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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Simple Things

Calke Abbey March 2017 - Maria A Smith


I'm a little late posting, and it's nothing to do with the clocks going forward either. It's been one of those days, in fact it's been one of those weeks. Actually, March hasn't been the best month, but hey ho, that's life, and I positively refuse to be beaten!

The internet has been up and down here for the last few days, and I'm caught in the loop of resetting it, in between trying to follow the online instructions my provider suggests. But of course you can only follow these helpful web pages if you have web access! And why is it so hard to find their telephone number? Argh! Having no internet is as bad as having no washing machine, mine packed up on a spin this morning, I had to  drag sopping wet laundry out of the drum, and put it on the line to drip dry. At least it's bright and cheerful here, and hopefully the clothes will dry.

Other calamities have happened this week, too many to mention. Mostly along the same lines as the above. However, I have much to be grateful for too, and I've had some lovely things mixed in with the not so nice this week.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know I was burgled at the beginning of the month, and amongst other things, the thieves stole my jewellery and cameras. This made me sad, mad and everything in-between, but apart from my feelings, it's a pain not having a camera or a watch!

Yesterday, at my writers group, one of the ladies gave me a watch, she said she saw me checking my wrist for the time last week, and wanted to give me one of hers. How kind is that?

The evening before I was looking for some old sneakers to wear in the garden, imagine my joy when I found an old camera in the bottom of the wardrobe. Okay, it's not as good as my stolen one, BUT, it means I can take pictures again.

I'd planned to catch up on housework on Saturday afternoon, however, I simply couldn't wait to get out and about in the gorgeous sunshine promised by the weather woman the evening before. So after my writers group session, instead of driving home as planned, I detoured and set off for one of my my most favourite places,  Calke Abbey in Derbyshire.   Just over the border into the next county, it's like a different world. The air quality for someone with asthma is fantastic, you notice it immediately, I love breathing in huge lungfuls whenever I visit. It makes you realise how polluted our towns and cities really are these days.

I nipped into a supermarket on route and got myself a picnic lunch, I ate it surrounded by beautiful countryside, watching people enjoy themselves. It's lovely to see children out and about, and there wasn't a mobile phone, or other gadget in sight either.

It's my first visit this year, and everything is waking up, and I wanted to explore as much as possible in my three hours. The park is immense, plenty of wide open spaces, lots of interesting old trees, walking routes, deer, not to mention the main attractions, the house and gardens.

It's lambing time, and this weekend, we were allowed down into the penned area on the farm to see the new arrivals. There were also lots of new mummies in waiting, and outside on the parkland lots of infant lambs grazing under watchful eyes.

The gardens do look a little spartan, you can see the staff have been kept busy. The house looks magnificent as always. I didn't go in this time as I wanted to make the most of the outdoors. It gladdened my heart to see so many people of all ages enjoying the parkland. I walked up and down hill, and clocked up three miles according to my pedometer. I wished I'd stuck my walking poles in the car, as some of the hills were a challenge, and my calves are hurting today, but it's worth it.

On my way back to the car, I visited the tea room, and had a pot of tea, but managed to resist the cake! I've put on a few pounds, so need to resist. Although, there may be cake later today. It is, after all Mothering Sunday. Well that will be my excuse.
There will also be writing later, and throughout the week too.

How did you spend your weekend?

19 comments:

  1. Hi Maria - sorry about the irritations, but so good to know there were some lovely things happening too. Calke Abbey looks wonderful ... so glad you had a good day out ... and I hope you get that cake later on today ... All the best for the coming week and happy writing ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, I did get the cake, a wedge of Victoria Sandwich, and it was delicious!

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  2. sorry :( to hear of your calamities

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    1. I think we all have them from time to time.

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  3. We've just swapped our internet due to problematic service from our other provider. WE are having to pay an excessive cancellation charge, however I have since learned that regular drop outs are a valid reason to contest.

    And thanks for writing about Calke Abbey. It sounds lovely, and we are National Trust members looking for local places to go. Will have to visit soon!

    Hope next week is better, and you sort the washing machine out soon!

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    1. Hi Ingrid,
      Yes, you must go to Calke Abbey, they have lots for the children to do...it's a wonderful place.
      Re internet, I have wasted a few hours of my life trying to sort it out today. Have threatened to leave, so we will see what happens next.

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  4. Sorry you haven't had the best month, I hope things are better for you in April. Looks like a lovely afternoon out though, perfect weather. Sorry about your internet woes too, and also the washing machine - what a pain. I hope you manage to get it all sorted. How lovely to be given a watch, what a good friend. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you CJ, I really enjoyed my Saturday. Made progress on the washer - it's gone to the tip! And a new one is now installed. Seems they are a throwaway item you buy off the shelf...
      Nothing is made to last is it?

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  5. I do love lambing time and seeing the fields littered with the little fluffies. My mom's garden backs onto the farmer's field and the lambs (with mothers close by) usually wonder up to the fence to bleet :) A picnic in the park sounds like the perfect 'pick-me-up' Maria. Hope April brings better times for you. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks Nicola, it was lovely to get close to nature.

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  6. I really admire your resilience, Maria. Thanks, too, for the prod to visit Calke Abbey.

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    1. You can't let it grind you down...I think we all have times like it.
      Onwards and upwards.

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  7. Hi Maria
    I'm sorry to hear about the knocks you've had -I think you've had your fair share of bad luck to last the whole year!
    Escaping into nature and fiction is the perfect antidote and I hope it helps. Wishing you a happy, lucky and healthy April.
    Ange x

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    1. Thank you Ange, hope things are going well for you...will pop over and visit your blog soon.

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  8. Oh, it sounds like an absolutely lovely weekend! I visited Chatsworth when I went to England in 2008 and fell in love with Derbyshire. I can't wait to go back.

    I had a nice, relaxing weekend - and managed to get a bit of writing done, too.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Chatsworth is another fabulous location, Derbyshire is great for big old houses.
      Glad to hear you had a good weekend too.

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  9. checking the wrist for the time - its a habit with me too, and my wrist watch is always with me (except when I go to sleep)

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  10. What a lovely set of photos, Maria - so pleased you found an older camera! And how kind of someone to give you a watch - hope it makes you feel better about the world after such an awful experience. We had lovely weather too so went for a walk by the coast.

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  11. Sorry to hear about the burglary, Maria - how awful, but that was so touching, the lady giving you one of her watches. Sounds like you've ended the month on the up though and I hope April more than makes up for March being so rotten.

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