Monday, 13 January 2020

Blowing the Cobwebs away

Hi there everyone 😀

Over the last few weeks we have managed to take a bit of a break from the grip of the January lethargy and have ventured out a couple of times for a fresh air and a bit of an amble.

Our first outing was in between Christmas and New Year when we met up with some of the family at Calke Abbey, a local National Trust property that we have visited several times before.

There wasn’t that much occurring as the house and formal gardens were both closed and none of fancied a yomp over the wet and muddy parkland but we did have a good wander round the stable area, where there are lots of little open doors with interesting bits and pieces to peek in at.

Whilst the little man wasn’t that keen on looking in dark and dusty places he did enjoy playing in one of the Humankind Landscape rooms ...
... and allowed a very short photocall in front of the Christmas tree ...
After a bit of a wander there may just have been a stop in the cafe for breakfast, which was followed by a visit to the the play park for the little man ...

We were only there an hour or so but it was just what we needed after being cooped up inside over Christmas and it was good to give the legs a bit of a stretch and breath in some crisp fresh air.

Our second trip out found us at another local spot ... The National Memorial Arboretum, where the plan was to have a look at a part of the site that we hadn’t seen before and maybe treat ourselves to a nice hot bowl of soup for lunch.

As we headed to our unexplored spot we stumbled across The Stickman Trail and decided to follow it and see what we could find ...
It was a little haphazard as we had no information sheet but it was fairly simple to work out which way we needed to go.

We both love the Arboretum. Everything means something and there is so much to see.

We were fascinated by this area of memorial tree planting ... straight lines in every direction ...
The site isn’t just about the armed forces there are memorials to all kinds of groups ... 
... and private memorials to individuals ...
We always sit for a moment of reflection under the memorial tree where metal leaves have been added in memory of lost children ... It's always a really peaceful spot ...

We really loved the Every Which Way memorial, which through the deliberate distortion of the figures, which did take a while to sink in ... reversed hands and some torsos twisted 180 degrees, is intended to convey some of the anxiety and confusion the child evacuees of WWII ...

Though it was a pretty grey day there were plenty of pops of colour dotted around ...

There is a good mixture of elaborate and formal memorials ...
... and those of a lot more personal and simple nature ...
It’s an ever changing site and looks different with the seasons so it's always a good spot for a bit of a contemplative wander.

We only explored a tiny part of the site this time and were soon tucked up in the welcome warmth of the cafe where hot home made soup went down a treat. We were both very tempted by the lasagne but maintained our resolve to be good ... and there was definitely no cake.

Although we’ve visited a couple of times we’ve never actually looked at the indoor exhibition ... we did this time and really enjoyed it. It was well laid out, interesting and quite poignant at times.

As we wandered back to the car and spotted the sign for the Sumatra railway, which was one of the things we had been wanting to see ... oh well ... we will just have to visit again 😀

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Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.