Thursday, February 17, 2011

at ham house

. . . for real! This past saturday I met up with Emile de Bruijn at the Richmond train station. As the sun struggled to make an appearance through thick, grey clouds, we walked along the Thames to that great Jacobean manse: Ham House. Such a wonderful treat ~ not only to be at Ham again, but to finally meet Emile in person (you may read his post on our visit here). After taking an abbreviated tour of the house (still officially closed for the season) we fortified ourselves with tea, sandwiches and scones at the orangery café, and dished about blogging and books, old houses and gardens. Then, being the diligent bloggers that we are, we walked around to take photographs.

I will refrain from telling you much about Ham, as I have written about it before. You may also read about it on the National Trust web site. However, I will say that it is one of those places where you discover something new with every visit, such is depth and complexity of its history.

A special thank you to Emile for thinking up such a lovely outing!

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On a sad note, my parents lost their 12-year-old shih tzu yesterday. She was stubborn and cranky, but had the heart of a lion. And she will be sorely missed.


Anonymous said...

Crazy for Ham House! Not far from you in Ipswich Mass is Castle Hill. The back facade of which is modeled on Ham blended with a bit of Belton.

home before dark said...

Real/unreal...crossing the twilight zone of Rumsfield's known/unknowns. The meeting of you and Emile in a lovely historic home, disin' about blogs from around the world made me smile and feel glad I am a small dot in the blogger universe.

I was saddened to hear about the death of Shiner (how could I have not made that leap to Shiner beer?). She reminded me of Maggie Smith in her role as the imperious dowager in Downton Abbey. Cooper has be called upon for the difficult task of mending broken hearts. I suspect he will first warm the feet.

with affection,

The Down East Dilettante said...

Do I gasp with pleasure first at your wonderful pictures of Ham House (an amazing work), or, winter weary, do I gasp with envy at the green of early Spring in England?

Emile de Bruijn said...

All your pictures are really good, but the top one here is really really good, capturing how the facade concertinas and how the niches punctuate it.

Gretchen said...

Lovely pictures. And somehow the gray day suits.

And so sad for your family. What a wonderful tribute. Having two shih tzus in my family myself, I loved the description of Shiner's personality - can picture her even though I never got a chance to meet her.

Toby Worthington said...

How pleasant, seeing Ham House in your blog today
along with Emile's posting of lovely you. If ever
a house had character, that one has it in spades.
I'm with the Dilettante, in being distracted by the
green lawns, the likes of which won't be evident for
ages in these parts.

Janet said...

Anon ~ yes, of course, Castle Hill. Did you see the comment Downeast Dilettante left about it on Emile's blog?

hbd ~ I think I shall make it my mission this year to meet unknown blogging buddies while touring known historic houses. Meanwhile, I think Cooper is more than up for the task of meanding broken hearts. The Velvet Hound is hard at work from what I hear.

DED ~ I must say, the greening of the English countryside does much to warm the winter-weary heart. As does Ham. Enjoy them both!

Emile ~ you make me laugh. I did love those busts. So wonderfully improbable.

G ~ the amazing thing is that no less than half an hour later, bright sun finally burst forth out of the clouds! The afternoon was like a whole new day.

Mr. Worthington ~ yes, Ham has character. Emile noted that there's just a little something off about it. I guess that is partly what makes it so appealing.

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