Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hardwick Hall

On Sunday we visited Hardwick Hall with Mark's parents. Built in the late 16th century and home to Bess of Hardwick, Hardwick Hall is an impressive Elizabethan manor house in Derbyshire. We came to see the snowdrops and only had time to see the gardens this time. We had a lovely little walk and the Podlings were very taken with the fairy doors in the garden. There is much to see there and I would very much like to visit again and see inside the hall. I am especially keen to see the collection of embroideries.

Hardwick Old Hall, adjacent to Hardwick Hall, was the birthplace of Bess of Hardwick. I hope we will also have time to look around here on our next visit.

Alex loved the fairy houses

My boys!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Synchronised Gymnastics

Emma playing gymnastics with her doll. I don't think I was ever this flexible!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Workhouse at Southwell

Last Saturday we visited The Workhouse at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Built in 1824 with architecture influenced by prison design, it was intended to be the last refuge of the destitute. Being a lover of the works of Charles Dickens and having read 'Shadows of the Workhouse' by Jennifer Worth I have been wanting to visit Southwell workhouse for a long time, so it was wonderful to finally have a chance to look around the well-preserved buildings.
The Podlings enjoyed their visit and were particularly focused on the fact that families were separated when they entered the workhouse and that children were separated from their parents. One of the volunteers told us that even Alex, at two and a half, was right on the borderline of whether he would have been allowed to stay with his mother or not. They loved the schoolroom and had endless fun with the water pump in the courtyard. In the gift shop, both of the girls spent some of their pocket money on a slate and stylus and Lily bought a whip and top, although only, I suspect, because she wanted the whip!
It was well worth the visit and I know we would like to go again at some point.
This was where the old and infirm men would eat

The kitchens where the plain and meagre food was prepared. Meat was only served three times a week and photographs showing the portions served at each meal show that everyone must have been hungry!

The Podlings loved the school room and would have loved to have played here longer

One of the able-bodied men's dormitories

The water pump was a source of much entertainment!

I loved this!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Valentine's Day

Baskets of treats and cards made by Mummy awaited the Podlings on the morning of Valentine's Day, along with the special treat of pink iced doughnuts for breakfast. Alex was understandably thrilled to be greeted with a basket of sweets and was soon tucking in to strawberry laces! I greeted the girls from school with pink foil wrapped chocolate lollipops and they came home and started on the baking for our Valentine's tea (Tom prefers not to join in these days). Lily made the fairy cakes and they decorated them together. I had bought some pink and red fondant icing so the girls could make some decorations for the cakes. Lily really enjoyed this and made some really lovely decorations. I made the larger cake and then Lily had a free hand in decorating it. She did a lovely job. We sat down to a lovely Valentine's tea together where we all consumed far too much sugar!

Our Valentine's tea

Lily's very pretty Valentine's cake.

Lily, Emma and Alex had fun decorating the fairy cakes

I made this wreath last summer, but it seemed appropriate to bring it out for Valentine's Day

Little Emma received her first Valentine from a little boy in her class. So sweet!