National Trust day

Set off for Killerton, the home of the baronets of Acland. The park was closed because of foot and mouth but the house and garden were open.

Lydia Acland and her sons

It’s not your normal stately home, more a gentleman’s country seat. All appeared very lived in. The grounds are magnificent. They were designed by John Veitch, a man who left Edinburgh with 10 shillings in his pocket and his father’s blessing and walked to England. His father was a nurseryman and Thomas Acland heard about him and hired him. This was sometime in the late 1700’s.

Veitch, who was influenced by Capability brown, then became famous and sent out people all over the world to collect shrubs, trees etc to bring back. He was one of the first. He also planted a giant redwood which he grew from seed, but we couldn’t find it. By this time it must be really big.

Anyway, the garden was lovely. There’s a bear’s hut there which was an odd present from an Acland to his wife which he then kept a bear in. There’s an ice house which sounds quite impressive but the lights weren’t working so we didn’t actually see it very well. On the top floor of the house is a collection of clothes including a few of Queen Victoria’s little black numbers which categorically prove she was the size of a hobbit. We had a nice lunch in the restaurant (pottage for me, while Mirinda had chicken, apple and cheese in filo packets).

We then headed back through Dog Village (I don’t know what this means as we saw no dogs or any reason for it) and on to Ottery St Mary via Wimpole so Mirinda could see the Doll’s House Museum which closed two years ago.

Regardless of the lack of Doll’s House Museum, Wimpole appears a nice little village with a pretty church. Although the rector list goes back to 1258 the church itself has undergone extensive rebuilding mainly in the mid-1800’s.

There was a really wild looking church in Ottery St Mary but there appeared to be no parking area though the town seems very busy. Sure, there’s about 10 spots in the square but, naturally they were all in use.

On the way back we stopped at Waitrose so I could get some hand cream to replace the mysteriously vanished hand cream I had yesterday. I used this new one once then promptly lost it. So I guess they’re both happy in the Land of Lost Hand Cream. And me? Cracked and dry hands appears to be my lot.

An update on the cats piss in the bedroom. The smell hasn’t gone but is being continually masked by a plug-in room freshener. Unfortunately this is far from perfect and in the night if I roll towards the left I wake up with the stench and have to roll back. Ghastly.

Dinner was at Jolly’s tonight and was bloody brilliant. So brilliant that we’re going back tomorrow.

Bloody brilliant!
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