Deers At Dusk – Charlecote Park


Hey guys!

Can you believe it’s November already? I’m wearing woolly jumpers and thick scarves. I’ve started my Christmas shopping and I’m reading an awesome wintery book too! I’m full on embracing it. 


Yesterday afternoon, I had an amazing opportunity to see and experience the fallow deer at Charlecote Park with one of their Park rangers. I wrapped myself up and dug out my wellies ready for an adventure. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll have seen various posts about Charlecote Park. It’s one of my favourite National Trust places. Deers at Dusk was an experience that I will never forget. 


My photos aren’t amazing; the deer were a few hundred yards away and I only had my beloved iPhone, but I cannot emphasise how magical this was. I felt so at peace, so excited and yet tranquil. I know it sounds ridiculous. I left feeling that that ranger had the best job in the world. Those two hours I spent walking around was bliss. Learning about the fallow deer whilst seeing them content in as close to their natural habitat was really special. 


The sun was setting which created beautiful skies which matched the scenery and glorious Victorian building. 


The park have four types of deer and unbelievably we saw them all. The rutting season has just ended so there were a few young with their mothers. The antlers are so impressive on the older  stags. They really are like a badge of honour. They are such beautiful creatures. 


Enjoy the start of November guys!

Big love xx

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Berrington Hall 

Hey guys! 

Hope you’re well and are all prepared for the approach of November. Today was the start of my half term week off and I spent it with my lovely daddy. We visited Berrington Hall, just outside Leominster, Herefordshire. It’s such a rarity to be able to have a day out with just my dad so I was really excited. We have a mutual passion for history and gardens so this stately home was right up our street. It was a beautiful sunny day too. 


This mansion is really rather impressive. It’s Neo-Classical in design and sat amongst beautiful landscape grounds. This Georgian mansion boats of some incredible features, my favourite being the decorative ceilings (Biaggio Rebecca) and the use of marble. The interiors are the inspiration of Henry Holland yet the home belonged to the Harley, Rodney and Cawley families. 


The garden and landscape are the final design of Capability Brown. There’s a beautiful, tranquil lake at the end of the park too. We walked all the way round and tried to spot the otter that lives there (with no such luck!)


I feel like I use the same words to describe my thoughts, feelings and reactions. I fear I’m becoming repetitive but there really is something special about this place. The property and land were given to the trust in near perfect condition; a rarity for them! I found myself being quite quiet today, taking it all in, imagining the lives and experiences of those who have lived there. 


I’m sure you’ll agree that this place is just divine. It always amazes me what tests of time these places face. It’s been standing here since 1778. Imagine the comings and goings, the changes and challenges. Incredible. 


Happy Halloween and big love!

Xx 

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Filed under Autumn, Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

Autumn


Hi everyone! 

Hope you’re all well and enjoying the changeable autumnal weather. I love this time of year. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but there really is something special about getting all wrapped up, big thick scarves and watching the leaves change and fall. 


I find this time of year the most poetic too. The sun seems to be at its most golden. It got me thinking about how autumn is presented in literature and the ways it inspires me. 

The first poem I thought of was John Keats To Autumn. Probably because I have to teach this poem for GCSE! 

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’

Next, L. M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. I love this quote because it’s something I can picture in my mind. 

‘November — with uncanny witchery in its changed trees. With murky red sunsets flaming in smoky crimson behind the westering hills. With dear days when the austere woods were beautiful and gracious in a dignified serenity of folded hands and closed eyes — days full of a fine, pale sunshine that sifted through the late, leafless gold of the juniper-trees and glimmered among the grey beeches, lighting up evergreen banks of moss and washing the colonnades of the pines.’

My third choice is from one of my all time favourite books, The Great Gatsby

‘Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.’ 

Stepping further back in time with my next choice from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. I love the language used here, so picturesque. 

‘The leaves where more gorgeous than ever; the first touch of frost would lay them all low to the ground. Already one or two kept constantly floating down, amber and golden in the low slanting sun-rays.’

My final choice comes from John Donne. Again, it’s just emphasising how wonderful autumn is. 

‘No spring nor summer beauty have such grace as I have seen in one autumn face.’

I’m sure there’s many other quotes from literature about autumn, but these are the ones that are at the forefront of my mind currently. I’m determined to get out there and enjoy it whilst I can. It’s half term soon so I’m sure there will be more chances there. I’m keeping an eye for the bright red leaves; my favourite! 


Enjoy it my darlings! Big love xx

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Sherlock Holmes: 130 Years

Hey guys! 

Hope you’re well and plodding through October soundly. I’m trying to have a restful Saturday, I have been exploring though! Nevertheless, the focus of this post is that today is the anniversary of the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes in A Study In Scarlet. 130 years ago, Sherlock Holmes first appeared and the rest, as they say, was history. I wonder if Conan Doyle know that he had created an absolute literary legend?! 


