~In jeder Sprache wohnen andere Augen.~ ~I don't know where I am going but I am on my way.~

lundi 14 novembre 2011

The Staircase Travel

bayou's quote number 1:
One must always combine the pleasant with the useful.
bayou's quote number 2:
One always finds a good reason to travel to the UK.

In fact, the reason was so good, that friends spontaneously loved to come with us and the fun was doubled. We took the risk to take only one car and no trailer, hoping that the cast iron spiral staircase would fit in the car altogether with 4 people. During the journey we discussed already the issue how we would manage, if not. Ladies suggested the gentlemen to drive home without them and the credit cards whilst men had in mind to send home ladies with the car and staircase whilst themselves were parked for an undetermined moment in a pub.

King Henry's pub was as cozy inside as it promised to be from outside. Unfortunately, hungry travelers do not get anything else on Monday's than hot soup or pizza. I was very disappointed that it does not say so at their webpage.

However, the dismantled staircase was safe in the car and as the adventure had started in a huge hole were plenty of builders were building a new home for a very poor family who needed even an own home cinema on the basement, we happily entered the pub and were welcomed herewith:

Henry's six wives as well as many other details from that era are giving this pub a true historic touch.

Right across the road is the entrance to Hever Castle, home of Anne Boleyn.

We have been here in September last year and enjoyed then the gardens so much.

Due to winter time and early sun sets, we did the walk around a bit quicker than what we normally would have done. We filled our lungs with this special autumn air and were enchanted by the colours which surrounded us.

This time again, beautiful seasonal displays were to be seen all around.

There were only few visitors around but I had a chat with this little robin in the rose gardens. (below left)

This view was so great, again - but this time with the warm autumn colors.

I remember having discovered this red rose here at Hever which we also have at home, Deep Secret, all still flowering.

We then visited the castle and have not regretted it whilst the entrance fee is quite high. But as they don't belong to the National Trust, they certainly have to get those prices to keep it all maintained. Photographs inside the castle are not allowed and the lady in the authentic costume was so nice to go with me outside to get her picture.
We left with the impressions of a warm castle and that this could easily be our home, so small and cozy the rooms seem and all the wood panels give a beautiful feeling.

The night came very quickly and we drove in the dark to our next stop...

...the Griffin Inn in Fletching.

A roaring fire welcomed us and a wonderful evening was spent with great food and charming rooms and a very comfortable 4-poster bed. In the morning, after a cooked full English breakfast, we discovered that the pub had a beautiful garden and a fine view. We left this pleasant place and kind people and can only recommend it to anybody who will be in the area.

Our next stop was Lewes.

A beautiful little town with many antic shops and a great ambiance.

We did power-shopping until the credit card gnashed and the car went on its knees.

Then we headed to the seaside and visited Eastbourne.

Again, spoiled by a blue spotless sky.

When the nearly full moon came up, it was time to leave for our train through the channel tunnel.

We arrived at 1h by night and had the builders arriving in the early morning.
I did not expect that much dust when they were sand blustering the old stones inside.

The picture below left shows the end result. Where the wall is still white will be the opening through to the house.

The roofers came last week and renewed the top of the façade by covering it with slates.

These last pictures are from today, the roof construction is on and what was the piggery is now closed so that the builder can come to fill the gaps of the inside wall.


lundi 7 novembre 2011


That was a long month full of exciting moments.

We said bye-bye to the piggery

The builders came to re-enforce the arched ceiling of the cellar. Then they started to knock all down whilst recuperating a maximum of the old bricks, cleaning carefully one by one.

It was a surprise to discover that the floor on top of the cellar was a big layer of soil and on top of that were only laid the bricks which represented the pig's floor. The builder mentioned that he had never seen a cellar under stables.

In the meantime, some birthday cards went out, this one was a card in a box for a dear friend.

As soon as the piggery was knocked down, the rebuild could start.

As the weather was so nice, I went out early to the flea market downtown Liège and felt lucky to bring home these treasures.

Homecoming is always a surprise these days as things change so quickly even in our absence.

The chicken have their own fan club. RobRoy is the post guard and Twix is interested in all their movements but they seem to understand now that they also are belonging to the family. However, still no egg since the first day.

The gorgeous dry weather did not only accelerate the building progress but let us
also enjoy the last blossoms to the utmost.

Whilst the building grew...

... we made our before-winter-inspection in the fields.

We both thought once again: Lucky people, indeed, who live in that house over there!

Great moments to celebrate whilst there is still a hint of summer.

The wreath was from what was found and collected in a basket on our tour round the fields.

Suddenly, autumn knocks on the door.

The new building continues taking shape.

Those two bits of blue stone are the old uprights from the door. They will be lifted with a crane inside again so that EG can use them in his next recycle project: the fireplace mantle.

The stones from the façade were cleaned with water a first time but will be sand blustered.

The public holiday on Nov. 1st was convenient to make a quick journey and hop across the channel. I had bought a cast iron spiral staircase in Kent, near Hever Castle which had to be collected. Since we last were there it had been on my/our wish list to have a pint in this specific pub.

But this is another story...