Last weekend, I went with Lauren to visit two National Trust properties last week. We’re both Young Members (it’s £30 a year if you’re aged 13-25, which is half the price of an adult membership), and now that I’m less scaredy of driving, and we were due a reunion after her trip to America, so we had a day out to Chartwell.
Chartwell was Winston Churchill’s Kent home, and it is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are lovely, all rolling hills and spectacular views, lots of ponds, and a kitchen garden with a fruit and vegetable treasure hunt that keep us busy for a good twenty minutes while we waited for our turn to go around the house.
We had a lovely National Trust lunch, which feels like a treat because I’m used to taking a packed lunch on a day out. I had ratatouille and an enormous piece of cake which I couldn’t quite finish – not nearly as strange as the Anglesey Eggs Lauren had at Plas Newydd when we visited there in May! And seeing as we had the rest of the afternoon, we decided to make the most of our free entry, and visit Quebec House in Westerham, too. Quebec House belonged to Major General James Wolfe, who took part in the taking of Quebec in 1759. The house had some interesting features, but didn’t take us very long to get round. We enjoyed the chance to try writing with a quill, though…
…which brings me nicely into my Harry Potter re-read! I didn’t plan a full re-read. But then I bought one of the new editions, and I remembered just how much I love these books, so I kept going. It’s not doing my book challenge much good, but to be honest I don’t really care. I haven’t re-read in full, ever. I’ve tried, but never stuck at it. So this is a lovely thing. Coming back to them as an adult (ha), and being an immersed tumblr user, I’m seeing very different things now. Things like, are all wizard children home-schooled until the age of 11? Is there someone at the Department for Education insisting that we really ought to find out why no child in Hogsmeade goes to school? And why do none of the muggleborn students complain about how tricky it is to write with a quill? Lauren and I struggled, and while it was partly because the quills were very inky, it was also just plain difficult. After a very lazy Sunday, I’m about halfway through The Goblet of Fire, and enjoying myself immensely.