Tag Archives: UK

Another Stuffy Stately Home

P1030919The rain was tipping down; I was feeling slightly apprehensive about the day ahead. I had arranged to meet friends at Barrington Court, a National Trust property tucked away in the Somerset countryside in the UK. The main draw hadn’t been the Tudor manor house, but a special nature day they were holding in the grounds. I figured the girls, big and small, could run around in the fresh air and let off steam.

Doom and gloom, I thought, as I looked at the raindrops scurrying across the car windscreen. We will have to go *inside*. Ickle and Mivvy will run amok amongst the antique furniture and furnishings with us in hot pursuit. We’ll be whispered about in loud voices by visiting coach parties of stately home enthusiasts. No, this was not good at all.

And then, as we drew into the car park, the rain decided to stop. So we squelched across the lawns to look at the wildlife specimens on display (a hedgehog’s spiny pelt, a grass snake, various animal bones…and so on). Then the girls tried their hand at some classic English games – skittles and quoits.P1030885P1030908P1030917 And we all admired the beautiful gardens and giant koi. It was fun, and way better than I had hoped – not even the teeniest bit stuffy.P1030873P1030878We did summon up the courage to venture into the old stately home, which incidentally has been empty of all furniture and furnishings since 1991. The remaining architecture and fittings are beautifully impressive and well worth a visit. And so is the *surprise* in the Long Gallery: a feathered friend who has only recently taken up roost in the rafters. Want to know more? You’ll have to visit Barrington Court to find out!

The Other Side of the World

UK 2016-001Why has it been so quiet on Icklegen of late?

Because we have been on the other side of the world. Obviously. Light years away from computer technology and the blogosphere.

Well, not exactly. The UK may be a long way to go (an exhausting 24-hour flight away to be precise, and let’s not forget the ensuing jet lag), but we were still *connected*. Just not that active online.

But very active elsewhere. We had family and friends to see, a very special wedding to attend, and places to explore. It wasn’t a whirlwind four weeks – we tried to pace ourselves, honest! – but we created some wonderful memories to carry with us until our next visit.

Rather than reduce these to a few lines each, I am going to treat you to a few individual posts over the next couple of weeks. Or sooner if I find the time to tap away on my trusty keyboard. Although given that it’s the end of July already, that might be a little ambitious…

Here’s a taste of what’s to come:P1030824Punch & Judy, ferret racing, and so much more at a classic country fair.P1030879The discovery that visiting an English stately home and gardens isn’t so dull after all.P1040011Getting up close with some pretty amazing flying machines.