Remember back in June where it appeared that I could only buy a new car if it pandered to my fondness for black and white clothing? Well things developed even further during July ...
... and now I'll only visit historical buildings if they rock the monochrome look too ...
... this is actually Gainsborough Old Hall in Lincolnshire which was built in 1460:
But 1460!! 550+ years old and still opening its doors to visitors, that's pretty good going isn't it? In fact, the day we visited, they also had a local business breakfast conference running (we wandered into their refreshment area and were tempted to steal their muffins and bacon sandwiches ...) so it's by no means a dusty old wreck inside.
In fact it's all laid out how it would have been used originally - here's the kitchen:
Never stop learning kids. Never stop learning.
Can you just make out from over my shoulder - no, not the ghost of a disgruntled Henry VIII - but the roofs of regular townhouses?
Because the strangest part about Gainsborough Old Hall is how, unlike most - if not all - the other stately homes I've ever seen, this is not seated in any grounds, no grand gardens surrounding it, no long drive to the front door. This is slap bang in the middle of a small town centre. Opposite a library. Across the road from regular houses. Imagine opening up your curtains to such history every morning.
We finally got to re-visit the Jew's House in Lincoln which dates back to the 12th Century:
It's an interesting name isn't it? The Jew's House. And the explanation is as mundane as you might expect ... it belonged to a Jewish owner, as there was a Jewish quarter in medieval Lincoln.
We were pleased to re-visit it because - while it's been continually inhabited for over 800 years - it's now a beautiful restaurant of which we had fond memories from years ago. And while we've visited Lincoln almost each year since, the dates of our summer holidays have always seemed to coincide with theirs so they are usually closed when we're there. But not this time, so we booked up ASAP and as expected, enjoyed a really good meal there surrounded by such atmospheric walls.
BTW: the name can take some clarification when you're not using it in face-to-face communication; like when you're sending someone the text message:
- "We're going to see if we can get into the Jew's House for tea. The Restaurant that is. Not just the house of an individual Jew."
- To which came the reply: "Enjoy your tea. It's good to know you don't just choose people of random faiths and get them to cook for you!"
Although ... for the record ... while we really don't make a habit force religious people to cook for us ... someone who James had been working with in July did share with him several boxes from their Eid feast and he and I ate it for tea. So ... mmmm ... we're not entirely off the hook ...
We stayed in Lincoln for 5 nights, 6 days, and I took a mix and match monochrome wardrobe:
While in Lincoln ...
We visited several thousand poppies in the grounds of Lincoln Castle:
Certain elements of that huge memorial are now touring the country, which is how we came to visit this poignant site on a bright summer's morning ...
You can read more about the display, including the other locations it's touring to here.
I read 3 books this month:
That's a pretty low number for me this year, but, books and me are in an open relationship right now: at the same time as reading 3 books beginning-to-end I've been dipping into several others at the same time. (Goodness knows I've been chipping away at Thoreau's Walden for months - because it's a classic I'd like to say I've read - even though it's slow going.) The ones I did complete though were:
- Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent (can't recommend this highly enough. It was a great read.)
- Jessie Burton's The Muse
- and Jennie Erdal's The Missing Shade of Blue.
As always, there's links to everything I've read on my 'Books Read in 2016' Pinterest board.
3 months after that writing day ... I went back and gave it another go.
You might remember how I wrote about spending the day at a writing retreat .. and how I didn't feel like reading my work aloud at the end ... and how I went home, had a crisis of confidence and cried! Well, the time rolled around and another day was organised ... and I hummed and haaahed about whether or not to give it a second chance; I could tell if I it was going to feel useful for personal growth ... or else like I was tormenting myself! Which is why I left my decision until the last minute and signed up only 2 days beforehand.
However ... I did go. And I was fine. And I not only wrote something during the day I read it to the group too. And I didn't die, or choke, or cry, or trip over my words. And, best of all ... the group seemed to enjoy it and some even asked for more. Yay me!!
In another visit to an historical building ...
I visited Cragside, in Northumberland,the 1st home in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity:
And finally ...
When you like interesting old 'stuff' AND you've spent the last 6 years documenting your days with numbers ... how could you possibly miss out on this?
We didn't know where we'd put it, we hardly had room for it in the car, and it wasn't cheap ... and yet we liked it. So it came home with us and now we're clearing a spot for it on the dining room wall ... as soon as I redecorate (hopefully this will spur me along).
What would you use that blackboard section for? I was thinking less 'shopping list' and more quotes, noteable lines from books I'm currently reading, overheards ... I odn't know ... just fun stuff. Let me know your ideas!
So ... that was my July, or part of it at least. I didn't tell you about the cold I had at the start of the month which I thought might linger through my holiday (it didn't), or the brilliant exhibition I saw which made me - yet again - want to start my own collection of portraits (fabulous concept by mystery writer Frances Fyfield - Hannah, if you're reading, you'd have loved it too!).
And now look!! Heere we are, ankle deep in August already ... let's hope the water doesn't get too chilly too soon.
If you have a Month in Numbers post of your own - drop me a link when you leave me a 'hello' below and I'll swing by for a catch-up.
I'll see you soon.