The Anglo-Saxon word “dream” means joy, gladness and delight which is a lovely positive thought to hang onto in today’s world. Walking around the gallery bedrooms on the first floor, I often wonder who stayed where. Which bedroom did Howard Carter sleep in? Or Lawrence of Arabia? Or Disraeli, Harold Macmillan or “Agent Bronx,” Elvira de la Fuente. I hope they slept well.. We are always being told how important it is to have a good night’s sleep but, sadly, it did seem rather easier to have happy dreams last year than this year. Almost overnight, sleep has become harder, dreams darker and foreshortened.
In these challenging times, it is difficult to find the peace of mind which helps to anchor a good night’s sleep. It is comforting to have a ritual to settle at the end of the day whether it is a mug of herbal tea, or warm milk and cinnamon, meditating, listening to a talking book or reading one, to try to find “that still small voice of calm”. Regular sleep patterns are even more vital for children and parents have long resorted to a favourite teddy or blanket to fend off fears of the dark or nightmares, though sadly these are probably less effective for us “grown-ups”.
Equally, day dreams are just as important to help us set out all the things we would like achieve, to create perspectives of hope. The bucket list seems to be the modern take on this though again, many of these too have had to be postponed until happier times. Nevertheless, dreaming and planning is now more than ever necessary to create more positive moods and we all need something to look forward to.
Bringing these trains of thoughts together, Team Highclere have created a page on our website to offer a few dreams in reality. It is an easy competition – answer three multiple choice questions, fill in the form which emails in your choices, donate (if you would) to one of the charities listed and we can then pick 4 lucky winners just before Christmas.
What can you dream of? Well – there are multiple options. Join Geordie and I for a drive in the 1936 Rolls Royce followed by afternoon tea with us here at the Castle. Fly the skies in two vintage Tiger Moths but with a Concorde pilot which is quite a combination! Arrive in the dreamy city of Paris, explore it and cruise with Viking Cruises down the Seine to the Normandy beaches. Lastly, do you remember when Lady Edith’s dream came true and Bertie proposed in the Ritz Hotel in London? Well they are offering a dinner and wine pairing to one lucky winner with many thanks to all the kindest friends for their support.
Hopefully it will be possible to aid the charities we have listed – Médecins Sans Frontières (extraordinary selfless, talented doctors and nurses going in to help with no politics involved) SSAFA, (the Armed Forces charity which provides lifelong support to our Forces and their families and is never more needed), TAPS (the USA equivalent providing comfort, care and resources), the RAF Benevolent Fund (practical and emotional support for families) and, last but not least, Hospitality Action (help, advice and support to all those in these tough times who work – or are now not working in hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés to schools, hospitals and event venues). Can you spare £5, or $5 or €5? This is an amazing “Monday Club”, a real community and please would you share the link through your social media? Click here
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” –to quote C.S. Lewis who created magical worlds in his Narnia books which have been enjoyed by generations of children and adults alike. None of us can do everything but each of us can take a small step and, between us, suddenly anything is possible. I think it is good to dream…. Thank you for all your help.
What an inspirational idea!
To quote Walt Disney, “ A dream is a wish your heart makes”…. Dreams do come true! Thank you Lady Carnarvon for another uplifting Monday morning from Highclere.
Lovely, as ever. Wishing and praying and hoping and dreaming. I think that comes from a Dusty Springfield song but I think it is appropriate in present times. Stay safe.
Absolutely loved this post and the pictures. Thank you.
Your posts are lovely, thank you. I do really enjoy the personal perspective from someone living a completely different life from me, especially economically. It does bring us all closer to share ourselves across the social spectrum of the world. It is too easy to live through this time in the US and be polarized without a connection to the elite of this world, and your contribution to everyone through daily conversations of “normal” life is very stabilizing, at least to me. Thank you and have a good work week.
We are all working together and most of us have economic challenges. thank you this is a busy week!!
