The Sound of Silence
At the moment, by the end of the day, I often find myself unable to listen to any more news. Last week, instead, I decided to download some new piano music. I have not had the time to play for ages, not that anyone would want to listen, but it makes my brain relax. One of the pieces I chose was “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel – “Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again ….”
I love this song not least because I have become so aware of silence again especially when taking the dogs out late each evening and looking up at the stars with Venus so bright towards the west. Perhaps they were always clearly visible, and I was just not looking, but I do think that the world around seems increasingly still, with more to listen to and more to see.
For so much of my adult life I have been so busy I have not had enough time “to stand and stare” but, as a contrast to the anxiety all around us, the peace and tranquillity nature offers has become even more precious and essential. Rather like friends and family who perhaps we did not see often enough, or pick up the phone to, I hope that this exceptional time will impress upon us that nature matters and it is not ours to take for granted. We are lucky to be part of this world in the same way that Geordie and I do not really own Highclere: we are just stewards for our lifetime. We hope we have planted more trees, touched the landscape with light hands and mixed our need for food and farming with nature’s need for balance and peace.
Going out first thing with the dogs, once they have settled and recovered from their giddy excitement at another new day, I walk in silence listening to the birdsong which seems stronger and more beautiful than I ever remembered. The birds are so small, and the branches on which they balance slight, yet the notes travel as they mark the cycle of the day and the seasons. Wherever I walk with dogs I see where our ancestors lived, the shapes they have left in fields, flat where buildings were, dents showing the remains of walls or ditches, sunken areas and now, as the sound of our world recedes, I can hear more of their world as they would have experienced it.
Mankind has lived here for thousands of years but in the last 150 years has begun to make such a noise both above and below ground, creating disharmony and upsetting season and cycles, thinking he is able to control and be in control. We have failed to listen and observe and, if there are any green shoots of hope from this devastating time, I hope we might remember we need to do that, to manage our actions and choices, not just talk about it.
In the UK, the rainbow has a become a symbol of hope and support and they are such a mesmerizing phenomenon in nature. In Norse and Viking mythology (and the Marvel Universe), the rainbow bridge connects the worlds of men and gods, whilst in Ireland the Leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow; an illusion in itself as the end is just a beautiful mirage. A rainbow is beautiful and makes everyone smile yet we will never own it.
Story telling round a camp fire has become something of a forgotten pleasure. Some tales are happy, some more frightening:
“One day… there would come a time, when the earth being ravaged and polluted, the forests being destroyed …..the fish being poisoned in the streams, and the trees would no longer be, mankind as we would know it would all but cease to exist”
We sometimes seem perilously close to achieving this. Yes – we need to begin to “crank the car” and go forwards soon for the sake of our economies, families, our health and lifestyle. If, however, we could remember the sound of silence, the cycle of the seasons and their importance for future generations, perhaps we will do better when we do start up again.” Somewhere over the rainbow , Way up high, And the dreams that you dream of, Once in a lullaby”…..
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
UPLIFTING WORDS. LOVELY PICTURES TOO. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
RIO CLARO – SP
i will admit i broke down and cried reading this i tried to stay calm to read it so beautiful wise and true. im still crying now..typing this i cant bear the news anymore im hypochondriac live alone its torture…….thankyou lady carnarvern you dont know how much this helped in this terrible time i shall read over and over and share on twitter and facebook…….truly magical…please stay safe caron
Thank you – we all cry together and laugh together. Take care
Beautiful words and accompanying photos! I never tire of your photos that is for sure.
As I read your mindful words this quote came to mind,
“Silence is the soul’s oxygen”
I am so glad you had time to just be, and not do!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts so graciously!
Dear Lady Carnarvon
I can´t agree more. So do I feel tired of sad news every days and I regret the number of deads all over the world. I say to myself… what´s happenig?
Loving your pictures as always.
My best regards and admiration
Eduardo Santisso Gonçalves
sometimes I think it is not real – so sudden so shocking…
Thank you for taking time to encourage one to make time for quite reflection and to enjoy pictorial peace!
I so enjoy your blog.
Wishing you and yours blessed peace and safety.
Thank you for sharing and greetings from Puerto Rico. Stay safe.
I loved this article Lady Carnarvon, thank you. Instead of waiting until the end of July to come and see Highclere for myself, we have had to delay our trip by twelve months. Nothing in or out of Australia at the moment.
Much Needed words in these times ,in Australia it’s the same though a different landscape we do need to stop and reflect , Take a breath reflect and refresh. Sadly so many people will miss the opportunity and life’s circle will go on for them , others will make changes and restock their souls.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon ,love ,Peace and hope to you and yours.
Have you ever thought of “sound” as a noun
Double meanings can expand your thoughts…
This post reminded me of a article I just read in Country Life which said “What good fortune for us that it’s April and not November. How much worse it would have been if lockdown had happened as winter began to bite, with the prospect of dark, gloomy weather and celebrating Christmas on FaceTime. … The days are opening out, the soil is warming and the results of the first of our plantings are beginning to show. Even with all our natural concerns, particularly for those trapped in flats in crowded cities, we cannot but thrill at the onset of spring.”
Our time with nature seems so much more important now. It soothes our soul. Enjoy this special time when we can appreciate these lovely gifts.
Greetings from Long Island, New York.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
You have no idea how i look forward to your blogs! I read and
imagine myself walking in the fields right there at Highclere and like many,
this has been added to my bucket list! I am hopeful that our world will
open up again and i may realize my dream to visit the castle.
Until then, stay safe and well and God Bless you and your family.
The world will open – and may be we will travel with care!
Lady Carnarvon, right now T.V. can be just to much for me. I live on a farm and it is so peaceful and quiet. I just see and hear the birds sing. It does my soul so much good.
As the pollution fades away with less planes in the air and less cars on the roads I noticed that one can see more stars in the night sky.
Venus really is so bright that I took it for the ISS at first.
And there are more birds to be seen and heard. They seem to be re-possessing the environment humans have invaded. Let’s hope some of this will remain once the crisis has ended. In the meantime we can only enjoy.
With best wishes,
Ulrike Rees from Germany
I have not seen Venus like this
As always, you express the thoughts and feelings of many of us. Prayers that all of you remain safe.
My husband and I have also noticed a clearer, quieter sky here in the suburbs of Chicago. Just last evening he remarked that the birds were chirping more loudly at our bird feeders. And thanks to your writings, I have pulled out my Simon and Garfunkel music again and am playing piano this morning!
I am sure far better than me!!! Wonderful
So very, very true.
I am also hearing the beautiful sounds that are normally obscured by the rush and haste of everyday life.
Learning new skills and rediscovering the ones that have lain dormant for years.
Silver linings each day during this challenging time….
