Friday, March 23, 2012


I usually do hours of research before booking a holiday, checking that our needs – more stringent these days – are met, before presenting the idea to MTL in such a way that he has be acquiescent – if not wild with enthusiasm.  We usually go in May – after the school rush and before the prices rocket and a quick glance at the relevant web page indicated I’d better get on with it.  In a way it was helpful that the choice was limited and I managed to fix it yesterday morning before going for a late birthday lunch with the girls.

We have booked a cottage – they call it an apartment – at Cricket St

Thomas Estate.  Do you remember that great series ‘To the Manor Born’ with Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles?  It was filmed there and the hotel was ‘Grantleigh Manor.

The estate is spread over 1000 acres of lakes and gardens with a little chugging train to take you round.  The hotel, a beautiful 19th century mansion – nestled in rolling Somerset countryside – was designed by famous architect Sir John Soane.

The lunch was quite jolly but one of the girls managed to let slip it was for my birthday and my trifle was delivered with candle and two singing waitresses.  I felt a cheat as customers wished me a Happy Birthday on their way out.  I mean it was ages ago!  Joy was bearing up well after her recent loss and was thrilled that her son-in-law had set up a scholarship for boys interested in sailing studies in Mike’s name.

Outside the restaurant we bumped into J - an active Townswomen’s Guild member.  I had – some time ago - been given a large volume of memoirs written by a former Guild Member and felt it should be kept in a more official place.  She suggested it should be returned to her daughter and said M was a friend and would know how to get in touch.  I hadn’t seen M for years so she gave me her telephone number.  By now I was beginning to regret ever mentioning it.

We all went our separate ways and walking up the narrow road that leads to the bottom of our hill – who do you think I bumped into?  M and her retired husband - who used to be our doctor.  She is a very nice lady and suggested I put the book in a plastic bag at the bottom of our steps and she would collect it later on in the day and would give it to the memoir writer's daughter who she was meeting tomorrow. And this we did.  Wasn’t that great?

Before I went out I dropped the gold butterfly from my pearl earrings and – with glasses and on my hands and knees I could not find it but mentioned – half joking - to MTL he might like to have a look.  Would you believe he found it whilst I was out?

Whilst down in the town I decided that this was the day to use my Block Buster card and get a film.  It seemed to be full of vampire films, monsters and robots but I found ’The Help’ and took that.  Later in the day I watched it and was glad I had read the book first.  I felt a great surge of emotion in the scene when Emeline – having witnessed one of the maids being manhandled and beaten by the police entered her house to find it full of silent supportive maids.   Such strong stuff - really deserves to be seen.


LL Cool Joe said...

My daughter is reading "The Help" at the moment, but I really would like to see the film too. I'm just about to buy the DVD "We Need To Talk About Kevin" which looks like my kind of film.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Your Vacation place looks so very wonderful....Wish I could meet you there....!
"THe Help" is quite an important film, in my view. Amd Viola Davis is stunning in it---but then, I've never seen her when she wasn't 'stunning' Such a fine fine actress!!
I think Birthdays should go on and on and on....Sounds like you had a lovely time with 'the girls'.

Pat said...

Joey: I'd like to see WNTTAK but I'm not sure if I'd find it too horrific. I need to google good new films so I know what to look for.
The assistant suggested 'Jane Eyre' but I feel Rochestered to death.

R. Sherman said...

The holiday sounds marvelous. I'm sure it's the perfect place to relax.


john.g. said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

john.g. said...

I hate that word verification crap!

Pat said...

Naomi: I have just watched an interview with Viola Davis. What a smashing person she is and can certainly hold a candle to an actres she admires - Meryl Streep.
Shame I got the character's name wrong.

Randall: I hope it will be a success. I'm certainly ready for a break and new things to photograph.

John: have you seen it?


oh, what a wonderful vacation you will have - at such a beautiful historical place! good for you - and of course, i remember to the manor born! the past few years i've done quite a bit of genealogy for my family and discovered that one of our ancestral homes through the Fowke line is a place called Brewood Hall in Staffordshire - i'm just curious as to whether or not you've heard of it? - anyway, enough of me - i'm so happy you and YTL will be having such a lovely holiday in this magnificent setting!!

Pat said...

Gypsywomsn : sadly I hardly know Staffordshire although I have travelled through it - en route for the north - many times.
You must be tempted to visit Brewood - which I believe is pronounced Brood.

john.g. said...

No, I haven't seen it.

mapstew said...

We went to see 'The Woman In Black' a couple of nights ago, and I must say I do like an old-fashioned ghost story. Especially as the two of us had the whole cinema to ourselves!!

We have yet to book a holiday this year, but I'm not ruling out a win on the Lotto, so who knows?

TTMB was one of my favourites, and also a fave of the Ma. As was (still is) Last Of The Summer Wine!

'The Help' is going on the list. :¬)


Pat said...

Map: and I'll look out for TWIB. I hope you do manage a holiday - we all need them. Some of my most memorable ones were camping in a tent on the edge of Windermere with Mum and Dad. All they had to pay was the farmer and petrol for the motor bike and side car.
We caught fish in the lake and Mum ooked them on the primus.

Four Dinners said...

Acquiescent eh?...I think I'm finally learning how to be a hubby....;-)

Have a ball babe!

...and yes...I really am back blogging....properly this time...and finally...oh dear..;-)

4D x

rashbre said...

I recollect that Naomi said great things about 'The Help' over at her place.

Luna said...

How sweet of MTL to look for it for you. He really is the love of your life, and you, his. :)

Pat said...

4D:good! I'll adjust my side bar. Again:)

Rashbre:it's always worth seeing something that has Naomi's seal of approval.

Luna: I think he was as pleased as I was that he found it:)