Monday, 8 August 2011

A Trip to Snowshill Manor

Waiting, I hate waiting
If you think you are a collector I suggest that you take a trip to Snowshill Manor and see the results of a lifetime of collecting. This is serious stuff, I mean the man bought the house for his collections not to live in. He lived in what is called the priest's house which is a small stone building behind the manor house - and even that is full of..............stuff.
Quick, quick they're going in!
checking out the fruit in the orchard
Bicycles in the attic
Mr M and I first went there twenty years ago (it could be more than that but twenty years is a long enough time) and we were blown away by the stacks of things - I mean Bicycles in the attic?
The beesuit I wanted him to buy to scare the neighbours
The Bluefunnels had never been so we saw this as a great opportunity to go back after the refurbishment and see what, if anything had changed. We were a little early so we had to wait and as this was exhausting we needed refreshment before touring the house. The National Trust do a good cup of coffee.
The house was as fantastic as we remembered and the Bluefunnels were very taken with it, pausing to look at all the tiny little things in the cabinets.
It is interesting to eavesdrop on conversations when you are strolling around. Some of the things I think everyone knows because I know, I have discovered they don't. I wonder how people can go through life without needing to know things. Things that I think are commonplace and everyone knows them I have learnt are not commonplace at all and are, in fact, specialist knowledge. So how did that happen? how did a simple thing like the two different styles of architecture sdhown on the front of the Manor house. I looked at it and assumed that at sometime in the history of the house it had been extended from a small Tudor farmhouse to a larger manor house, the stle of windows and the size of the panes of glass telling me this - as well as the different age of the cotswold stone on the wall.
I was surprised because the house guide had to point it out for other people to notice. I suppose other people's heads must be full of other sorts of stuff.
After we had finished the house we dropped down to Gloucester because Onassis Bluefunnel needed to buy a Bee suit. Not a costume to dress up as a bee but a suit to protect him when he helped Mrs Bluefunnel to tend the bee hives they have in their garden. We went to a fantastic shop in Maisemore where they have everything you can think of to do with bee keeping and then about a thousand things you hadn't even dreamt of. I wanted Onassis to have the bright yellow suit that made him look like something from a Sci Fi movie but he wouldn't.
After this there was just one thing left to do. That's right a late lunch/early tea at Morrisons. Oh and here's the spooky thing, bearing in mind that they are Colin and Ann and we are Ann and Colin.
Mrs Bluefunnel needed the loo so Mr Bluefunnel waited for her, out of earshot, while Mr M and I ordered our food. They ordered their food and came and sat at the table with us. We were number 40 they were number 41. The nice lady brought out number 40 and it was fish and chips for me and chunky steak pie andchips and mushy peas for Mr M.
Guess what the Bluefunnels had ordered... that's right exactly the same! We came back home down the A48 to Chepstow which is a fabulous run through delightful villages and past the Severn Bore hotel where we always go to watch the Bore.

The birds on the resevoir, that can't be good, all that guano in the water
We dropped the Bluefunnels at their house on top of a hill and as we dropped back down again we noticed all these seagulls on the reservoir. It did look very much like the Hitchcock film so we quietly closed our windows, slipped the car into gear and stole silently away. Next time we are going to Tyntesfield. We have been before when it was first opened so it is time to go back to see upstairs and to check on the progress of the conservation. We can talk like that because we are members - and we bought a brick last time and we need to see if it is ok.

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