Very beautifully said, and thoughtful. Thanks for sharing.
Beautifully written thank you so much I look forward to your blogs.
This brought me peace. Thank you.
What a beautiful reflection on the importance of nature. I too hope that this pandemic will remind us of the things that really matter!
Your best post yet, thank you so much for your beautiful thoughts. We are also seeing Venus shining brightly in our sky.
Dear Lady Carnarvon! Thank you for this gentle assessment; listening to silence has been almost impossible in recent years. Only in blessed places there is no or almost no sound pollution. In these times the significant drop in flights means that we can hear birds day and night with such clarity as I remember from my childhood. Wonderful birdsongs, nights with owls hooting overhead. Unspoiled sounds. Recently I’ve been thinking how the ancient prophecy of Sibyl is forming in front of one’s eyes. She didn’t exactly know what she meant when she uttered ” …when the Earth is caught in a net those will be the most challenging times.” I hope we will save this most beautiful blue planet and I believe that Natura Sempre Viva! Yours, warmly, Elizabeth
You write so well and bring up some amazing points to ponder.
Annapolis MD had a protest this weekend about opening stores. It had national coverage. Meanwhile, the leaves were silently unfolding, the peonies are in full bloom, early it seems and mother nature is doing her thing.
You are blessed to be the Highclear caretakers and its so beautiful! We were there a few years back.
I love your weekly updates-thank you!
Oh Lady Carnarvon, this is sooo beautiful and echoes my sentiments entirely. Thank you for such inspiring words! Blessings on you and you family.
Made my Monday. Thank you for the beautiful words.
BTW, the photo of you in the field is lovely. I like the white coat and want to know where to get one!
The coat is very old!!
Bonnie I totally agree with you. I just called my girls over and said “Look at how gorgeous she looks just out for a stroll with the dogs in her backyard.” I always tell them that Lady Carnarvon radiates elegance that comes from within her.
The picture of the little bird and his reflection was amazing as well.
Take Care Everyone.
You are kind. – I also very good at looking scruffy!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What a lovely post. The Sound of Silence is a favorite of mine, and I listened to it over the weekend after hearing a COVID-19 parody on YouTube. It is timeless. At my house, birds chirp and sing every morning, but I can hear them more clearly now. The silence is golden.
Your amazing photos are a wonderful reminder that we are all stewards of the environment in our lifetime. Nature is such a gift to us all. There is hope at the end of the rainbow even in these difficult times.
The Woodlands, Texas
All so very true…The doves returned and tulips are up….how often we forget to listen and look.This “pause” has been relaxing from my usual chaos and prompted a change in my future priorities. Thank you for the inspiration.
Lovely …thank you for sharing. I can feel the quiet and the peace in your words. I too have enjoyed this time, in which to listen to the birds and work in my garden. I visited Highclere October 2019. It is beautiful and I’m so happy I was able to visit. It may be a while for an American to visit again.
I hope the world will move again in a small way
Inspiring words and pictures today. I especially love that the dogs have to recover from “their giddy excitement at another new day.” Why don’t human wake up that way? A friend told me that God has put us all in “time out” so that we can watch the world heal and the animals take back the land. At least long enough that we will change our ways and better honor the Earth when we emerge from this crisis. It’s a beautiful thought and consistent with what you write here. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the sounds of silence and share with us!
We need to and we need to stop blaming others – in this country the politicians were blaming cows for global warming.
It definitely is a beautiful thought. I was reading this part of scripture today. “Be still, and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10. Hopefully people will be doing that. We can see God in his creation, in a rainbow, in so many other ways. We just need to take the time to look for him, and let him speak to us. The world would be better off if more of us did that.
Beautifully said – so poignant and true. May we all learn something from this silence that we can carry with us as our lives slowly resume, hopefully to a slightly less noisy level than before.
Thank you.. I needed something today to feel calmer about things..
It’s so up & down here in USA..
It is up and down here too – bit we do need to find a still small voice of calm.
I totally understand. I find I can no longer listen to the news mainly because in the United States we have a mad man in the oval office who rages at people. And then the news today changes what was said yesterday, so who do we believe. We don’t have the large house and the wonderful land to use during our quarantine, so THANK YOU for sharing the sights and thoughts of your walks. Stay safe.
Please try to be kind and refrain from such biting criticism…it does no good and it hurts those who feel differently.
It is hard to find a middle ground –
Lovely piece. Perfect for Earth Day Week. You are a wonderful writer.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
That was a lovely post to start our week. Now I have the inspiration to listen more on my daily walks. When I walk early in the morning I listen to the birds chirping from the trees or balancing on a lamppost. Their songs are refreshing and peaceful. The ducks quack in the Ponds and mother ducks quack at their eight little babies behind her foraging along the shoreline. No cars, no trucks, no buses taking children to school. Just the birds, ducks and the occasional bunny munching.
Thank you. This post was so much nicer than watching the morning news.
Thank you !
Dear Lady Carnarvon, thank you so much for your heartening words…I live close to 3 major roads & a bypass & for the first time in 13 years I can hear the birds singing – the constant roar of traffic is no more…..this, to me personally, is the best part of the Nightmare that has so quickly engulfed the Earth….now the air is clean & the birdsong is the most beautiful music ever. AND – the hole in the Ozone Layer has healed itself – a miracle we so desperately needed. Next we have to hope the Global Warming will not only cease – but return to normal……for all our sakes! Thank you again, & I wish you all safe & healthy weeks ahead, Caroline
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Every word of this rings true. What will we learn from this heartbreaking time? Nature, the seasons, the celestial rotations, will hopefully be seen again for their absolute importance.
I, too, love “Sounds if Silence”, and you are right- it speaks to all we are currently experiencing. Be well, stay healthy and find comfort in the Spring that is unfolding around us.
I loved the Virtual Cocktail Party last week- thank you for the stories and smiles! Can you mention again the online link for ordering your gin? Many thanks!
Charlotte Merriam Cole
Thank you – we thought we might host our next “Cocktails at the Castle”on the evening Friday May 1st and I plan to share a couple of 1920 cocktails The Aviation and The Hanky Panky!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon, thank you for you heartening words. I live near 3 major roads & for 1st time in 13 years I can breathe clean air & hear the birds singing. I’m glad the hole in the Ozone Layer has healed & maybe Global Warming may even return to normal. Best wishes to you all @ Highclere, Caroline
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for your beautiful words. I have shared your article with many of my friends and family. I have been very fortunate to have visited Highclere and am grateful you are preserving it’s history and land with so much deep understanding and love. May we all find strength and peace as we look at our past, current and future path in this world.
You are kind – thank you
Thank you for sharing these cautionary words.
May God Bless you and your husband in your stewardship.
