Friday, 20 November 2020

Relish Small Pleasures

We are now two weeks into our second lockdown. The first time round Spring was in the air and there was a certain amount of novelty to it. This time, winter is creeping in, and with Christmas on the horizon it’s hard to imagine how it will be celebrated.
The news about the vaccines has given us more hope for the future, and we should all be grateful to the many scientists who have toiled away during this difficult period to find a solution for the world’s current plight. Seemingly the Oxford solution is just a matter of days away from an announcement, but they have already stated that their vaccine is particularly ‘encouraging’ in adults over the age of 70years. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 94% effective in the over 65s’ - this scenario was something that had previously had a large question mark hovering over it. 

The departure of “Dom” from Downing Street too is good news, but perhaps the less said about that the better. 

During the last few days the weather has been dull, and gloomy, but we took a chance and booked Thursday of this week to visit a National Trust garden. Luckily their gardens are still open, but you must book your slot online - the dates for each week are released every Friday morning. Yesterday, the day of our visit, was a perfect day, blue skies, a slight nip in the air, but clear and bright. We visited Tyntesfield in North Somerset, a Victorian Gothic Revival house with extensive gardens and parkland, and just a stone’s throw from Bristol. Originally called Tyntes Place, William Gibbs, purchased it for his growing family in 1844. He completely remodelled the exterior of what was a simple regency house into the Gothic extravaganza that exists today. All of the interiors were richly decorated and furnished by the country’s leading craftsmen.

Unlike several of Bristol's successful businessmen, Gibbs did not make his money on the backs of the ‘slave trade’. His fortune was made by importing ‘guano’ from Peru, a country which granted him the sole monopoly on all trade with Europe and North America.

"You expected to be sad in the fall.

Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and..... 
their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light.
But you knew there would always be the spring,as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.
Family chapel, the design of which was modelled on the flamboyant Gothic architecture of Sainte Chapelle in Paris.

51 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous mansion and garden setting! Thanks for interspersing Hemingway's words - I would never have thought he has been the author. Thanks so very much for such sterling photos.

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    1. Thank you Barbara - we felt fortunate to have such a lovely day out rather than be stuck indoors.

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  2. Dearest Rosemary,
    Lovely photos and a great day for your visit on Thursday to National Trust Garden!
    There is no title showing on my sideline but instead the thumbnail of your first photo showed up...
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - it turned out to be a lovely day, but we have had some gloomy weather too. It's probably best not to worry too much about what New Blogger gets up to these days.

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  3. Hello Rosemary, Well, we can see from your photos that England is still beautiful. About the second lockdown--it didn't make sense to stop the first lockdown until the disease was under control. It's not like taking a few weeks off of a diet, when the only penalty is not losing any weight during that period.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - good weather makes a whole world of difference. I imagine that it is very likely that some heads might roll at the end of all this.

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  4. Still lovely Autumn in Britain, I see. It's the middle of winter here, LOL! I like that weathervane.

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  5. What a beautiful place to enjoy some fresh air. The architecture of a garden really shows up when the flowers are gone.
    New restrictions have come down for us this week as our numbers, still relatively low, are on the rise. The vaccine news is wonderful and I do hope that we see an end to this in 2021. We are making plans for a non-family Christmas, getting together via Zoom and dropping off or mailing gifts. It will be different, that's for certain!

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    1. I am thinking that Christmas for us will be very similar too.

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    1. The house has an enormous amount of Gothic detail all over it.

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  7. I'm glad you are still able to get out and about. Gothic Revival is one of my favourites architectural styles. In North America a style called Carpenter Gothic is a much simpler but charming evocation. If you are not familiar with it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpenter_Gothic

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    1. Thanks Susan, I will certainly take a look at your recommendation.

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  8. What a confection of a place! I really think that if you're going to make your home Gothic, restraint has no place, and this place just takes the biscuit. I love it! The folly(?) is adorable, too. What a lovely outing; the garden looks beautiful.

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    1. The inside of the property is equally unrestrained too - The folly (?) is actually the family chapel, sorry I should have mentioned that in the text.

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    2. A chapel? Even more romantic!

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  9. The photos are lovely, and good to be able to attend the library.
    Our first lock down was in autumn, then beginning of winter restrictions were lifted a little and now we are about 115 days or more free of Covidd-19 so I read somewhere.
    Take care Rosemary.

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    1. I think that one of our problems is that we are a small island with too many people, especially in our large cities.

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  10. I always get a lift after December 21st just knowing it's getting lighter again each day and with a vaccine solution on the horizon hopefully spring 2021 will have other benefits as well. A nice building.

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    1. I am the same Bob - roll on longer, brighter days.

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  11. You always shows us such beautiful photos of the surroundings. Here the rules are still not going out if you don't need to. So we circle around in the surroundings.

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    1. We are only allowed essential travel too, but visits to NT gardens are allowed because they have a booked and timed entry system which keeps people well apart from one another.

