It was one of those days that didn't seem to be going anywhere.. tired of staring at a pile of blank cards that had to be finished... turning a blind eye (yet again) to the growing pile of ironing which was taking root in the corner.. I had itchy feet and a weary mind..
It was not long before we found ourselves pootling along the road to a regular haunt of ours.. so regular that we should have realised that it was closed on Wednesdays..
So it was we found ourselves with a small crowd of assorted children, mothers and a single gent sporting a jolly umbrella.. stood outside the gates of The Courts in Holt.. a place to wander, play hide and seek behind the silly yew hedges and ponder over a cup of tea and a slice of high rise cake ..
The minutes ticked by and no-one came to welcome us.. the gate stayed firmly locked.
It was then we read the notice on the wall... opening times... excl. Wednesdays!!
Oh.. now what.. now where?
Much muttering amongst the mothers and scratching of head of the single gent with the jaunty umbrella..
A plan B soon hatched after the single gent took out his NT guidebook and spoke of another place on the map.. a hop and a skip (in Gulliver's steps) from where we were standing. Well..
feeling of good spirit towards our fellow traveller who had arrived at the locked gate from various train journeys and on foot.. we offered him a lift to plan B...
Some things are meant to be.. and this diversion was one of them..
We arrived here..
Great Chalfield Manor.. built in the 1400's and recorded in the Domesday Book...
A place of great history, great character.. beauty and peace..
Hide and seek was played amongst the Yew hedges..
The walled garden was admired and sniffed...
Eyes rested on water watching the shadowy trout beneath..
Frogs were spoken to .. not kissed..
Tea was sipped in an ancient barn..
Seats were earmarked for another day..
It was the best of all plan B's and we came away with happy thoughts..
So much so.. that we are returning .. without the single gentleman.. today.. to have a guided tour of the house!