Suzanne from Canada.
Thank you in Canada!
Thank you for sharing a glimpse of Highclere Castle with us. Although we can’t all live at Highclere, we can visit, as I have. And we can ALL look at the nature around us wherever we are and be appreciative and protective.
I too have noticed the silence. It has been lovely. The Sound of Silence is one of my favorite songs and has been for many many years.
It is a great song and then at the end of the blog another old favourite “Somewhere over the rainbow… “
I loved your essay. At first when I was shut in, hey it’s okay. Then time goes on and it’s not so okay, I feel my family is a bit too familiar, I’ve seen too much of the house, I’m starting to get bored. What to do? Then I started giving my garden plants the admiration and respect they deserve. The birds visiting in the bird bath. And so on. One day we find ourselves looking around, really looking, feeling nature. You have a beautiful place at Highclere, you’ve been working so hard for a long time on the property. Now that things have slowed down a bit you have time to really enjoy it! I bet the dogs are enjoying your undivided attention!
I should be outside by am 12 hours at my desk or other desk most days!
Absolute truth, we need to be more aware of nature and what we are doing to mother earth. Thank you for your eloquent words.
Thank you. This was very thoughtful and so timely.
Beautifully said. The silence.
We are all rushing here and there, and it’s wonderful to see what our good has Lord given us… all this beautiful nature around and incredible creatures as well…. and I agree we really don’t own things.. we are their current caretakers. So much beauty surrounding us all, and we just have to stop and appreciate what is sitting right in front of us. Each day is a brand new day❤️
Dear Lady Carnarvon and Monday Family,
In these troubled and uncertain times, I find these lyrics of Paul Simon (sung so beautifully by Art Garfunkel) to be so uplifting and reflective of the inner good within mankind:
“When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all,
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.”
And this week my friends, in the UK you have witnessed a remarkable act of selflessness by 99 year old Captain Tom Moore who set himself the challenge of walking 100 laps of his backyard (just before his 100th birthday) to raise £1,000 for the NHS. He has now raised in excess of £24 million.
Fellow bloggers, I think that you will agree that the tribute (accessed by this link) is uplifting, appropriate: and most deserved
Thank you Captain Tom Moore for showing that in the darkest of times, our very best can still shine through.
Best wishes to you all and take care.
Good Morning Lady Carnarvon,
Words to songs like that, bring out your hidden thoughts, warmth, and awareness.
They relax your fears, and bring thoughts out, that things are really NOT as bad as they seem.
Have a Great Day, Catherine!
I too can share the experience of silence in the countryside. Many years ago, when the troubles in Bosnia were taking place, I was sitting on a stile at a fishery and thought just how peaceful it was.
No traffic, aircraft just silence and appreciated just how fortunate some of us are.
My silence was later interrupted when a friend arrived and asked “‘Ave ya cort any troot?”
Set the dogs on him keeper.
If Elton John can move a grand piano into the open, then you too could do the same at the VE Day event and with you own vocal refrains to entertain the visitors. Even better, try and get Lady Mary to join you.
Was thinking along the lines of Victoria Wood, Hinge & Bracket, Chas & Dave, just to get Highclere rocking and break the silence.
Carry on rocking, Highclere.
I have the most extraordinary offer to come and sing for us on VE day – she has one of the most beautiful voices in the world and is a beautiful person. She said it was in her diary and I cried!
Bless your dogs’ “giddy excitement!” Hopefully the lovely silence of their hunting instincts can teach us to be patient, quiet, and listen to the sounds of silence. Thank you for a beautiful read. Back to my coffee and the backyard birds.
They are a bit noisy to start with, Stella always has a lot to say.
Such lovely thoughts! Thank you ❤️❤️
Agree with Cheryl.
We are so lucky to live on a farm.
Enjoy our walks every morning listening to the silence and Gods music( bird song)
It is amazing music
Beautifully written, thank you for sharing your world.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon. I needed these words. The photos of nightfall, birds, butterflies and you in the field of poppies – just lovely!
I needed this lovely blog. We are all in a depressing, even frightening, time. I think I am coping well and then realize my mind is having difficulty concentrating and focussing. I feel distraught thinking of the health care workers who do not have the proper protective gear who keep going to help those who are so ill with this virus. The division from the White House over how to handle the situation – when in fact the U.S. should be pulling together to help us all. Thank you so much for your blogs – they truly resonate with me. Much love Diane Bourdeau.
I think the focus should be entirely on the pandemic, without investigation, testing, proper equipment for the doctors/nurses and proper equipment for the patients how can we plan our way out?
What a lovely read that was, Thank you.
Thank you for your lovely words and beautiful photos. I too find solace in the night sky as well as the daytime and especially in rainbows. The clouds will always give a fresh picture and we shouldn’t forget to look up to Heaven. May we soon see every country in the world recover and rejoice.
Stunning, Lady C. Just stunning.
This is a truly beautiful post. Thank you. I wish nature could read this well as I believe it would blossom even more.
Hermoso. Con cariño y reconocimiento para ti. Susana ruiz tabasco mexico
Great pics. Thanks for the read. Beautiful picture in the field of flowers in Spring. 🙂
How uplifting it was to wake up to this column from you today. I have also been singing hello darkness my old friend, in my head. You are such an excellent writer, such a poet with the words. I’ve thought this whenever I read your columns. Perhaps you will write another book about Highclere and how it was to live there during this time. I so love your other books, At Home at Highclere and Christmas at Highclere. Thank you for giving these wonderful mental images to us today as well as the beautiful photographs. Thank you for opening your home and heart to us.
A lovely way to begin our week – being mindful of the beauty of this world. Thank you Lady C
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
How lovely! Thank you so much. We live on a circle, our gardens are every variety of palm tree and very old, moss-hung oaks. Hibiscus and desert rose bloom year round…we have a new crop of baby birds (bright red cardinals, blue jays, red headed woodpeckers, etc), and we are blessed with Great Blue Herons, Egrets, and Sandhill Cranes. The Sandhill Cranes are a mated pair that have brought their offspring, two fuzzy babies, to show them off – they have walked the circle of our 10 houses twice this morning. The parents keeping a close watch on their chicks…and we must keep a close eye also, for they are all God’s creatures to stop and gaze at in wonder. South Florida, quarantined, but happy!
WOW, your best writing yet and so true – take this time to enjoy and relish in the peace it brings. Thank you – love Monday mornings here in Minnesota reading your article. (ps…I visited the Castle with friends last August and still think back with such fond memories)
Your weekly posts lift me up and enlighten me… this one brought tears to my eyes. Simply beautiful! The connections between music and nature – all the stunning beauty surrounding us – plus the wonderful companionship and unconditional love of our dogs combine to become a balm to our souls in these worrisome times. Thank you for sharing.
