Saturday, August 12, 2006

Teapot Ponderings... and Holidays

It feels good to be back at the Teapot... though it's only right, and true to the blog, if I go and get a cuppa and share today's thoughts over that nice cup of tea... (and some chocolate buttons!).

I'm just coming to the end of my two weeks holiday, and am only just beginning to feel some recharging of my batteries! Some of those days were spent camping in Norfolk (yes, back there again) the majority of days being bright and sunny, but the day we arrived and had to pitch the tent was of course blowing a gale, and we had to enlist neighbouring help to stop the tent from blowing away before it was firmly secured to the ground!

I love camping - love sitting in the entrance to my little canvas home in the morning, with the kettle whistling away on the gas, and nature close at hand. I love the slower pace and the time to be still, the time to read, the time to watch the world go by, the time to shelter under canvas from the elements, the time to chat and play... There are of course downsides to camping - that decision to crawl out of the sleeping bag in the morning and stagger across a field to get to the loos, the gale that sounds like it's going to launch the tent off into the clouds, and depending on the location - the cows that seem to get alarmingly close at times... but it's all worth it in my opinion!

Fifteen year old TeenSon is slightly less enamoured of the whole thing, but he's done a fair bit of camping over the years - not least because it's sometimes the only affordable holiday option. So our holidays are made up of compromise - one shopping trip and late night visit to the amusements for him in exchange for my trip to a stately home (etc)! And this year he was a perfect non-moaning angel for our visit to Felbrigg Hall (I'd like to add that I believe I was also a non-moaning angel while he was dragging me round the shops and at the amusements).

I have wanted to see Felbrigg for a long time. I read the books* by Mary Mackie (more than once) some time ago and became fascinated and delighted with the place. Until 1990 (or there-abouts) Mary's husband Chris was Houseman and then Administrator of Felbrigg Hall, and writer Mary has written three books telling of life living and working behind the scenes of a National Trust property - namely Felbrigg. I was not only enthralled by the day-to-day dramas and delights of their situation, but also by the life stories of the Windhams (previously Wyndhams) who had long been the squires of Felbrigg until the Hall and Estate passed into the care of the National Trust.

I took great delight in walking around the house, almost feeling as though I knew it already having read of the grand rooms as well as the smaller rooms - remembering and 'recognising' the amazing wallpaper in the Chinese bedroom and seeing the Morning Room where so many special events had taken place. It's hard to say why and how a place can take on special meaning - but I was thrilled to see for myself this delightful, beautiful building and home.

The Park itself was also a delight - with its Walled Garden, and the Church standing in the middle of fields and meadows...
I wasn't able to take pictures inside the house - though some photos can be seen on the website (title link), but here are some pictures taken in the peace of the outdoors:

The dove-house in the Walled Garden.

Inside the Walled Garden.

Felbrigg Church

*Books about Felbrigg by Mary Mackie: 'Cobwebs and Cream Teas', 'Dry Rot and Daffodils', 'Frogspawn and Floor Polish'. (All available from Amazon - just insert 'mary mackie' into the search bar).


At August 21, 2006 3:15 pm, Blogger Kathryn said...

Lovely pictures. I have a National Trust cookbook produced some years ago that includes a recipe from most of the houses...Felbrigg's is a rather yummy gingerbread!


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