Tuesday, 1 September 2020

The Distancing Diaries - Day 164 & 165


Monday (day 164) was a bank holiday , not that it made much difference to my usual routine. I was up at just after 6am, caught up with blogland, did a Wii Fit workout and had fruit & yogurt ready & waiting when Jon got up.


In need of fabric for mask making we popped to the clearance charity shop and bought a couple of all-cotton shirts to chop up. I found two interesting sounding paperbacks, a brand new & still in its original packaging desk mat to use as a cat feeding mat and a pretty sun top for £1, although I doubt I'll be wearing it just yet, apparently it was the coldest August bank holiday in over 50 years.


Once back I threw my new garments in the washing machine and unwrapped the desk mat, it was instantly appreciated. Within 15 minutes I was pegging the laundry on the line. I do love our new washer!



Wearing: Vintage India Imports of Rhode Island maxi skirt (eBay), 1980s Anokhi waistcoat (online vintage shop), Cheesecloth blouse, Guess belt & 1970s Newey & Eyre deadstock hair clip (all charity shopped)

After noodles Jon popped out for supplies and I made a crumble with the windfall apples we'd harvested yesterday. Back & with the shopping sanitised, Jon mowed the lawn while I cut back the ivy threatening to engulf the wood pile, cleared the spent dwarf French beans and raked over the now-empty patch. 

Once we'd finished we sat under The Egg (wrapped in our coats) pondering on what area to clear next.

Tea was half a quiche with some Thai-spiced cheesy chips and salad, with assorted leaves, herbs & a crystal lemon cucumber from the veg plot.


After tea we caught up with Gone Fishing and watched the final episode of the fascinating BBC4 documentary, African Renaissance: When Art Meets Power, this week exploring the art, music & culture of Kenya.


On Tuesday (day 165), after my Wii Fit session and our fruit & yogurt breakfast, Jon made sandwiches, filled the flask and we headed off to the village of Broadway in The Cotswolds to visit the gardens of  Snowshill Manor, just over an hour's drive away.

Born in a London suburb in 1883 Charles Paget Wade was the son of wealthy parents. He'd trained as an architect but, when his father died in 1911, he inherited enough money to give up work. Whilst in France, serving with the British Army in WW1, he saw an advert in Country Life magazine for Snowshill Manor, a Tudor manor house with 14 acres of land. On his return in 1919 he bought the property and set to work revamping the house and turning the estate into an Arts & Crafts garden with the help of his architect friend, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott.

 Charles Wade first met Baillie Scott whilst working on Hampstead Garden Suburb between 1907 and 1911. In spring of 1920 Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott designed the initial plan for the garden. He sent it to Wade, together with a letter explaining his design. With the help of a local builder, William Hodge,Wade then set about transforming the former farmyard into an Arts and Crafts garden to include garden rooms, topiary and overflowing borders with terraces and walkways to provide structure. At Baillie Scott’s suggestion Wade also put a Venetian wellhead he had collected into Well Court: ‘Should like to get your stone cistern from the workshop and put it in the middle of the lower garden.’



Snowshill is stunning (hence the reason I got carried away with the camera). We loved the clever use of colour in the planting schemes and the quirky additions like the model village and that gorgeous honey-coloured Cotswold stone gladden my heart, it looks like the sun is always shining. But in today's case, it was. After yesterday's unseasonal chill we were treated to 20°C sunshine. 


Unlike most of the other gardens we've visited, Snowshill didn't have a one-way system, but as visitor numbers were limited it was easy to allow plenty of room for people to pass so again it looked like we had the place to ourselves.





























WEARING: Vintage Jody T of California maxi dress (£5, eBay), 1970s felt hat (charity shop), vintage tooled leather bag (car boot sale)

WEARING: Blondie tee shirt (retail, sale), 1960s chores jacket, Rockport desert boots, printed cotton shorts (all charity shopped)







Wolf Cove - We loved Snowshill's model village!

After eating our picnic we drove back home, arriving just in time for the tree surgeon to arrive to look at the lime tree and give us (and the neighbours) a quote. We've just got to wait for the council to grant permission to prune it although he's hopeful that the branches are so close to the house that they'll have to say yes.


I spent the rest of the day editing my photos while Jon provisionally booked us a room in a 16th century Venetian townhouse for the first leg of our trip (I've got so many body parts crossed that I'm getting cramp!) 

Stay safe & see you soon.