God Bless you!
Beautifully written and you voiced a different way of looking at these times and creating a sense of peace. Thank you.
Dear Monday morning friend, I do look forward to your post and find that you to have found beauty in all this madness. I to, have found peace in my garden watching birds, planting flowers and of course weeding. I try to keep up with news but only for short periods of time. Thank you for reminding us of all God has given us.
In the US, The Rainbow Bridge is popular as a beautiful meadow “just this side of heaven” where our beloved pets wait for us to join them and together walk the rainbow bridge to heaven, never again to be separated. It sounds almost mawkishly sentimental, and I am a scientist, but I must say it has brought me so much comfort.
I lost my dearly loved dog in February. I think of him and how much he loved us and the world around him, every leaf, flower, bird, breeze, everything. (Well, except squirrels. Little furry Satans as far as he was concerned.) Nothing brought him more joy than to go for a walk with one of us. Were we worthy of so much love? It is so humbling.
Sometimes I think God must wonder if he put the right species at the top of the heap.
I hope that as we slowly move beyond this crisis, we will have a greater appreciation of not only those around us and around the world, but also of this beatiful world itself, and will think more deeply about how to repair some of our carelessly inflicted damage.
Thank you for such a lovely posting. There is an actual “Rainbow Bridge” in this area of Texas. The first mention I heard set my teeth on edge because I had been involved in Corgi rescue in Arizona for years; the term meant Loss to me.
I agree with the comfort of the poem and cherish every card I’ve received from my vet as I’ve released a dear pet to a painless transition.
I have the same hope you do that as we move forward and appreciate the beauty of the world around us the healing can begin.
Thank you. Ida
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
During these days of tension and stress, music has become something that people are turning to for its ability to soothe and comfort. “The Sounds of Silence” was a favorite and has been joined by other favorites.
Spring in the Midwest (I live 40 miles or 65 kilometers west of Chicago) always seems to come late and although we see the buds on trees, we will have a warm day followed by several cold ones.
One thing that I have noticed since we have been sheltering at home for more than 5 weeks is the air seems to be cleaner since people are driving less.
Dogs are amazing for their ability to live in the moment and appreciate such things as a cold bowl of water. My “lady in a fur coat” loves a good walk and a walk with her is a great time to think.
I loved seeing Venus in the sky at your home the same way I stare at Venus at our home in the USA. We are connected. And your yellow warbler is so beautiful. And you standing all in white amidst the red poppies is simply beautiful. Thank you milady for brightening my Monday mornings week after week. I cannot stop humming “the sound of silence.”
Venus can be seen most months in the Western sky after dusk or before dawn. This year it is especially visible as it rises so high in the heavens!
I am afraid the tv is not the best place to view/hear the events of the day. The truth is rare and one really doesn’t know where they stand truthfully.
But, rest assured that your admirers and followers realize that you and his Lordship live in a place we people only dream of and see on tv. Accept that and treasure that your blog brings you and Highclere into our foremost visions.
You have what we here in the “Colonies” call, Heaven!!!!
Respect and Admiration!
Suzanne and Dan
I do so appreciate your blog. In your blogs I have a chance to vicariously experience your stewardship of such a fascinating property as Highclere Castle. I manage my grounds in California. I enjoy your photos. I planted a JFK rose near a fountain I built for my brother’s memory. It truly is the silent gaze in nature that boldly awakens the spirit. Every colorful detail is a joy.
Thank you for the beautiful sentiments. I feel quite contented at home listening and observing nature, walking with my new little pup, enjoying my little piece of the universe. I look forward to your Monday thoughts, and enjoy your views on your part of the world. Stay safe. Be well.
Carmel Indiana USA
Spring is such a lovely time with the focus on rebirth and the scent of wet earth and growing things. I hope we can awaken slowly to something close to what was, but with less thrust toward development just for its own sake. Maybe we should learn a lesson about the huge metropolitan areas we have built around the world and ask if that is really the best way to live?
Once again, thank you for your beautiful blog with its inspiring and informative prose and photos.
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon
The skies are less crowded as I sit watching out my bay window at the 2 acres in front of my house….my sanctuary for the last 20 years….
I can hear the traffic, though, the highway is only 1 mile to the west of my property. Luckily I can’t see it for the trees and shape of my property looks south. If there wasn’t a couple of mountain ranges between me and the Pacific, I would be able to see the ocean! Wow!
I don’t know how people live in the “noise”
of the big cities, yet, I live here hearing the traffic! Ugh…. but somedays lately there has been less….
Your sounds of silence are beautiful to think of everyone has their own, I guess…..whether it is in the big city highrise or a castle or a cattle ranch or just like where I live.
I pray for our world as this pandemic spreads and infects US ALL working it’s way through our bodies to just become another pest for us humans to battle yearly with a vaccine (who knows right now).
May we all have peaceful thoughts and pray for those who are diligently seeking a remedy and for those who have been chosen to suffer this horrible illness and for those who are on the “frontlines” giving comfort.
My favorite post to date!!! That spot at the back of the house where the slope falls away toward the path to the garden is where I experienced more calm and peace than I have in my lifetime. A quiet stillness where one can hear God in the wind and smell Heaven in the blooms. I so hope to return one day and bring my daughters.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for this wonderful and moving blog.
Stay safe and be well.
Kathleen from Canada.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for your gift of writing and sharing. You must be looked on by your family’s ancestors with pride, as your stewardship has been of benefit to not only Highclere and your heirs, but to those who visit, those who have loved Downton Abbey, and those who read your blog. To millions.
My daughter and I visited in December. Pouring rain and driving winds could not keep us, nor the hundreds of visitors that day. You and Lord Carnarvon held a beautiful service and the carolers sang through the day, indoors and out. We walked the monks garden and ran for the huge tree we used as cover, laughing by the famous bench. It was magical. And all due to your stewardship.
Thank you and may God continue to bless all of what you do!
This is a truly beautiful post. Thank you. I wish nature could read this well as I believe it would blossom even more.
Thanks for another wonderful post. Loved that you referenced the Marvel Universe!!
Just beautiful! Even though I’m on the other side of the pond, I too look up at the night sky as I take my dog out in the evening. I often stand in awe of the amazing view, while standing in complete silence. Somehow, that view proves we are all in this together. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement, Lady Carnarvon!
My son took the photographs of the night sky last night for me..
