It’s been a while…

…is an understatement! It’s nearly two years since I’ve posted in this poor neglected space and during that time my creativity has mostly been confined to taking photos on my iPhone (I took the plunge last year and jumped from android) and scribbling random thoughts and haikus in my morning journal. The last two years have included family events that have been joyous and utterly heart-breaking* – but that is for another post. Instead I will break myself back in gently with a photo story post from a couple of days ago – a Norfolk day out which is about the nearest we have got to a holiday this summer!

Clutching our free entry for two for any National Trust property Geoff and I ventured to Oxburgh Hall – just a stone’s throw from where we live. I must say I was looking forward to a bit of historical house snooping – over the last year or so I’ve been sucked into reading a fair few novels set around the Reformation and the allure of a catholic family home complete with priest’s hole was right up my street!

It was the perfect day for a visit. The late summer blue skies with a bit of fluffy cloudery set the house and garden off a treat. First stop – as always – was the tea rooms for my usual order, cappuccino and cheese scone (I am nothing but a creature of habit). I don’t have a scoring system but I think both would have passed muster with my dear late mum*.

Sadly the interior of the house was rather disappointing. The space seemed to lack an engaging narrative of the house and much of the interior was rather tatty and very dark – with not a priest’s hole in sight. Now I do know for certain that there is a priest’s hole as I saw it with my own eyes on my last visit to Oxburgh Hall – nearly 20 years ago when I took my son Tom there to a Halloween evening (think of locals dressed up in period not-quite-so finery and spooky sounds coming from not very well hidden tape recorders!). On that occasion we got to peer into said priest’s hole where a shroud-clad local groaned and sat up – scaring the life out of the assembled group of children!

But I digress. As I said the visit to the house was a bit tame and didn’t take up very much time of our day at all. If you’re visiting it really is the outside of the house that’s worth a look with rising turrets and an impressive moat. But after a quick turn around the gardens and a stop off at the donation bookshop, where I availed myself of a couple of second hand historical novels, it was time to repair to the splendid Bedingfield Arms for a beer in the garden and an encounter with the Lord – or was it a Beatle?

I’ll let you decide!!

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Debbie Harris

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