I wish I could take part. To travel again is my dream at the moment.
Monday in Canada bids you well!
Thank you – we can all take part – every prize can be fitted in around when travel is possible – it will be
‘Tis a Wonderful idea ! We all can dream ~ and some “will come true” ✅
Thank you for the beautiful pictures.
This is so lovely, thank you ! We had planned to leave for England on the 8th but do to all that is going on we will be staying in the US.
Our plan is to visit in the Spring and Autumn of next year and stay longer and of course visit Highclere Castle. We are looking forward to seeing you all again.
Nice place to live!
Thanks for share,
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Was it Shakespeare that wrote, “To sleep, perchance to dream?” There are many artists and authors that reflect on dreams, sleep and the illusions of reality. I love the fund raising and opportunities to have a bit of fun. We definitely need things to look forward to!
Consider it done. Dream on!!
Stay well, and all good luck with the history weekend coming up.
Charlotte Merriam Cole
Hello Lady Carnarvon,
That was a long journey for you from Highclere to Downton Abbey, but you did it in style.
Hope you did not find the ants nest, as you and Geordie are sitting where we erect our shelters
for Battle Proms.
I have a dream Highclere Gin, buy one get one free. I know, dream on!
Will bring the binoculars on Saturday to review your DIY paintwork on the flagpole.
NETWEATHER website shows the weather for Saturday looks encouraging.
Looking forward to it.
Carry on Highclere
The weather is enouraging and I am so looking forward to seeing Winston Churchill (safe distance of course!!). We begin and end the day with bagpipers.
OMG I just love your web site.
Another wonderful and uplifting post during these challenging times. Thank you! May Americans participate? There are so many hoops to jump through to travel to England if picked a winner.
Please take part – travel whether in 2021 or 2022 is a good aim – and dream!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for your perspective on dreams, and reminding us of happier times to come. I have entered the competition (exciting!) and made a donation. The choice of charities I see assist those who may have sacrificed their dreams so that we may continue to have ours, very poignant and moving, so thank you.
Thank you Jane so much
The life you live seems like a dream yet it I know it comes with huge responsibilities and keeps you very busy. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to write so eloquently about your daily life. I so enjoy these glimpses into the history of the castle as well as the day to day activities.
My husband and I hope to resume traveling to Europe soon and would very much enjoy coming for a visit.
Beautiful way of giving back! Just seeing the pictures makes me long to return to Europe & Highclere!
A perfect and timely post. I recently heard “Dream”, that old 1940s song by the Pied Pipers, and realized that I have not dreamed about anything in months. I’ve been just slogging through the days full of worry and dealing with pandemic bits. Nights are sleepless here too. Have since listened to “Dream” over and over again on my phone. Thanks so much for your vision and inspiration. I visited Highclere last year and remember with great fondness your lovely gardens, peaceful walks, and, let it be admitted, sampling your gin. Let’s all dream on and hope for better times. Thank you.
I’m dreaming of the day we can once again travel. I so enjoy your blog of hope of better times to come. Your historical perspective gives me confidence in the future.
“….Only trouble is, gee whiz
I’m dreamin’ my life away….”
Now, if we can only graduate from dreams to an acceptable reality. If so, we’ll come visit Highclere again—contest winners or not
Next year it will ease…
Done and posted on Facebook! Several of my High School pals and I created a Downton Abbey Facebook group where we share all things Highclere Castle. I even hosted a Downton Abbey dinner party once where we all came in period dress. What fun!
Good luck with the contest!
Thank you Roberta!
How fun! Thank you for the reminder that we can still dream of travel! . I not only entered the contest (and knew all the answers because of your blogs and podcasts!), but gave a gift to Taps in honor of my husband who served in the US Army. Thank you.
Thank you so much Gerrie. I have been to some of the TAPS dinners and listened as a woman stood up, holding a photo, and said I am here to honour my husband who died last year and these are our three children. Oh my goodness it is tough, but TAPS is great.