Mesmerizing. This touched my soul. Thank you from speaking from the heart. I have often said that the world is too noisy and busy and we all need to just stop, look and listen to it. Everyone, all over the world, has had their own opportunity during this time of pandemic, to reconnect, ponder, meditate, consider, etc. all that life has to offer, and to never take anything, or anyone for granted again. I pray that each one has found their own special peace and contentment.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
You truly have been blessed with the gift of love for others and a caring for the the land entrusted to you both. Bless you. We had plans to visit your area, and a wee bit of Scotland in a few months, but now we are, as the world is, watching and waiting from our home. So keep bringing your rays of sunshine and words of wisdom to us and help brighten our way. Thank you.
It seems all of Great Britain has responded before I wake up and happily read your blog every Monday or so. This post was beautifully written and shows what an amazing person you are and how fortunate Geordie and Highclere is to have you there! I loved…
“We hope we have planted more trees, touched the landscape with light hands and mixed our need for food and farming with nature’s need for balance and peace.” Was so fortunate to visit one fall day in October 2018. Hope to return some day.
I have found during this time of isolation how much I miss the hugs of my great-grandbabies, the hugs and laughter of my kids and grandkids. I am grateful for the technology to be able to “see” them even if it is over a screen. I have also found I am becoming closer to my God as the silence allows me to focus on Him. I have also seen that, thankfully, Mother Nature has chosen to ignore COVID19 as the birds build their nests for the future, flowers bloom, trees bud out. Sometimes there is too much “noise” in our lives and we need the Sounds of Silence. Now, I’m off to my sewing room to make more face masks. Stay well and be ever so safe in this crazy, changing world!
Thank you and you too
I loved reading this , you said it so well . I have lived a long time 71 years and I have never seen the world come to a stop like it has . The world is a beautiful place , If people would just stop, look and listen more often . It took something like this to wake us all up .
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for this beautiful message today. Your words are so inspiring in the midst of these difficult times in our world. It is lovely to awaken each morning and hear the birds singing. May we each take time to enjoy the beauty of nature. Best wishes to you and your family from Maryland, USA.
Such a beautiful post. I’ve started walking again with our dogs just at dusk in a big field near the woods. Forgot how beautiful the twilight sounds are. The birds soft singing, a creak of a tree in the woods, crackling leaves as something scampers away from us. It is an old world that I’ve forgotten with the advent of travel and technology and now due to this pandemic it is all new again.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for your beautiful observation and recognition of the peace that nature feels in this trying time. Your blog post and photos have provided joy to the start of my day, thank you. I live in Phoenix, AZ and I have heard the desert come alive. Birdsong is non-ending, skies are clearer, and flora is in abundance. Although this is a time of stress, nature is doing her part to help us heal and sooth us with her gifts. May you and your family continue to enjoy the beauty and hold strong in these times.
“‘The Sounds Of Silence‘ is a song about the inability of people to communicate with each other … particularly, emotionally, so that what you see around you are people who are unable to love each other.”
“Hello darkness my old friend” – a return to a state of despair and all too familiar loneliness; being companions of the ‘silence’.
Inability to Communicate:
“People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence“
The ‘Angst’ of the Post-Adolescent (Paul Simon was only 21 when he wrote the song):
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops, fell
And echoed in the wells of silence.”
The song resonates with millions and it has a very singable melody.
It is hard to stop humming it!!
So wise. So lovely. Thank you.
Beautiful words and thoughts. Thank you for drawing our attention to nature. We take so many things for granted and Nature should not be one of them.
I needed these words — thank you, Lady Carnarvon.
People should be taking more time to go outdoors and enjoy nature. Your writing style helps us to appreciate all the flowers and creatures that are a part of nature just outside our door. It must be very interesting to live on a property that people have lived on thousands of years before. Just sitting there and imagining what life would have been like back then, would be fun, or looking for some artifacts on a lazy afternoon. Thank you for being so inspiring in these strange times.
Dear Lady Canarvon,
Thank you for the as ever, for a beautiful word picture. I have been finding that I too am getting sick of the news and am watching or listening to less and less. My piece of mind seems to be better, the more I block it out. My state of Iowa is not on total lockdown, (although staying at home is recommended), like you are, but if we were, I could not think of a more beautiful place to be than Highclere to be locked down. I love the night sky and even have a telescope, but, unfortunately, even though where I live we have acre lots, the city has deemed it wise to put in really strong streetlights and my back neighbors always leave their garage lights on, so I can only see really bright objects and no Milky Way ever. And last time I took my telescope on the back deck, I got growled at by a raccoon I disturbed, who was lurking in the shadows.
Your Simon and Garfunkel reference took me back to another time and place, with memories of warm summer nights at 17 (showing my age) cruising around Pittsburgh, PA with my boyfriend in his Pontiac convertible listening to “Bridge over Troubled Waters” and “Sounds of Silence” on the radio. Simpler times.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Sounds of Silence, these are 2 heartfelt songs especially during this pandemic! At my Dad’s funeral, we played Somewhere Over the Rainbow, he loved this song and now every time I see one, I believe it is him winking to us that everything will be alright!
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Maybe it is an opportunity to stay still and reflect on what we should be doing for our world. A Google earth photo of Wujan, China from before the pandemic is clouded with smog and pollution. Today it is clear and you can see the city. Perhaps, that’s a lesson we should be learning from the pandemic, not just in China, but all over this Earth. Keep encouraging the stillness, we need it in our world.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I should have come to visit Highclere next weekend with my sister Daniela, reading your touching words it is as if I had taken a walk in the castle garden, listened to the sound of silence and enjoyed the beauty of the place. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment with us.
Best wishes to you and all your family from Torino, Norther Italy
We will look forward to welcoming you whenever you can come here and all our best wishes to you and your family
Dearest Lady Carnarvon:
What a lovely, peaceful and calming blog post. A veil of tranquility to begin the week, thank you so much.
Now with Simon & Garfunkel and Judy Garland quietly singing in my head I am ready to begin my day with an improved outlook.
Stay Well, from Texas
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Reading your post today brought me back to your beautiful home that my husband and I were blessed to visit last July. It rained in the morning that day, and I was saddened to think that I would not be able to enjoy Highclere to its fullest. But, it cleared and with beautiful white, fluffy clouds in the sky, we arrived! Walking down the lanes of your “backyard” and sitting on the bench made of tree limbs was peaceful beyond measure. In this time of upset, I have looked at those pictures that I took that day and remember the tranquility. Thank you for being the custodians of a rich heritage. Thank you for opening up your home for us to enjoy. Good health to you and your family.
Lady Carnarvon, I meant to mention in my first comment, what a beautiful photo of yourself amongst the flowers. It is very becoming of you. You look very peaceful.
Good Monday Morning Lady Carnarvon and our Monday Family,
Many years ago when our children were very small, we hosted a Brazilian exchange student. It was a wonderful experience. She lived with us for 6 months. Understandably, after several months she became homesick. My most vivid memory of that time (1972) is one day we sat on the floor in front of our stereo and played my Simon and Garfunkle album (old school vinyl) over and over. She cried and I just held her and tried to comfort her heart. That album will forever be a reminder of that time in our lives. Music is such a powerful trigger for memories.
