Category Archives: Holidays

The Feast of St Agnes

The Feast of St Agnes

During my trip to Devon earlier this year I had great hopes of adding to my National Trust Houses tour. Exquisite Saltram was nearby – a wonderful Georgian mansion I have long wanted to visit – and also the romantic Buckland Abbey, with its fascinating connection to Sir Francis Drake. But it was the wrong… more goodness …

The Country House Tour – Christmas at Osterley

The Country House Tour – Christmas at Osterley

The Great Bath Road is prosaically known as the A4 these days. Driving along it through the outskirts of London is equally unromantic: there is the odd office block towering above a long row of unremarkable two-storied houses, the ground floor of which is occupied by launderettes, ethnic shops, newsagents, fish-and-chips, Chinese and pizza takeaways.… more goodness …

Forgotten Carols of Jane Austen’s Time

Because of laws restricting festivites at Christmastime, Christmas carols weren’t as common in the Regency Era as they are now. However, country people continued to sing carols in their homes and sometimes in churches. In 1822, shortly after Jane Austen’s death, Davies Gilbert, a native of Cornwall, published a collection of carols from his childhood in… more goodness …

Life gets in the way

Life gets in the way

I sometimes wonder if Jane Austen ever woke in the middle of the night, struck by some great idea for a mystery novel: An elderly spinster who solves crime! A French—no let’s make him Belgian—sleuth who’s a bit of a dandy, who speaks a delightfully fractured English! Or a brilliant misogynistic police detective—no, let’s make… more goodness …

The Country House Tour – The Vyne

The Country House Tour – The Vyne

It’s that time of year when it’s not much fun to be outdoors – too cold, too wet, too windy. As I’m sitting with a frothy cup of hot chocolate, remembering days of summer and trips to gorgeous places, I’m thinking now’s a good time for an imaginary tour. So how about a tour of… more goodness …

Magical Bath – An Unforgettable Experience

Magical Bath – An Unforgettable Experience

Bath is, I think, one of the few places left in England – and perhaps the best of them all – where you can catch a real glimpse of Georgian Britain. Somehow, it had escaped the ravages of time and the 1970s ‘improvements’ and had remained a timeless capsule of yesteryear beauty. To me, Bath… more goodness …

LABOR DAY! Relax, picnic, watch a movie, read a book… and give thanks to hard working men & women everywhere!

LABOR DAY! Relax, picnic, watch a movie, read a book… and give thanks to hard working men & women everywhere!

Labor Day, the American holiday observed on the first Monday in September, has evolved into a day marking the end of summer, typically celebrated with parties, parades, and various athletic events. Nothing wrong with a three-day weekend, or getting together with family and friends for some wholesome fun! Still, like many holidays here in the US… more goodness …

“What are men to rocks and mountains?”

“What are men to rocks and mountains?”

Whenever I go to the Lake District, I can’t help wondering what Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle would have seen if they carried on with their original plan, instead of shortening the trip and going no further north than Derbyshire. Of course, it doesn’t bear thinking that Elizabeth should have missed that fateful chance… more goodness …