Sunday, June 05, 2011
--where the day went. I've spent most of it on Ancestry. Oh, there was the usual meals... tidying... and neighbors dropped by, but basically, the day was spent lost in census records and whatever other documentation I could find.
Boy, some of the handwritings in 'the day' were pretty bad, lol...
Anyway, nothing to add, and it's well past (and I mean WELL PAST!) my bedtime, so I'm toddling off to bed.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Hope that title doesn't mislead anyone, now that I think on it. Pictures of places and things, not me or 'before&after' or anything, lol...
Oh, and also while I think of it - yes, Lecates, this is indeed the location for filming exteriors on not one but two different productions of Pride and Prejudice. There was a mini-series with Colin Firth (you know, as in The King's Speech etc) as Mr Darcy - I'd say that one was about 15 years ago? My understanding is somewhere else, or even a studio, was used for interior scenes, but the outdoors was at Lyme. And a more recent version of P&P, updated with modern dress / present day setting, was also shot outdoors there, I think around 2003 / '04 / '05. That wasn't the one with Keira Knightley but a small-budget one. I've never seen it.
Anyway, on with the show.
We continued along the lake path. The arched stone bridge marked the 'beginning' of the lake (which is totally artificial), where the stream comes in. The 'outlet' has a small footbridge over it, which I thought was pretty in design, not quite as rustic as some of the ones at Tatton (you may recall some of those pictures from a couple weeks ago):
I walked onto the bridge and took a picture back toward the lake. At this point it merely looks like a wide, slow-moving stream, as the trees overhang and the lake itself is mostly hidden from view:
I suppose turnabout is fair play. Yesterday I posted a picture Himself had taken - and the picture EYE took of HIM as he snapped it. When we got to the bridge he was behind me, and gave a shout:
I'm telling you, we're a couple of overgrown kids set loose with cameras in our hands, lol...
On the other side of the bridge the path followed the outlet creek a short ways. There is a sort-of small dam, probably just to slow the water coming from the lake so it doesn't run dry. It makes a pleasant sound in the glade as the little waterfall cascades down:
At the beginning of yesterday's narrative I had a picture or two I'd taken while standing in front of the house. Walking around the lake in a clockwise direction eventually leads down to the formal gardens which are terraced below the house. That's where the path went next:
That was looking back up at the house, of course; turning in the other direction, the formal gardens are laid out just below this:
The flower beds here were prepped and ready to plant, but empty right now, as it's still a bit early in the season. Lyme Park is in the Peak District, which gives it a high enough elevation to keep the temps somewhat cooler and spring / summer just that bit later. The 'peaks' are by no means mountains, but higher than hills, so... they're peaks, lol. Chatsworth (which is STILL on my list, as I've been tantalizingly close but not yet gotten there) is in the Peak District, as is the parsonage where the Brontes grew up and several more famous places. I found a website--
--that gives a good overview of what's to see and do, just to give you an idea of what the area is like.
We continue. When we came off the intermediate level set into the 'wall' below the house, the path continued sloping down. I turned back to get a picture of the stone wall,* and I think even with the small size here you can see where we had been walking:
*The wall itself is quite high. The path eventually climbed to the upper level to take us back up to the house itself, but the path we came down that was below the house / above the gardens is about midway along that stone wall, hidden by the trees and shrubs. Just about where the tops of the leaves are is where that path is, if that makes sense.
And another shot across the formal garden:
A week or so ago I posted a picture here of the deep red rhododendron that's in our yard - it's one of my favorites. While ours have all gone by, you see that this one at LP is in full splendor, thereby going to show that the elevation might indeed make a difference. Behind us, just as the path turned into more woodland, was a rhodie that's one of Himself's favorites, so he took a closeup of it:
Nothing was in bloom in the relatively-thickly-wooded area behind the formal gardens. (The gardens themselves are off-limits to the public, I suppose because they have more delicate plantings when the flowers are set in for the season.) The path led back up to the house and ultimately we retraced our steps to the front.
There is a 'folly,' a hunting lodge, on the highest ridge of Lyme Park; it's known as The Cage, and when the estate is open the public is allowed to go in and climb to the viewing platform on the roof. We've been to Lyme three times now, and each time mean to get to The Cage, and each time end up for whatever reason not quite getting there. 'They say' the views from the top are spectacular. Since it was nearly 4:30 by the time we finished walking the gardens we decided to give The Cage a miss - again - and call it a day. Hope the fourth time's the charm, lol, because I really would like to take pictures from the top.