I so look forward to every Monday. You inspire all of us and give hope when it is hard to find in today’s world. Thank you so much for giving us hope and inspiration. God bless all. Joyce Coleman
Please share it – that is what is amazing about this media, how we can become friends and find all we share in common
Dreams to soothe our souls and practical applications to help others – a winning combination! Thank you again Carnarvons of Highclere.
All of the choices are wonderful, but my dream choice would be to have tea with you at Highclere. This is one chance I’m willing to take. Hope I win!
Hope you do too!
How much fun your event will provide for several givers! Smile that you will give such great pleasure at this time! We all need to look around and open our eyes to how we can make the world a better place!! Thanks for the Monday morning challenge here in Louisville KY USA
Thank you Debbie
You must have a very large heart, Lady Carnarvon …….and a creative one, too! Once again you have come up with a great idea to help others. Now more than ever is the best time to look outward and see what might help some who are in need. I’d also enjoy a lovely drive around Highclere Park and you could show me the most proper way to take tea! Thank you for this wonderful Blog
Thank you and again it is U$5 or £5 ..
Oh My, if your walls could talk with all the wonderful guest who have rested so well in Highclere what fascinating dreams they may have dreamed. One can only imagine. . . Wonderful photos as always and good luck to all who enter the contest. Looking forward to seeing and hearing from the winners of their very good luck.
I hope lots of luck and you can hear from the charities over this weekend
Dreams are so totally amazing. It is as if you bring out a Book of thoughts and memories of bygone times. Your words and pictures do make one hope for Happy Dreams in the Days ahead.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
So wish I could help the list of charities with financial donations to help me continue their work throughout 2021, but unfortunately, I am spent for the year as I am out of work. My one dream is to visit Highclare Castle one day and to sail on the Seine in Paris then visit the beaches of Normandy. Oh, now that would be a dream come true for me before I kick the bucket. I know about and support Taps here in America, in fact, I remember when Bonnie Carroll first created TAPS and why she started the organization. Wonderful group of survivors. Thank you so much for supporting them from far away. Keep up the great work and maybe one day I will have the funding to come visit your beautiful estate.
It is hard times and just hope a few people will give US$5 each and tell their friends and then you have begun a network of help..
Lady Carnarvon your posts are truly magical and very inspiring in these strange times. Thank you.
I dream of traveling again and visiting you at Highclere Castle. Thank you for this lovely and comforting post. I hope my dreams will come true soon and the COVID-19 nightmare will end!
Thank you for all you post. It is always an uplifting moment in my day to read this week’s thoughts.
Lady Carnarvon, Loved this post. Daydreaming is one of my favorite past times. I even say on my blog, adventure begins with a dream, then one shares. Thank you for reminding all of us the importance of dreaming. Wish I could be there as planned for the weekend festivities of the history festival. I look forward to reading and hearing about it. Here is to dreaming about future travel plans and some normalcy to life.
My dream is to return back to England one more time. I want to see my birthplace and visit family again. I would love to see Highclere this time. Last time I saw family in three different locations that I hadn’t been to since I was fourteen. Now it’s time to see your area and other locales. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and history you share Lady Carnarvon.
‘Tis lovely to dream. Even better when they come true. Right now I’m dreaming of when we are settled in our retirement community a month from now, when all the boxes are unpacked, and when I can get up each Monday morning and take my time reading your fascinating, warm, funny and thoughtful stories.
Lady Carnarvon, I am unable to cross the water to come to England but made a donation to one of the charities. It is so difficult to find peace of mind in this difficult times. A person has to be strong and positive. It is a lovely story today but they always are. With Kind Regards, Cheryl
Cheryl – thank you – i rather think this is good news to pass on like a relay!
