Showing posts with label this is england. Show all posts
Showing posts with label this is england. Show all posts

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Folly Bird Part IV

Twas a foggy day

Onward with the Folly Roadtrip!
This is the last of the local ones and is The Vandalian Tower, which is part of Uppark. It sits a small distance from the house but can be easily seen without going to the National Trust property. In fact, it can be seen in the parting of the trees, from the town I live in, high up on a distant hill.
There is rumour, readily quashed by Uppark volunteers, that Admiral Lord Nelson entertained Emma Hamilton here, but the volunteer I spoke to said Nelson never visited Uppark, though Emma lived there for a time. I believe there was something mentioned about dancing on tables.
Regardless, has anyone heard of secret liaisons?

The Vandalian Tower was designed by Henry Keene for Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh around
1770. I was a bit naughty and took a photo inside Uppark when I wasn't supposed to (rebel) but I took it with my phone, which isn't actually a camera *cough* but sorry nevertheless if anyone from Uppark reads this. I was naughty, but rarely am, so forgive me?
I knew instantly what this building was when I saw it.

I also found this postcard online.

It's interesting to see how it deteriorated over the years.

I found this interesting information about it:

The tower was originally built in 1774 to celebrate the founding of the American settlement of Vandalia, a proposed British colony that never grew beyond its initial founders. Due to the American War of Independence, the small colony was hung out to dry and while they proposed becoming a state by the name of “Westsylvania,” the fresh American government scoffed at the idea and the territory was subsumed by the states now known as West Virginia and Kentucky. 

However before this colony was eaten by the fresh beast now known as the United States, back in Britain a stone tower was built to honour the fledgling settlement. Yet as one would expect, when the colony failed the tower was quickly abandoned, possibly out of embarrassment for their too quick self-congratulation.

Today, the remains of the tower are still standing amidst an overgrown field in the parish of Harting. The ruins are behind a fence that protects them from further deterioration as well as embarrassment.

I also found this -

It holds historical interest as a testament to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh’s commercial interests in America and as a reputed meeting place of The Hellfire Club, the popular name for a number of exclusive clubs for aristocratic rakes in the 18th century.

And more information can be found here.

I feel as the patriotic Brit that I am, that I should say here, the fences around the tower are very likely to stop people going inside and damaging the structure further, or damaging themselves and nothing to do with embarrassment.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Flamingo Girl

On mothers day we went to visit my mother but she didn't answer the door, which sounds bad, but I should clarify that she didn't answer the door as they don't have a doorbell and they were in the garden. But, rather than try the door and let ourselves in, we hopped back in the car and set off on a drive to find somewhere nice to enjoy the picnic we'd packed.

This was our picnic view. Pretty isn't it. I love the south of England.

It was somewhat windy and I got rather windswept.
A note about curly hair. I love my curls with a passion but have to admit that when curly hair doesn't want to play ball, it will go all out to fight you. Myself and my curls - constant battle of wills!

I decided to combine as many flamingos as I could manage into one outfit on this day, because I thought it was way overdue. I wore my charity shopped orange and pink chiffon scarf in my hair, flamingo stud earrings and my me made jacket with the flamingo brooch my sister got me for my birthday. I might have named it Ralph.

Add to that my flamingo cardigan and flamingo skirt with a Hell Bunny belt, eBay petticoat and my patent heels. My flamingo handbag was also with me but that was in the car.
And yes, I was sinking into the grass! Practical shoes for grassy countryside? Nooo, not when you have patent shoes to wear.

I think I need more flamingos in this outfit though, I'm thinking it isn't quite enough.
I think flamingo shoes would finish this look off nicely. And maybe a necklace. And a charm for my bracelet.

We passed this verge of beautiful flowers on the way home.

* * *

In other news, we're starting to get information through regarding this years London to Brighton Classic Car Run! I mentioned to Andy that it would be fun just after last years event was over, so we signed up for email alerts for when this years signing up started.

We entered Meirionwen in January, on the day sign ups started and are now getting emails and letters through, as the event is in June, so that's exciting ... and daunting, as I am Navigator Extraordinaire! They are the words of the organiser, not me. Andy contacted them about me getting a namecheck somewhere in proceedings, as currently it's just driver and car who get name checked, never mind she who has to get those two there. Mind you, with my sense of direction, we may end up somewhere completely different! Anyway, the organiser got back to us and said I shall be listed as Navigator Extraordinaire in the guide book ...

