I was left a little money from my father and instead of buying some jewellery or it being just absorbed into life...I thought I would buy myself a years National Trust membership and throughout the year travel to as many as I could. The plan is to sit and sketch too... to record in some way the visits I make and in doing so remember my lovely father and bring the memory of him to all these places I will visit. It's a pilgrimage of sorts I suppose. As a child we would go all over the place together. I have so many memories of trips to the New Forest, Stourhead Gardens... countless places really as he was a great one for getting out and having a pub lunch or a picnic! And I remeber very well visiting Florence Nightingales' grave at East Wellow when I was about 8, so her connection to Claydon is fascinating and brought her tangibly nearer.
So - No. 1 on my NT year is Claydon House in Buckinghamshire. Its a very beautiful place. We spent hours and hours there as its so peaceful. The view over the slight valley, over the ha-ha is just breath taking in that it looks like an English idyll. It really could be a living painting. there are no details of modern living - no pylons, or a big, hulking town lurking on the horizon, and no hum of traffic from a major road. It really was magical. Its also a bit wrinkly about the edges which makes it even more appealing. Sometimes National Trust things can be a bit too uber tweaked... and "organic vegetabley".....this isn't, it has a unique charm of its own, and a great little cafe and second hand bookshop too!
|Claydon House has the most gorgeous light inside the house....|
|I love big stone balls....|
|Some serious cobbles....|
|The front of the house - this is the only surviving third..|
|The idyllic view across the meadows..|
|My little montage of sketches done whilst visiting...|