Showing posts from May, 2012

Apethorpe III

A couple of years ago, we visited the glorious Apethorpe House , which English Heritage bought through compulsory purchase and have partially restored. At the time, they were attempting to sell the house for around £5 million - there have been no takers, perhaps not surprising in view of how much will need to be spent on the house. Or perhaps the requirement to open the house for 28 days a year is putting potential purchasers off. Whatever, the house is on the market again now for rather less, £2.5 million, still not exactly a snip. It's on with Savills . It wouldn't be a straightforward purchase: potential buyers can't just rock up with a bulging wallet. They will have to pass "three key tests" with English Heritage: 1. An acceptable scheme/proposal/use/occupation in conservation and planning terms 2. Soundly-based costs, programme and funding for the future refurbishment works 3. Expertise – an experienced team with appropriate track record in this field

Morning walk, 29th May 2012

I think I am running out of words, and certainly brain power. I am battling with a particularly recalcitrant chapter at the moment. In between day today, weather-wise; not sunny, not misty, not cold, not windy.     Today's obsession is grass, about which I know next to nothing, and at the moment (rarely for me, who am usually willing to charge off down any avenue of knowledge which presents itself) I have no desire to find out more. Maybe tomorrow. I've never spotted this picture on the back of a gravestone before. Whether it's just arrived, or whether I've only just noticed it, I do not know. 

Morning walk, 28th May 2012

Another gorgeous morning. The poppies came out incredibly quickly. On Friday the buds were tightly closed, and now look at them. In previous years, the weed-killing regime hasn't been as efficient, and the whole field was a blaze of scarlet. Just the edges of the path are studded with them now. Still lovely thoug.  Last year's crop was rape, and there are a couple of plants still surviving on the edges of the path. I tried to photograph the buttercups, but this was a complete and utter failure as I was where the dog wanted to be. So I gave up.  Sheep were shorn at the weekend. They're still making use of the fleeces.  

And then... Pony Books in the 1940s

After Joanna Cannan introduced her heroine Jean to the world in A Pony for Jean (1936), she opened the gate to a fresh wave of stories. Ann Stafford wrote a fine holiday adventure in Five Proud Riders (1937) , with young authors Katharine Hull and Pamela Whitlock contributing decent examples of ponies and holidays in their Oxus  series in the late 1930s ( The Far-Distant Oxus, 1937, Escape to Persia, 1938, Oxus in Summer, 1939 ). With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, children's books were hit in several ways. Authors were otherwise occupied, doing war work. There was a paper shortage, leading to fewer books being published, and the introduction of the War Economy standard, with poorer quality paper and short print runs. (Ironically, these books are still surviving quite happily over 70 years later; many in considerably better shape than books produced a decade ago.) Books were lost when London was bombed. Moyra Charlton's Echoing Horn (1939)   had most of its print r

Morning walk, 25th May 2012

Another lovely day. Particularly pleased at the glossy and clean state of our side gate, when compared with what it looked like yesterday . Huge celebrations at church this weekend as that's when the village is doing their Jubilee festival. I met the lady organising the flower festival of it a couple of days ago, who commented on how laid back I was about the whole thing. I might have been at that point, but I have been moaning about it for months. And months. I'm amazed my friends are still talking to me. Anyway, the theme is Kings and Queens through the Ages. Mine is supposed to be King of Kings.   I thought I would try for a charming shot of the dog, trotting towards me. She is pretty good, and will usually come when called. Except now. And now. And now. Because she was BUSY. And went away to be busy again.