Me (the great unwashed) was invited to a stately home

6 years ago

In the olden days in rural England, communities used to be structured around the land-owning Lord of the Manor. The Lord would spend his silk-attired days gnawing through slabs of venison, boffing virgins and hunting, whilst the sackcloth-clad peasants from the village worked on his land and existed entirely on potatoes (blimey, they must have been a feisty lot, what with all those carbs and all).

Fast-forward 500 years to the present day, and physically things haven't changed that much in Forest Hill (the village where I live). There is still a Lord of the Manor, and the village still has most of it's peasants' houses (albeit they have now been converted to cater for modern day amenities - I know, I live in one of 'em).

'What the bloody hell has all that stuff got to do with anything?' I hear you cry.

Well, it's like this. The present-day Lord of the Manor lives in a house stately home called Shotover House which is about half a mile from my village. And every year at spring-time, instead of seeking out the villagers' virgin children like in the olden days, he opens his estate so that they can come and see his daffodils and celebrate the end of winter with a cup of tea.

Yep, the great unwashed are allowed unlimited access to the estate gardens for three hours (which was rather a nice idea on behalf of the current Lord of the Manor - top marks), and it just so happened that 'Shotover Daffodil Day' was last Sunday.

Given that the Shotover estate was supposed to be very picturesque, I decided to take Izzy and teach her how to use a camera, and she was heart-warmingly enthusiastic about the idea. Oh yeh, it was looking like we were going to be gadget-buddies. 

So this post is a photo-blog. And these are the photographs that we took.......... (with my new Canon Powershot S95...... man alive...... I am still LOVING that camera).

Oh, before I begin, I should mention that when we arrived at the Shotover Estate, they charged £2.50 for entry and I was a bit miffed. But then I found out that they were using the proceeds to fix the roof on the village church, so I wasn't miffed at all after that.

Here goes...... the Shotover House photoblog.............................................

Pic.No.1 That is Izzy standing in a clump of daffodils in the front garden of Shotover House. It looks like she doesn't have any legs and is hovering


Pic.No.2. Some daffodils and blue flowers in the garden. Because the event is called 'Shotover Daffodil Day' you will find that daffodils feature quite heavily in this post. Even though I have done some severe editing


Pic.No.3 This is a picture of Shotover House, where the Lord of the Manor lives. And yep, that is another clump of daffodils in the foreground


Pic.No.4 The Shotover gardens had three ancient (I reckon at least 600 years old) trees in their garden. That is Izzy stood next to them


Vid.No.1. This is Izzy running around in circles


Pic.No.5 This is a view of Shotover House (I don't fancy hoovering yours mate) behind the three ancient trees


Pic.No.6 Bloody hell, she's good-looking! Oh hang on, I just realised that it was me. Izzy wanted to take a picture of me next to ....... yep ................... daffodils


Pic.No.7 One part of the garden was particularly rammed full of wild daffodils. Izzy picked one for me and I had to pretend that it was totally unique and special

Pic.No.7a And then if the daffodils weren't enough, we happened upon a Camellia bush in flower

Pic.No.7b The Camellia bush wasn't just in flower, it was budding too - RESULT!


Pic.No.8 I found this stone statue and I shouted to Izzy "quick, take a comedy photograph of this dog biting my hand." So she did


Pic.No.9 And being a chip off the old block, Izzy quickly realised the value of a comedy shot and shouted, "I want a picture of my hand being bitten by the dog too." That's my gal


Pic.No.10 Even though the stone dog didn't move, or do anything, Izzy declared that she wanted to take him home because he was; "loads better fun than Naughty George." Eh? she probably means 'less nauseating' than Naughty George


Pic.No.11 This was some Spring blossom growing next to the lake at Shotover


Pic.No.12 I tried three different camera settings whilst photographing the foresty bit of Shotover. This is the first. 


Pic.No.13 This is the second


Pic.No.14 This is the third. Which do you reckon is the best one then?
Pic.No.15 After tying out the different camera settings in the forest at Shotover, we unexpectedly entered a clearing in which was a hill with a folly on top. The folly was built in 1730AD


Pic.No.16 Inside we found some original statues, so I made out like one. If he was real, I think we would get on really well, and maybe even become lovers


Pic.No.17 This is a picture of Shotover House's back garden. Imagine mowing that bastard!


Pic.No.18 Some more blossomy shit with the lake in the background
Pic.No.19 Finally our trip came to an end as the sun set over the back of Shotover House and its lake

So Izzy and I went back to our peasant's house and had baked potato for dinner. Blimey, maybe things haven't changed so much since the olden days.

P.S. Do you have any ancient places near you?

Annie (Lady M) x

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday

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