Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wollaton Park

Last Sunday I was very kindly taken to see Wollaton Park, in Nottingham. This is an Elizabethan mansion which has been a city museum since the 1920s, originally solely for natural history. I loved the setting, on the brow of a hill in a spacious country park:

The building has been redolent of learning from its original decoration with heads of classical scholars:

The windows look out to terraces and planting that feel very nineteenth century:

But behind the solid doors,

... surprises are waiting,

And they've brought their friends and relations...

You feel as though the 1920s exhibits remain, and only the attendants and visitors have moved on:

The modern touches are light,

and the next generation is already here:

And after all that it's out for a cup of tea in a very handsome service block:

which is more vernacular viewed from within:

Refreshed, we went for a wander through the park and admired the deer (on a golf course, ha!)

I loved seeing them reflected in this:

which was outside the Camellia House (sadly not open, perhaps because it is full to the brim with plants)

And finally down to the lake, in the last of the afternoon sunshine:

Monday, February 16, 2009

A walk below the North Downs, and a local church

Today the dog and I went for a walk at the foot of the North Downs, and I called into a local church on the way home for a moment of quiet and (if I'm honest) because I thought some snaps for here would be nice!

This is where we were headed:

As you can see the chalk of the Downs has already begun here, and there are lots of old man's beard,

And gnarled old yew trees:

After the walk, it's back in the mobile kennel:

On the way back we passed a hidden pond, revealed by the bare winter branches:

And came to this church:

where I rather liked this headstone:

and the handsome carving over the porch:

Inside, I was struck by the staircase:

and the everlasting tree depicted behind the altar:

As I left I saw the font,

And finally put my muddy boots back on to go home:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walkies and home again

Today the dog and I went for a short walk from the house, to see how the river was getting on.

The ditch along side our local recreation ground was nearly full.

The river was nearly level with the next set of playing fields.

Our usual path was underwater.

Winter trees loomed against a grey sky.

The catkins are here already though.

Back home,

to put some bread in for lunch,

and deliver some tea.

All is as it should be....