Saturday, 9 February 2013

Puffin around Lyme Park

This afternoon we drove across the Peaks to Lyme Park to visit the 'There's Nuffin like a Puffin' exhibition, celebrating 70 years of Puffin children's books. It was a double thrill for me as both a lover of children's books and as a lover of Jane Austen. For those who have seen the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Lyme Park was used as the location for Mr Darcy's seat, Pemberley. You might remember a somewhat damp Mr Darcy emerging from the lake you see above. E'hem, moving swiftly on...

We had a lovely time looking around the exhibition. It brought back a few memories for Mark and me, both of us avid readers from childhood. We were treated to lots of original artwork from many books, together with letters from authors, transcripts with corrections marked on and lots of background information on the books and the publisher itself. There was plenty of hands-on fun for the children and they had a wonderful time playing instruments, dressing up and doing lots of colouring and crafts. We enjoyed walking around the gardens, though I think I will enjoy it more in warmer weather. There was still snow on the ground in patches and it was jolly cold! We intend to come back later in the year when the house is open (most National Trust houses are closed from October until March/April) and I'm sure the gardens will be absolutely delightful when in bloom.

We all had a really lovely afternoon at the exhibition, so I felt we had to end the day appropriately  Emma had 'Each Peach Pear Plum' for her bedtime story this evening and I started reading Roald Dahl's 'George's Marvellous Medicine' (published by Puffin) to Tom and Lily at bedtime. I only read them the first chapter, but then Tom took the book to bed with him and stormed ahead a couple of chapters. Tom is just the right age for Roald Dahl now, so I hope this is the start of something special...

It was rather a thrill for me to see some of Janet Ahlberg's original artwork for 'Each Peach Pear Plum'. We love the Ahlberg's picture books and this one is an absolute favourite. It has been one of Emma's favourite bedtime stories for some time now and I never tire of the beautiful illustrations. What a pleasure to see some of the originals!

Emma dressed as a puffin.

A copy of a delightful illustration from Noel Streatfeild's 'Ballet Shoes' 

An original illustration from 'Where's Spot?' by Eric Hill, always popular with the littlest ones

In the courtyard

The Dutch Garden

We were excited to see the snowdrops starting to show their heads. One has to hope that the end of winter is in sight, although the temperatures and the promise of more snow this weekend seem to suggest it will go on forever!

Last night I dreamt I went to Pemberley again...

The Podlings hard at work on some of the many activities they had for children. They had a great time. 

There were lots of copies of Puffin books around to look though and who can resist a good book?

In the orangery


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