Saturday 6 February 2010

Brrrrr, Fidget, and a Big Cheat

It's grey and freezing cold - again. We tried to go for a walk today, but it was hard going. I took a few photos on the Blaise Estate, but they look too gloomy to post.

It's been an odd week, we're currently without a sofa! The new one arrived, and although we had measured everything carefully, try as they might, the delivery people could not get it around the angle of our stairs.

We had ordered the new one from John Lewis. (UK readers will know their reputation, we are huge fans). They were really helpful in sorting out a new order for the slightly smaller version, but, the design has been so popular it will not be here until at least the end of the month! Unfortunately, we had already arranged to get rid of the old suite. So out have come the camping chairs, which are actually very good for me sitting and stitching, but not very relaxing!

On the plus side I am spending a lot more time in my art/craft area, and we're now seriously thinking about converting it from a bedroom to a studio/sitting room, as it seems silly to keep a huge bed which is used very infrequently - and I really would love the space! I have started painting again, and have recommenced my course. I just agreed a date with my tutor to submit my first assignment, so I have until the beginning of March. Wish me luck!

As I've no nice pictures this week - I'm going to cheat, and do a"flashback" back to last autumn. I didn't have time to post about this before my pelvis decided to go awol again.

So here we go, back in time, (cue suitable music, and a montage of attractive pictures leading into....)

Our weekend away in the lovely county of Somerset. Beautiful scenery, wonderful wildlife, and a visit to three, count them, three, stunning, historic places.

The first stop on our Grand Tour, was a gloriously sunny Saturday at Montacute House, a fantastic Tudor mansion with the most beautiful gardens

Just look at the ‘pudding house'! These were set into opposite corners of the East Court. The nickname is from Tudor and Stuart times, when parties would retire from the Dining Room to enjoy their dessert in the splendour of the grandest part of the garden. Gorgeous! I wanted to set up home inside.

Oh, yes - for the Jane Austen lovers among you- part of "Sense and Sensibility" was filmed in the gardens.

The house contains a beautiful sump work casket, from the late C17th, and the Goodhart sampler collection (collected over 32 years by Dr Douglas Goodhart, whose passion for collecting wasn't shared by all his family. His children would shout ‘Drive on, Daddy, drive on’ whenever they passed an antique shop in the car!) I had a wonderful time looking at all these marvellous old textiles. Sadly I can't share photos as the Trust has a strict "no photography indoors" rule in order to preserve and protect the interiors and artefacts.
We went on a walk through the estate and climbed this folly on St Michael's Hill, to see the amazing views.

It was a long way up with no handrail, not good for those with vertigo, but so beautiful from the top!

An early start on a grey and drizzly Sunday meant we were the first visitors to enjoy the beauty of Tintinhull Garden. It was so quiet when we arrived, there was a flash of azure blue - a kingfisher enjoying a fishy breakfast from the ornamental pond.

Although the rain persisted we travelled on to see Lytes Cary Manor, the former home of medieval herbalist Henry Lyte who wrote the famous 16th-century plant directory, Lytes Herba

It's an absolutely beautiful house from the C14 and 15th. Such a shame about the rain, which was now lashing down with a vengeance, so we couldn't explore the wider estate, but just near the car park is this wonderful old dovecot!

Roll on better weather. Hope it's much nicer wherever you are!


  1. Mmh, reminders of what is to come. Nice weather and outdoors adventures. I love the round house at the end.

  2. Love the pics, although they have the disadvantage of making me even more homesick at times!!!=) When we get back to the UK, we don't know yet where we'll be living, so it's nice to see others parts of the UK and, who knows, maybe those places will be near enough to visit?

    We're going to look for a 3 bedroom flat so we can have a bedroom for us, the 2nd one will be a studio/guest room with our old sofa bed suite in and a art/craft area for me, and the smaller one will continue to be Sir's study. So, we're going to combine the two ideas and get a new living room suite. As we'll spend huges amounts of time in our own rooms, the living room will just end up being a guest room, but that's what it's called in Chinese, funnily enough!

    Oh, I want to get re-settled!!

    Looking forward to seeing the progress on your OCA blog!=)

  3. Thank you so much for voting for the bees !

    I love your work, the birds especially.

  4. HI Jules
    Get rid of the bed. I have only got spare beds in one room now the other two bedrooms are now the library/study and the other is my studio. I bought a double airbed and we blow it up for excess visitors. I envy you your cold and wet weather. I am so over the heat and the dry.
    Hope your art goes really well
    Loving your blog

  5. Hi Jules,
    how lucky you are to have such beautiful scenery in walking distance from your home. We live one street back from the beach, but it is so hot at the moment, there is no way we will go out in the heat of the day! I love looking at the greenery and the historic buildings. We just don't have that kind of green here....

  6. I think you need to make the spare room your studio! Every woman needs a "room of her own."
    Looking forward to seeing pictures of the new sofa. Bummer that it wouldn't fit!
    I have always loved tudor houses and stone houses. You are so lucky to live in such a lovely place. I would be inspired every day with all the architecture you have there.


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