Every year, for Christmas, my Mum gives us National Trust membership. If you aren't in the UK and maybe don't know what that is ... it is an organisation that looks after hundreds of historic properties and estates in the UK. Here's the blurb from their website ...
"We protect and care for places so people and nature can thrive. We look after hundreds of houses and close to a million objects, along with vast areas of coastline, countryside and green spaces, for everyone’s benefit. With our staff, members, volunteers and supporters, we’re the biggest conservation charity in Europe."
We are fortunate enough to have at least 6 NT properties within an hour's drive of home, so we get plenty of use from our membership, and we also use it when we go to visit my family in Northern Ireland. For a few years we had a break from it as the children became teenagers and no longer enjoyed the visits, but now they are old enough to leave at home while Mr EC and I plus the dog go and enjoy a lovely walk. It does make me very sad that the teenagers no longer want to come with us, but it is the way of things and I suppose they have to grow up, although I wish it wasn't so! Sometimes Miss 14 comes with us though so I am clinging onto that while it lasts.
Yesterday we paid a visit to Basildon Park, which is our favourite local NT property. I've blogged about it before (here and here) and I feel my photos from yesterday's visit aren't quite up to scratch, but I always find it hard to take pictures when we have the dog with us! I think possibly she pulls us along so I feel I can't take my time.
Basildon Park has 4 mapped out estate walks to follow - we decided to follow the blue route which is a 1.5 hour walk. It's only 2.5 miles but very muddy with a lot of hills so feels longer.
The blue route follows around most of the periphery of the estate, the scenery is very varied; there are lots of rolling fields, woodland areas, tumbling-down walls covered in ivy, and narrow pathways.
You remember I said Miss 14 sometimes comes with us ? Yesterday was one of those days, and she agreed quite happily to come along. Well despite her agreement to come she was in true stroppy teenager mode (no idea why) and insisted on walking a good 50 yards ahead of us at all times. In the photo below you can see her in the distance if you zoom in!
There was lots of evidence of spring about ....
We went off-piste a bit and got a tiny bit lost, but eventually we ended up back at the house...
It was so nice to see some blue sky, and have a dry day with little to no breeze, after a few weeks of rain and storms. And much as we love bringing the dog with us it does mean we can't then visit the cafe afterwards! Boooo! And its still a bit cold for al fresco coffee, so we just headed home.
In crochet news, crochet man is coming along, his limbs are now attached ...
... and today I started his jumper. I had some Stylecraft Special DK in Meadow left over from a previous project, and I decided to use that. The brief was for a dark green jumper but Meadow was all I had to hand (the fact I have a ridiculous amount of stash in the loft is neither here nor there ....). Anyway the small amount of Meadow is pretty definitely too small, I ended up playing yarn chicken, and then had to stop altogether, to make dinner.
I'm pretty sure I won't have enough Meadow left to finish the other arm, so I had a root around in another cupboard and found this ball of Cypress, which, on reflection, is a much better green for a brief of dark green, so I think tomorrow I'll be making up a whole new jumper and frogging the Meadow one. Oh well! I'll just consider the Meadow one to be a practice version!
Til next time,