We have a program on our phones that tracks where we walk - how far, how fast, etc. Himself overlaid the path we walked onto a Google map:
The program tracks the stats a couple of different ways, including actual walking time (as opposed to stopping to take photos), average 'moving speed,' and so on. So what this red line translates to is - about three miles, with an average moving speed of 15 minutes to the mile. Not bad for an ol' lady with a bum knee and plantar fasciitis, lol!
Like yesterday, this is Part 1, as I plan (Deo volente) to be back at the end of the day with a summation. Meanwhile, high on my priority list is Ancestry research for today. My aunt was a veritable fount of information last night, and I'm excited to start sifting thru some of the names and dates she gave me to see what records I can find.
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Not the finale of the pictures - just of the day. I'm running late, and (tell the truth and shame the Devil, lol) I nearly forgot to do an evening blog at all.
I've been on the phone to my aunt (for the better part of two hours - geez, Himself will go ballistic when he sees June's phone bill!) and lost all track of time. Our conversations range all over the map, and it's so much fun talking to her.
Anyhow, I'll see if I can catch up Lyme Park tomorrow. So goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Loading the pictures, that is, lol. I 'tested' it with changing some page-pix, and they seem to have posted okay, so we'll give this another go.
On from the non-rose-garden, we wandered into the orangerie. I always think of 'orangerie' as 18th century and 'conservatory' as 19th century. Probably I've read too many bodice-rippers, lol... I have no idea how old the orangerie is, tho much of the house looks to be 1700s to my untrained eye, and as I said yesterday, I don't remember the details about the estate's history. Nonetheless, orangerie it is:
The moss has deliberately been encouraged to grow on the fountain, so I don't know if it has much detail on the basins, or indeed, if it's worn or somewhat damaged. Maybe the moss hides chips and breaks, or maybe the moss causes slight damage. Or maybe it was a trend at some point. Here's a closeup, tho, so you can see just how extensive and thick the moss 'coating' is:
The floor was as interesting (to me) as much of the building itself. The colored tilework was probably done in the Victorian age, being very typical of that time - Himself remembers when they lived in an old terrace house (when 'e were a wee lad, circa 1950) that had been built in the 1870s or so - the entryway there was tiled in this same pattern with these same colors, and I've seen it in an Edwardian house that's been converted to offices, so it was perhaps one of those durable and not-terribly-expensive floorings in high-traffic areas subject to mud and dirt.
Unlike the entryways and the (shall we say) common living quarters, this one had several customized inset tiles:
The special insets were all different, but this one of the family's crest was front and center.
Leaving the orangerie we continued along a path that would take us around the lake. There was a stone bridge that was up on one of the main drives (what had been a drive; now a pedestrian path outside the gardens but into the grounds), and below it an artificial waterfall had been created.
The path we were following took us along a route within the gardens, so we effectively walked below the bridge.
Up out of the low ravine there were lots of rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as some other plants (the red-leafed one is a small Japanese acer - I think I have the name right - which is in the maple family; I love the color of it) I liked:
When we reached the far side of the lake, opposite the house, there were some beautiful 'picture-postcard' views:
...and I took a snapshot of Himself taking the picture above:
Notice his summer shirt coordinates wonderfully with the rhodies in bloom behind him, lol.
* * *
It has taken me over 30 minutes to get this much posted - if it actually goes thru when I click on 'Post Blog Entry,' that is. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm getting a lot of error messages and having to click two or three times to try to get the pictures to upload. These aren't any different from the ones I usually post, and the other websites I've accessed this AM have worked as normal, so I wonder if SP's servers are struggling or if perhaps there's some kind of maintenance going on.
I called this 'Part 1' because while I was planning to post the remaining pix from yesterday, I wanted to reserve the right (lol) to return later this evening for a short blog. Now, tho, I will try to get back here later today to post more / the rest of the Lyme Park photos.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Serendipity: The faculty of making fortunate discoveries while searching for other things; the instance of making such a discovery...
This morning I woke up to one of those early-summer days where the air is crystalline and the blue sky goes on forever. In short, sunshine, at last!
