Thursday, 29 July 2010

Farnborough Hall

Yesterday afternoon got me no further forward with actually making progress on anything, although my brain is still whirring mightily (listen......you can just hear a faint hum...oh, bother, ...and an uexpected clunk probably from the gearbox...drat.)

But, as the sun was glimmering, we decided to go for a drive down the back roads to Farnborough Hall.

I am a member of the National Trust because providing you visit about 4 properties a year, it's a cheap way of getting out and going to nice places for tea and buns.

However, some of the properties have very strange opening arrangements...almost as if the original owners are condecending to let in the occasional visitor, but are very reluctant. In truth the NT have saved many of these properties by propping them up financially, but have continued to let the original families live there.  I do think some of the terms on which the Trust have negotiated ownership have more to do with the Old Boys Network than with common sense and fair play and make you feel like a member of the Great Unwashed. Ridiculous in 2010.  










Anyhow, Farnborough Hall, doesn't have tea and buns which is why I'm so peeved. It also only opens for 2 afternoons a week for about 6 months. It has some nice Canaletti's and plaster work inside the house, and a terraced walk outside.





The property sits in the Warmington Valley which is not spectacular countryside but very gentle, lush and English.



The charge for walking along the Terrace Walk is just under £3 but I wouldn't recommend it as the views are completely obscured by laurel bushes which have been cut to a height you can't see over. Bit pointless really.  By dint of a bit of clambouring, I bring you some snippets of the view!







The fields here are golden, full of ripening corn, and the combine harvester is hard at work.


Scattered along the walk are a couple of old follies or shelters to sit and admire the view, or talk to your lover/go for a quick snog behind a leafy bush, or escape from the nagging of Mamar and Paparr, or simply to contemplate your navel in relative peace and quiet.
This one had a room over the top which we couldn't get into but peeped through the windows. It's painted pale blue with an ornate plaster ceiling.  Obviously, in view of my previous comments, chaperones sat downstairs drinking tea laced with brandy and getting squiffy, while clandestine shenanigans happened up top.

And here (below) we have another small attractive seating area, except this was the game pantry. Seats on the front and a block and tackle with a rope on the inside, for stringing up the deer you'd just shot. Bit spooky if you ask me....all nice on the outside, all gruesome and worthy of a gothic novel on the inside.


There is also a small pretty knot garden.
 

And an ice house.

Finally, a random tree which has some interesting bark markings. I love the way they swirl up the trunk.

Portrait in parts

For this portrait I'm starting off by using some stencils and stamps to make a background. I especially like the stencil with the jumble...