Sunday, March 26, 2006

Fond Farewell

Today started embarrassingly late; after reminding everyone last night to put their clocks forward as British Summer Time started today, we forgot to update ours. Consequently we were an hour late for breakfast – not that anyone thought/bothered to come and give us a knock to see what the delay was! So, after gulping-down breakfast and some rapid packing, we drove over to Helen’s where we were dropping off the parents with some of the rest of the walking group.

Many years ago, we would camp in the grounds of the farmhouse when we came up to the Lakes for our holidays. Nothing much has changed, except perhaps my greater appreciation for the scenery. Helen showed us around the farmhouse again, as she had suffered an electrical fire a couple of years ago and some of the woodwork had been redone and a lot of the interior redecorated.

It’s really like a step back in time; the smell of woodsmoke on the air, rough slate floors, dark oak beams and furniture, low ceilings, an ancient grandfather clock ticking away solemnly in the corner. The farmhouse dates from the early 1690’s, but it seems to have been built around a cabinet which is marked with the date 1688. According to Helen, who’s done the research into the history of the farm, the chest was probably the dowry of the original builder’s wife and the cottage would have been built after they were married as the conjugal home. They probably moved into it from the old barn, which predates the house to Jacobean or possibly Tudor times.

Helen is planning to sell soon though, which is both understandable and a shame. I would love to be able to buy it myself, as I’ve always dreamed of retiring to that kind of a place (suitably rigged-out with high-speed Internet access of course!) but alas, the time is not right and we very likely couldn’t afford either to buy or to maintain it on the salaries we could earn in the area. I expect I won’t be going back to Hollin Root again, so I took some photographs as Helen was showing us round, but alas very few of them were of a publishable quality as the spaces are quite confined.

After we left the parents with Helen, Frank and Margaret we said goodbye to Rosie & Andy and headed straight for the motorway. Brett valiantly did all the driving and we made it home around five o’clock, which gave us a relatively relaxed evening to unpack and for him to re-pack ready for the off to Copenhagen tomorrow.

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