, , , , , , , ,

When you read this, I am probably walking along the Champs Elysee or admiring the Paris lights at the Eiffel Tower.  Yes, that’s my next destination.

But I wanted to make sure these pictures from my last trip were posted as well.  At the end of our pilgrimage to Canterbury, Joelle and I made a detour on our way back to Edinburgh.  I suggested Chatsworth House as a good stopping point for a few hours.

We arrived in the little town of Baslow by way of train and then bus.  It was out in the countryside of Derbyshire and about as small and quiet as towns get, I imagine. It was, sadly, a very drizzly day.  Here is the view under my umbrella.

You know it’s a tiny town when you have to stop at the local Olde Sweet Shoppe for directions and the owner hops out from behind the counter and gives you directions like the following:

Cross that bridge there.

Turn right and go through the blue gate.

Walk until you reach the Kissing Gate (which has nothing to do with any story about kissing, unhappily).  Go through, and keep walking.Eventually, you’ll see the house.This is Chatsworth House.  Do you recognize it?  Yes, it’s actually Pemberley.

The Duke and the Duchess of Devonshire are the current residents and they are certainly doing their best to retain ownership, but everyone knows the house really belongs to the Darcys and always will.  It was a horribly wet day, so we were grateful to spend a part of it inside a warm, dry house.  But what a house it is!

My eyes can’t handle the amount of gilded, sculpted, plush, decorated space…

Someday, I shall be wealthy enough to have a room dedicated to hanging random plates on the walls.  And I will bring people into it and say, ‘Yes, this is my room for random plates.  Isn’t it lovely? Aren’t you jealous?’ And they will be sad because they do not have a random plate room.

I have decided that my new goal should be befriending the Duchess of Devonshire (maybe I shall rescue her dearest puppy from drowning?) so that she invites me to stay in one of these guest rooms.  That, I feel, would be a defining moment in my life.

This wardrobe is a truly excellent candidate for a Narnia expedition.

I think you can judge a house by its library.  What do you think of this one?

Is it sad that I immediately recognized this statue from the latest Pride and Prejudice film?  In my defense, it is only because I thought it was really beautiful when I saw it in the film and hoped to spot it here.  Isn’t it incredible that stone can be made to look sheer, soft, and flowing?

This statue made me think of a Jane Austen heroine.

Such a cute lion!  His friend was asleep on the other side of the doorway.  Not a good guardlion.  This one makes up for it with his super intense stare.

Finally, the tour of the house ended and we were forced to leave the comfort of the indoors and step out into the rain.  It was ceaseless and depressing.  I couldn’t help imagining how much lovelier it would have been to walk about on a sunny, warm day.  We would have been able to flop out on the grass and enjoy the sun, maybe have an afternoon tea…

But there is something to be said for the misty clouds rolling across the landscape.  It has its own beauty.

I found a dragon!

These gardens seem endless.  Multiple paths leading to different themed areas could steal hours out of a day away.  We only had about two to wander and it wasn’t the best weather for walking on dirt and gravel paths.  But it was still worth exploring.

To me, the little pointed trees look like wobbly green penguins ambling across the yard.  But then, my imagination has always been odd.

The fact is, when I and so many others see this house, we aren’t seeing the home of a lord and lady of English society with long reaching ties in history.  What we see is Elizabeth walking confusedly out through the doors onto the back porch to escape Mr Darcy’s sudden arrival.

We see them walking through the park, talking to one another and realizing more and more that they are, in fact, kindred spirits in a hundred little ways.

We see them coming home at last to live happily, brilliantly, and interestingly ever after.