As an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, it felt like the perfect opportunity to celebrate this occasion with you all. So, to celebrate this I wanted to share 5 awesome things about Sherlock Holmes (in my opinion!)
1. He has his own statue in London. Pretty cool. 

2. Queen Victoria was a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. It had royal approval! She invited Doyle to the palace for a private reading and gave him an emerald tie pin. 

3. Sherlock Holmes has been on film for over century. That’s a lot of variations to watch. 

4. Conan Doyle wanted to kill Holmes off out of boredom after two years. Can you imagine? 

5. 221B Baker Street did not exist in Doyle’s time. It wasn’t until 1930 when the houses were renumbered. It was knocked down the same year anyway. 

What would life be like without Sherlock Holmes? It’s a collection of novels that have changed me because they’re just so smart. After all: “To a great mind, nothing is little.” I refer to Sherlock Holmes in my teaching. Therefore, I can safely say, my life would be very different without him! 

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Big love xx

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Filed under Books, Classics, Victorian Lit

Tattershall Castle


Hi everyone! 

We are experiencing some excellent autumnal days and I have to say, I’m enjoying having my autumn scarves on! 

Last Saturday I went exploring, this time to a castle! Tattershall Castle, to be specific. It was awesome! It sits proudly in the Lincolnshire fens; a fabulous setting for a castle if I do say so myself. 


First of all it’s a magnificent 15th century red brick castle. It was the size and the colour that stood out to me as I was driving up. The dates of this castle show that it’s been standing for years and years. The sights that castle has seen and stood through. The people that have been there and the stories the walls could tell. 


On exploration of the castle, I learnt that it was built by Lord Ralph Cromwell, who was Treasurer of England. Like all good castles it was built to show off his wealth and power. 


Yet it wasn’t free from its own turmoil. In 1911, the castle was saved from exportation to America. As one of the earliest surviving examples of English medieval brickwork, it was crucial that it was saved. Thankfully, now in the hands of The National Trust, it will forever be safe. 


So this castle is grand on every levels. 149 stairs along the winding staircase take you to three levels. Each floor has the most incredible stained glass windows. I love a good stained glass window, the way the light hits the colours; just stunning. 


Another prominent feature was the gothic fireplaces. They are just fantastic on every level, with little pictures depicting various scenes. Again, showing wealth and power. You can hardly blame him really. 


At the top of the tower, the views of the Lincolnshire countryside were breathtaking. It was a bit breezy up there but it was a nice sunny day which meant I could see quite far. 


I highly recommend this castle. It’s just wonderful. The spiral staircase is magnificent (but did make me feel slightly queasy) and the large rooms create a feeling of wonder. I just wish I could have seen this castle in it’s prime. 


Have a fantastic autumn everyone! 

Big love xx

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Illustrated Potter – Part 3!

Hey guys!

I can’t believe we are in October already. Time is moving rapidly and I can barely keep up! However, I did have a nice surprise today at work. Of course, I’m talking about Jim Kay’s illustrated Prisoner of Azkaban. Oh my it’s absolutely beautiful. (Why wouldn’t it be? The first two were just as stunning!) 



The second part of my surprise was a free tote bag with the book cover on. Bloomsbury absolutely ROCKS. 20 years and still going amazingly strong. My childhood being relived. A new generation of readers are embarking on this Harry Potter journey. It takes me back to that little girl who was lost in this magical world of wonder. I remember my very first reading. I love it just as much today. The illustrations bring the story to life in another way. 


Tuesday night for me is pjs, heating on, hot chocolate and my new lovely book. I wish you all a peaceful October! 

Big love xx

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Filed under Books, Harry Potter, New Books

The Shop That Must Not Be Named – York


Hi guys! 

It’s Saturday, Strictly is on and I’ve had another busy, up and down week. However, I decided (after some hauling out of bed) to visit The Shop That Must Not Be Named in York. 


The first thing I absolutely loved was the fact that lots of people in York were wearing something Harry Potter based (myself included – shoes!) Here are my feet in the shop!! 


The second most amazing thing was that the windows were dressed immaculately. I didn’t mind queuing because I got to see all the exciting things on offer. 


I was very good actually. It would have been easy for me to completely loose myself and buy everything there. I wanted everything I saw. However, I was reserved and treated myself to a couple of things only

The first thing I spotted and purchased was an awesome Platform 9 and 3/4s tote bag. Perfect for transporting my marking to and from school. That’s my justification anyway! 


My other purchase was a bit of a splurge I must admit. But, it’s really really beautiful. I treated myself to a journal. My only worry is that it’s too beautiful to use. 


The little shop brought to life my childhood. Those kind of memories are priceless. I really need to read the books again. I loved it. It really was pure magic


I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I would go back tomorrow. I might do! We all deserve a little magic in our lives. I’m so pleased I’ve seen this little wonder of a shop. 


Big love xx

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Filed under Days Out, Harry Potter, Photography, Places, UK