Friday, 2 April 2010

My Favourite Kind of Day

Friday, 2 April 2010
Yesterday was my birthday.  And today is Good Friday, so we're all off work/school.  Hurrah!  So we decided to head out to Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens in the Northumbrian countryside to have fun at their Easter Family Fun Trail.  Ben loved it; he got a puzzle sheet when we paid the entry fee, and all throughout the gardens there were hidden clues for him to gather.

Plus, it gave me a chance to play with the camera on my new iPhone (best birthday present ever, hurrah Jase!) and I am pretty pleased with the results!

Here is Belsay Hall.

Ben's reading is coming on gangbusters... he particularly likes to read notices and signs, so here he is working out that it won't be okay to blast across this bit of grass because the sign asks patrons to give the spring bulbs a bit of a break. 

We love going to English Heritage sites (they have not sponsored me, nor do they have any idea who I am, BTW)... I'm an old soul, Jason loves gardens and I have to admit, I get a little thrill watching Ben explore the old properties, wonder who used to live in them and push his imagination to making up stories about the people who used to live there.  I have this romantic notion that we are instilling in him a lifetime appreciation (and respect, and fascination) for all things historical -- totally worth the admission price!

People ask me all the time -- why do we live here and not in Canada.  The answer?  ... is because I get to take photos of things like this.

In the Quarry Garden... loads of exposed rock faces and stuff for kids to climb on/over/through.

 And then all of a sudden there is a break in the trees, and behold -- Belsay Castle, with its massive 14th century tower block. I'd never been here before today and fell in love with the place in an instant. Straight out of a fairy tale.

And then up the spiral staircase.... Stella McCartney's 'Lucky Spot' sculpture.  It is a 3-dimensional chandelier, made with over 8,000 Swarovski crystals, each individually hung from the rafters of the castle.  I remember hearing about it back in 2004 when it was first unveiled, and have always wanted to see it!  The picture doesn't do it justice.

(Rapunzel must have been washing her hair - she was nowhere to be found up top.)

Then Ben and I went back into Belsay Hall, which is currently undergoing restoration... so all the rooms were empty.  In earnest, I looked out all the windows for Mr Darcy heading toward the house in a soaking wet shirt and riding boots, but to no avail.  Bollocks!

A gorgeous day - just the tonic I needed.

1 people had something to say about this...:

Tanya said...

just a little envious nic! xo