Saturday, March 27, 2021



Today I'd like to share one the most unique places, if there is one, that we visited on our Golden Anniversary trip to Great Britain.  

We have booked a room in Salisbury at the Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel.  It is located in a beautiful spot overlooking the river and has a gorgeous view of the Salisbury Cathedral. 

The Legacy Rose and Crown Hotel is housed in a 13th century building!  The old coaching inn is close to the sights that surround this unique area of Salisbury, Wiltshire. 

Our room has the original oak beams and paneling that has been restored.  

Grayden and I were fascinated by the original construction.  To think this building was constructed in the 13th century is mind boggling.  Along the wall there were windows showing what is under the old plaster.

After having a lovely lunch by the river we decided since the weather was so nice we would travel to see Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain.  I must admit I didn't expect to be so surprised at what we viewed!  A site much older than the hotel we were staying awaited our discovery.

Stonehenge is taken care of by English Heritage and owned by the Crown.  As I've mentioned here before, we joined the English Heritage before traveling to Great Britain.  I recommend doing so if you are interested in visiting more than two of their sites.  It will benefit your wallet if you do so.  The same is true of the National Trust as well.  In the United States you can join the Royal Oak Foundation and visit all of the National Trust sites you wish.  The National Trust takes care of the fields surrounding Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is a very popular site for tourists.  This afternoon, the traffic is quite light as we check in with our English Heritage passes.

 According to the English Heritage pamphlet --Stonehenge is an ancient temple aligned on the movements of the sun.  The stones were raised 4500 years ago by sophisticated prehistoric people.
English Heritage's project to transform the setting of Stonehenge returns a sense of context and dignity to this marvel of human endeavor, leaving Stonehenge surrounded by grass and reunited with its ancient approach, the Avenue.

After receiving headphones we boarded a trolley that took us to the path to the giant stones.

It is quite obvious this area is full of ancient history that is far older than Stonehenge!

No one is allowed to walk among the stones for fear of vandalism.  We are allowed to walk around the stones and ponder their purpose and how they came to be here!

The use of headphones keeps this spot more peaceful and informative to the visitor.

The large Sarsen Stones of the outer ring with the horizontal lentils on top are enormous!  Each one is approximately 13 feet high and 7 feet wide.  They each weigh about 25 tons! 

 There is a ring of smaller bluestones inside the larger ring.  Inside of them are free standing trilithons.  Stonehenge is oriented to the sunrise on the summer solstice.  The stones sit on earthworks in the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England.  The area also includes several hundred burial grounds.


We are in awe as we view this ancient monument.  The smaller Bluestones were quarried from Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales, nearly 180 miles away!

There are many thoughts as to how these stones found their way to Salisbury Plain.  No matter how, these megaliths certainly presented an enormous issue for their move no matter how far!

Sometimes when you take a photo a surprise greets you.  Here was mine as we looked back at Stonehenge!

is a large museum that we visited after walking around Stonehenge.  It is full of interesting facts about the area's role in the life of the ancient monument and its people.

A Neolithic village portrays what life must have been for the ancient people.  

As we were leaving the museum, we both pondered its meaning of this sacred ground and I still do!  I must say we were both glad to have visited this ancient site.  I'm so full of admiration for those that came before us!

Stonehenge is certainly a feat of engineering for folks that lived so long ago with only simple tools!  


Monday, March 22, 2021

Springtime 2021


The change of seasons are always welcome to me.  I truly don't think I would enjoy living where the weather is constant.  It's so exciting to see the earth awakening, coming alive with green shoots of life.  In my garden the first flowers that make their entrance are daffodils.  Joy happens when I can go out my back door and cut a bouquet.

There will be different varieties of narcissus and jonquil that will bloom in the coming weeks.  For now it is a great time to top dress the perennial garden with our compost.  I love this black gold that we make.  Hopefully we will "feel" like doing it for years to come.  If you want to see how we compost you can go Here 

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”– Margaret Atwood

The glorious weather took us outside to sit on the patio.  Gazing at the first quarter moon, I decided to see if I could get a decent photo.  Much to my surprise a bird winged his way into my frame.  

I replaced the shamrock banner with one for Spring.  I printed this one on card stock years ago.  I'm not sure where it came from.  I'm thinking it was Ann Drake.  It used to hang on the mantel in the Florida Room, but this year I put it in the kitchen.

I'm beginning to place a few Easter decorations around.

Welcoming Spring is always happy for us as we celebrate the  birthday of our middle grandson.  Saying he is 18 gives this grandmother pause.  It seems like yesterday I went to be with his parents as they welcomed their first child home.  


For his grandparents, we are grateful to have such a sweet, kind, smart young man in our family.  His senior year in high school is virtual.  The same is true for his brother as well as his cousin in college.  My goodness how this pandemic has affected the children of the world. 

 “That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.”– L.M. Montgomery

I do hope you share your Spring as she knocks at your door.  

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Max Gate in Dorset, England

Today is the day we said goodbye to our lovely home away from home and ventured into Dorset.  It's hard to believe we've spent the last two weeks venturing around Cornwall and Devon.  The two weeks previous, was spent in the Lake District.  Our Golden Celebration is coming to a close, but on our travels to Southampton, we can't pass up an opportunity to visit Max Gate, the home of Thomas Hardy, the English novelist and poet and his first wife, Emma.  

 Upon parking our car we see these Guinea hens (I think) searching for food among the hedges. If you know them to be another fowl please let me know.

Max Gate was the final home of Thomas Hardy.  He lived in Max Gate from 1885 to 1928 when he passed away.  He designed and built this home in Dorchester, Dorset, England. 

The property was given to the National Trust in 1940 by Hardy's sister.  The home was named for a nearby tollgate keeper, Henry Mack.

Thomas Hardy was a trained as an architect at King's College, London.  He won prizes from The Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association.  Living in London did not suit him because he was well aware of social class divisions.  He became very interested in social reform and the works of John Stuart Mill.

Moving to Max Gate, Hardy concentrated on his writing.  It was here that he wrote his most famous novels and poems. 

Inside, Max Gate is recreated by the National Trust to be as similar to Hardy's home as possible using period furnishings from his era. 

Originally the home had two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs.  In 1895 the home was expanded and then even more additions added later. 

 The poem above was written by Hardy for his wife.  When he built Max Gate he planted a thousand pine trees for privacy and a windbreak.  The trees made the house dark and gloomy and his second wife, Florence, had them removed after his death.

A fine collection of old volumes of Thomas Hardy fill this bookcase.

It was nice seeing this old typewriter.  No easy way of editing with this old machine.  

The bedroom upstairs served Hardy as a study as well.

"Thomas Hardy wrote some of his finest poetry sitting at his desk in front of this window."

The view from the window is lovely this morning.

Hardy wished that upon his death to be buried at Stinsford in the same grave of his first wife, Emma.  His executor, Sir Cockerell, insisted he be interred in Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.   His heart is buried with his wife and his ashes are buried in Poet's Corner. 

We enjoyed learning more about Thomas Hardy and his home at Max Gate.  Upon leaving we continued our journey to Salisbury.  I hope to share what we discovered there.