Sunday 22 August 2010

Crochet, Monkeys and Camping in the Garden.

No bike ride this weekend. This time it was due to mechanical issues - my chain snapped at the end of our outing last Sunday (fortunately within 1 mile of home) and my bike is still being fixed (and upgraded apparently too).

A's swimming lessons have started again so I had the place to myself on Saturday morning. I sneaked in a little more time on the blanket before going out to paint some more of the sheds. Yes, the blanket is still the same one...

Starting the outer round of an African flower...

...then joining as I go.

I think another three and a bit rows should do it. Then a border. Then the ends (arghhhh!)

On Saturday afternoon we then visited somewhere I've been meaning to go all summer. I first mentioned it in this post (gosh, hadn't realised it was so long ago!)

Doves wander about the car park. There is a £3 parking charge but the ticket machine isn't working at the moment, so now's the time to visit the Formakin Estate if you're in the area!

Fortunately we'd printed off the information guide as otherwise we wouldn't have had a clue where to go. To start off with you have to go through this closed and rather forbidding gate. There's a little door set within the big gate, A said it was like a doorway into fairyland (awww!)

Once on the other side the paths are relatively easy to follow. Fairly early on we pass these horses, the wee one's a bit nippy and bites the big one just after I've taken this photo.

Little monkey statues are dotted around pointing out the way to go (or quite often not as the guide tells you go in the opposite direction several times)

From the guide:
"Formakin’s buildings may look like they were built hundreds of years ago – the stable, opposite the car park entrance, even has the date “1694 DL” inscribed over the arch. But all is not what it seems… the letters DL mean Damned Lie. Everything was built between 1903 and 1913 for a wealthy Paisley stockbroker, John Holms. He and his well-known architect, Sir Robert Lorimer, seem to have had great fun designing the buildings – just look at the stone monkeys scampering about on the roof of the stable!
Unfortunately, Mr Holms’ money suddenly ran out before the buildings were completed. Work stopped so suddenly that workmen’s tools were still propped up where they left them in the half-finished Mansion House over 60 years later. Since the late 1970s, the buildings have gradually been completed and have all now been subdivided into private houses and apartments."

Much of the walk is through beautiful woodland, definitely somewhere to return in the Autumn once the leaves start turning.

Lovely mossy stone gate pillar. There were several of this style round the estate.

A stone monkey on the roof of one of the lodges.

The little door within the big gate.

That night I sleep in the tent in the garden with A. She enjoyed it so much (the best bit was "making shadow puppets with the torch") she's back in the tent now with her daddy for tonight. We'd promised we'd have a camping night during the summer and time was starting to run out. As we only have a 2-3 man tent there is not enough space for all of us at once (perhaps just as well - I dread to think how excited N would have been in it!). We are thinking of getting a bigger tent for future family holidays, if we do I'll also be purchasing a reasonably thick airbed!

Colourful leaf collection from a walk in the park earlier in the week.


Jennyff said...

What a nice place to visit, no bike ride but equally interesting. I'm glad you had your night in the tent but it is getting a bit chilly isn't it. Big incentive to get the blanket finished if you do it again.

Lyn said...

What a great adventure! thank you for sharing this magical place, the photos are lovely as usual!
Your crochet is so so gorgeous, the colours are so jolly.

Diane said...

Great crochet and a fabulous place to visit. Go for the bigger tent!!! xxx

rockinloubylou said...

I drive the wee road through this estate on my way to take Little R to Mini Pony Club. Didn't realise you could actually get in through that big gate. Will definitely follow in your footsteps one day soon.

silverpebble said...

Yes yes yes! -to the crochet. Totally exquisite. No no no! - to the leaves. I don't want autumn yet, beautiful as they are.

topchelseagirl said...

What pretty leaves. Your crochet is such gorgeous colours.

Hazel said...

Lovely pics but that blanket - WOW!! Now that puts a spanner in my works as to what to do next.....

Dawn said...

I do love your blanket. You should defnately get a bigger tent - camping is the best!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely surprise to see your atmospheric photos of Formakin. I grew up near it. As children we always used to call it 'the Monkey House': there was just one reclusive old lady living there with dozens of cats in those days, and it was a bit overgrown and creepy. It's lovely to see it being cherished and appreciated these days.

Simone said...

I love the bit about the 'damned lie'! The monkeys look so mischievous too! x

Posy Linda said...

Hi Anne, I've just had a most enjoyable little virtual visit to Formakin Estate through your blog. Thanks so much - it is really beautiful!


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