Saturday, May 25, 2019

Life at Home

I don't wish any of you to think all we do is travel.  There is plenty of life that goes on here at home.  Some of you know that our eldest grandson lives with us while he is attending college.  We are proud to say he was accepted at our local university and will continue his education in our town.  That makes us happy and he seems to be as well.  He will be fulfilling his associate degree requirements this summer and begin the university in the fall.  Samuel has worked hard through many challenges and we are so proud that he will be continuing his education here. 

His parents will be visiting this coming weekend to celebrate his birthday as well.  Time seems to be passing quickly for this grandmother. 

We have been busy enjoying a lovely Spring time in our garden.  Chores that make the garden happy have been done and will continue as time and bodies allow.  

Our Pinkie Climbing rose has delighted us as we thought for sure she would not return.  Our garden certainly teaches us many lessons.  Patience is one virtue that continues to test me.  

The many shades of pink that this climber goes through is enjoyable to watch.  Soon she will wait for cooler temperatures to bloom hopefully again.

Grayden power washed the patio.  It gets quite dirty with all the trees and needs doing yearly.  We do enjoy our patio so much on the cooler days and often eat our dinner there.  I often sit there and read or write.  It's a great spot to contemplate.  The birds always give us a show that we love.

We don't often see a Northern flicker here, but this young one stopped by for a visit recently. 

Often a bunny will scamper across the lawn.

Or not too often, we see this bandit in our garden trying to raid a bird's nest!  He was quite large and we've only seen him once this year.  I'm sure he must be the rascal that is scratching around the garden.

My little angel statue wished to have a better view.  So we turned an old bird bath upside down for her to see better.

The Sarah Bernhardt peonies were so lovely this year.  Unfortunately the storm that barreled through this past week left her blossoms on the ground.  I'm so glad I was able to have many bouquets before that happened.

The red Knock Out roses have continued to supply us with blossoms in our home.  I love cutting them and putting them in tiny old vases and bottles.  They are so welcoming to enjoy inside. 

I've mentioned before that we often go down to the river and enjoy a small picnic.  It's a lovely way to end the day. 

"Reflect upon your present blessings--of which every man has many--not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. "
Charles Dickens 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Buckland Abbey

Today in Yelverton, Devon England, I'd like to share our visit to Buckland Abbey.  Let's all ride over the lovely countryside together and enjoy a most famous spot.

To me while in Britain, one of the most enjoyable sights is the ride to a destination.  High hedges and narrow roads usually add to the charm.  

The photos above are taken through the front window of our rental car.  Can you believe the beauty?  

Sheep are always happy to pose for a photo in front of the dry stacked stone walls.

Heavenly vistas follow us along our way to visit an abbey that was home to Cistercian monks in 1278. 

Walking into the entrance of Buckland Abbey we can see why this spot was chosen as a place to worship and farm. 

At the entrance please watch your step as it's quite steep.  We are checked in and are invited to watch a video of the change the Abbey has seen over the years.  During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII sold Buckland to Sir Richard Grenville in 1541.  We learn about the sea adventures of Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake.  Drake bought the home in 1581 and lived here for fifteen years and thereafter so did many of his descendants until 1946.  They sold the property to Arthur Rood and in 1948 and he gave it to the National Trust. 

The Buckland Abbey barn is enormous and so pretty on the outside.

I adore the stone features here at Buckland!

The old farm implements are certainly from another era and I'm sure horse or human drawn.

Let's walk through the stone arch and look at the front of the Abbey.

The grounds are so peaceful full of bird song and a distinct quiet.

"The tower of the priory, with a monastic barn of extraordinary size, are in a forest, far distant from the haunts of men."  William Marshall 1796

I'm so glad that Buckland Abbey was not destroyed but sold.  The Abbey was later converted into a home.  Let's go inside and view the interior that features the lives of Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake.

As always, the National Trust places flower arrangements about their properties.  Such a welcoming sight!

Buckland Abbey is an accredited museum in tandem with the Plymouth City Museum.  The drum above belonged to Sir Francis Drake.  It is said he took this drum as he circumnavigated the globe.  He wanted the drum to stay at Buckland Abbey when he died and if ever England was in trouble to beat the drum and he would return to defend his country!

The Golden Hind replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship. 

The home is part museum and parts furnished with family pieces.

The interior is full of its past glory when it served as an abbey. 

The plastered ceilings were lovely and a nod to the past. 

Carved paneling adorns many of the rooms in the abbey. 

This painting is considered a self portrait of Rembrandt.  The portrait was painted in 1635 after the artist settled in Amsterdam.

Elizabeth Sydenham, Lady Drake, later Lady Courtenay is in the portrait above.

The old sea chest above is a handsome example of items in the museum pertaining to Sir Frances Drake's adventures around the world.  This particular chest was used by fish mongers to store their fish in.  It appears to have a battle scene from 1588 on the top.

This plaster statue of Sir Francis Drake stays in the Lifetimes Gallery in Buckland.  It was made by Sir Joseph Boehm.  

The Golden Hind life sized replica shows how very brave Drake and his men were to travel the globe with very few instruments for navigation.

This portrait of Sir Frances Drake was created when he returned home from his famous circumnavigation of the globe.  He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1581.  He was quite wealthy and purchased Buckland Abbey.  He became mayor of Plymouth and also was a MP (a member of parliament). 

He was even granted his own coat of arms.  "From small beginnings, great things."  

The Triptych shows in the left wing The Way of the Cross, in the center The Entombment of Christ, the right wing The Resurrection.   As one can see there is priceless artwork at Buckland Abbey.

I always love visiting the kitchen at these properties if we are allowed.

This enormous kitchen would certainly support important guests and family members.

As we exit the kitchen we notice the beautiful gardens that surround this lovely abbey.  

We walk among the many walled gardens and think about the many souls that have tended to this lovely spot, beginning with the Cistercian monks.

Being a Buckland Abbey thrilled us both.  I do hope you enjoyed our retreat there.