Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It's Spring in my Garden with some Changes

Well just one more sleep till the carpet fitters are here!
It has been a long 5/6 weeks decorating and keeping the home running along with our regular commitments, not to mention the garden.
I am seriously not looking forward to the chore of getting everything back in it's place as our stuff is spread around so much upstairs as well as some stored in neighbours homes. However I am looking forward to seeing it all finished. That probably won't be until some time next week as we have our daughter and family coming over Good Friday (will be wonderful to see Oliver and Rebekah) and being Easter weekend there is much on church wise.
I am tired!
I guess it will be another week before a reasonable chill out as I have dentist, osteopath and we have another Christian Spectrum conference.

The new look in my garden in the early evening sun.
Gone are all the central shrub beds - replaced with another rose bed and some grassed over.
I like being able to see to the bottom of the garden. 

and now a few days later looking through the window framed with my new curtains

and a day later with blue skies

Glad I caught this reflection of what looks like a tree indoors! 

Maybe I will be able to get on with some gardening while the carpet fitters are doing their bit.

And finally a happy 15th wedding anniversary to daughter Jane and Chris her husband. 
It was good to take a break and make a few cards too.

For those who were not familiar with my garden before!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

There's Pink in the Garden

With the house in such a mess and hardly anything in it's rightful place for the last five weeks, I feel in limbo and finding it hard to settle and concentrate on a lengthy post.
Our carpets will be fitted a week tomorrow after which we can begin to get straight. Our spare bedrooms are piled with stuff as is our garage/storeroom with our shelving units from our sitting room in a neighbours cabin.
The carpet that I want to rescue to put into our garage/storeroom will be stored in another neighbours garage shortly.

Decorating about finished. There are always extras though like nailing down floorboards that have come loose.
New curtains up today and this afternoon managed some time weeding in the garden. The main colour right now seems to be pink.

The garden will look very different this year with the centre shrub area replaced with lawn and roses

This is just a little "hello" till I get to visit you

Thursday, 3 April 2014

On The Home Front

I can show you why I have not been on the blog scene much recently.
For the last month we have been decorating the downstairs of our house (3 rooms and kitchen) before we have much needed new carpets fitted.
The above photo (today) is the last room fortunately.
I don't know which is the hardest and most time consuming,  getting everything movable upstairs or the work itself.

We have a week now to finish as the carpet company want the skirting boards painted at least a week before fitting. They have also asked that we fill in any gaps between skirting board and floor boards if possible. (We still have to do this for 2 rooms) We have never been asked to do this before but apparently this is the reason one can, over time, get a black edge to the carpet from underfloor dust coming through the gaps.
At least having it all finished a week in advance of fitting I can buy my new curtains and have them hung beforehand.
We are also going to put one of the carpets into our 'garage' when it is all over. Now that will be fun as there will be so much to move out!
While Alan at the grand age of 82 has been doing the decorating, I have been keeping the home running and  washing covers and throws, cushion covers, seat covers and the downstairs curtains that I plan to move upstairs.

In the midst of all this there has been much (and still is) to do in  the garden at this time of year. Have done most of the pruning but have yet to tackle the weeds that are so prolific this year after so much rain  during the Winter. Part of the bottom fence has been blown over too in the severe weather.
We also had some very unwelcome visitors recently. We found a swarm of ants in our 'garage' covering the floor at one end. We ended up with a floor covering of ant powder and dead ants!

Right now the south of England has been covered in sand and dust from a severe desert storm in the Sahara 2000 miles away. Being busy we had treated ourselves to a professional car wash and then last Monday we could hardly see out of the windscreen! This happens a few times a year. It has been made worse this year because of the current weather conditions causing a high level (10) pollution causing smog over the London area which will apparently not clear until we have rain and wind tomorrow. Advice was to keep windows closed, however we have ours open as the smell of paint is so strong!

Well on a lighter note our son is back from India and has already booked his next trip - Peru in September.

