Small daughter, having got back into the late starts and even later evenings with remarkable ease over the Easter holidays, is not looking forward to going back to school tomorrow, as you can imagine!
Me, on the other hand … I’m looking forward to the routine of the weeks again. Not the early alarm call, to be sure, but the up-and-out by 8.30am so that I’m ready to get into my work day when I get back. Ha! I say “work” and it’s certainly true that working for yourself means you often work far harder than you ever would in an office working for someone else, but I love what I do so it never feels like work at all.
Still, I have enjoyed taking it more slowly for the last couple of weeks and it won’t be long before the schools break up again at the end of May … this year is really trundling past at a rate of knots, isn’t it?
Small daughter and I went out for the afternoon on Thursday.
Do you recognise it? It’s Lyme at Disley, near Stockport, but if you ever watched the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, you might recognise the house as Pemberley. Small daughter decided over Christmas that she wanted to read the book (I don’t know if she’s actually finished it though!), watch the TV series (she thought Colin Firth was rather dashing as Mr Darcy) and watch the later film (she was less taken by that Mr Darcy, although I’m sure he’s a lovely man) and to visit Pemberley as she discovered that it isn’t too far away from us.
She also wanted to see this …
It’s a 12ft Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the lake outside the house, put there to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice – although as you’ll see from my photo above, he’s no longer there (the man in the ticket kiosk didn’t sound too sad about that when we asked him about it!).
I’m not quite sure why the TV series had Mr Darcy diving into the lake as Mr Darcy doesn’t do that in the book, but I am quite sure it did Mr Firth’s career no harm!
Anyway, small daughter soon got over her disappointment and we were able to tour the gardens with the dog (who came with us to see Colin but didn’t say if he was disappointed about him not being there or not).
There are walks around the lake and through the woods, with a small stream running down to the big lake you can see. The walk along the stream is called Killtime which seems like an odd name for a footpath, but I imagine that it was used just for that as there wouldn’t be nearly as many distractions for earlier inhabitants of the house as there would be today!
From the house, we walked up a hill just outside to a structure called The Cage which has been variously a hunting lodge, watchtower, banqueting room, holding prison for poachers awaiting trial and a home for estate workers.
Small daughter took the next two photos. We’d thought from a distance it looked like the Tower of London, but as we got closer we thought that even more! Oh, and in case you’re wondering (and so that I can remember in the future!), the flag is at half mast to commemorate the death of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, who died on 9 April 2021 at the age of 99.
We couldn’t go inside but I found this video on YouTube from a day when it was opened to the public if you’d like to take a look.
If you look at the middle window on the left, you can see that it’s not a real window at all. Small daughter had never heard of the Window Tax in the 1700s (a property tax based on the number of windows in your property – you can see bricked up windows in lots of buildings from that period once you know to look for them!) and we found sundials (you can see one of them above the big window in the centre) on three of the faces so we had a discussion about why that might be and why they might all have their numbers in different places. It’s not something you need to think about when your clock doesn’t rely on the sun!
It was a glorious day, you could see for miles. This view is across Manchester and although you may not be able to, we could see each of the tall buildings as they rose out of the cityscape. Small daughter had been into Manchester with her friends the day before and couldn’t quite believe that the place that had seemed so enormously big to her when she was there was now contained within a photograph on a phone. Perspective is a funny thing, isn’t it?
We walked back down to the house. I’d promised small daughter an ice cream in lieu of a view of Colin and personally, I think that was a better deal as it was very good ice cream from the kiosk in the car park.
Imagine if you were walking down this hill knowing that “home” was just over there … now that makes my mind boggle!
I just had to take a photo of this tree, too, although I don’t know if a photo will quite show off what I could see. The leaves were starting to show and they were shining gold in the sunlight, it lo0ked quite amazing.
The sun is shining again today so I’m going to spend some time in the garden before sitting down with my knitting and a brew.
I’ll be back soon – I hope you have a lovely day too!