In my lifetime there have been events that will be remembered forever. This is undoubtedly one of those events. I try to find a positive benefit from a negative situation. You have highlighted the positive in this. The sound of silence…listen to the magnificent bird’s song… smell the roses while they are blooming…love the people that God gives us while we have them. None of us are promised tomorrow. Every day is a gift.
We pray Blessings for you and Lord Carnarvon and all of the Highclere staff. We will get through this. Wash your hands!
And sing whilst you do so!
Dear Lady Carnavon,
As I live alone in a flat in the middle of a big city, like Santiago, in Chile, with more than 8 million people living here, it is difficult these days to remember what nature looks like. But I have found some wonderful images of the sea, mountains, river, birds in some You Tube channels that just play for ever and make my soul be at peace. This is a time where humanity, all over this planet, is re-thinking their lives and the pressures we have been living with, with so little time for nature and for others and also for ourselves. So, this new instropection will make us come the other side of this tunnel much stronger and wise, I hope, and having learned to va oflue life, silence, company, friends and family all over again. Thank you for your very wise and calming words….
Thank you – I am sure many of us hope a few better kind strands emerge!
Dearest Lady Carnarvon
Your message today is poetry to me. You captured our feelings and misgivings. Time to “smell the roses” till all is “right with the world.”
Thank you for such a reflective post today. The Highclere Monday Family is once again brought together to share our longing for beauty and healing in the world.
Locally, the small animals and birds are reappearing. I’ve found a tree stump to leave fruits/veggies as offerings. These are leftovers/items I couldn’t locate in the fridge(LOL). Better to feed the birds than fill up the garbage bags.
I’m anticipating completing Phase 1 of HouseRehab/construction soon. I’ve decided to take time off and just live/meditate/walk and tend my garden. It’s almost #HurricaneSeason and I’m feeling that I’ll be prepared for that.
I remember “Sounds of Silence” song/album when it was new. I heard it at my boyfriend’s apartment in Houston TX. Later that day it was my in my memory as I sat in the Mark Rothko chapel on the Rice University Campus. I was surrounded by silence and in that moment the tears began to flow. What a release.
Your beautiful message brought back memories of #peace #light #love #joy: the lessons I teach.
Blessings on all.
And to you you Ida – take care
One word: Brava!
Thank you Denise and I hope you and your family are well?
Thank you for a glorious message
which is so uplifting and encouraging. W.H. Davis’s poem
“Leisure,” says it all. We should all take the time “To stand and stare.”……and to be reminded daily of our stewardship of this world.
Thank you again for making
Monday’s vastly special.
Marguerite from Florida
Wonderfully inspiring thoughts and images, thank-you!
I’m in the desert, and during this time, the sunsets have taken on special hues and meanings for me. They’ve become the best part of my day. Very best wishes to you all at Lovely Highclere Castle!
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for your musical story. Whenever possible, I always enjoy listening to the singing duo of Simon & Garfunkel (Art Garfunkel being favored). The 1982 Concert in Central Park version of “The Sounds of Silence” is most moving for me.
Due to the fact that I reside in the first Western suburb from Detroit, it is sometimes difficult to see the planet Venus without the aid of binoculars or a telescope. The lights of the City obscure and overshadow its view.
As Earth Day approaches (Wednesday, April 22, 2020), seeing the pictures of the floral, fauna, birds, and butterflies should be a reminder to all of us to take better care of this planet we live on.
Congratulations! to the artist from Highclere Castle’s painting competition. Nicely drawn and appropriately interjected into your story line.
Beautiful photograph of you among the poppies. It reminded me of “Flanders Field”, which unfortunately, has become almost devoid of its remembrance flower. Again, this should be a reminder to everyone to take better care of Mother Earth.
I hope to hear from you, but if not, then I look forward to next week’s posting.
Thank you – it is an amazing world …we seem to be the last to see it sometimes!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Every Monday morning I look forward to your blogs, but today’s is exceptionally touching for me. Living in the city, the silence can be deafening, however, the birds and the sounds of nature have taken over, even here. On my daily walks I am so much more aware of the nature around me. Here in Las Vegas, our roses and other flowers are in full bloom and make my walks that much sweeter. The silence and the darkness surround us, but we will again see the rainbow! While my plans to make a return to Highclere this summer have been cancelled, I look forward to a visit next year! Thank you for your Monday encouragement!
See you in 2021 and look forward to it
Caron Ara, Please know I am holding your hand. Offering you PEACE. And well being. I am supporting you in your loneliness… we may not BE THERE but we ARE supporting you…and wishing you our well wishes. BLESSINGS
Although I live in a big city, my home is located above a small pond. With all the noise in our lives, people often think they are the masters of the Earth. Last week my neighbor called me and told me to look at the pond. There on the edge were a pair of geese with their seven new baby goslings. Despite the newspaper headlines, despite the squawking on the television, nature just keeps on doing what nature does, living in the moment and carrying on with the cycle of life. Maybe in this crazy time, we should be more like nature, retreating to our nests, taking care of our family, focusing on those things that are most important. Oh, and I too was out and saw Venus.
Enjoy your quiet time.
From San Jose, California
You have reminded me of a date I had fifty years ago. I went to the cinema with a young man I rather liked. The film was The Graduate.
First time I had ever heard Simon and Garfunkel. Loved their music ever since.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow is my Mother’s favorite song. She is now 87.
Stay strong everybody. One day, all this will be in the past. In the meantime, enjoy the silence.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Greetings from Arkansas! Once again your words have be an encouragement to me. My husband and I had to limit our time watching the news. We found getting outside working in the flower beds worked its magic. The sound of the birds and the warm sunshine made us feel much better. We saw hummingbirds at the feeders for the first time over the weekend. They are so much fun to watch. I think one day when it is safe to move forward we will look at life in a different light.
All the best to you and your family!
By the way, our yard looks better than it has in a while.
I am glad your yard is giving you pleasure!
You have a special gift for inspiring others. I treasure every Monday when your writing appears on my iPhone. Thank you for sharing your life and experiences with us. I am so grateful that I discovered your blog. Blessings on you and your amazing coworkers and family. Joyce Coleman, Central Texas
In these “critical times, hard to deal with” I have found encouraging thoughts on the web site: JW.org, it is worth a look!
Dear Lady Carnarvon;
It is such a pleasure to read your posts and to see your beautiful property. You so eloquently express the beauty of the castle and of the fields that are now your responsibility. I believe that they have been left in good hands, and you will deliver to the next generation a much cared for, well kept place to carry on for many more generations. Hoping that you and yours stay well and safe.