I wandered thru to get some breakfast and said to Himself 'What do you say we go over to Hare Hill and have a little picnic? I really want to get some pictures of roses before they all go by.'
(You may remember some months back when we were going to spend some time at Hare Hill - a local National Trust garden - only to get there and discover it was one of their days off. We ended up at Alderley Edge that day; I posted the pix in a blog.)
After some discussion ('Do you think the blue poppies are in bloom at Dunham?' 'Dunno. The timing seems about right.' 'I think it's a bit late and we probably missed them.' 'How about I give them a call and ask? If the poppies are out, we can go there instead.' 'Okay, tho they don't have any roses there, and I really want to get rose pictures.' Moot point, as the people at Dunham - another NatTrust estate - said the poppies had gone by, after not having lasted very well because of all the rain. Eh. So it goes) we decided that Hare Hill was as good a plan as any.
I threw a lunch together* and grabbed my trusty camera (I love a digicam) and we went. Hare Hill is, oh, I guess maybe half-an-hour from here? Tho it took us more like 45 minutes today because we had the SatNav plot a country-lane route to avoid highways and motorways.
*I know, I've said it before, but if a 'picnic' consists of eating outdoors, then regardless whether it's your standard brownbag or an elegant wicker basket with wineglasses, it's a picnic. IMHO
It was such a nice ride, past farms, orchards, sheep pastures... wildflowers in abundance. At one point we were on a cobbled road - miles of it, all cobble-stones. Kind of a rough ride, but sometime in the 18th century (said Himself) it was not a country lane but probably a main artery between two large towns or maybe even Manchester and one of the other urban centers. At any rate, while I've seen short sections of cobbles, and the occasional pedestrian cobbled walkway, I'd never seen such a long stretch that's still in use. So I had to take a picture:
After all that, we got to Hare Hill to find it was closed! On a Friday in June. Argh. I could've checked the website for days / times, or looked in the NT book, but I really hadn't thought they'd be closed on a Friday. Well, we live and learn.
So we consulted our phones (navigation on a phone - I'm telling you, the world in which we live--!) and decided to try a different National Trust estate, Lyme Park. We always have the handbook in the car, so THIS time I checked before we headed over there: yepper, house and gardens open on Fridays until 5, grounds open until 8. Good deal!
Since it was nearly lunchtime we stopped in at Alderley Edge (just like last year) and ate our picnic in their small grove (just like last year), but instead of walking around there - no flowers, tho there are some nice trails and a terrific view from the escarpment - we went to Lyme Park.
Somewhere around here (it is to laff, my organizational skills being what they are) I have a guidebook we got from Lyme when we first visited, probably the better part of seven or eight years ago now. Since we weren't planning to go thru the house, and since I wasn't planning to do more than walk around and take flower pictures, it wasn't an issue. But I've forgotten the history of the estate and the family who once owned it, so excuse the fact that there's no background on it here. Suffice it to say that it was once owned by incredibly wealthy aristocrats in a time when they could afford the finest of houses and furnishings and a veritable army of gardeners and groundskeepers, and like so many of these huge British country houses the National Trust now maintains it for the public.
Another 40-minute drive, tho this one was more direct rather than a meandering sight-seeing backroads trip, i.e., no cobbles. Thus serendipity led us to Lyme Park instead of Hare Hill.
I'd forgotten that there is a VERY steep hill from the carpark to the house and gardens. There's a kind of 'tram' that will cart you to the front gate, but I'm mobile enough (just) that I declined: I figured doesn't matter how long it takes me to get up there, so I walked.
In the courtyard... show our cards, get the tickets... go into the gardens at the back of the house.
Just a couple pictures to give you an idea of the setting:
We'd been given a brochure with a small map so headed over to the rose garden first. And this is what I found:
That's the formal rose garden. Do you see any roses in there? No. You don't. The resolution isn't all that great, because the picture as posted here looks very small, but trust me, with the exception of a half-dozen or so blooms, you would see a lot of buds, and very few roses. Grrr...
So I took a REALLY big closeup of the one good rose in the area:
* * *
I'm not sure what's happening here. My computer connection seems okay, but the pictures are loading r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y. Dunno if SP's servers are busy, it being a Friday evening in the US. Anyway, I'm going to shelve it for now and try to post the rest tomorrow earlier in the day. Besides, it's now officially past my bedtime, and I did some serious walking today, lol...
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
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