63 comments:

  1. Hi Vix, another glorious garden! They do have some gems in the Cotswolds. Your are lucky to live in trave!!ing distance to all of these great NT properties.
    How cold was it this weekend? I am still hoping for some lovely autumn days. I really hope your Greek holiday comes good. Looking hopeful at present.

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    1. Hi Carole! We are lucky living in the Midlands having Worcester, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire within an hour's travelling distance.
      It was so cold at the weekend, at one point I was wrapped in a blanket with the heating on - I don't do that in December. xxx

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  2. I love this latest visit, what a quirky, pretty place, the stone architecture, the interesting features and the way everything in the garden is designed to be a surprise as you take a turn on the path. Lovely outfits as always, hope nothing gets in the way of your trip, a venetian townhouse sounds amazing.

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous? Have you been to The Cotswolds? There's some amazing National trust places to visit and some beautiful villages, you just have to be a millionaire to live there. xxx

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  3. while we do not have trust properties, we have an abundance of parks, city, regional, county, and state within 30-40 minutes. I need to prioritize scheduling myself to get out and about-give me something to look forward to. I sure hope for your sake your trip is a safe go. I will look forward to the pictures. The yellow sun top will b fitting for a Greece beach.

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    1. You must live a great spot to have so much within easy travelling distance. we're really spoilt where we are! You should take time out and take yourself off somewhere, it does wonders for your mental health.
      That top would be perfect in Greece but I bought it without my glasses and didn't realise until I got home that it's 100% viscose, absolutely useless for travelling, it creases so badly! xxx

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  4. Hello Vix, looks like you had a lovely day out and that Cotswold stone is very beautiful. The peachy-purple dahlia is gorgeous. I love the way they have hard clipped the box stems in the mini village to make them look like little trees. Lulu xXx

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    1. Hi Lulu! I was fascinated by the mini trees in the model village, so clever!
      I didn't know anything about dahlias until this year and seeing so many in the national trust gardens we've visited, I really want to grow some next year but I'm thinking in a pot rather than a border. xxx

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  5. Evening there Vix, what a lovely place! you certainly are spoilt where you live for gorgeous NT properties! I loved the shots you see beauty everywhere and take pics of things eg. the old wooden doors that I think others may pass by love it. Loved all the purples in the flowers. Loved all the Wade quotes. That suntop will look great on you I have started stlaking ebay but have fun watching then half the time don't buy. I loved the blue outfit but you look stunning in the maxi for your trip, Vix what will we do when normality returns and you are too busy to post so regularly lol we will miss you. Anyway I am glad the lime tree might be getting sorted soon. I will whisper the next bit (you must be getting excieted!)xx Shazx

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    1. Morning, Shaz! We are spoilt here in the Midlands. When we joined the National Trust we were visiting a castle in Wales for my 50th and the lady who took our details told us that we really would get value for money with our membership as there's so many properties within an hour's drive from our house. She was right.
      I love stalking Ebay, you don't need to buy anything, it's just so enjoyable to admire lovely things and watch how much they sell for although I did snaffle "a project" this week for a song, I can see myself sitting and mending for hours when it turns up!
      I've got so used to my every other day chats with lovely, like-minded women like you that I shall feel very strange not checking in! xxx

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  6. Great excitement about your impending holiday. As I scrolled down these photos, I was saying "wow". I love this place. Actually I did a bigger wow on seeing your white dress, and Jon is looking good too.

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    1. Less than a fortnight to go now and i still don't know whether we can go, I'm on the travel forums and news channels on a near hourly bass. What strange times we're living in!
      That white dress was made for National Trust visits, wasn't it? xxx

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  7. Loving all the garden visits and your own lovely garden too. You inspire me to get out and do a bit each day. It's spring here now so I'm busy pruning and making way for some new plants. Your outfits are always on point, love them.I hope your Greek trip goes well too. I was there in January, keeping hopeful that things will return to some normalcy soon for international travel for us

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    1. Hello Amanda. I'm touched that I help inspire you to get out and have a potter about. My garden no longer feels daunting now I spend a bit of time in there every day. Spring is such an exciting time in the garden, I love seeing the subtle changes and new signs of life.
      I bet visiting Greece was very different in January, something we've thought about doing next year as India probably won't be a possibility. I'm trying to remain positive that our trip goes ahead but it's still very up in the air at the moment. xxx

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  8. That gold top looks so soft. I have olive tone skirt that would go with that top. Not sure how far north in world you are. But that quince looks mouth watering.