There's also a best period dressed competition, but after the Tilford saga, when there were very few people dressed up and we lost to a couple in uniforms, I am not hopeful. I believe I shall be wearing the same thing as I did then though, as I have a fascinator style hat for that outfit and otherwise would have to make one as I really, really want to wear a hat.

Unless that is, I can make my vintage Harrods pillbox hat work with my green dress that I wore on Drive It Day. I just had a play and not only is the hat in question moulting but it's also at odds with my today, very wild hair, so again, I am not hopeful! Better the hat you know, than the hat you haven't worn since you had longer hair and have no idea how to wear it with shorter hair.
I'm now wondering if I have any green ribbon so I can make a matching hat for the green dress ...

Interestingly, the two dresses are the same style, but for some reason, the green one looks more voluminous in the skirt area and therefore more fifties, while the leopard seems to fit more for early sixties, before the decade became the sixties and Meirionwen is from 1963, so Andy thinks I should tone the skirtage down a tad.

Phooey, now I don't know what to wear. I was all set for leopard but now have a green dress hankering.

Also, I shall be wearing different shoes as I still haven't had my kitten heels re-heeled. When was that Tilford event that I lost the tappity part of my heel? September and still I haven't taken them to the cobblers.

Saturday, 13 May 2017


It's bluebell time!

I just love bluebells, but they're so hard to photograph successfully. What looks gloriously vibrant with the eye is all too often lost through a camera, which is endlessly frustrating.

There is a bluebell wood near to us, so we headed off for a look on Easter Monday. I wasn't in the best of mind sets as I'd just had my accident and then found I had a black eye as well as a bump on the head. I also had to wear my flat shoes which aesthetically I hate. They were the only ballet flats which were made of synthetic material that didn't have studs or some other nonsense on them, so when it came time for new shoes, they were my only option. I am now back in the ones I got the new ones to replace, even if they do have a hole in the sole. No, no idea why I didn't throw the holey ones away, maybe because they are absurdly comfy.

Anyway, I was tired and just getting over being ill too. Shortly into the walk, a collie named Pickwick completely freaked out because of my jacket and started barking madly at me. Really he did. The owner told me it was my jacket! But after realising I wasn't scary, he came for strokes, so all was well. Until ...

My poor feet hurt like the devil (stupid shoes).
It was uphill initially, as Andy took us the wrong way and if you believe nothing else about a Melanie, then believe this: they do not like uphill.
I had sticks and leaves in my shoes.
I lost a shoe.
I got a hole in my stocking.
I walked into the branch of a holly tree and hit my head (the neighbours who looked after me after my accident, and Andy were joking that when left alone I should be wrapped up in bubble wrap ... I am beginning to suspect they might be right).
I got a bruise and scrapes on my thigh when trying to clamber over a fallen tree.
Then to top it all off, we took a wrong turn and had to walk down a dual carriageway back to the car.

But, onto the loveliness.

The South Downs.

Butser Hill

The bluebells were magnificent! They also smelt divine.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Arts and Craft Glass

Not so far from the Snowdrop Church is another church with the most beautiful arts and craft stained glass window, so we popped along for a few photos so I could share them with you.


The stained glass window and Tree of Life at the east end of the church date from 1900 and has been described as the “most exuberant example” of the work of Charles Spooner, an architect of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Aren't the muted colours just stunning.

Other lovely sights.


One of the Tower of London poppies.

More snowdrops!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Snowdrop Church

Only today have I got round to taking all the photos off my camera, but better late than never wouldn't you say.

Not so far from here is a church, The Church of Our Lady, to be exact, but it is known locally as The Snowdrop Church and we knew we had to pay it a visit when the snowdrops started to bloom outside of our kitchen window.

A taste of things to come.

Right behind the church is a sweet little ruin, that of St John’s house. It was built in 1210 by the St John family and is a rare example of a 13th century hall, unique in the South of England.

Copperplate graffiti!

To the left of this bridge was the site of an Elizabethan mansion which was built to replace the old hall which first became a barn and then a pretty ruin when the estate was landscaped by Capability Brown around 1760. 

You can still see smatterings of the old garden, but unfortunately this time we visited, the gate was locked so I couldn't get more pictures than this. There's a short set of steps tucked in the undergrowth, which I took pictures of previously.

The place was all but deserted, as we went mid week so we had the place to ourselves which was nice. The place is covered in snowdrops and so, so beautiful. Photos don't do it justice.

There is a fascinating gravestone under a holly tree in the church yard.

The inside of the church is just beautiful.

I always love these prayer cushions.

I was wondering if this was a grave of a Knights Templar knight ...