|Where was spring?
||[Mar. 30th, 2014|03:33 pm]
The clocks went forward overnight: another sign of spring. But after several days of sharp, cold showers, today we have mist. Whatever happened to spring? A rhetorical question to which I know the answer:
Spring was on Monday. Luckily we didn't miss it, but took the day off and went to Gibside. It was so sunny that I decided to leave my waterproof in the car - and didn't regret it, my jumper was warm enough.
There have been changes since we were last there: the new car park is now open, much closer to the entrance and down by the river. So our exploration of the grounds started with a stiff climb up, past the new ticket kiosk, then through the walled garden, now completely dedicated to garden plots but with not much happening at the moment (that is, a stretch of fallen wall is being repaired, but there's not much growing). The orangery was a blaze of daffodils. We tried to strike down through the meadow to the river, and were rewarded with some dramatic silhouettes of the orangery against the sun, but hit a dead end, and had to retrace our steps to the junction of the paths, and reach the river past the ice house. We had soup for lunch at the café in the stables, which has moved across the courtyard, been spruced up and lost its second-hand books (they will be back, elsewhere in the stables, later in the summer, apparently). We looped round the monument but didn't detour, paid a brief visit to the old house, and returned along the avenue to the chapel.
I wonder why John Bowes decided to make so complete a break when he built his new house / museum by the Tees?