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  12. Where there's muck there's money. I wish the same could be said these days.

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    1. I heard today that Cornwall has discovered huge deposits of lithium deposited in geothermal brines which are of global significance. No doubt there will be some who will make plenty of money from it within the coming years.

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  13. Dear Rosemary,
    I love Follies. I always think of them as perfect little houses all for myself. We still have warm days which makes taking my dog for a run a lot of fun for her and for me.
    It is so exiting to know that a vaccine is coming so soon. I wonder about the different vaccines. Do they have different "recipes?" And which one is right and for what situation? Need to do a little research.

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    1. Dear Gina - I must label that picture, it is actually a small family chapel - sorry to have mislead you.
      Basically the virus vaccines have all been created using very similar formulas, so not very much to worry about Gina, plus all them will scrutinised by highly skilled experts before they are released to the doctors and the general public.

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  14. Follies are always interesting. Yes, Rosemary, the tunnel is long, but there is now at least a small light at the end of it. The vaccine news does seem to be positive on all fronts, so let us hope that the people who understand such things get the manufacturing and distribution organized promptly and effectively. As others far wiser than I have said, a vaccine is only effective once you have been vaccinated.

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    1. I have now labelled the "folly" David, as it is actually the chapel. The vaccine distribution appears be quite complicated. I understand that you have one injection followed by another three weeks later, but the vaccine does not take effect until another week after that, so a month in all.

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  15. You chose the perfect place to live for these undetermined situations (lockdowns) as you appear to be surrounded by outstanding places to visit not far from home! Today is no exception! Upon visiting many celebrated homes it always seemed to be an accurate comment when one of us could report, "Well, this actually feels like a place we could live in!" And I could easily say that about Tyntesfield (meaning it wasn't a palace with thousands of rooms!!!). I snapped a photo of that gorgeous golden Coq - I might try my hand at a watercolor of it (I have recently purchased a metallic set of watercolors and the gold has yet to be tried.) That blue sky and sunshine really feels warm - we're at 32 F. and with dense fog here.

    Mary in Oregon

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    1. I said to my husband is that a golden cockerel on the skyline above the roof - it was so far away that it was difficult to determine exactly what was being represented. However, I was delighted with my small camera when I saw the result - yes, it was a golden cockerel.

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  16. What a beautiful place to visit. You are lucky to be able to go outside during the lockdown , here everything is closed down a part from Pharmacies and grocery stores .

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    1. We are fortunate that we do not live in a large conurbation but live in the countryside, where touch wood, the virus is low.

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  17. What a very lovely placel and I love the last pic especially.

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    1. The golden cockerel was so high up on the rooftop and far away that I could hardly make it out, so I was pleased to see it clearly on the photo. It is a very pleasing design.

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  18. It's not often that the whole population of a country looks forward to having needles stuck in their arms, but that seems to be where we are at the moment. At least there are still some wonderful places to wander while we wait for this happy day. Making a fortune from importing guano seems to re-enforce my father's saying that where there's muck there's money.

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    1. It's a funny old world that we live in today - my father had lots of these little sayings too, I recall him saying "beware the little yellow man" - whatever was he on about I wondered, but perhaps now I know.

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  19. That huge tree is magnificent! Lovely pictures. Thank you for taking us along! In these days of covid, virtual journeys are wonderfully heartening!

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    1. My pleasure Debby - glad to know that you enjoyed.

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  20. That looks like the perfect escape from the confines of lockdown and the ludicrous political climate both here and in the US. I’ve never been, despite it being one of the nearest NT properties. Something to look forward to. Keep safe Rosemary. Let’s hope we get an effective vaccine sooner rather than later. I spent the first lockdown in the garden, not so pleasant now!

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Jessica - given a lovely day, you too must try and visit. It feels so good to fill the lungs with plenty of fresh air whilst taking a brisk walk through these lovely grounds - lifts the spirits.
      We all really do need these vaccines sooner rather than later - you keep safe as well Jessica.

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  21. Tough time continues but different from the first wave in spring, we’ve learned we can manage if only necessary precautions are done. Travel is no trouble in the way you did it. Recently I’m not afraid of going out with a mask and other measures. But I’ll cancel new year gathering of my families, as it’s not good for people from different regions to wine, dine, play games excited, and talk a lot together. Your photos of the landscape and autumn foliage are so beautiful, Rosemary. We tend to associate autumn with our late years. The final blaze of fire of life is moving.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - it is the same here - Autumn's decline - Spring's new birth.
      I am pleased that you are coping well, it is sensible for all of us to continue to play it safe. Take care.

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  22. Such a lovely garden from the National Trust! And - as always - exquisite photos.
    The sun still shines, and a few roses faithfully hold their blossoms into the light - if something is rare, it becomes even more precious . Thank you for that lovely walk amidst lock-down! XX

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    1. Lovely words Britta - Shakespeare?
      Beauty is always around us for those who look.

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