I'm back from my holidays. Again. You could be forgiven for thinking that I am always away. I don't get six months off work a year or anything. Yes, the holiday allowance is quite generous but I take it as lots of smaller holidays throughout the year instead of one big jaunt to somewhere far away. Plus I like holiday cottages in this country. I can cope without sun quite easily - give me somewhere cosy with a log fire, lots of beautiful countryside to walk around and some nearby market towns with good charity shops and I am as happy as a pig in muck.
This time I went to stay in one of the lodges at Calke Abbey, just on the border of Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Mum and Char came for the weekend (see above for them getting up to leaf-kicking larks) and then I spent the rest of the week on my glorious lonesome.
The house is closed at this time of year but I've been before so it wasn't a source of great sadness to me. If you haven't been, GO. It is the most wonderful place inside and very unlike any other National Trust house you'll see. It's all preserved in a complete state of 1880's decline with jumble and rubbish everywhere and it's got such an atmosphere. Even the stable yard (which is open all year round cos it houses the shop and restaurant) is very similar. Nothing has been tidied up.
I'd also recommend a little wander around Ashby de la Zouch one day. It was pissing it down with rain when I went, which wasn't ideal. But it has a castle and loads of great charity shops, so what more do you want?
Books ahoy! That's a Folio Society copy of Cold Comfort Farm at the bottom, yoicks!
Then I spent the rest of the week reading, watching DVDs and doing a spot of beading. It's my autumn/winter craft of choice.
I did stir from the sofa occasionally, honest I did. Lots of walking also happened.
The parkland there is quite astonishingly beautiful at this time of year. I'll leave it to a guidebook to explain all the whys and wherefores of it being a site of special scientific interest but I can tell you how gorgeous it was. Better still, I can show you. Look at the colours!
But look at how lovely the cottage was. I think you can probably understand why I didn't need to go out that much.
Back to normal life for me now though!