What a lovely and creative way to raise funds for worthy organizations! I have entered the contest and made a donation. Since I had to cancel my trip to the UK scheduled for July, I decided to donate to the hospitality workers fund. I am already planning a trip for summer of 2021 and will definitely be visiting Highclere. Keep the dreams alive! Patricia
You are so kind – thank you
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to donate to such wonderful causes. TAPS fit perfectly because my husband is a veteran and two of my four sons also served. As we say about the USA: “Home of the free because of the brave!” Take care.
Thank you – and please share!
What a wonderful way to greet a new day here ‘Down Under’ with thinking about dreaming! Thank you for your efforts to create a space to allow us to look for at the wonderful possibilities the future will bring.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for such an opportunity! I was so moved to learn of the work done by Médecins Sans Frontières when touring Highclere Castle at Christmastime. I have shared this blogpost, and given to TAPS; as a retired military family we can attest to the help given to friends who have lost their loved ones while serving in the military.
Thank you also for helping to make dreams come true every day that you welcome visitors into your home!
How kind – thank you
Dear Lady Carnarvon
The ship has sailed on my dream to come and see the Castle but I do have Tigermoth time in my logbook. Thank you your weekly blog which I enjoy very much. Thank you.
So good to see the Monday Club, even if I am late coming in on Tuesday. Saw doctor yesterday and though I still have the steel back brace until the end of October, I can now “dream” about a drive in a 1936 Rolls Royce or a fine dinner at the Ritz, yes? River cruise Paris to Normandy, been there, done that, and no way would I be able to “fly”, ha! However, a quiet day at Highclere and tea with you and seeing the castle again would be a dream come true. Will definitely be donating to Doctors Without Borders, who work tirelessly here in the refugee camps , too. Thank you for an inspiring and “dreamlike” message this week, may you and yours be well, stay safe!
How amazing and wishing you well
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Dreaming is all some of us have right now. My husband and I have had to cancel several trips but we keep dreaming of those we still want to take. Of course, Highclere is one of them. During this stressful time we all have to find uplifting ventures in and around our home. Reaching out and helping others in your competition is one such uplifting venture. They are all such wonderful charities. I certainly will participate.
Have a good week and enjoy the upcoming events at Highclere,
Thank you – I have found my conversations with our guests inspirational. today I sat down with 3 Concorde pilots – an much admired Anglo-French endeavour. Then I listened to two Rolls Royce Engineers about to fly a battery powered plane. It seems rather about keeping going ..
I dream of you gracing my magazine with a enthralling and captivating feature as your writing and depictions, are so vividly illuminating . Perhaps a languid drive in Highclere Castle 1936 Rolls Royce with you narrating all your tales of Egypt , then talk over tea with historian Tyne O Connell, who is penning and up and coming piece , My Travels and Times in Egypt for Oct/ Nov . Lady Carnarvon , I do hope we can meet before I return to US and then before I depart catch a ride on the Tiger Moth to glide over England from above and be transported to a bygone era when things held a gloss.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for your Monday blog. I can only imagine how busy everyone at the Castle must be with all the necessary preparations for this weekend’s event.
On Sunday (10/04/2020), I received a Facebook notification regarding the same, and visited both the Castle’s page and web site. Delighted to see that the all of the vibrant photographs used in the announcement were used in this blog. Also, I responded to the three question quiz, made my entry, and donation.
My compare and contrast to your story: Fantine (Les Miserables) while she sang “I Dreamed a Dream”, and Princess Aurora (Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”) while she sang “Once Upon a Dream”.
I am looking forward to watching any segment of this weekend’s event that may be shared on the Castle’s Facebook or Instagram page.
Until next Monday, keep calm as you continue to prepare to welcome your guests.
P.S. The next time your communicate with Mr. Julian Fellowes, tell him that I would neither watch a Downton Abbey movie nor a television series based on the 1970’s.
♥️ So touching…
As always you’ve given more to all of us with some lovely dreams that will indeed come true for some of us. Thank you, as always.
We’re contributing to Taps for all the ongoing support they offer to our military family.
