Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Another gorgeous and hot day in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Up early and went straight to Temple Newsam which is now actually a museum run by the city of Leeds. Huge. Staggering. More stuff per square inch and all good. A Tudor house where Lord Darnley was born added onto with amazing collections of good English furniture: Chippendale, Gillow, etc. The family sold the house and much of its collection was bought for the new museum - mainly by the Chippendale Society. I was there for over 2 hours just marvelling.

Then we had an Adventure. Meant to go to Nostell Priory - missed the turn and ended up far south. So went on to Hardwick Hall. Got out of the car - the car was seriously smoking. Oh dear. So I went in the Hall and spent some time in the serene and beautiful place enthralled by the strange greenish beige light on the tapestries and soaking up the serenity of the Long Gallery - one of the world's most glorious spaces. Then called Hertz and they had someone there within 40 minutes who discovered that someone in York had not replaced the oil cap! it had been lying on the motor for 3 days. A top-up of oil and I was on my way.

However, not fast enough to make the last entry at Chatsworth so I spent a v. happy hour wandering around the gardens in the glorious Derbyshire sun. Completely wonderful.

Then I had the most impressive experience of the entire trip - driving to Manchester thruough the Peak District - a truly inspiring, thrilling, exhilirating, terrifying, spiritual and happy journey into the setting sun. I suppose all this car trouble was nature's way of making me pay attention to nature - rather than the inward inspection of man-made glories. And Nature rewarded Big. Glorious.

Now I'm at the hotel at Manchester Airport which is v. cool - I only have to go about 200 yards to get to the terminal, there's a gas station in the middle of the joint to fill up the rented car, and everybody's just nice.

Happy to be coming home tomorrow - I will be v. appreciative of my wonderful bed.


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