Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Another day out!

Yes - we got the planned day out, with a bit of a variation on the initial plan but I will come to that. A later than planned departure meant that we arrived at Holkham at lunchtime, but since the Hall didn't open until 12, it wasn't a problem. Sandwiches were eaten en route, and so we could pitch straight in when we arrived, although some visitors were enjoying very elaborate picnics under the trees where the cars were parked - there isn't really a car park at Holkham, one is just instructed to "Park on the Grass" and so it is haphazard and friendly.

Holkham is a Palladian mansion house, and mansion is certainly the right word. The FGs and I went round twice, once to just look and then again to do the kids' quiz sheets we were given. The huge disappointment of the day was that, having just been told we were allowed to take photos inside the house, I discovered I had left the camera's memory card in the slot in the pc at home! I was SO angry with myself as there were loads of great photo opportunities. Still, a good excuse to go again...

The YFG was fascinated to understand that this house, as opposed to the last two we visited, is still owned and lived in by the original family, in this case, the Earls of Leicester. The current Earl has apparently recently moved out to allow his son, Viscount Coke, with wife and four children, to move in. YFG was keenly watching to see whether she could spot any of the children around, as there were plenty of photos of them in the drawing room so we had a good idea what they look like.

There is to be a 100th birthday party there tomorrow, and we saw a bedroom where guests will be sleeping - and it is a rather splendid bedroom. The adjoining en-suite is remarkable though, because of the throne-like lavatory which graces one corner of it; it looks just like a large wooden throne, except that the lid lifts up and there is a handle for flushing discreetly positioned at the side. Needless to say, that fascinated all of us as we just could not imagine using it.

Leaving Holkham later in the afternoon, we made our way along the coast road to Hunstanton, as apparently the fish and chips there are preferred. We had planned to go to Wells, but that was changed at the last minute. The chap in the fish shop wound me up a little but perhaps it was his first day! All I can say is that I hope he improves. The meal was eaten on the seafront in the wind, which probably improves the taste. Fresh air always does - and we had come prepared with salt, vinegar, ketchup and even the forks and plates so we were very civilised for seaside fish and chips.

Several of us had a snooze on the way home but we have all had a good day. Tomorrow promises more of a challenge as I have to hit the shoe shop with the FGs, and a school friend of YFG is coming for a sleepover - camping on the lounge floor and gossipping half the night, more than likely.

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