart for Castle Howard and I am gutted as we fly past a garage that has Daleks and a Cyberman on top but I couldn’t get my camera out in time (I thought I could snap it coming back but we take a different route) then we turn onto the longest approach to any house i have ever visited the ‘drive’ or road leading up to it is 5 miles long this is what I wrote about it,

We pass beneath two arches about a mile apart, both of them part of spectacular walls built to mirror those of York itself before taking a right at the recreation of Cleopatra’s Needle now sat in the middle of a round about and enter the grounds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI passed through the courtyard or as it says on the map the stable block paid my money and am now sat on a bench taking a minute by the walled gardens before I plunge in just to savour the total splendour.  You can sense the wealth, the awe which the buildings and grounds must have inspired and to just jot down these few lines before I begin exploring.  The real difficulty is deciding where to begin.

My first glimpse of the house
My first glimpse of the house
One of the entrances to the walled gardens
One of the entrances to the walled gardens
How the hide something this big behind trees is beyond me
How the hide something this big behind trees is beyond me
First real idea of the scale of the house
First real idea of the scale of the house
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Obligatory Wild Boar all good homes should have one

I decided that I would explore the house first so I will post a few pictures from the house then the lines I wrote after I had walked round it.

Selfie just in case you were mad enough to want to see me
Selfie just in case you were mad enough to want to see me
My bed - or it would be if I could fit it in my handbag
My bed – or it would be if I could fit it in my handbag
Perfect writing space, the window next to it looked out onto the lawns and fountain
Perfect writing space, the window next to it looked out onto the lawns and fountain
Time to beautify oneself for dinner?
Time to beautify oneself for dinner?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Freaky sculptures - when I visited Chatsworth I noticed how beautiful and elegant all the sculptures were but here a lot of them gave me the creeps
Freaky sculptures – when I visited Chatsworth I noticed how beautiful and elegant all the sculptures were but here a lot of them gave me the creeps
the cupola in the great hall
the cupola in the great hall
I loved this room all the panels were exquisitely painted
I loved this room all the panels were exquisitely painted
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Not the most impressive dining room I have seen but this one does feel more inviting and not so intimidating in terms of place settings
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Possibly my favourite room I loved this colour although Lord David Prosser may argue about the use of bright colours in confined spaces

So much to see around the house, I took hundred of pictures as always (I will provide a link to the full album on Facebook at the end) it was sad to see the damage done by the fire, so many paintings on the walls still in need of restoring and I cannot help but wonder if Brideshead had not been shot here how little would have been restored at all if anything. There are definitely ideas for a story lurking in my mind now.  The sculptures were very different from Chatsworth Rather than the Classic beauty and elegant lines many appeared sinister, then again lots of story potential there.  Why would someone live in a house of evil statues? 

I then decided to wander down towards the lake knowing there was a coffee there where I could have lunch.

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I also had a slice of Bakewell hidden behind the coffee
Cake porn especially for Vikki xx
Cake porn especially for Vikki xx

At the minute I am sat by a lake and could happily never leave.  The food was pricey but good ( thinking about it later is wasn’t really that expensive the whole lot come to just under a tenner) and worth it for the view alone.

the view from my seat out on the deck where I had lunch
the view from my seat out on the deck where I had lunch

Lunch was shared with several ducks who decided it should be share and share alike, one was also kind enough to ensure there were no crumbs n my bag.

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Duck bag inspector

On the little map it shows boat trips but in reality there is no sign of them, whether that is a holiday time option only I don’t know it would be interesting to find out.  The adventure playground is okay, more like a playground than anything special but the monster would still love it.

I think rather than live in the big house I would build a cabin down here near the water and spend most of my time living here.

There is rain in the air and I have two hours left to explore the grounds and there at least two areas I really want to look at, the Atlas fountain and the walled rose garden.  I fear it will take another visit to find all the hidden gemsand I am sure the monster would love to come and take a look round the woods with me.

I then walked round to the other side of the house exploring an exhibition about the Mistresses and Maids in the house down the years and also the on going building and restoration that continues, I strolled around the fountain, spotted a pyramid on the horizon (no I was not hallucinating there is proff in the full album) then sat by the other lake.

One of my favourite views
One of my favourite views
The spectacular Atlas Fountain
The spectacular Atlas Fountain
Attempted panorama of the lake
Attempted panorama of the lake

I am sat by the other lake now it is so wonderfully peaceful and less ducks as there is no cafe here but you do get an idea of all the other places to explore, structures and statues peep out from amongst the trees in the distance.  I have just seen the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen it must have been at least four inches long.

I am thinking that the views I have seen in the grounds will form the basis for  a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction when I feel brave enough to take that challenge on,

I then moved on to the walled gardens, I have to confess I get very giddy at the thought of a walled garden one of my favourite books as a child was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few more lines scribbled from within the walled garden, the smell is astounding Lily and Lavender, and fresh cut grass, though many of the flowers are past their prime the place is still enchanted, I had expected peacocks but not seen any though there is still plenty of gardens to explore.  Every time I go somewhere I seem to fall in love with it and this is no exception, it might be worth me looking into the lakeland accommodation as it also appears dogs are welcome in the grounds, a weekend here with or even without the monster would be lovely and I think very productive creatively.

Well that’s it for my notebook if you wish to see more picture click here to be taken to my Facebook album with hundreds of pictures and I have to say I am really thrilled with some of them.

Please let me know as well if you like this style of post if so I promise to take my notebook on my next day out