I'll be back visiting everyone soon I hope

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Church Weekend at Hothorpe Hall

After Friday night rush hour on the motorway and a great meal it was good to spend the evening chilling out while everyone 

There is a lot of history to this place dating back to 900 AD which I will share at the end of the post

Saturday morning hailed bright and clear and this was the view through our bedroom window
Looking out straight onto the old family chapel

with a beautiful interior

and looking out of a window

With such a lovely day a walk around the grounds before breakfast seemed like a good idea

Looking back at the chapel with our window behind it

It is now afternoon free time and the weather has deteriorated and it is about to rain. We have opted to walk around the grounds while others have gone walking (they got very wet) or play tennis or rest.

back inside out of the rain and here in the old Butler's Pantry now used for table tennis

Believe it or not, this was the room we were given for the Crèche, with all the felt tip pens at the other end of the room, and there was a very well equipped nursery for the babies and toddlers

and the meeting room with prams everywhere
A great time of learning, sharing, prayer, and bonding and encouraging each other for about 70 of us. Must not forget to mention the food which was delicious and plentiful

Certainly worth reading the history of the Hall
taken from the official website

Hothorpe's history began in about 900 AD, although at this time it was named Ude-torp. A Danish Viking leader called Ude navigated his 80 foot long-boat from the Wash along the River Welland about as far as Marston Trussell. The River can be seen at the far end of the grounds, and certainly does not look navigable now!
According to the Domesday Book (1086), Hothorpe was then under the ownership of the Abbey of St. Edmundsbury, but by the time of Henry III (1216- 1272) it was under the control of a feudal overlord, Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon.
In 1330, Hothorpe was owned by Edmund Trussell, who married Margery d'Oserville whose family had lived here for about 34 years. The Trussells held the Manor for 150 years, and then in 1482 there were three changes of ownership in one year.
William Villiers became Lord of the Manor in 1506, and the family held Hothorpe for about 94 years. It is interesting to note that in about 1600, Sir Edmund Montague of Boughton House, Kettering, laid claim to part of Hothorpe Manor -a claim dating back to about 1050. This was resolved by the owner of Hothorpe agreeing to pay 25 shillings a year to the Montagues.  This right was subsequently transferred to the Spencer Estate of Althorpe and was increased to £5 per annum, which we still have to pay to Earl Spencer.
By 1610 , George and Elizabeth Bathurst were living at Hothorpe with their family of thirteen sons and four daughters. They were staunch supporters of Charles 1, and six of the sons were killed fighting for their king.
For a few years up to 1715, Hothorpe was owned by the Cave family, who lived at Stanford Hall (now owned by Lady Braye).
In 1788, William Cooke bought the Hall. At this time, the house was probably of Elizabethan or Jacobean design, and was sited about one third of a mile away from the present house to the South West.  However, the old house was pulled down, and the present hall was built in 1799; the crests of many of the previous owners can be seen on the Manor House staircase.
In about 1880, the Cooke family sold the Estate to Sir Humphrey de Trafford, a staunch Roman Catholic. He built the Chapel in 1891, and his children are depicted as cherubs on the ceiling. The House passed to his second son, who was well known in sporting circles. One of the top amateurs in first class cricket, he captained Leicestershire and played at Lord's with the legendary W.G. Grace. Later he turned his attention to horses, and commissioned the splendid stable block, now named,  'The Trafford Wing'.  In time, however, the family fell into financial difficulties and sold the Hall.  Rumour has it that at one time Lady de Trafford gambled away part of the family estate at Old Trafford, where Manchester United now play football.
During the Second World War, the Hall was used by the London County Council as a children's home, for youngsters evacuated from London.  However, the house lay empty after the war for a number of years.
Ten years later, refugees from Central Europe fled to England, some of whom had been persecuted for their faith. The Lutheran Council of Great Britain was formed to give some unity to the Lutherans in this country.  So in 1955, Hothorpe Hall was purchased by the Lutheran Church for a mere £3,500, although it was somewhat neglected, with trees growing out of some of the bedroom windows!
For 29 years, Hothorpe was used by the Lutheran Church as a centre for spiritual growth and renewal, particularly among young people.
In November 1984 Hothorpe changed hands again. It was purchased by three families to provide a Conference Centre where Christians from any denomination could experience spiritual refreshment and fellowship.