A weekend in Shropshire

I’ve been away in lovely Shropshire for a weekend at a stunning Landmark Trust property. For those in the UK (and mainland Europe too, I think), the Landmark Trust have a range of quirky and unusual buildings that you can rent, from lighthouses and castles to martello towers and a cottage in Frenchman’s Creek. We stayed in The White House, which is less quirky than some, but entirely beautiful. It’s half-Tudor, half-Georgian, and my bedroom was the servant’s quarters. It’s the far right of the first floor, if you want to look at the floor plans by following the link above. And here are some photos…

Shropshire 2015

Six of us went, from my quiz team, and we mostly read books, quizzed each other, went on the occasional walk, and generally had a lovely, lazy time. It’s been quite difficult to get back to real life – and has confirmed how much I like Shropshire.

After spending a nice weekend (reading part or all of four books – more anon!) we went into Ludlow, where I was going to catch up with a dear friend. With a few minutes to spare, I popped into a so-called Renaissance Market, which had not-very-Renaissance secondhand books. (That reminds me of the time in Washington D.C. where somebody pointed me in the direction of the ‘Italian Renaissance building’, built circa 1900.) There was a really excellent selection, including oodles of Persephones – my housemate Kirsty picked up the seven I already had.

20151208_223537 Foreigners by Theodora Benson, Betty Askwith, and Nicolas Bentley (illustrator, of course) – having read their book about London, I thought it would be fun to see what they have to say about the rest of the world. A note in the shop warned that it wasn’t PC!

The Country Housewife’s Book by Lucy H. Yates
Consider the Years by Virginia Graham
A couple of Persephones I didn’t have – although I do have the Graham in another edition and reviewed it a while ago.

Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs – I’ve been waiting to stumble across this graphic biography of Briggs’ parents ever since I watched a documentary about him. At last!

The Romance of Dr Dinah by Mary Essex – on the surface, this novel looks kinda trashy, but I’ve really enjoyed the other Mary Essex novels I’ve read. Fingers crossed that this is better than its presentation suggests!

20 thoughts on “A weekend in Shropshire

  • December 9, 2015 at 2:08 am
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    I love Ethel & Ernest. Well, all of Raymond Briggs’ books, really, but E & E got me right in the heart. Brilliant drawings.

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm
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      It sounded so lovely, after he mentioned it in the documentary; I’m really looking forward to it. It feels oddly appropriate for Christmastime too – perhaps associations with the Snowman?

  • December 9, 2015 at 4:57 am
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    Your weekend sounds FABULOUS — staying in a historic house with a group of friends, lying around reading books? And what is this quiz team — I want one! So. Jealous!!

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm
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      I do feel very lucky to have such congenial friends! You’d be very welcome on our quiz team Karen ;)

  • December 9, 2015 at 8:33 am
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    I’m jealous too of you having such a congenial group of friends. Don’t think I’ve been able to have that kind of bookish, lazy, compatible holiday since my student days…

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:02 pm
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      I don’t think I’d be on any until we started doing these holidays about a year ago – and now we’re all very keen to go on lots of them!

  • December 9, 2015 at 10:17 am
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    Many bloggers buy or recommend books which turn out to be of the same merit as a Barbara Cartland or Mills and Boon..It only turns sour if money is spent and regretted.Often buying decisions have to be made in haste.Repent at leisure.

    Tina

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:05 pm
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      Ah, but you always regret the books you *don’t* buy much more than those you *do* buy – well, I do anyway!

  • December 9, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    How lovely! Nothing like stumbling across bookshops and lovely second hand books – wonderful finds!

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:06 pm
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      It was such a good selection for a pretty small book room – it definitely exceeded my expectations delightfully.

  • December 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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    Just checked MARY ESSEX in my library catalogue.
    They have one large print called THE NURSE WHO FELL IN LOVE.
    Have you read this one Simon–or better still bought it? HEHEHEHEHE

    Tina

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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      I’ve not read that one! The ones I’ve read are Tea Is So Intoxicating, The Amorous Bicycle, and Six Fools and a Fairy.

  • December 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm
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    Very Sorry Simon –i see that “Mary Essex” is really Ursula Bloom who was a worthy and prolific romance author.
    You win–i am going to have to borrow her from my library stores.

    Tina

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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      She is indeed – do report back on what you think of it.

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:11 pm
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      It was lovely :)

  • December 10, 2015 at 4:39 am
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    Very envious of your gathering – would love to do the same.

  • December 10, 2015 at 4:59 am
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    “Theodora Benson, Betty Askwith, and Nicolas Bentley” – I thought those names sounded familiar so I went to one of our bookshelves, just knew I had a book by them: “Muddling Through, or Britain in a Nutshell” It resides on a shelf with books about travel in England/Uk.

    • December 10, 2015 at 12:49 pm
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      Oh yes, that’s it – not just London as I had misremembered.

  • December 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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    What a lovely weeekend! Shropshire is a lovely county, I have to say. And what a find that bookshop was *rushes to Ludlow*.

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