We seem to have had a visitor filled first week of the holidays so far so it seems a bit odd to wake up this morning to an emptyish house with just me and the children. Tom who also had some time off started his new job this morning and we'll be waiting eagerly tonight for his first impressions.
Last weekend, despite the weather we went exploring in Sussex. On Friday we took in a National Trust property called Standen which is a beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts style. The house was designed by Phillip Webb for the Beale family who used it at weekends and holidays. You can read more about it here and here. If you look in Google images there are some pics too although they don't do it any justice. If you're into William Morris's designs then you'll love this place.The only pics I managed to take were of some Delft tiles in an outhouse - sorry:
After that we decided to go down to the sea but didn't last long as it was so cold. Still it was pretty invigorating for a (short) while. This chalk cliff face is known as the Seven Sisters:
Other than a bit of sightseeing I seem to have been madly reading over the past four weeks. It's almost as if I'm making up for lost time. I didn't seem to find time for reading whilst I was crafting and blogging like mad in the old house. So far I've ploughed through quite an eclectic mixture.
First off was Sathnam Sanghera's book "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - a beautifully written account of this Sikh boy's childhood in Wolverhampton. It's about coming to terms with his culture, his father's illness and most importantly about trying to live his own life as he wants to despite strong pressure from his family. I laughed and cried my way through most of the book. Tom's reading it now and I'm definitely getting copies for my siblings this year. Definitely worth a read ladies.
After that I found this on the shelf and as Amber and Rohan had enjoyed it I thought I'd try it too. It's "The Land of Far Beyond" by Enid Blyton and is a children's version of the Pilgrim's Progress. The story is about a small group of adults and children who live in the City of Turmoil. They're nasty, vindictive, horrid people until one day when The Stranger arrives and fills their hearts with love and happiness momentarily so that the burdens in their hearts are shifted on to their backs. To remove these loads they must journey to The Celestial City but on the way they are met with many dangers and difficulties. There is a brilliant account of the book here. A must read for everyone of any age I'd say.
Then this caught my eye in the local library - "Colour Bar The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation". Seretse Khama was the first leader of independent Botswana and this book is about his six year exile from that country because he married a white girl. It was a bit of a shocking read. I'm not naive enough to think politicians don't lie but I was shocked at how much lying went on to keep this man out of his country and away from his rightful leadership (pre 1966). All because Britain didn't want to upset South Africa because they wanted uranium from them. The thing that really came out of this book though is this man's strength of character. How he retained his dignity and self respect despite everything and how he never seemed to rise to anger over his situation. Amazing.
Of course I had to read "The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency" after that. Did anyone see the film last week? I thought it was great.
Somewhere in between I picked up "Cold Comfort Farm" by Stella Gibbons. Can't believe that I've never read this book. It seems to be a parody of Thomas Hardy and is very, very funny.
I haven't got anything on the go now so I guess I need to get to the library or the local bookshop to pick up something to take to my parents for the next few days. Hope you're all having a great Easter break .......