Knole House: making the most of a rainy day

We set off at about 12.30 p.m., having waited for Eversley to sample one of the local churches. Mind you, Stephen and I were pretty slack about getting up and it worked out well for us.

The journey to Knole House was uneventful, with a taxi at the end for the last 3 miles. We booked the taxi for our return journey and he was supposed to arrive at 5.00 p.m.

As the property is a National Trust offering Stephen and I got in for free and Eversley decided to only do things that were free. The extras were a visit to the ‘showrooms’ so called because they were decorated to provide a show of wealth by the owners. I wasn’t allowed to take photos. The rooms were dark, and even darker because blinds are used on the windows to help preserve the artefacts, especially fabrics which fade and fall apart over time. There were colourful panels, paintings and rooms set up for show. The long galleries were used for getting exercise during bad weather and the wooden floors makes them ideal for the purpose as wood is much softer for legs than stone. The following photos are of the Orangery, a sort of indoor greenhouse.

View from the tower
The tower

We also visited the tower, which was set up as an apartment for the heir who ousted Vita Sackville-West, inheriting her childhood home. We could better understand her upset over this. She had set up her own tower ‘apartment’ at Sissinghurst, but it wasn’t as spacious as at Knole House. She was passed over purely because of being a woman, and since she was a rather manly woman it must have been particularly galling.

We enjoyed views from the tower and I was allowed to take photos there, of course. There was a bookshop and cafe as well for our rest and afternoon tea.

A feature of Knole House is the deer park and we went for a walk in the park, with me concentrating on deer, but also taking photos of the views.

The non-arrival of our return taxi was a bit of an anticlimax, or so we thought. Stephen had some phone numbers of taxis, but said it was only 3kms to the station. It was a fine evening and we decided to tackle the walk as it meant we could still be out in the fresh air. In our coats and hoods we were well protected from the wind.

Of course, there is quite a difference between 3kms and 3 miles, as we discovered. Sevenoaks, the little town, is quite interesting and most of the walk through the town was downhill, thank goodness.

At the station we made the fateful decision to catch the first train which would take us to London Victoria. A peaceful train ride was followed by the news that there was a planned rail closure and we had to catch a bus to East Croydon. It was a long, long ride, especially as the bus had to divert to many station on the way home. Eversley said it took about 1.5 hours, instead of a train journey of about 25 minutes. We didn’t get home until about 9.30 p.m.

Eversley said she had rested on the bus and was able to cook her promised meal of a frittata. It made a very tasty meal with some salads.

My zoom lens isn’t that long, fortunately the deer are relatively tame and only move away if you move towards them and get quite close. One of the does seemed to be looking for food when it walked towards me – it was great for getting the photo.

Visiting Monk’s House

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk’s_House

I’ve included the Wikipedia link because it gives better information about the house than we got from visiting it. There were volunteers in each room to explain things and respond to our questions, but the sequence of why they eventually moved there full time is not something we were told.

Monk’s House

We caught the train to Lewes, and the station is familiar territory as we went there for the,opera at Glyndbourne. From Lewes there is a bus to the village of Rodmell. The bus stop is near the local pub, and there was sign posting to Monk’s House. We asked about the name and it is apparently not clear why it is called that. We noticed that other houses we passed also had names. More modern houses have been built to blend in with the style of the very old houses and even in mid autumn the gardens are free and bright with flowers.

Walking along the line

Below are some of the other houses we saw on the way.

Only the ground floor rooms are open and Virginia’s little studio, a separate room away from the house, is locked, so we could look through windows to see it set up with her desk and writing materials. We could also see the beautiful view that she enjoyed from this room. There didn’t appear to be any heating in the studio. Perhaps she didn’t use it when it was very cold.

Notice in the right hand corner that a visitor has the same lean as the statue, I didn’t realise this until I looked at the photo last night. A little unintentional humour.

The village church is visible from the garden and even back at the house.

After time at the house, mainly spent in the garden, we walked back to the pub for afternoon tea. Stephen took a short walk up the hill to see more of the South Downs. He only had half an hour before the bus, but could then rest on the bus and train ride home.

The Abergavenny Arms

We bought some essentials from the little shop near the station and walked home.

The day was a bit chilly, and we thought it might rain at one stage, but by late afternoon there were some ‘sunny spells’. Still, we were glad to get back and switch on the central heating.

Stephen and I have Australian National Trust membership, and had free entry, but public transport by train and train is quite expensive. We took a picnic lunch to save money.

