Historical Fiction Makes Me Sad…


I think the doctor may have given me another person’s scan results after all! You see, I must have something wrong up there because yesterday I actually suggested to Richard that we go to Calke Abbey … AGAIN!

If you remember, he ‘surprised’ me with the place some weeks ago by nonchalantly driving in and I wasn’t impressed. He had National Trust in his noggin’ and I had Ikea. On that occasion I’d sulked my way around the shop and grumbled and mumbled over a pot of tea and then, when Richard had suggested looking at the stables I did my child-of-three sulk, walking two paces behind him, dragging my feet and hanging my head in sorrow. It very nearly worked because he said, ‘oh come on then, forget it, let’s go.’

By this time we were standing in front of a stable, and being horsey minded, that had been that. I was hooked, imagining the great and powerful hunters that would have once stood before me, chomping hay and swishing tails. A particular grey waiting for Mr Darcy to climb aboard in tight jodhpurs and white silk shirt …HPIM3075

So, as I said, yesterday I suggested that we went back for a trot around the gardens. I didn’t believe for a moment that they would hold my attention, as the stables had, but I was wrong. The whole place was amazing. To see the old boiler houses and how the heat generated had run through tunnels and brickwork into the many ‘growing’ houses was a work of art in itself. Everything at this place has been left ‘as was’ and gloats the following quote,

The un-stately home and country estate

With peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards, Calke Abbey tells the story of the dramatic decline of a country house estate. The house and stables are little restored, with many abandoned areas vividly portraying a period in the 20th century when numerous country houses did not survive to tell their story…HPIM3072

The estate also has a herd of deer. I have to admit to moaning on a bit about how many of them would be shot and butchered and sold to local restaurants under the cover of darkness. Well, I’m a vegetarian. That’s what we do. Suspect that everything beautiful and with a heartbeat is going to end up slaughtered. Sorry. I’m attempting to use my sensible head today …now that I know it is sensible. Richard passed no comment. We have to agree to differ on my ranting regarding animals/meat etc. I’ll bet this little guy in the picture doesn’t live to trim up his antlers for Christmas?

Richard seemed quite impressed with the scarecrows dotted around the place and suggested that we should have one? Why? Perhaps I could just use him …he looks pretty convincing if you ask me?HPIM3069

We marvelled at the fact that these people had everything they needed ‘on tap.’ And glory be, they even had a hearse! Imagine  Jeeves receiving orders one bright morning? ‘ Jeeves, go and tell Manners in the stable yard that we will be needing the hearse. Old Lord Arthur popped orff in the night.’


It was a lovely few hours spent trotting around and using up a few calories on a Sunday morning,  although we did pop into the restaurant and Richard had a chocolate slice with fresh cream liberally poured on it. I had a cream scone …but had to leave it. Really. On a good point …I didn’t see any sign of venison on the lunch time menu!

We might get to look around the house next time  – or the church. I’m not a great ‘looker’ at stately or un stately homes really. And to be honest I’m really surprised that I like any of this. I don’t ‘do’ the past. I don’t even read historical fiction. I hate getting to know characters that in my head, and to my way of thinking, are dead. Well, they are, aren’t they? I find it difficult to get enthusiastic about people’s lives that are long gone. It makes me sad. I like to think that these characters are still happy and gazing at pink cloudy sunsets and …alive.

I am going to spend time in the garden today tidying and pruning. Autumn has slipped her exploratory fingers around the plants. You can feel ‘her’ in the air. The sun still shines and officially it is still summer but autumn is a sneaky monkey. She sits waiting, left of stage, ready to make her entrance with her cloak of chill and fingers of ice. No doubt Chea will be with me, causing havoc and just being Chea. I’ve not forgiven her yet for the baby robin episode but I’ve had to move on. You have to, don’t you?

Take care my lovelies x



6 thoughts on “Historical Fiction Makes Me Sad…

  1. It’s funny because I don’t “do” gardens or gardening (spend any time in my garden and you’ll see this is quite true) but when I inevitably spend time pulling up the weeds or staring at the lawn I always find myself smiling and enjoying the experience. Although the poor venison may be in the sights I feel that the cream that features so heavily in your experience probably helped put a positive spin on things. Having said that, I’m sure that when we’re confronted with the beautiful things of the past we must submit to their appeal… maybe… Lovely blog! Lots of trotting!!! 😀


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