Friday, 13 February 2015

Alone at Waddesdon Manor

Our new house!  No, not really.  I wish.  Well, actually I don’t really wish.  I cannot image being comfortable in a house this grand.  But – it was awfully fun to walk around this magnificent Waddesdon Manor like we owned the place.   

You see, when you go and visit an estate like this in the dead of winter, when it’s cold outside and no flowers are blooming, when the inside of the house is actually closed for a few months for annual repairs and upkeep, you will virtually have the place to yourself.  And it is awesome!   

We could stand on the front doorstep like we were waiting for the butler to the open the door and let us in.   

Eric could take picture after picture after picture and not spend ten minutes waiting for the crowd to clear so he could get a clean shot of the ornate architecture.   

Even without any flowers blooming outside, the gardens were beautiful to stroll through.    

 At any given moment, we maybe could see one or two groups of people walking around the estate. 

We did get to see a little bit of the inside of the house.  The estate run cafe was open so we stopped in for some lunch.  It's located in what was formerly the kitchen for the huge house.  See that long black thing behind me that runs the length of the wall and is covered with copper pots?  That is the original stove.  There must have been some grand parties here back in the day.  A couple of the pots were big enough to bath children in. 

After lunch, we wandered through the woods following trails that will be lined with tulips and daffodils in another month or two and found the former estate stables. This is the only horse that is kept here now.

We continued to follow the trails through the forest and stumbled upon a woodland playground.    

Winter isn’t really the time when I think about the girls in a playground, 

but the setting was beautiful, 

the equipment fun, 

so we couldn’t resist letting the girls run around and play for awhile.  

Time to head home.  

It's a two hour drive back to our house, so one last look at this beautiful home before the walk back to the car.   

Waddesdon Manor is owned by the National Trust and we have a membership that gets us into all National Trust sites.  If we pass back this way in the spring or summer, we'll stop back to see the inside of the house and the outside gardens in all their blooming glory.  

Update on the scarlet fever post from Wednesday:  Neither of the girls have scarlet fever, at least not yet.  As I suspected, Leah simply had a rash.  She's a redhead.  Redheads are prone to rashes.  Their delicate, white skin shows even the slightest of irritations.  It is gone already and she's back in school.  Ellie came home with a sore throat and fever on Wednesday, just in time for Leah's trip to the doctor to verify what I already knew but needed to hear a doctor say so I could send her back to school.  The doctor checked Ellie over too.  No scarlet fever - just a simple virus.  Rest, lots of fluids and she'll be better in a few days.  Thank goodness they have next week off.  Of the eight staff members at their little school each day, only three were there this morning when I dropped Leah off.  All the rest are sick too.  Ellie's class had to combine with one of the younger classes because the two teachers and one assistant for her class are all sick and no substitute could be found.  Or maybe no substitute wanted to set foot in this germ infested school this week.  I can't blame them.  Of the two teachers that are still healthy and in school, in addition to teaching the two combined classrooms, one of them is also serving as interim head mistress (principal in US terms) for the school as the actual head mistress is also out sick.  And Leah's poor teacher who usually has two assistants because she has three different grades in her classroom has been left to fend for herself in a room full of 4 through 8 year olds.  That's a wide age range.  They watched three videos yesterday.  I don't blame her either. 

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