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    1. The gold top would look wonderful with olive green, thanks for the inspiration! xxx

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  9. Many apologies for missing so many of your posts, I've just had a scroll back and must say your garden plantings have given me ideas for our Summer.Snowshill and the gardens look wonderful, so many colourful plants , easy to see why you took many photos. Your medieval style dress looked right at home.
    I do hope your planned trip is able to go ahead as planned. xx

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    1. Oh Jill, don't ever feel like you need to apologise for not visiting, just pop in when you can. Your holiday looked stunning.
      I come back with so many new planting ideas when I visit these gardens. I've got a wishlist on a posh plant website that I'll never be able to afford but it's nice to dream! xxx

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  10. That garden was beautiful. I am glad you managed the system quite easily. Those books do look very interesting. I keep popping into our local book off which is huge and buying loads of books. To the point Paul has told me to stop, I really need to make a start on that libary.
    We have to apply to city hall if we need to do anything outside of the house,but they are pretty quick getting back to you. Take care and keep safe love to you all

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    1. Hi Allie! It did seem a bit strange exploring Snowshill with lots of other people but everyone was really smiley & polite and more than happy to move to one side so we could take pictures. Nothing worse than being photo bombed by a fleece wearer in Gor-tex trousers! Spoils the look of the photo no end!
      I'm terrified of running out of books - I don't think I've ever not had one on the go my entire life! Loads of love to you, hope you're having a good week. xxx

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  11. Oh what a beautiful place you visited... and such gardens! I love that sweet little sun top you found. It's darling! Love, Andrea xoxo

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  12. A 15 minute wash? You must have a magic washing machine.

    Loved the garden photos. Fingers crossed you get to go on your trip. X

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    1. Modern technology, eh? Who'd have thought it! xxx

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  13. I love that garden! It's quirkier than the others and all the better for it! Your photos are very artistic, Vix. As a child I was amazed and fascinated by model villages and that wonder has never left me (if you collect more dolls' houses, you can create your own!!!). I especially liked the blue woodwork which just popped against the stone and the planting popped against it. Lovely place, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Catmac! Isn't it lovely? If you're watching George Clarke on a Sunday night he's visiting it this week, be prepared to be amazed by Snowshill's interior, Wade was an obsessive collector of the weird and wonderful.
      It'd be a great excuse to buy some more doll's houses, wouldn't it? xxx

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  14. wow, I love your maxi skirt with the Anokhi waistcoat and the fab sleeved shirt!, such a beautiful outfit! and totally You!. And the new sun top looks really cute, wish you wear as soon as posible!. Curiously, I have this same book by Patrick Leigh Fermor in my ebook, and I was saving it for holidays (if they happen!).
    Snowshill Manor looks like an Arts&Crafts heaven, the garden is so stunning!, love every detail, every path, every corner!. And you look fabulous!, your maxi is a beauty and so appropriate in this fab background!. And Jon looks really interested in his map!, and so cool in his fab jacket and boots!
    Thanks for the photos of this delightful garden!, a joy for my eyes!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! It's started to feel quite chilly in the mornings and waistcoats are the perfect solution, too soon for coats and jackets yet! It's also got huge deep pockets for my purse, hand santiser and a spare mask - 2020 covid style!
      What a coincidence about both having that Patrick Leigh Fermor book. My task today is sorting out my e reader. Jon gets by with a couple of paperbacks, I need at least 10 books so it's a much better option for travel.
      Snowshill is a real joy, we loved all the quirky detail and it was so lovely to have heat and sunshine! xxx

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  15. I'll keep everything crossed for your trip too... I'm not going away and plan to live vicariously through you guys, and Ann and Jos.
    Snowshill looks rather charming and beautiful, I love the sandstone too.
    xx

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    1. Thank you, I need all the crossing I can get!
      Snowshill is lovely, such a beautiful & engaging property. xxx

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  16. Snowhill is a gem, the gardens lovely and informal and the model village strangely appealing!
    The skirt and waistcoat combo is fab, as is the garden. Can't wait to see how you plant it up.
    Those lemon cucumbers fascinate me, I've never seen the like.
    Breath still held for your hols, nearly there đŸ€ž xxx

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    1. Isn't it lovely? I always think the best National Trust places are those where you can imagine yourself living, Snowshill is definitely one of them.
      You'll have to treat yourself to some lemon cucumber seeds for next year, if we can grow them anyone can!
      I'm obsessed with the news & travel forums at the moment! xxx

