Thursday, 7 September 2017

{quotable thursdays}

It's Thursday! Already!!??
This weekend, I'm going on just under a 10K walk to fundraise for the preservation of historic churches in my area. If you want to support me you can donate here. In England, churches aren't simply places of worship, but repositories of the past, many housing fantastic art objects and sculpture from the centuries, not to mention they are architectural gems!
On another note, I'm off to Madrid next week! So excited! I'm presenting at the Kings & Queens' Conference, but really hoping to also take in the great city.
We're getting a special tour of the Prado & Escorial Palace, which should also be fab.
So on that note, two quotes today! one on travel and the other by Cervantes!
{adventures abroad austen!}
{Miguel de Cervantes}

Stay tuned for pics--& in the mean time, follow my travels over on instagram!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

{chastleton house}

{gorgeous Chastleton House}
Chastleton House is a Jacobean manor preserved in time. Eery cobwebs and dust appear on furniture frozen in time. Unlike other manors or great estates where subsequent generations had money to make a mark and often transform the fabric and makeup of a house,  the aspirations of the merchant who built it never were realised. Built between 1607 and 1612 by a prosperous wool merchant who had hoped to gain a title, the family became more and more impoverished, and thus no renovations were undertaken or no new furniture bought. For us, it means an authentic Jacobean house and a visit that brings to life the way people lived in the 17th century.

In early August, my cousins and I try to take a few days off and go on a 'clark holiday'. Our first was to Highclere Castle (the home of Downton Abbey) and highlights from past trips have been to places like the Peak District, walking in the footsteps of Eliza Bennett and her beloved Mr Darcy. This year we visited the Cotswolds, with stunning little villages on the water and lovely National Trust properties like Chastleton!
{the fabulous entrance leads into an amazing hall}

{the interior hall--it was a chilly August day so we were happy for the fire}
{furniture frozen in time}

{the plasterwork is seriously stunning and amazingly original!}

{old jacobean bed with the bedspread that was painstakingly done by hand 100s of years ago!}

 At the top of the house is what feels like a grand hall, with the largest original plaster ceiling in existence in England. This was not a formal entertaining space--rather it was used for exercise when the English weather was rainy--shuttlecocks were found under the floorboards indicating the family used to play badminton up here!

 Downstairs unsurprisingly were the servants' quarters with a wonderful old kitchen:

From there we drove to some beautiful Cotswolds villages including Bourton on the Water:

A truly wonderful Clark Holiday--already looking forward to next year!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

{quotable thursdays}

Hello Blogland!
Sorry for being absent! I'm not going to lie, this summer hasn't been much of a summer. Not only was the weather in August terrible in the UK but I've just not felt like I've got any kind of break at all. But yesterday I hit a big milestone and submitted my book manuscript for publication... and I realise that things are busy because there are lots of good things that are happening in terms of work. but success in academia generally means not much of a break!
Somedays I think it would be easier just to sit tight & just do the status quo, but this quote reminds me that growing--whether that's intellectually, emotionally, physically--is a challenge. We either rise to it, or we sink back to safety. Sometimes safety is good--sometimes we bring too much on ourselves & it's better to choose an easier route, but sometimes stepping forward means discovering things and yes, growing. But with growth we can often feel out of our comfort zone, before we get comfortable again. I feel like I'm a little in that limbo stage--feeling like I've got too many balls in the air and not sure if they're all going to come down at once and knock me to the ground, or if I'll manage and will come out feeling victorious. In any case, it'll be an adventure!

Let's see what happens!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

{quotable thursdays/garden study}

Hello dear blogland!
I know I've fallen behind on blogging recently. But there's been lots of stuff going on in my life and this weekend marks 2 years since I moved into Chota House! It's been an exciting two years, making this little home my own.
My garden study is now almost done, with replacement light fixtures and some artwork and plants... I've come a long way!
So today's blog will look at the improvements done in the study. What I love most about my study is that all year round I still feel like I've brought the outdoors inside...and that relationship to flowers and birds and plants is calming!
{wild things}
Even on the darkest winter day, the place feels light and I have never had to put the lights on in the day....
{I collected ferns from a nearby walk & pressed them}

{plenty of entertainment for Simla, who watches the birds from the window}

{light and airy, the outside feels like it's inside!}
Before I moved in, the previous owners had done the extension and used it as a breakfast room. The red and stripes was a theme throughout the house (not particularly to my taste!):

The red carried from the kitchen to the study, something I quickly changed with a few coats of paint!

& those sconces, they really had to go!
{oh dear! are we in a bad hotel from the 90s??}

{after = antique brass sconces + picture frames}
It's now simply a lovely place to work, that ties in with the garden theme outside...

How I feel at home! and what a productive space it's been!!