Friday, 2 March 2018


Good Morning lovely people tis Friday time for 

First up has to be the sunrise that I saw on my way to work.  I turned a corner and the giant fiery ball was there in the middle of the sky masked slightly from the cloud and mist cover and glowing orange and larger than normal as it was on the rise and perhaps because of the angle of the road, it literally took my breath away and made me feel so happy.  By the time I had got to work it was much smaller and not as fiery but still very very beautiful

Next up is the wood burning fire, as anyone in the UK will know this things is a much needed necessity at the moment as the weather has been crazy cold this last week

As 17 year old was staying at his girlfriend's house for a couple of days this means me and hubby got to be a couple for a couple of days.  We decided that we needed to ensure we had something planned and whilst we had considered going for a walk around Nostell Priory gardens (as the house isn't open yet), we discovered that Hardwick hall was open and so we headed there. 

Harwick Hall is a little gem if I'm honest, next to the Old Hardwick Hall the two buildings stand side by side, one ruined through fire the other stunning in all its finery. 

Hardwick New Hall was on the National Trust programme this week, if you got to see it and is a fabulous (if not always cheap) day out.  However, as we have National Trust membership both halls are covered on our membership.

It was also used as the base to create Malfoy Manor in the Harry Potter films, but if I recall they used stills and computer generation to recreate it with pointy turrets and minus the signage from the original owner Elizabeth of Shrewsbury.  

Our first port of call was the tea room for a warm through, I caught hubby on photo whilst chatting and shared the photo later.  We enjoyed a cream tea, albeit that it felt a little early - neither of us had had breakfast!

Then we ventured to the New Hall. 

There were some fantastic tapestries that had been restored, back to their former glory and have to be seen up close to appreciate the work. 

Just outside the doorway to this room was the most magnificent locked trunk which most definitely reminded me of Harry Potter

Back out into the great hall and maybe because we lingered a little longer than most, the guides came over with a guide entitled 'Weaving a magical story' which is the tales or assumed tales behind the tapestries - it's easy to forget they were a form of storytelling in their time.  

This was then headed Fifteen Shades of Bluey-Grey - which then gave a rather colourful representation of tapestries in the hall, as a 'tongue in cheek look at some of the more 'adult' themes in the tapestries' - surely not we thought - but low and behold 

The trellis scene was apparently with his wife, seemed very familiar from the brothel tapestry!  

A faithful husband appeared in the previous brothel scene! 

And a candlelit doorway sees a 'lustful' man in the background (it was a whole new education, I can tell you!)

We stopped at the bottom of the staircase and got a running history of Bess of Hardwick, a formidable woman back in the Elizabethan times, married 4 times eventually became (apart from the Queen) the richest woman in England.  I mistakenly got my history mixed up with the Duchess film which turned out to be a couple of hundred years later, once we'd got the chronology, we discovered the one of Bess' children became the 1st Duke of Devonshire and the Duchess film is around I think the 5th Duke of Devonshire - there were some strong similarities between the females however which is probably where I started to get my wires crossed (and the fact I hadn't seen the film didn't help - we remedied that on Sunday). 

The long gallery upstairs had a photo of Mary Queen of Scots (sorry its so burnt out the lighting wasn't great).  The blurb on the pictures helped us realise things we wouldn't ordinarily have realised, the rosary beads symbolised her commitment to her religion of Roman Catholicism and the hand on the table symbolised her royal rights. 

One of Bess' grand children Arbella also had a potential claim to the throne but never became queen. 

The rooms upstairs were a delight to explore and finding little details really made us smile 

There was a beautiful dress that had been created to reflect the status of Duchess Evelyn (married to the 9th Duke of Devonshire) who was Mistress of the Robes to Queen Mary at the coronation of King George V in 1911, the dress was similar to a coronation garment in style but pink in colour and covered in snippets of private correspondence from Evelyn she was a keen conservator of textiles and helped restore many of the tapestries still on display at Hardwick.

The sun was shining when we eventually got out of the hall and walked around the front of the building.  Hardwick was often referred to as all glass no walls, but Bess of Hardwick owned the quarry that the stone came from, the glass factories and lead mines where the windows were created and it was a symbol of her status!

The wintry sun was lovely, but the shade reminded us that we were still in February!

We discovered fairy doors on trees

And swathes of snowdrops

The views got better

We walked over to the old hall, which is in a ruinous state, but there are still elements of the original plaster work visible and you can still climb the staircase to get better viewpoints from higher up. 

Sunday was most definitely a day of rest.  I finished my little book of Lykke (and have now passed to a work colleague to read) and we enjoyed the fire.  We also watched The Duchess film which was brilliant but ever so sad if I'm honest. 

Monday and Tuesday were busy days at work.  Tuesday was a hard day because it would have been my Dad's 69th birthday, unfortunately he passed away when only 40 years of age and his birthdays and anniversaries are always bitter sweet if I'm honest.  

Some years I find I'm quite reminiscent and enjoy savouring memories that I have of him, other years I find it really hard to comprehend how very long ago it is that I saw and spoke to him last and it makes my heart ache, now why is this making a rocking post I can hear you say, well for my slightly melancholy mood my Uncle who also happens to be my Godfather has been looking at old family cine film and has shared some stills from the cine film for the family to enjoy.  I can't explain just how happy I was to see these photos and see my Dad.  Believe it or not this is my christening and no photos exist (that I know of) of the day, so these are doubly precious, my Godmother on the left, my Mum, my Dad holding me and my Godfather on the right

then my Mum, Dad and me. 

Wednesday arrived with the much threatened snow fall, thankfully I can work from home and said 17 year old was going to head to college but as the snow continued to fall decided against it and as it happened college closed mid morning anyway.  

Hubby couldn't get off the estate so he too was stranded.  After I'd finished work we decided to head out for a walk

There were plenty of children up on the hillside sledging and hubby enjoyed putting his new camera through its paces.

We popped to the pub on our travels as we were walking, it also meant we got a warm half way around our walk, as the pub was toasty

And then we were treated to a beautiful night sky 

And gorgeous pathways

Thursday was no better weather wise but hubby managed to get to a different office by public transport.  I worked from home again and said 17 year old's college was closed.

Around lunchtime, said 17 year old headed out with snow shovels and some grit to make improvements on our cul de sac, there were several others out there at the same time and within half an hour had managed to make a significant difference to the road. 

And here we are on Friday, I hope you've had a fabulous week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together come back and link up so we can come and visit. 


  1. OMG I hadn't realised it was Friday already lol....Fabulous look around Hardwick. Haven't been yet but as NT members it is on my list :D And how fabulous to get those photos!!!! XXX

  2. I've had a cold week, like the rest of the country - but was able to leave work early today as the boss sent us home (it's snowing lightly again here) Love the photos from Hardwick - how beautiful. Have a great week.

  3. Hi Virginia. Sorry I didn't get back to comment at the weekend, though I did rad your post. What an imposing mansion that is, but i like all the windows. I think I'd live in a glass house if it were more practical.
    All the sky photos are lovely, especially your sunrise. I am not often iup early enough to see that!
    You sure had your fair share of the snow. We are just plagued by the fierce levante wind this week, which has kept the temperature down, and brought in more much needed rain, and now another big winter storm is predicted for this weekend. But I know summer will soon be here and I'll complain about being too hot. Your log fire looks lovely to curl up by with a book. The best way to spend a chilly winter day. I'll be back again in a day or two. Kate x