Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Sorry a very short blog today as so much to do in so little time! However I just had to show you my Luke's creation

The front of the house has been decorated with bunting, skulls and skeletons, but disappointingly  we have not been able to find our ten year collection of witches, skulls, tombstones etc so this is extremely understated this year...we will probably find these tomorrow!!

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Burghley House, Lincolnshire

I have been very good.  Four walls painted and I am now getting into the swing of things after really having to gear myself up to just get on with it.  I am very pleased with the result and will spend the evening finishing off two of the crocheted cushions that I have put together to match in the colours.  So, slowly but surely.

While I was painting I started thinking back to last year and our visit to Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire.  It was wet and grey, but again, as in my previous post, the colours of the trees and the surroundings were magical and I thought I would share these with you.

Burghley House is an Elizabethan Tudor mansion and was used in the films such as the Da Vinci Code, Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. It was also the home of David Cecil Burghley who inspired one of the scenes in Chariots of Fire and became an Olympic Gold Medalist.

The mansion is awe inspiring, huge, of historic importance and just takes your breath away with the magnitude of the house and its surroundings.

This takes on the look of the whomping willow in Harry Potter!

It fades Highclere Castle (that is used in Downton Abbey) into insignificance.

The mistletoe clung on to the various trees around the estate getting ready for the Christmas markets...

and the estate's grounds were so full of colour and variety even on this very dull day...

This was taken while sitting on a chair just taking in the stunning view.  I'm afraid no Mr Darcy emerged from the lake though!

The estate was full of unexpected sculptures which surprised us as we walked around...

Isn't this photo great!  It reminded me of one of those old psychedelic album covers!!

This was a papier mache cow of all things!  Just standing patiently for us to come across him...

As well as the 'cows', the mansion is surrounded by a deer park.  They follow you everywhere and just gently go about their business letting you get up very close.  Aren't they adorable?

and this one is magnificent!  So majestic.

Also there is the Garden of Surprises.

This is definitely one for the kids.  This particular path made them jump out of their skins as when you walk through the water jets come up so you have to be quick to make it!!

This was 'fire', it has sensors to detect you are there and then smoke billows out and red lights emerge...

This was 'water' where water comes out of the holes and flickers against the mirrors to give light and movement to the sculpture along with the water filling the cups under the umbrella and turning this round.

There are amazing little nooks and crannies in this part of the estate, this was full of shells...

and this had jets of steam...not good when it had taken forever to straighten my hair!!

Just outside of this area is the 18th century 'Ice House'.  This was where the ice was collected from the lake and put in this very deep room and it would be kept cold.  This didn't have the same effect as the one at Ayscoughfee Hall where you feel the cold as you enter the tunnel to the vault (especially on a hot summer's day), but they have fitted it out with lighting so you can see the workmanship.  

So, even though grey and damp, it was a very lovely day.  Unfortunately photos can't be taken of the inside of the house which is a shame as the rooms are exquisite.  If you ever have a chance to visit, do, it is worth it, especially when you go to the 'Hell' staircase.  As you enter, take a look to your right and you will see a self portrait of the painter who painted the walls of this vision of Hell, Thomas Stothard...one of my ancestors!!

p.s. To those of you who read my blog who have been caught up in Hurricane Sandy, I hope all is well and you haven't suffered too badly. xx

Saturday, 27 October 2012

An Autumn Walk

Yes, I know, I should have a paintbrush in my hand, and yes it has happened...to one wall (I need to think about the drastic change of colour from magnolia to green before I carry on).  I bought the paint yesterday, and had it specially mixed so I could have the right green and that hubby didn't have a heart attack when he saw the colour!!  But, because the sun was out, something that has been a rare occurrence over the last few days (you can tell I am English I talk about the weather alot!!), we decided to have a walk in the crispy, windy cold air to blow a few cobwebs away and take lots of photos of this wonderful, exquisite time of year.

Autumn, I find to be a very cosy and colourful time of year.  The multi coloured sunsets, oh how I love capturing these in the early evenings.  I was lucky enough to capture this one a couple of nights ago, and must say I half blinded myself in the process, but the way the pylons show against the sky makes them look more like an architectural achievement than the cold grey monstrosities that show their faces during the day.

Our walk took us to The Deeping Lakes Nature Reserve near Crowland.

It was the first time Bex and I had been along but my hubby and Luke are regulars.  It was absolutely glorious...cold, but glorious in all its autumnal beauty.

This was the view from one of the hides across a lake.  The blue sky and the rippled water from the chilly wind was breathtaking.

This view was taken as we were walking alongside one of the lakes.

The vibrant reds of the berries and leaves...

The rich browns, greens and rustic yellows along the many glades...

And the greys and oranges of mushrooms...yes, many types, don't ask me what they are though...

I love the crispy leaves beneath my feet...

I love to see un-uniform trees...

I love to see the way bark forms along and marries up with its surrounding foliage over time...

And I adore my kids walking happily together, no arguments!

But, oh dear, I had to take a photo of this on the way back.  The one thing that is truly remarkable about living on the Fens in Lincolnshire, is that you get to see what is coming weather wise (here I go again on the weather).  Just look what was waiting for us at home...

Have a lovely weekend with whatever you are doing. XX

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