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  17. I’m very envious of you being so close to the Cotswolds. It’s the golden brickwork that I adore. It makes everywhere seem clean and bright. It’s no wonder my sister is so torn about coming back up north.
    Your photos of Stoneshill are great it’s a place I could see myself living. You look so lovely against the backdrop of the gardens you’re visiting. You should been featured in the National Trust brochures.
    I’ve just switched the telly on to watch escape to the country and it’s in the Cotswolds. The couple are from Birmingham. What a coincidence haha xxx

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    1. We are really lucky being such a short drive away from The Cotswolds. My grandparents always used to go on holiday there, such a dramatic difference from Walsall considering it was only an hour down the road.
      I missed that Escape to the Country, Jon's currently obsessed with something with Simon O'Brien and that really irritating Henry bloke doing stuff up (badly) and selling it! xxx

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  18. Great pics :)

    Federica
    www.federicadinardo.com

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  19. wonderful garden at snowshill!
    wild but elegant - love all that sandstone - feels homely.......
    around here the lime (linden) trees are often in pub (wirtshaus) gardens - for safety reasons the branches are cutted back regularly. they always make little new ones - which makes for a nice compact shape.
    your sunny top wants to go to greece!!
    xxxx

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    1. That lovely Cotswold stone is such a gentle backdrop to the planting, isn't it? Even the veg patch was beautiful with climbing roses, nasturtiums and marigolds mingled amongst the edibles.
      The lime tree will look a lot better thinned out, providing the council say yes.
      That top would love to go to Greece, trouble is that I went shopping without my glasses and didn't realise until I got home that it was 100% viscose, rubbish for packing, too many creases! xxx

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    2. @top: just wet it in the evening, wring it gentle in a towel and air dry overnight on a hanger or hooks, the creases will fall out :-D xxx

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  20. I'd have wanted to photograph everything too-so many beautiful flowers to admire.
    I hope they let you prune the tree-what a beast, and of course the nearly full time job sweeping up the leaves in season.
    I love your Jody T dress.

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    1. There was something interesting or beautiful tucked away in every corner. I've not visited the inside of the manor for years but Charles wade was a legendary collector and ended up living in an outbuilding as he'd run out of space in his house. xxx

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  21. Hi Vix,
    I wander how long the distancing diaries will go on, we need this virus to be gone, what a strange and frightening year for us all. Great charity shop bargains, the shops here are pretty expensive but saying that its still my preferred way to shop. I have been to Snowshill Manor. xx

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    1. I know - this is our 168th day! I never thought I'd last for more than a fortnight without charity shops and pubs and here I am, six months later and still sane and happy! xxx

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  22. That sun top is beautiful. What a fabulous colour. X

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    1. It's like sunshine, isn't it? I hope it brings us some soon! x

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  23. I hope so much that you get to Greece! The place sounds marvellous!
    That yellow top is a real beauty! I really like it. I like how all your tops seem to have looseness around the shoulders and upperarm area- I like that muchly!
    The books look good too.
    I like the lemon cucumber! I picked 4 cucumbers this week and am loving them, as well as some other leaves (dandelions and Nasturtiums as well as Sorrel!)
    That place you visited is marvellous. I love Charles Wade's writings and the planting really is gorgeous! You also fit in so beautifully in these places!

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    1. It looks gorgeous and has great reviews! Just in case we can't go I looked at accommodation in the village pub next to Snowshill, two nights cost more than nine days in Greece - and people wonder why we chose to go abroad!
      I love that shape of top, too - I can't bare to be restricted!
      4 cucumbers! That's good going. Hasn't it been great to be able to lavish so TLC on our gardens this year?
      Snowshill really is fabulous, Charles Wade sounded like such an interesting character! xxx

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  24. Dahlias! Stonework highlighted by wood painted that peculiar shade I call "British Blue"! And the most sketch worthy Greenman fountain ever seen growing from a perfect patch of greenery! All in all a perfect day -- and exactly the sort of place for which to feel the tiniest twinge of homesickness when you're holidaying in Greece. One hundred sixty-five days and counting, you've earned a change.

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    1. British Blue!! It is a colour you only tend to see in quaint English villages and does work beautifully with the honeyed Cotswold stone. I loved the weird and wonderful collection of dahlias and would adore a fountain like that at Stonecroft.
      A change for a few days would be so welcome, warmth, the turquoise of the Med, the smell of wild thyme and bowls of gigantes plakia with rustic bread washed down with village wine....

