Sunday, 21 February 2010

Thinking of Spring 14th Feb

At present life consists of two things for me - working and walking, in that order. At the moment, working is full time, with little space for anything more than an 'if-I-don't-get-out-I-will-explode' march round the village fields. Last Sunday though, we woke to the first blue skies and sun we'd seen for days, so without stopping for breakfast, we hastened over to one of our favourite walks, to look for signs of Spring.
There are new shoots appearing - not yet on the trees, but certainly in crop fields. We walked across to a lovely farm, the footpath following along the almost purple hogged hedgerow.
First it basked in almost warm sunshine, then dark clouds rolled over and it merged into the landscape like a camouflaged animal.
So I stalked it, getting closer...
...and closer...
Walking round the estate we could sense a stirring - birds jousting with songs, sticky horse chestnut buds swelling, catkins and snowdrops trembling in the chilly breeze. And two large, bronzed hares galloping across a field towards cover.
While the sun was out, it made one hope that maybe the year is on the turn at last.
In a few weeks time, these rich winter neutrals will have transformed to gauzy greens and saffrons.
I am sure of it.
Further reading on this estate

British History online fascinating in-depth reading on the estate, it's long history and the surrounding villages which belong to it, including the farm I have shown here.

A discussion on development and repair of the grade one listed estate house - (not shown here)

English Heritage report on the estate house (with picture)


  1. I, also, am eagerly looking for all the little signs of Spring.

  2. The abandoned manor home fascinated me! Who does it belong to and how old is it?? It is just lovely. Thanks once again for bringing me along.
    your friend,
    PS...Oscar wants to know if he can stay up late tonight to watch Sense and Sensibility with me ;-)

  3. I will surely be here to view your winter neutrals transforming. Any sign of spring here is still buried under a foot of snow!
    Thank you for the beautiful peaceful walk!

  4. It is lovely, isn't it? I am afraid that despite it's empty appearance it is actually lived in and it's not a manor, it's a working farm, (though it IS called Manor Farm). It is part of the large estate we were walking through, which does have a proper 'big house' - so big that I don't think I've ever seen it, as it is in the middle of a vast deer park, with high walls and long, long drives. Jane Austin would probably have felt at home there! And yes, Oscar may watch Sense & Sensibility, so long as he goes to bed straight after! :)

  5. I wonder if living in one of those big old stone houses would be as wonderful as it looks.....

  6. Personally I wouldn't mind it - we live in an unheated 240 year old stone cottage, and despite the cold, the draughts and the damp, I love it. But I imagine for those used to modern living, with automatic heating and double glazing, the reality might be a bit of a shock - although a valuable house like this is probably as well equipped as any modern house. Give me an old, cold house over a sterile, warm suburban dwelling any day of the week!

  7. PG, thank you for delaying that Sunday breakfast. What a pleasure it's just been as I sipped my Sunday morning coffee, to take that walk with you.

    I live in a vastly overheated apartment, and have the window open a bit almost all through the winter months. The landlord's radiators have two settings on/off. Off results in true chill. So strange. I think that the apartments on the ten floors above me get diminishing effects from the hard-working boiler in the basement.

    That old house is a gem. I'd definitely be willing to give it a go.

    Best wishes. xo

  8. Old houses are the best; we lived in a 1790 one. It was worth every minute, even shoveling out the snow in the attic one year! I miss it, as we now are living in one built in the 1970s (irony noted!)

  9. So that is not even the main house! I would love to live in a damp, drafty and wonderful old stone house with history...after all isn't that why God made sweaters and fireplaces?

  10. Ha! Just noticed the TV antennae, does that date back to the 1700's also ;-)

  11. I'm with you Gretel on the preference of old house over new ... especially one as lovely as that and in the Cotswolds to boot ... ;-)

  12. I feel I'm walking it with you!
    (Does that mean I don't have to do my own exercise?)

  13. Natasha, when you visit me, we will go over there if you like, and yes, you WILL have to do some walking. ;)

  14. Beautiful scenery Gretel, you live in an amazing part of the world. Thank you for sharing it with us x

  15. Wow, I used to live in the Cotswolds (King's Sutton NR Banbury) your posts bring back great memories. I also live in a big drafty old house, and would not trade it for all the central heating in the world. Nice to meet you.

  16. Gretel, thanks, not only for show us this amazing house but for the cloud's pictures. They don't seem real but paint.
    As for the house, I'm dreaming in living in a place like this. We're renting a tiny appartment in the countryside which was originally part of the stable's main house. It's another kind of building but beautiful too. Every week-end we say good-bye to the city and fly (by train) to the paradise

  17. have been perusing your glorious blog...such
    a museum tour!

    your photos are so lovely, and there are not 75

    would love to follow. don't feel compelled to
    visit my blog, because i don't do photos.



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