It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us; Brighton to Bristol and back two weeks running, once for a biochemistry pals meet-up and another for Kayte’s baby shower. This weekend we took some time-out for our 7th anniversary, which landed on 10/10/10.
With an Indian summer forecast, and likely the last t-shirt wearing weekend for at least six months, we made the most of our National Trust membership with a visit to Petworth house and park. Saturday was colder than expected.
With the Peugeot squeezed into the only available space, we carried our picnic up to the top of the hill, and on the hidden bench, beneath falling chestnuts, we ate our roast chicken and bread rolls. Out in the misty valley, deer ran away from scary dogs and the tree leaves were already turning yellow.
I packed the SLR, and with all the mist and wildlife it was a perfect opportunity for a spot of photography. Deer lay in the long grass, and as we neared they galloped away, leaving us to lament our limited zoom, incorrect camera settings and pictures of deer hind. Never mind, I still had the chance to explain aperture and shutter speeds to Sam as we knelt in the muddy grass to photograph great red mushrooms.
Back at Petworth House, and after a cup of tea, a cookie and some grapes, we meandered the great hallways. Walls were lined with fantastic works of art, including many original pieces by Turner and William Blake. A view of Brighton from the sea, by Turner, sat alongside a portrait of Henry VIII in the ‘carved room’.
That night we watched The Pianist, a sobering Polanski movie about the trials of a talented Jewish musician during World War II, we sincerely recommend it.
In the wake of the much hotter, sunnier and blue skied Sunday, we relaxed on our balcony, feet up, book in hand, watching the day go by and the boats on the sea.
To celebrate our 7th anniversary we went to the Michelin recommended “Riddle and Finns” champagne and oyster bar, in the lanes. On the high seated stone tables, with a bottle of sauvignon blanc between us, we ordered…
Yum, yum, yum. We will surely attempt to recreate the tiger prawn dish ourselves, and this was the first fish complete with head and tailed I’ve had the pleasure of eating in England.
Whilst Sam was away in Bath at Sally Nun’s for the baby shower, my sister and I stopped off at the village of Lacock, on the way to Bristol, near Chippenham. It’s here they filmed “Lark Rise to Candleford” and a number of scenes in the Harry Potter films.
The abbey, another National Trust site, is where the first photo negative was invented, by Fox Talbot. I recreated the original negative on my phone (typical I forgot the SLR), however corny that may sound. The exhibition of early photos and cameras was fascinating.
Before leaving we had home-made pasties and cake from the local Lacock bakery. To round off our middle-aged day trip, we listened to “From our own correspondent” on BBC Radio 4–I LOVE this show. I’m still only 25. Who know’s what exciting things I’ll be up to when I’m in my forties.