South Carolina, USA
Thank you – I hope it is loved and welcoming
Most refreshing and uplifting, oh and much needed Call To Pause…Thank you from Southern California.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
I was touched by your words, wiping some tears as I followed your thoughts. May we take the time to truly listen and see.
A post-it note on my fridge is my daily reminder. It’s attributed to Albert Einstein: “Stillness is the language of God. Everything else is a poor translation.”
May we continue to be calm and still.
Great quote thank you
You are such a wonderful writer. I hope that you will write more books for us to enjoy.
I would love to – I have an idea!!
I meant to mention how sweet the child’s drawling of the castle with the rainbow! All of your readers are looking forward to the list of best drawings, paintings, verses, etc. When might that be? Have I missed it? Hope not!
We held a best drawing of Highclere or anything around here on instagram and this was a runner up. It is so charming
I haven’t figured out how to use Instagram – seems I signed up once, forgot the pwd, and can’t create a new account. Have to ask my grandchild! Any entries in verse? Just curious, since I sent one. Received a very kind reply from your staff. Enjoyed writing it anyway. Thank you for the many ways you bring laughter, memories, history, news and hope to your readers. I loved our visit to Highclere in 2013. Hope to come again.
Your entry was very special – thank you! I thought I might try a quiz next!
As we count down the days in lockdown, we appear to be counting down our blessing on this wonderful plant earth that we all rent with nature. I sat the other day in what was the busy town centre and suddenly I could hear the birds singing! I was treated to the song of our native bellbird, which if you are lucky enough, would may have hearld out in the countryside! Life is good.
Hello Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for that reminder to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. I am one who appreciates the moments of silence in my world. The personal lesson I have taken from all of this is while I have time I need to stop and appreciate who and what I have in my life. The animals are even noticing our absence from their world. Let us hope that this sense of compassion we are all experiencing stays with us when we start to venture out among each other again. If we learned nothing else we should have learned to be kinder to each other, if we can make that effort now why should we stop when this passes? I’ll take this moment now to wish you and the Highclere Family peace and love in this time of confusion. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Thank you – and to you it is just all of us finding that still small voice of calm
As everyone has already said today, thank you for your beautiful words and passion for the natural world. We are all stewards of the planet but how we quickly forget in the daily rush. In my ears I could suddenly hear the words of Wordsworth “The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” Wishing you a healthy and lovely week.
Thank you Catherine and you too
Your sentiment about the peace and quiet from the silence is also how I feel. The land, waters and air are being healed until people go back to their unappreciative ways of living. Rainbows are abundant in Hawaii and I see them often in our valley. We think of them as God’s promises to be there for us no matter what happens today, tomorrow and in eternity. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, recorded by our late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwaiooli (Bruddah Iz) is a poignant version used in many movies and commercials. Enjoy the silence at night, and songs of the animals during the day. Peace.
I think I always hope..
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
The birds have found their voices again…their chirps are filling the trees around our home here in Oklahoma. I sat on my deck this morning marveling at the different bird calls coming from every direction, so exciting. This slowing down has been a balm for my soul. Sometimes life moves so fast we don’t enjoy the simple beauty all around us. Thank you for pointing out the bright stars in the heaven, I will be sure to go outside this evening and experience that too.
I love the silence but grieve for those suffering. Your pictures and words are so helpful to get through this difficult time. Thank You!
Dear Lady C,
Thank you again – really beautiful. I was reminded of one of my favourite Psalms (learnt at Boarding School – another lonely time) – 121 “I will lift my eyes to the hills (or the stars in the sky)from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord who has made heaven & earth. He will not let your foot stumble. He who keeps you will not slumber or sleep. He shall preserve your soul from this time forth and forevermore”. They are such calming words and ones I turn too almost daily. Here on Tamborine Mountain, we don’t have the twittery sort of birds, but the loud and noisy variety that greet each morning – especially the Kookaburra dawn chorus, which have just chortled their way into the new day – delighting my heart in the midst of loneliness. May the Good Lord bless and keep you and all you love. “Be still and know that I am God” – another verse that I had to learn the hard way. with love, Anne.
I think you are very right – we are not gods
Beautiful pictures and writing as usual! Thank you again! Keep safe and health Lady Carnarvon!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today and reminding us to appreciate the beauty all around us, instead of focusing on the ugliness we are so often shown. I live on a farm and sometimes I find myself taking for granted the joy of this life. Each day we are given such blessings, no matter where we live, we just need to look for them. Turn off the TV or radio, open your windows or walk outside, and just breathe! I confess I am ‘dog poor’, having 11 or 12 around the place, and we often take off down into the pastures, the woods, and to the ponds and like your doggies, mine also bring to me such joy, just by watching theirs! I have Australian Shepherds, a couple of Great Pyrenees, and elderly German Shepherd, and a young Mastiff and they all are so thrilled when I am with them on an ‘adventure’. 🙂 I am also anticipating the birth of 3 foals, each day checking to see if one has arrived in the hours since I last checked. It never gets old but as I said, sometimes I find myself taking such for granted and I thank you for reminding me not to! Much more joy to you, from the music of nature, as well as the music of man. Spring is the time of re-birth and perhaps that is what we are all going through now. Blessings on you and yours.
You sound very busy but in a wonderful way!
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for an inspiring message. Loved the pictures, especially the blue butterfly. I can just hear the dogs, leaping and cavorting (sp?) with joy over the new day. Dogs are very special aren’t they. Our almost 10 year old springer spaniel is always raring to go in the morning when she gets out of her sleeping crate. We are very lucky here at our gated community in Naples. We have a lovely community to walk around, the possibility of golf as long as we social distance, each in our own golf cart, a food service that provides take out lunches and dinners and even a “pantry” for us to order food that we can no longer find in the grocery stores.
I too hope that when things get back to “normal” that we will all remember how fragile our planet is and try to make it a better place for ours and future generations.
Beautiful words. Hopefully humankind can stop, listen to the silence and learn from this challenging moment in time.
As always, a wonderful post. Thankyou !! The sounds of nature are so restorative, even the silence.
The only thing that has kept me sane for many years is slowing down to watch the changes of nature. The daylight coming earlier in the morning, the bird songs changing as birds migrate through my area, the growth in my gardens. I have different wiring in my brain than most people, I guess. I dislike the technology of today with the exception of encyclopedias on line. I love learning so I am ok with that. Yes, this is time to slow down, to listen and to see what is there always but we are too busy to notice. I feel badly for anyone who cannot experience nature like you and I do. We know how blessed we are.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
No doubt you have been the gentlest, most dedicated and loving caretaker of Highclere’s natural beauty and bounty. That last picture of you standing in the meadow should be hung on the walls of the castle as a tribute to your profound role in its care taking and preservation.