And may your fondest wish come true.
Lynn in Florida
Thank you – it is a great charity
Living the dream by reading you…
Thank you for making me not feel so alone in not being able to sleep very well anymore! A great reflection on who slept at Highclere and the dreams they may have had while there combined with raising funds for meaningful charities. Cheers to you for this inspiration! Looking forward to having tea and a fun car ride with you and your husband!
I hope so!
A beautiful and peaceful place to dream!
Thank You, Lady Carnarvon, and have a extraordinary dreams! ♥️
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
SPLENDID. THANKS FOR THE NICE POST.
RIO CLARO – SP
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Once again, the activities of the week have dictated my schedule. I just had a chance to read this week’s blog. It was wonderful.
I have always been a dreamer, day time, or otherwise. I would suggest you ask the poor people who were my teachers, but since I am 70, they are not with us anymore so I’m safe. Lately, my dreams revolve around traveling. I can hardly wait.
I entered the contest and made a small donation to the doctor group. I hope it helps. I wish I could do more. It is a great idea.
The picture of you and Lord Carnarvon setting in the grass is just wonderful. It is worthy of framing. I just love it. The picture of the front of the RR is amazing as well. Great composition.
God Bless you and all of our Monday family. Stay safe.
You are amazing Sue!
Thank you for this marvelous piece. My mother has that CS Lewis quote on her desk! My heart is drawn to the Hospitality Action charity as I have friends in Windsor who work in that industry. Thank you for offering such a variety of choices! May this effort be blessed.
Thank you -it is not me but all of you
Lady Carnarvon, On your Instagram today it is a wonderful video. I am so hoping that through your contest that there will be much cash generated for those in need. Also your outfit in blue suits you very well. You look wonderful in those colors. I send you my best for an outstanding contest. With Kind Regards, Cheryl
You are kind to refer to it thank you – I can do what i can and am just asking others to pass it on!! Thank you again
Lady Carnarvon, I was on your gift shop page some time back and today and thought I had seen a guide book for sale. I could not see it today. Is there one? Since I will not see Highclere Castle I thought it would be nice to see the photos. Dollars are always tight for me but was wondering if you recall the price. I do have to be careful as being so far away the postage is high. Stay well, safe and happy. With Kind Regards, Cheryl
There is a guide book, it should be on the website but otherwise Sally – chief gift shop elf :email [email protected]
Learning about Highclere Castle for the last couple of weeks has been an amazing journey. It is my student’s dream to someday visit Highclere and to learn more about its history.
Attached you will find a letter written by her. We truly hope that you will respond to her letter and enjoy it.
Ecuador – Guayaquil
The Rt. Hon. The Countess of Carnarvon
My name is Bianca and I am 15 years old. I am currently learning more about the English language and its culture. For the last couple of weeks, my teacher and I have been learning and discussing Highclere Castle. I thought it would be an amazing idea to express my surprise about the castle and its history.
In the first place, Highclere castle’s size and landscape are breathtaking. When I first heard about Highclere Castle, I thought that this was a typical British castle; nonetheless, I was impressed.
Secondly, besides the physical characteristics, the history behind Highclere castle is fantastic! I have learned some facts about Lady Almina Herbert and her lifestyle. Those silk walls and curtains that you once mentioned in a documentary are exquisite. I bet she had a very good taste as well as a tender heart towards others.
Finally, I did not know about all of the Egyptian objects that were hidden in the castle. I didn’t even know that Tutankhamun was discovered by a British archeologist. Nonetheless, this great discovery proved that distance is not an excuse to discover new mysteries.
I am really keen on learning more about Highclere castle and all of its history. I truly hope I can visit it as soon as I can.
I appreciate your time Madam.
Thank you for your letter. I hope you find some of the videos on our media channels useful – they are at heart about culture and what brings us all together. It seems to me about remaining optimistic about the positive values we all share.
I hope you will visit!