Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

9 Jul 2016

Making Memories

This week for me has definitely been about exploiting the 'free' part of Be Home Free. I've been exploring the local area, finding some new places and managed to do it all without getting rained on.

Magical places have been found on my doorstep. We made some beautiful memories.

Buckinghamshire is such an abundant county and sometimes it takes a lot of travel to realise how pretty England is.  I moved out of London nearly ten years ago and have made a concerted effort not to get complacent about the rolling hills, fields of gold, red and blue, spectacular stately homes and gardens, winding lanes and wildlife.

This year my plan is to get out more, to visit friends all over the country, stay for odd nights in Yurts and Air bnb's, mooch about previously unexplored towns and shops and have some adventures. Sometimes you don't even have to go very far to witness the spectacular, and this week was one such example.

Through a friend on facebook I heard about the poppy fields at Chesham, so we packed a picnic, took a book to flick through and headed off up a winding lane until we saw the flash of scarlet on the horizon.

We couldn't believe our eyes, it was so incredible that it felt unreal, like being transported into a painting or film.  And not for the first time that week either because a few days earlier we found Castle Ashby.

Situated in Northamptonshire, I had spotted something about this place and wondered how we had never stumbled across it before, even my step-daughter who lives quite close had not come across it. 

The Orangerie is like something from a Pre-Raphaelite story, you can see Rossetti setting up his easel, a stunning model playing Beata Beatrix or Ophelia languishing in the warm muggy atmosphere of this indoor greenhouse.  Light dances around the lush plantation, for here things thrive and the soul is fed with possibilities. We wanted to stay, to move in and live there ...

Proving that sometimes, it's the little things, the free stuff, the nature around us which is the most marvellous of all. For me a day in a poppy field is worth more than a week in a hotel, get out there good people and ... be home ... free ...
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