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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Treasures in the Attic

We have started the rather sad task of clearing Mother in Law's house. It is a bit of a roller coaster of emotions as snippets from her life are revealed. It has also proved to be an insight into previous generations. We have found a small case in the attic which we believe belonged to the first generation of the family to live at the farm namely Florence who was my husband's paternal grandmother.
Amongst postcards, greetings cards and school exercise books we found some photos. These that I have chosen show life on the farm decades ago.
The arduous job of haymaking.


We think this shows Florence herself but have not been able to identify the child.


There are several school photos including this one which was at Winford School, we think probably in the 1920's soon after they came to the farm. We assume that some of Florence's children are amongst these pupils but haven't been able to identify them.


Then this last picture shows Florence's youngest child called William who was born just after they arrived at the farm. Known as Bill he was Farmer Husband's dad and sadly died in his 50s. Seen here he is stood in the yard which is now tarmac showing the barn behind which is now our house.


Priceless pieces of our family's history.

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Season of Plenty

The weather as I have often said can be the main topic of conversation with our customers. We are either having discussions about it being too wet or lately about it being to hot and dry. It seems we are never satisfied. It's rather like that in farming for example at the moment it is good sunny weather to mature the grain but rather hot and dry to plump up the potato tubers.


Equally too wet a spell can result in potato blight causing havoc to the crop. Are we ever content?


It's now time to start harvesting the barley and the combine harvester is due to start cutting today. I thought I better get a picture for Field of Plenty for No. 10 of the SPSH before the barley disappears.


Perhaps even a choice for  No. 6 Glorious Green too.


While I was out there I had a go at No. 9 Appears smaller than you. It took me quite a while to click my brain into gear as to what this prompt was all about but I finally found a tree which will sit on my shoulder...




Sunday, 15 July 2018

A Spectacular Interior

Last Wednesday I posted about Kedleston Hall , a grand house in its own parkland on the edge of Derby. Today I am taking you back there to give you a little taster of the spectacular interior. We arrived before the house was open and so were able to join a talk in the marble hall on the history and architecture of the house. This also gave us the opportunity to enter by the great north portico which is reached by stone steps as shown in the external photos shown the other day. We had a little wait for the beginning of the tour during which Student Daughter took this view of the ornately carved portico ceiling. I might add that the bulge in the pillar is just an optical illusion created by the camera.


We then entered into the first of the rooms on the 'piano noble' notably this grand hall.


It was designed you Robert Adam to give the impression of an open courtyard in the Roman style lit mainly from above. The grand Roman theme is added to by the statues in the alcoves and the remarkable alabaster columns.


Perhaps even a possibility for No. 2 of the summertime photography scavenger hunt Stripes.



The inlaid Italian marble floor is now posing quite a few problems for the National Trust. The weight of all the columns is taking its toll on the floor and the ceiling below and the public are no longer allowed access across it.


This means a detour through some of the other rooms to reach the saloon at the far end. The wait to get there is worthwhile to see the fabulous ceilings at the full height of the house.



Then a look back through the doors to the hall and entrance.


A few further photos taken by Student Daughter show the grandeur of the rest of the rooms.




Grand but certainly not cosy and comfortable!


The ground floor also has a large exhibition of some of the collection of items brought home from India by Lord Curzon who was Viceroy of India in the beginning of the 20th Century. Many of these are very interesting but not considered PC in this day and age.


I don't think I would want that in front of my fire!

Friday, 13 July 2018

Birthday Girl

Guess who has a birthday today? Poppy is one today!


A new toy and bone for her today and chocolate croissants for breakfast for us!!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Take Three Thursday: An Old Cornish Savoury

Today I am using some pictures that I took in my kitchen to join in with Mary Lou's meme Take Three Thursday.
I haven't been doing too much baking the last few weeks apart from what has been totally necessary. It's been far too hot to spend long periods in a sweaty kitchen. This morning it's a teeny bit cooler so I decided to make some savoury biscuits that I found on a Cornish recipe blog called Recipes from a Cornish Kitchen.  The post with the details and ingredients can be seen here.
I have made these once before to share at a picnic. They went down so well that this time I have doubled the quantity. I don't have any dried onion so decided to substitute it with fresh chives. I keep a tub of herbs just outside my back door for just such an occasion. Jolly useful when it is raining hard (rain? what rain?)


They are simple to make and the mixture rolls out with ease. They would be a good choice to make with children.


They hadn't been out on the cooling rack long before Farmer Daughter appeared to sample one. I kind of know that they are not going to hang around for long.


I shall be looking out for some dried onions for next time but am also wondering what they would be like with chopped rosemary in them... What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

A Grand House

Our visit to Kedleston Hall on the North East side of Derby was not particularly planned. We had some spare time before the birthday party that we were in Derbyshire for and looked around for somewhere to go. The location of this National Trust property was ideal from where we were staying and also for where we were going to the party.
We stumbled upon a very grand house which is the family home of the Curzon family who still live rent free  in one wing containing 23 rooms part of which is visible on the left of this picture.


The current house dates from the 18th Century when a lot of the house and gardens were designed by a young architect who was at that stage still relatively unknown called Robert Adam.


I have a fair number of pictures to show, some taken by myself and some by student daughter. I will therefore today concentrate on those taken outside. 


The view from the front is over landscaped parkland which includes lakes, cascades and several architectural features. The day we visited there was a antiques fair in the grounds which rather altered the outlook.


On our way to view the Pleasure Grounds on the other side of the house we passed a curious sight at the bottom of a wall. I am not sure if this was its intentional position. 


The pleasure grounds include all the normal features including a ha ha. It's design prevents stock in the fields entering the gardens but allows an uninterrupted view out into the countryside.



A hexagonal summerhouse looking out on a fountain.



Woodland Avenues.


An orangery with farmer husband taking a rest.


Needless to say I tried a few framed views.




Later in the week I will show you a little of the grand interior.



Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Evening Cool Off

Yesterday evening Farmer Daughter and I went for a walk down to the waterfall for Poppy to have a swim. Like most Labradors she loves the water and thoroughly enjoyed  herself. The waterfall and surrounding woodland is close to a public footpath through the fields but is actually on a permissive path. It was interesting to bump into the owner who was sat on a rock by the side of the waterfall waiting I think for a little dip.
He was telling me how he likes to keep the area accessible for everyone to enjoy but that still people abuse the kindness of the owners leaving litter behind them and even more disgusting dog poos hung in poo bags. Why do people abuse people's trust in them?
We wandered down stream slightly and took some pictures noting how much lower the stream is than our last visit.



On leaving the woods Poppy was keen to pose  for a picture  framed by trees. 


 She has a birthday coming up this week!


The owner of this land has also planted a large number of trees which should make for some lovely woodland in time. Not however in the eyes of my farmer daughter who sees it as a waste of farming land!


When we walked back along the public path the gaps in the hedge made some more  framed picture opportunities.