Storm Clouds

On Saturday we went down to Floreat Beach and had lunch and dinner there. Stephen rang his sister and brother in law who joined us for afternoon tea and a walk. The idea was to excape the heat and it mostly worked, although in the evening the breeze dropped and it became intensely humid. The next day, Sunday, promised rain and perhaps thunderstorms, along with a few days of cooler temperatures. I took some photos close to sunset – the clouds look almost more intense in the photos than they did in reality. That evening was the first time we have had the air conditioning on at night – I found I couldn’t sleep despite our overhead fan, and switched it on at about 4.00 a.m. We have had rain for a couple of days now.

The Weekend

I had arranged with Mum that I would pick her up early on Saturday morning and take her down to Mundaring for a blood test. When I rang her at about 6.55 a.m. she did not answer the phone. I continued to try to call her until about 7.20 a.m., then decided just to drive up there. When I arrived she had had a cigarette or two as well as her first coffee of the day, so no blood test possible. She said that she heard the phone, but was ‘confused’. She did seem a little out of it.

She got dressed and we sat around for awhile, then watched the movie ‘Saving Face’. I hadn’t realised there would be a gay relationship between two young women depicted. Not really her cup of tea. The film was about overcoming Chinese prejudices and conservatism, but in a way, it was a testament to Chinese values. Set in NY, but the characters mostly spoke Cantonese I think, though I could understand some words, so it could have been Mandarin, but a dialect.

We had lunch and I left at about 12.00 feeling somewhat frustrated. Mum was talking about being frightened about the incident of the man coming onto her verandah. She said it happened ‘yesterday’, but she had already told Jamie and I about it on Wednesday. Very worrying from our point of view too, as he must realise that she lives alone.

In the evening after tea we went into town for the opening concert for PIAF. Not as spectacular as the previous year with the visiting Giants, but quite good for a homegrown entertainment event on the theme of Home. Tim Minchin disappointed me by singing his terrific song ‘Imperfect’ in standard American rather than in his Australian accent. I looked at a version from 5 years ago on Youtube and he didn’t sing it in American that time. Major fail, especially as the theme of the evening was Australia as home to many different ethnic groups.

Home Concert at Langley Park (PIAF)

Today we spent most of the day at home, then went over to see Matt in the evening. We went outside with him to try out his wheelchair and managed to get him stuck. After using some cardboard and lots of muscle we managed to get him out of it, but he had had enough. I fed him his tea and Stephen played the piano for a little while. The Murrays arrived and talked about Andrew learning to use his powered chair, and the fact that it had taken some time for him, but also helped them in taking him out. Ian suggested getting in touch with Matt’s OT to have some training for Stephen and I, and perhaps his staff, as any training happens outside. Stephen felt that Matt needed structured sessions on learning how to use the controls. Ian also said that the turning circle up the street from Villa 3 was a good place to practice. Very useful. It was lovely to see them.

Matt and Stephen2

Afterwards Stephen and I went down to Brighton Beach for the sunset. We had hamburgers, chips and Pepsi Max for tea. Afterwards we wandered down to Scarborough and found a beautiful salsa session on the steps near the beach. Apparently it happens every Sunday afternoon, with free lessons from 4 – 5, then goes from 5.00 to 9.00 p.m. for $5 per go. A great ending to our evening out.

smudgy clouds
Looking out to se
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back over the land
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Looking south

 

Sunny England Wednesday 9th April

We had a lovely walk near where we are staying in Knebworth.

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I also can see a difference in the photos once they are uploaded to this blog. They don’t seem as sharp. Pity.

 

 

Continuing SF and surrounds exploration with the A7R

We took off for a little driving trip, down the coast from San Francisco through Monterey (an overnight), Big Sur, Cambria (overnight), then Salinas (overnight) to Danville (overnight). So, there have been lots of opportunities to take photos of the landscape and local attractions. I’m using the camera without a specific camera case, sometimes a roomy handbag and sometimes my little backpack. I haven’t had time to make selections and post on Flickr during the past few days, but have uploaded and done a quick review in Bridge at the end of each day. Lots of the photos are snapshots, documenting our trip, but I have also tried to get some which may be satisfying, even when I review them after a few months. I tend to be rather in love with them at first, so it’s not a good time to make any judgements.Image

I’m still loving the quality of the photos. I’ve been reading Soundimageplus, where David has found some problems with the kit lens, but haven’t actually scrutinised my photos for edge softness. For my purpose, this lens is very convenient.