Wednesday was an unexpected gift of a day. School was out due to strike action and in one of those happy accidents, it happened that Mr. was off work too, giving us a day together. A cloudy, grey day in Bristol, but an hour down the motorway and Devon was sunshine and blue skies.
At the end of last year we decided to join the National Trust. I’m fascinated by other lives and the historical detail of the houses appeals. I like wondering through grand rooms, looking at laid tables and imaging dinner parties. I like the stories of the people who once lived in those rooms. As a family it works, the gardens and grounds are an opportunity to be outside, to enjoy a walk with enough to interest a small boy. There is always something to explore. The NT also have very good tea rooms and I like a fresh scone and a pot of tea. It’s all terribly British; grand houses, aristocrats, cream teas. An escape to another era.
We visited Killerton House in Devon. In the garden, there is a little house called The Bear Hut. Where once, the family kept a pet bear, what 6 year old wouldn’t love that?
The house is not so grand and very homely, I think I’d be happy to live there, should they need tenants. Upstairs, there is a wonderful fashion collection spanning various eras. Huge Victorian gowns, beautiful 1920’s dresses, you can image a life and a setting for everyone one. Each dress has some details and history; A wedding dress, a 1950’s day dress. To be honest if I didn’t have a 6 year old with me, I would have lingered and read more. Family day’s out are, often, about compromise and my son wanted to explore the garden. It was inviting, with pops of colour from more spring flowers than expected. It felt as if the rain and short days of winter have been packed away, time to look forward and plan adventures for the next few months. Sitting on a log in the sunshine, surrounded by budding trees, bird song, glowing daffodils, we said we must come back to Killerton and hatched plans for other places to visit, camping trips and holidays. All the possibilities of spring and summer.