Monday, 5 October 2015

Golden boy!

OH and I are 4 months apart in age, he being the elder of the two of us, and he turned 50 at the beginning of September.  He took the day off work and we headed out for a relaxing day. 

Dudmaston Estate is just over the border in Shropshire, near the Severn Valley Railway (SVR is coincidentally also celebrating 50 years) and managed by the National Trust.  It isn't open on a Friday, so it was a happy coincidence that OH's birthday wasn't a Friday, and we took the opportunity to visit. Dudmaston is actually lived in, hence the funny opening times, and photographs indoors are not allowed.  

Happily, there were plenty of lovely things to photograph outside.  

The lady emerging from the house is actually the present Lady of the Manor, I recognised her from the many personal photographs dotted around inside the house, as she walked past us.  I didn't realise I had photographed her at the time.

The gardens are extensive, but while we were there we got caught in a very heavy storm, fortunately, we were in a heavily wooded part of the grounds at the time, and it didn't last long.

It is actually chucking it down in the photo above, we were chatting to a chap who was also sheltering from the rain and it turned out he lived in the next village to us.

Bad weather aside, here is a photo tour of our day out:

 The lovely lake

The lake as viewed through the eye of The Watcher, a 1969 sculpture by Anthony Twentyman 

 The gorgeous boathouse

Boathouse selfie

 Extensive views (storm approaching!)

How now brown cow!

Tea and cake (of course!)   

 Shepherd's hut in the picnic area

 Picnicking in the orchard

Best looking loos ever!!

 Never seen medlars before

...or mulberries

Birthday boy

Beautiful grounds

Old stable block, now contains the shop

Love this staircase!

 More gorgeous borders

OH's birthday tea... the Lock in Wolverley (old photo of mine, it wasn't raining when we got there!)

I've had some great charity shop bargains in the past few weeks, the best one being this necklace.  I bought two necklaces for 50p each, one is a present so I can't show you here, and this was the other

Yes, it is gold, and it will have to be scrapped as one of the links is bent to the point of breaking.  The scrap value is around £35.

I also bought these tops, one is Wallis, the other Mantaray, both were a pound.  I've worn the purple Mantaray one a lot, it is so comfy.

Found these Primark jeggings in a children's clothing 50p bin, they are ladies, not children's.  I don't usually buy Primark in chazzas, but for 50p it was a no brainer!

I found this lovely Prestige hand whisk too, paid £2 for it but it has plenty of weight, not like my modern one, which has now been donated to a charity shop.

We've also been busy in the garden, the summerhouse is now up and painted, both inside and out

Since taking these photos it has been painted on the outside again and is now a much darker shade of green, and the back wall inside has had a touch up, it was really runny paint!

Well, that's it for now, as of this morning the builders have been hard at work and the garage has been reduced to skip junk and is no more

We are really busy now but I will try to post some updates as we go along, and of course any bargains I may find along the way.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

It's been a long time...

Apologies for the hiatus, I can see my blogging becoming sporadic for the next few months, so bear with me.  We are busy with a lot of things, not all I want to share on here, and our regular routine has gone out of the window for the forseeable future.

However, for the time being I have a day out to share with you, and a sprinkling of charity shop purchases.

On the 7th of August we ventured over to the lovely county of Shropshire again, to visit a couple of English Heritage managed properties there. Boscobel House and White Ladies Priory are both former refuges of King Charles II after his defeat by Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Worcester in 1651.

White Ladies Priory is a small ruin in a field near to Boscobel House, and was active as a priory until Henry VIII's dissolution of the monastries in 1537.  It is alleged to be haunted and has a certain atmosphere about it.  The approach is off a narrow country lane, barely wide enough for one vehicle, then a walk down to the ruin along a very leafy path.  

 We spotted this amazing old Beech tree nearby, with carvings going back over 100 years!  I showed this photo to the guides in the nearby Boscobel House, who were staggered as they hadn't noticed it.

 The ruins are small, yet incredibly tranquil

Boscobel House is a mish mash of building styles, parts of it dating back to the 1500s, when it was a farmhouse.  Over the years it has grown gradually, with bits added on here and there.

The inside is sparse, not much furniture downstairs as major renovation works are being carried on outside, affecting the main facade and downstairs rooms, which are now partially shrouded in sheeting.

We did, however, get a grand view of the very hidey hole that the 21 year old King Charles II hid in as he fled from Cromwells army.

The hole he had to climb down through is tiny, I am fairly slim and think I would struggle, the guide said the young king was 6'2", same height as him indoors who wouldn't have been able to squeeze through that opening!  

 The above photo is the actual hideout and hatch, which would've dropped into place to block the entrance.  The hatch was then covered with fresh blocks of cheese to put any dogs off the scent.

The king would walk up and down this attic room for exercise and observe comings and goings on the nearby road from the window in the photo above.  Below the window, in the floor, is the entrance to his hideout.

The countryside around Boscobel House is serene and the gardens and outbuildings overflow with history.  We walked to the end of the gardens and sat on a bench with our backs to the field containing the Royal Oak

 We suddenly heard the sound of hooves and watched as the whole field of sheep disgorged into an orchard next to us,

each one stopping for a drink at their water trough before coming through the gate.  Some had a nibble from the trees!

  This went on for about 15 minutes until all but one sheep were in the orchard.  The last sheep then bleated loudly from the gateway, and all the sheep trouped back out of the field!


The gardens in parts were fragrant, with herbs and old English flowers surrounded by vibrant green box hedging, butterflies and bees enjoyed the chance to collect nectar in peace

We had a good meander around the grounds, sampled some tea and cake in the tea room, and admired the antique farm machinery

I always find the outside of English Heritage properties much more interesting than the insides, this one's a beauty!

It was another lovely day out and another place we will return to soon.

I also have a few charity shop bargains to share.  I found these lovely items of jewellery in a three for a pound basket.  One I cannot share as it may be a present for a friend though!

The necklace above looks like bone or horn, not sure which, 33p

This lovely bracelet isn't real silver but the stone isn't plastic either, also 33p

The crocheted top was just 50p

As was this gorgeous Boden corduroy skirt! 

Hopefully, my blogging mojo will return soon, and I may be back with more regular posts.

Now it's time to catch up with your blogs!