Sunday, October 4, 2015

That blessed day called Sunday

Well yesterday we went to Castle Howard nursery centre to browse.  The house is £12 entrance fee to go in per person, so that was no go.  As we approached the gateway, we had to follow a huge piece of farm machinery which took up all the lane.  This is something you get used to, at times there seems more farm machinery on the roads than cars.

Autumn colour has descended on the trees almost over night, the day is beautiful and sunny, night time almost down to zero temperature.  Along this lane we went up and down a series of small hills, here I believe it is the Howardian Hills, the only Northern outpost of Jurassic Limestone, something I know little of, further south towards Malton you have the Tabular Hills, where the first prehistoric settlements took place in this area.
I did not take many photos of Castle Howard,  I had always thought it was the set for Downton Abbey, but no it is Highclere in Berkshire that fulfils this role.  It is impressive of course, and the whole estate  seems to be run for visitors, there is an arboretum, with its own peacock, seen here trying to snaffle sugar lumps at the cafe.

The  garden centre is large and well stocked, and there is a delicatessen selling all kinds of food, a butchery that sells venison and rabbit, all rather pricey and the inevitable gift shop.

When we first arrived we stopped off to look at the lake, and there was a coach parked with Chinese visitors so I watched with fascinated interest as they took 'selfies', this is the girls of course not the boys, exchanging hats and scarves for the best pose, jumping into the air, stylising themselves against the fence.  How times have changed I said drolly to myself, these photos will be placed in albums to take the fancy of their children, but are we all such terrible tourists?

The other thing of interest in the village yesterday was the event of the Jehovah Witnesses, a dozen turned up, and made the 'ritual' rounds of the houses.  We noticed A was one of their brethren, a young girl who looks after pets whilst you are away.  LS told them he had been a Zen buddhist monk for a time and would they like to borrow some of his books, but the offer was not taken up, we did not buy the Watch Tower, though they are such nice, if somewhat naive, people, that I feel I should read it!


  1. We rarely get Jehovah's Witnesses as we are down a lane far out of the village, but they do visit there frequently. On the odd occasion they do call I am always polite (as they are) and just say to them that I am sorry, that I am a non-believer and please don't let us get into an argument as I have not come to my decision lightly.
    What a lovely photograph of the peacock trying to snaffle the sugar lumps.
    Re entry to these Stately Homes - I am sure they need the money for the upkeep but like you we don't go in if we feel it is pricey (Newby Hall near Ripon for example) and we too are always struck by tourists too busy taking selfies to really look at what there is to see.

  2. Jehovah Witnesses are always with us up and down the country, my daughter's first best friend was one of them, she used to give Karen bibles for xmas, there are some inherent dangers belonging to different sects, and JW is one of them.
    The problem with 'a day out' is of course that you are not going to get much change out of £50, which is a lot. Though Castle Howard is private I should have coughed up for a season ticket at Rievaulux with English Heritage, the man at the desk said there were 40 sites of interest in the locality...

  3. I would love to visit those old houses but they price themselves out of my pocket... loved the pictures Thelma....

  4. Hi Ana, they are very expensive to visit, plus all the other expenditure like gift shops and cafes.