Nice to see you again! I realize it’s been way too long since I last posted. The good news is that I haven’t been trapped in the bathroom the whole time. The bad news is that potty training got put on the back burner for now so I’m still changing diapers. Womp, womp!
The Sarge got switched to a different shift and it always seems to take the Bacon Bit a solid week to adjust. We’ve had some pretty awful nights of screaming and days full of defiance and our new hobby: hitting while shaking our head “no.” Can you feel my enthusiasm? I’m working on the best way to respond to this without completely losing my mind. Even so, I love my little aggressive monster.
The weather has steadily stayed around freezing thus making it slightly miserable to be outdoors. Nevertheless, we decided to venture out last weekend to another National Trust site called Anglesey Abbey. The plan was to tour the house (an indoor activity) but we ended up taking a walk through the gardens first.
There was a light snowfall as we started out on the walking path; definitely cold but really beautiful. I had read that the gardens were beautiful even in the wintertime but didn’t have high expectations as most things look rather dead around here given the low temperatures. I was happily surprised, however, at all the different colors and textures in the garden. It was truly beautiful and made me want to get some pots and plants for our back patio.
I’m neither a photographer nor a botanist so I can’t tell you the names of any of these plants. And the pictures really don’t do justice to how pretty this little trail truly was. We happened upon a small birch clearing and it was by far my favorite spot on the whole trail. I’ve always loved birch trees; something about the white bark is so beautiful to me.
This door reminded me of something out of The Secret Garden (one of my favorite books as a little girl). Had the weather been nicer, I could have stayed in the gardens all day.
We finally made it to Lord Fairhaven’s house; our original destination. Lord Fairhaven purchased the house in the late 1920’s and began restoring it as well as filling it with an ever expanding art collection. It was originally a medieval building where monks would meet though the current furnishings don’t much reflect that history.
Lord Fairhaven loved to entertain guests so the interior and furnishings were designed to delight and impress. Statues, tapestries, antiques and artwork were everywhere.
I loved the floor-to-ceiling books in many of the rooms. In the main library, one of the volunteers explained to me that Lord Fairhaven recovered many of the books in leather and added the seal of the estate. I can’t quite fathom how much money the ol’ Lord must have had at his disposal. If I were looking for ways to blow some cash, I’m not sure recovering my books would be at the top of my list but it did make for an impressive library.
Lord Fairhaven was also a big fan of Windsor Castle and collected an enormous number of painting depicting the castle and surrounding areas. His collection is the second largest behind the Queen. He was such a fan, in fact, that he had an entire wing added to his house which basically serves as an art gallery for his Windsor castle paintings and collectibles from all over the world.
While we were in the house, a small scale blizzard came through so we made a quick dash back to the Visitor Center and treated ourselves to some coffee and cake. Unless they’re driving, the English are not in a hurry at all. Their general pace is very deliberate and unhurried and it’s been a nice change to start adapting to their way of life. There’s always time for tea (or coffee) and a chat and everyone is a friend waiting to be made.
If you’re interested in learning more about Anglesey Abbey or Lord Fairhaven’s estate, you can click this link
And if you go, make sure to stop at the gift shop. They have a great selection of local goods from hot sauce to jelly to chocolate. We picked up a few fun things for my cousin’s kids and I can’t wait to hear what they think of it all. So Cruse Crew, keep your eyes open for a package in the mail!!