‘It’s winter here in the UK and we need comfort!’ Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or . . .
Quite right Julia we do. Here is my response to her prompt.
‘Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or?’ these few words uttered by the softest voice were a pleasure to his ears. He chose hot chocolate.
‘Milk, dark, white, with marshmallows, cream on top?’
He frowned, ‘Just dark please.’
‘Mint, mocha?’ he was getting irritated, since when did a hot drink become so complicated?
‘No thanks,’ he sank into an armchair to wait.
She called across, ‘Spice? Ginger, chilli?
His mind whirled, spice? hang on, I remember now. . .
‘Don’t suppose you’d have cardamom?’
She gave him the thumbs up, ‘Two minutes.’
The rich, fragrant liquid permeated his senses and he relaxed.
Ahh, now I’m home.
Just a few miles south east of Exeter is the National Trust property, A la Ronde. The house was built in the 1790′s by Jane and Mary Parminter. The two ladies , cousins, had a real sprit of adventure, and I’m sure if they were alive today they would be trekking the Sahara or leading expeditions to the polar regions.
They lived at A la Ronde for fifty years, filling it with things they had collected on their Grand Tour.
Although the name implies that the house is round , it actually has sixteen sides, it’s unique design takes advantage of natural light as the sun moves around through the day. The lower level that you see above is used as the restaurant by the National Trust, the diamond shaped windows are the ground floor. At the centre of the house is an area that rises to the top floor gallery with doors all around it.
It’s really difficult to take photos inside, flash is not allowed, and I’m too lazy to use a tripod. The answer is a very wide angle lens, patience with many other visitors and a steady hand. But here are a few interior shots.
The ladies had several passions that filled their days, embroidery, shells and feathers to name just a few. The drawing room has been hand decorated by them with a feather frieze all around the room.
When I last went to A la Ronde thirty years ago, it was a private group visit and I didn’t really appreciate it. I did get to see the highlight of the house, the famous shell gallery. It’s closed now to preserve it for the future. With the help of well placed mirrors, you can get a tiny peep at it from the floor below, and this is my shot from the central room on the ground floor.
I asked one of the volunteers if she had been allowed up there and even they aren’t. So the photos below are of photos on display so that visitors can get an idea what it’s like. What is it like? beautiful, bizarre, indescribable. To think that these women spent probably years creating this.
So that’s A la Ronde, maybe one day you’ll visit if you’re in Devon, I promise you it’s like nowhere else anywhere!
My earlier post of the outside of the house, http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/red-bricks-and-funky-windows-the-charm-of-a-la-ronde/
Remember the Gospel
‘I’ve always wanted to come back child’ he skimmed a pebble.
‘But where does the water go Pop?’
‘Oh now, remember that ol’ gospel song?’
Sissy remembered good, but she humoured her grandpa, ‘Don’ know if I do, can ya sing it?’
Wash away your sin
And walk with him
Down by the riverside
Won’t you wash away your sin
The crystal water of life
Will quench your thirst
Down by the riverside
If you wash away your sin
You know, I didn’t think I’d live long enough, I washed away my sin.’
‘Aww Pop, you won’t ever die, but where does the water go?’
Julia’s 100WCGU can be found here, http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week116/
Julia’s first prompt for 2014 is, the path ahead . . . Very timely don’t you think?
Here is my entry, a lazy poem of exactly one hundred words.
The path ahead carries the imprint of the ancestors,
wide, red and littered with rocks.
There are many diversions squeezing through tunnels
narrow tracks, and sinking sand.
The path ahead carries the footprints of my ancestors,
who crawled on their knees, jumped for joy,
and stood up for justice
on their journeys through time.
The path ahead is bleached
like the bones of the mothers,
stained with the blood of the warriors,
and flooded with the tears of the children.
The path ahead climbs through forgiveness to freedom
meandering green to air, fresh and sustaining,
to nurture my infinite descendents.
Join in with Julia’s 100WCGU at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-4/
If you’ve visited Lucid Gypsy a few times you’ll know that I don’t do science, but if I ever decided to, it would be geology. The ground we walk on really fascinates me, especially around here. On Saturday my friend and I went to Axmouth (and saw yesterday’s robin) and walked on the pebble beach for a while.
Just a small area, but a part of both the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, this 304 hectares has been named Haven Cliffs.
I’m not posting this first photo for its beauty but so that you can see the change in the rock, at Beer, a couple of miles west of where I stood, from white chalk to red sandstone.
Back to the cliff above me, click to see the layers.
And again. See how the landslips have made the layers visible?
Apparently, the red sandstone was formed 210 million years ago in the late Triassic era, when conditions were desert like. The grey rock layers are the remains of dried up lake beds when the deserts were inundated by rising sea levels. The overlying chalk cliffs formed 85-95 million years ago from the remains of billions of tiny sea creatures.
The South West Coast Path rises above these cliffs and it’s possible to walk the 7 miles east to Lyme Regis. It would be a killer though unless you’re really fit, in which case it would take 5 hours. The time and distance is fine but I don’t do hills very well. I’d like to take a boat trip along the Jurassic Coast, and see it from that perspective, perhaps this summer.
And then we both travelled on our different journeys.
There are many myths and legends associated with robins. One says that if a robin pecks at a window a death will soon happen. But there are also pagan connections with rebirth, such as the myth of the killing of the Wren, the little King of the Waning Year, by the Robin Redbreast, the new King of the Waxing Year.
My favourite tells of the rebirth of the spirit , when after solstice, the darkness that has ruled since halloween, is overcome by the new light of spring.
And so, I wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with blessings and the song of birds wherever you travel.
For more bird themed travel posts,
Merry Christmas to my dear friends in the blogosphere, thank you all so much for your kind visits and love this year. I’ve enjoyed visiting you and learning about your world and look forward to seeing you all in 2014.
Love, peace and best wishes
Is there enough love
can you open wide your heart
share with the lonely
spreading smiles and happiness
gifts are delivered
Everyone hush now
can it be a child is born
wait for his wise words