Don’t Know Much About History

Last night I shared some birthday correspondence with Bryn and was delighted to hear that he had a good week teaching A level Biology students a variety of classes: computer lab, counting shrimp in a river, bouldering to name a few. The group heard it was his birthday and made him a lovely card with glowing compliments of how much they’d enjoyed their week and his teaching. Made his day, and mine!

I remember going on a Higher Biology residential trip and doing some similar activities( sea water shrimp though and no computer lab!) I absolutely loved the whole trip. It was there that I first drove a boat. It was a motor boat in the sea and though it was completely different and using a wheel, not a tiller, I remember it being much slower to respond than a car.

Today I was driving back towards Rufford and coasting up to let Shane off, as he wanted a go at operating the swing bridge for a change. It was so much slower than the motor boat, and I felt more in control. 

The Hall opens about 11, so we had time to do other things first. Shane had employed the two other methods of water heating so I could have a morning shower for a change ( not that I never have a shower but usually the water isn’t hot in the morning). We had a load of laundry on (briefly surprising Shane with its pump squirting out the side into the canal) and the weather was unexpectedly warm so we put that up outside, with the “pram cover” up so the air and sun could get to it, but not the rain. Then we headed off to the Old Hall. 

The Hall has decor and furniture from a variety of eras: Tudor great hall, Victorian dining room, Edwardian dressing room. A bed was dated 1660 and a bench with carved thistles commemorated the Union of the parliaments with 1707 engraved on it. It was very interesting to look around, though no photos were allowed inside. The gardens had formal topiary and also orchards and gardens for vegetables and herbs, labelled with the varieties planted . 

Squirrel topiary in front of the Old Hall
Not so sure about what these are, but interesting shapes

We had a tasty lunch outside, before entering the house and explored the gardens further.


View of swan statues and door to the outdoor seating area.
a much sunnier day than expected, attracting butterflies

We weren’t sure who the woman was in the statue, the man looked like Pan. Outside there weren’t experts, like in each room of the house, to answer questions and explain the history, significance and purpose of items. They had fig leaves but I don’t think they are Adam and Eve.

Afterwards we had time for a trip to the supermarket. In the sunny weather, it became a fun cycle ride, reminiscent of holidays in the Netherlands, rather than a necessary chore. A young attendant at the Booth’s supermarket, was friendly and keen to chat about cycling, making his work and our shopping, better fun all round.

On the way back we re encountered a small menagerie and stopped to study them more closely and have a snack of the fruit we’d bought. The Netherlands often had a variety of animals together but here sheep and chickens sharing a pen is less common-  with some escapees not sure if you’re call them free range or not.



A variety of different kinds of sheep and chicken, some chickens had escaped on to the road