29 May 2015

You've got May-le :)

Hi there!
It seems an awful long time since my last post, what’s it been? 6 weeks (ish)? In my last update I had been giving it the big talk with all my positivity around our warmer weather but gosh that old saying “Ne’er cast a clout till May is out” has never been more appropriate…
It’s not just the weather that’s been busy this past month.  As well as helping to keep Hill Top and the gallery running I’ve been lucky enough to attend a National Trust run course, Convestival. This is aimed at volunteer managers or those who are getting more involved in volunteering.
This fantastic 2 day course took place  at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire – this year it had a superhero theme!  It was a festival style experience, through the day sessions were held in marquees and you could choose which ones were most relevant to you. The festival theme continued through the evening . We enjoyed a superhero menu (including ninja turtle pizzas :P), a live band and a free “schnippel” of cider from the Calke estate.  It was also fantastic to meet other people in similar roles as me and others who had completely different responsibilities.
On the whole it was a relaxed course but you really did learn a lot, not just from the tutors but from other attendees.
I loved the whole thing from start to finish (could you tell?)! I would definitely recommend it to anyone involved in volunteering :)

To infinity and beyond?!
Thanks to Sarah and Rachel for giving me a lift :)
I love getting feedback on my blog posts, I’m constantly asking family and friends to check them out and they’re usually pretty complimentary. However, last time around, someone, whose opinion I really value wasn’t so keen.
This man loves antiques and likes to read more about the objects that we have within our collection as well as what I get up to (I hope!). So, this month I’m reverting back to my original format.
Dad, this one is for you J
I can’t remember when I found this first object, sometime in February I think, and I’ve had a photo of it for aggggges, ready to be put up on here.

It was the tortoise shell top that really caught my eye and once I carefully got it out of its case and got a proper look at it… it’s really lovely!

It is a little oval purse, the front is inset with gold and it’s got the most gorgeously, bright purple silk inside.

This is one of those “I would definitely have this” type of objects! Although it’s not very practical for today’s modern lady. As dainty as I aim to be, I can’t see my ‘buy 9 and get the 10th drink free’ cards or all the pounds I have for the amusement basketball hoops (which I am actually pretty good at!) fitting in there.
From what little knowledge I have of Beatrix I don’t know if she would be using this type of thing up here in the lakes. Then again from personal experience I know that not everyone lives in their walking gear so maybe I should keep more of an open mind.

“Hello there!” has been missing recently but it’s back with a vengeance! I have been looking at this little lady for the best part of a year. She’s tucked away in a store so doesn’t get many visitors; something that I think should change.
So here she is!

"I'm a laaaadddyy"
I’m not exactly sure what it is I like about her as most people I’ve spoken to think she’s a bit creepy..  but when you look at her tiny face she’s not scary at all.
She’s pretty pale – it must be all that time in the dark and her hands are in a strange position but I can confirm that she is not a zombie! There is nothing to fear.

" 'Cause this is Thriiiilllleerrr.."
Yeah, what about the hands… they are stretched out and some of her fingers are curled under. Is she playing the piano? Pushing a pram? Doing an interpretive dance?
We don’t really know, what do you think?
Is this something that B was given as a child or perhaps she had inherited it?
I like to imagine her making up voices and personalities for her inanimate objects – it’s something that I did and still do (who says you can’t have a stuffed unicorn at the aged of 27 ¾?).
Look at this beautiful Davenport desk, dating roughly from the 1830’s/40’s. It currently sits in the corner of the Treasure Room quite happily, not making any fuss and many people don’t give it much notice.

Over winter we had to move him into the New Room so that we could carry out some essential work and I learnt a number of things. 1) Its really, REALLY heavy! (not advisable to try if you’ve skipped your Weetabix that morning) and 2) it’s got some rather special secret compartments.
This is what Catherine and Rosemary showed me one afternoon after I helped shuffle it back into its place.
They did something special and then all was revealed – pens, pencils and lots of what look like funeral mourning card envelopes.

Boosh - ta da!
Back in the day, a mixture of tradition and respect saw people send cards in black edged envelopes. Used throughout Europe these carried the sad news of a loved ones passing.
Did I just see some of the things that B had around the time of Norman’s death? She bought the house in 1905 after all. Or possibly one of her parents?
Everything looks so neat and ordered, like she could come back and use it.
Do you think that this was all put inside “For the time being”? we all do it, but unfortunately  these items hardly see the light of day again.
Whatever the reason I feel like I’ve stumbled across a sort of time capsule and I was really rather taken with it.
Then again, isn’t all of Hill Top a step back in time? “Letttttt's do the time warp again!” I wonder what I would leave behind for future people to find and ponder over..
Whilst I go to mull it over I shall leave you for another month, I hope by the time I’m back we’ll all be able to “cast our clouts”!
Have a fabulous June!
Ta ta for now J
Words and pictures by Natalie