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  25. Think this is my fave house and garden so far. It actually looks like someone's home! I wonder how they get their Sempervivums to survive during the winter months? Was there a greenhouse anywhere on site?Hope your sunny new top gets an airing in Greece, although Greece has just gone on Scotland's quarantine list again as from today. My local favourite charity shop re-opening today. Guess where I'm off to??!!

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    1. George Clarke visits Snowshill on his show this week. wait until you see the inside of the manor, Charles Wade was a crazy collector, ending up with so much stuff that he lived in an workshop in the garden! It's a gorgeous garden, there was a huge greenhouse (out of bounds) I bet those sempervivums live there in the winter.
      The Greece situation is really confusing with each nation having a different rule. I sounds to me like those package holidays to the "party islands" have a lot to answer for.
      I hope you found some good stuff in the chazza! xxx

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  26. I think you will enjoy 'A time of gifts'. Patrick Leigh Fermor was quite an amazing character. He played a prominent role in the Resistance in Crete during the war and if my memory serves me well he was involved in a dangerous mission to kidnap a German general. There is a book about this - and perhaps a film - 'Ill met by midnight'.

    I think Snowshill is my favourite of all the places you have visited. As someone has commented you are indeed lucky to live so near to so many interesting places.

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    1. Hello Julia! What a coincidence, it's actually Crete that we're hoping to fly to. I've seen Ill Met by Moonlight and recall it being based on a true story so I really shall enjoy the book. The photo of PLF inside is fantastic, he does look like a real character.
      Snowshill had such a lovely feel, you can tell that Charles wade put his heart & soul into creating it. We are lucky living in the Midlands, we're within easy travelling distance to so many places. xxx

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  27. More lovely pictures Vix and another great outing for you and Jon. I love Dahlias for the colours but my dear late Mother would never have them in a vase in the house said “they bought in earywags” this of course was the Brummie way of pronouncing it! Love the golden yellow top, I have been to a local favourite chazzer today came back with three books and a top for dare I say it, the festive season. Have you ever read any books by Jess Kidd ? I recently read Things in Jars, very gothic and “off the wall” but a great read. Be Happy, Brummie Sue.

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    1. Earywags!! Love it! I don't think I knew what a dahlia was until this year and seeing them at National Trust gardens, I think I might invest in a couple for next year.
      I'm glad you managed a trip to the chazza and it's brilliant that you've got a festive top sorted before they start putting out the "partywear" rack and charging more for them.
      I don't know Jess Kidd and I've just had a Google and she sounds right up my street. thanks for that, Sue! xxx

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  28. What an amazing place that is! Like you, I am fascinated by miniatures - that village is so cool! I love all these flowers (the dahlias are incredible), but of course, the kitties catch my eye. What a cool mat you found for under their bowls! Vizzini has a silicon form with two steel bowls in it, and he's a sloppy eater, so I have to clean it every day, arg.

    Love your dresses, and that long vest is amazing! Here's to the rest of the week, and crossing all my fingers and toes for your trip!

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    1. Isn't the miniature village wonderful? Makes me want to collect more dolls houses make my own in our garden. Those dahlias are unreal, I can't believe nature can make something like that.
      Frank's loving his fantasy pet mat. Him and Stephen used to eat side by side in the utility room but when he was under the weather Jon gave him his chicken by the kitchen door and he's started sitting and waiting to be fed there now. xxx

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  29. This is a beautiful garden and the maxi dress you wore is simply perfect on you.

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  30. I love the yellow sun top and using a desk mat as a cat feeding mat is a brilliant idea. What a posh mat for Frank to enjoy his prawns on :-) We've never visited Snowshill Manor, but I can see that we have to rectify this omission at some point. What a gorgeous place! You're looking right at home wearing that Jody T of California maxi dress, too. I'll be crossing all body parts for your trip too! xxx

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  31. Ah, that garden looks utterly idyllic. I can imagine Snowshill was a welcome retreat after the awfulness of war.

    Consider my appendages crossed!

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  32. Those Ivy covered Walls and Buildings are Sublime!

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  33. The cats now have a very cool new mat to enjoy while they eat. I should have one for Sylvester as I'm always cleaning up dried food bits off the floor around his dishes.

    The quotations by Charles Wade that you included in the post are quite lovely. As nice as it is to be able to visit all of these National Trust properties, I do hope you get your trip to Greece. We're all rooting for you!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix