It's Monday again tomorrow... Chirk Castle was a week ago!

I love how when the holiday has been going for a length of time, the days cease to have names. They roll along with nothing to decide the difference between them except if you are doing something or going somewhere and have decided the day in advance.
And I love how this holiday I have been busy (very) so that even when I am at home I have been doing, or busy with housework or planning more things to do around the house. And that the rush to be up or go out or entertain the children that controlled me other years has gone. We have hung around together, but been very happy at home. The boys have played on their computers, S has been reading and reading and reading, while I paint or clean or sort. I've sent bags of rubbish to the tip and at least 10 bags of clothes, books, things and more things to charity. Slow living at its very best.

But we have got out, we have been to a couple of places of interest, sometimes shopping but sometimes not.

 Last Sunday we went to Chirk Castle. It's a lovely NT place in Wales and one we visited at Christmas time. Was it the year before last, or the year before that? Either way, we had seen that there was a re-enactment group there and it seemed like a good place to spend an afternoon. We packed our Aldi picnic (meatballs, sausages and salad) and went off together.

It gets hard sometimes to remember the days when a trip out had to be carefully supervised and watched, with plans laid days ahead and careful consideration made for distance, enthusiasm and food stops.

Teenagers can be easier; as long as there is a retail opportunity for Her, a bookshop (second hand or not) for DP and plenty of juice for JW they are happy to wander and sit and talk. And that was basically all we did; wander, sit and talk. We enjoyed the things we saw, but didn't feel the need to do everything all at once. Perhaps the knowledge that we had been before and could very easily come again made life easier for us.

A big difference for us was seeing the castle in the sunshine. It doesn't look this pretty in the winter!
I love the arch and the light beyond.

We tried to do the three monkeys, you know the "See no evil, say no evil, hear no evil"? Somebody wasn't cooperating. Guess which one?

And the re-enacter I enjoyed most was the spinning lady. She's carding the wool here, but she had had her distaff and drop spindle out showing me just how hard spinning could be. Having had a go a few years ago, all I could do was nod and agree.  It is very hard and must have taken years to perfect!

The weather was so lovely, we didn't go into the house. We wandered down the side of the castle and went into the gardens. These were lovely, and we hadn't actually seen them before (wet, cold and dark gardens in December are interesting, but not what we did last time!)

 I love the poses this lady pulls! Well, when I'm ready for the poses to be pulled. NOT when I'd like a decent photo of my favourite people to put in a frame. Mostly I'm disappointed.

 But I'm not complaining. On our trip to the gift shop we bought a book I've been thinking about for a while, and the Princess has Big Plans. Mostly involving me getting busy with a hook.

Topiary is big in formal gardens, and Chirk did have a piece of topiary.... but we couldn't decide quite what it was. Any suggestions?

This is it from the other side. Frog prince? Peacock? Alien mothership?

And the compulsory flower photo. I am not a gardener, especially not this year when the house has taken my free time up, but I do know that these are blue hydrangeas. I love them, and wish that I had some in the garden. Especially since at the moment I would have 5 large blue heads with reasonable stems cut off and drying ready to put in the vase in my bedroom!

Do you know what these people were doing with their quad bike? The dog on the front is a good clue...

Yes! They were herding sheep. Cool way to do it! I love the fact that the people and the dog had been rounding the sheep up, but once the sheep were heading in the right direction, the dog got to ride! And the herd of black sheep struck us as funny. Do you think somewhere there's a white sheep feeling very awkward and doing embarrassing things that his family don't talk about?

And at a certain point everybody just needed to sit and rest (DP needs to read every 10 minutes or he loses the will to live) JW isn't asleep here, but he is doing a very realistic impression.

 S loved the acorn she found; the biggest acorn hat with the tiniest acorn inside!

At least when we stopped for a breather, the view was spectacular! This is out over towards Shropshire. The hill is the Wrekin and the Long Mynd. I love Shropshire; Mary Webb country. She wrote two of my favourite books; Gone to Earth and Precious Bane.

And a panoramic view to show you what we saw!

And on again, back to the Castle via the walk that must have been cleared to give the owners a lovely view as they walked out there.

 A great tree had fallen in a storm one year (details are not my strong point) and a sculptor made a bench from it. At first sight I thought the shapes on the left were little people, fairy folk, but they are actually flowers!

 And the tree stump has a history back to the 1780's. I love seeing this; it reminds me that my life is so short in comparison to the trees, so I really should take care of them! Go hug a tree!

And finally... at the end of every great day out there should be a cream tea, right? I enjoyed mine immensely.

Chirk's lodge houses are built in this tudor style; Small cute and monochrome? I really love it and wish I could spend some time in one!

If you're still reading, thank you! I know this has been a picture and word heavy post, but if I seek to record the details of our life online, which is what this blog is to me, then I need to put in the things that matter to me. And sometimes that means a lot of pictures because I liked a lot of pictures!


  1. A wonderful day out! No, not too many photos either! The gardens are beautiful aren't they, and those hydrangeas are stunning. I think that the topiary is a slightly overgrown peacock, but who knows! It might just be the mother ship!!! Those tree stumps are always fascinating aren't they, it is amazing to think of all the time that has passed, and really, how slowly trees grow! Glad you had a good time!! xx

    1. We just stood and stared at the topiary, we just couldn't decide what it was supposed to be!

  2. I love visiting Chirk castle it's such an interesting place. Mike & I are planning a return without children so we have time to look in the house properly without worrying about bored teenagers leaning on things! x

    1. The Princess is my worst, when she gets bored she Gets Bored, so we have walked quickly through quite a few houses! At least the gardens usually allow for people lounging!

  3. looks like a wonderful day out x

    1. It's a really good place. There's a long woodland walk as well, which we didn't do this time, but might well go back and do another day.

  4. Looks like a right proper day out - the only thing missing was the ice cream!!!

    1. We didn't find a place that sold decent ice cream, and we're going to Wales later this month so we can have a Cadwallader's ice cream then.

  5. It looks like a lovely day out. I think this is what holidays are all about, spending family time together. I miss Daniel on our days out now, and Eleanor doesn't always come with us either, soon it will be just the two of us. The hydrangea is gorgeous, I love that shade of blue, but I can't make out what the topiary should be either. I see Little Red Riding Hood will soon be on your hook, and why not with your love of red.


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