Lady Carnarvon, I must admit…this post pushed all the buttons. It brought out deep emotions but at the same time, a sense of peace. As scary as this “pause” is, maybe we should be looking for the things we don’t normally take the time to see. Deep breath…it will all sort its self out.
Como lo han dicho todos, “Hermosas Palabras”, “The Sound of Silence”, una de mis canciones preferidas. No hay nada mas lindo que los sonidos del silencio, el viento en los arboles, el canto de los pájaros, el sonido de nuestros pasos… yo vivo en una ciudad y menudo me alejo a un pueblo de campo cercano, lo empece a realizar hace aprox. 4 años, solamente para salir a caminar y escuchar
“Los sonidos del Silencio” y precisamente siempre me acuerdo de esta canción, por eso esta nota, me causo grata sorpresa, por la coincidencia.
Hoy con esta Pandemia, ojala pase pronto, creo profundamente, que Dios puso el planeta en pausa, precisamente para que todos o por lo menos la mayoría escuchemos “Los Sonidos del Silencio”. y reflexionemos que “Todos necesitamos de Todos” la Solidaridad y la Caridad son “Valores” indispensables.
Me gustan tus notas, y esta en particular me pareció excelente!.
Daniel de Mercedes (Bs-As), Argentina.
I hope it will pass soon too
Thank you for sharing Lady Carnarvon. I do believe we would all love to hear you play a simple piece on your beautiful piano one day.
I find my calm in the evening at about bedtime. I love imagining myself at Highclere and to see all the property and places that you are able to see on horseback away from the castle. I enjoy listening to Lord Carnarvon’s narration as he drives through the beautiful grounds.
In order to enact my nightly routine, more effectively, I set a timer and listen to the documentary of Highclere online. I often switch off between falling asleep to that or an episode of Downton Abbey.
I guess you could say that I go to my “happy place” and all is well.
Next time I shall try “Sounds of Silence.”
Southeast Kansas USA
Thank you! Stay safe
Wonderful words and photographs. For the past 16 years I have been able to ski in the fabulous Canadain mountains of Whistler and Banff and have always enjoyed on occasion just hearing the motion of my skis against the snow on quiet runs and the magic of the scenary…. it is awesome. I agree that the nature is having time to heal…at such a cost to human life. I miss visiting the meadow especially this year.
it is a time go such sadness See you another year I hope
Just beautiful! You are bringing such joy into so many lives- reading the comments here, I am fortunate to have a lovely, good size garden and am loving the chance to watch it come alive.
Also greatly enjoyed Friday’s cocktails-we are making White Ladies this weekend- thank you.
Thank you – and I have two new (well old!) cocktails for Friday May 1st – same time!
Last evening I was looking up at Venus thinking how brightly it shines and that it is the same Venus the whole world sees, I then came in and read your blog and lo there she was beaming down on us from your picture. Such true words, I find them a haven of calm in theses troubled times, stay safe.
And you too – stay safe
So enjoyed the peacefulness and tranquility of your writing this week. I enjoy every week’s post. Thank you for sharing your words and your beautiful surroundings. I hope you have a lovely week. Until next Monday………..
Until next Monday
Dear Lady Carnarvon. Thank you for this piece which really touched my heart. I have always loved Simon and Garfunkel’s magical lyrics, so very poignant for most of our lives. I totally agree with you about noticing the sounds or lack of them at present. I feel our senses are heightened perhaps because we have more time to listen and reflect away from the usual frantic pace of life today. I don’t miss aircraft droning overhead or the noise of traffic at all. It is an absolute delight to hear the birds so clearly and I’m sure at this time of year nesting for them must be much more pleasant without those noises too. Please continue with your blogs as they are an absolute delight to read and do seem to mirror what so many people everywhere are feeling. Kind regards.
Lady Carnarvon, sorry about all the comments but a thought will come and I want to share it with you. I guess that is being a senior, the mind is not as good as it used to be. As said before, all your writings are wonderful but this one touched me very deeply. It was easy to shed some tears. When I go outside and look around, I can only hope that in years to come it will still be here. Happiness to you, your husband and son.
Thank you so much
Thank you for this post. They say that there is a silver lining in all things and for me the virus has given me more time in my garden actually watching things grow while I enjoy the birds and butterfly’s. And at the same time increasing my reading time. It is sad however that it takes such a tragedy to return one to the wonders and beauty of life. Thank you again for providing such an eloquent touchstone.
I’ve enjoyed all of your blogs but I think this is your best one yet!!
Thank you for helping us all to remember “the sound of silence”.
Lee Sacramento CA
Never read or even saw this sight before. Just stumbled upon it on google. Literally every word spoken is so true. Almost everyday since this pandemic, given that I’m not working, I’ve gone out to take photographs, walk my dogs and be for the most part away from people except my wife. Yes, I’ve had to go to the store to get some things for the house, but I’ve tried very hard to enjoy this quietness.
I love it….
Beautiful writing Lady Carnarvon and you picked the perfect song.
I met you last year at the Highclere concert and you were so gracious and approachable. I’m MICHELLE’s Auntie Trish and I live in the Hollywood Hills.
Stay safe and keep writing.
I remember! How nice to hear from you
I too cannot watch the news as much and I think it would be lovely to hear you play some music. I am starting to learn the piano and hope one day to manage a classical piece.
Have a lovely day
What a great project in these times!
Dear Lady Carnarvon, Thank you for a happy read, at the moment, I am enjoying the Sound of silence, no aircraft flying over, lovely blue skies, I love sitting in the garden, first thing in the morning and last thing at night listening to the birds singing, it’s so peaceful, and just helps you cope a little better with everything going on at the moment. Take care and hope the family and staff keep safe and well.
Thankyou for your blogs sadly my father marched his last march last week we always use to talk about your blogs when we spoke on the phone please do not take any notice of negative from the comments from itv interview they do not understand how much the castle and grounds cost to keep going and how wonderful employers you are im proud to say this as my cousins the collins family all were your employees over the years really you were there family xx
How very kind you are and I am so sorry your father has marched elsewhere – it is a different world after that and I have been thinking much of my parents recently who left us ages ago!
Dear Lady Carnarvon
Today I read once more and carefully your text and I was moved. Beautiful text, beautiful words.
I remember quite well the song “The sound of silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. It was one of the songs of my youth.
Please receive my big applause.
Eduardo Santisso Gonçalves
The stayed at home order in the USA has taught me of all the things I’ve been taking for granted, the importance of friendship and family. There is this poem I like “If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.” In a way, when things go back to normal, we’ll all continue with our lives like it was before, but I certainly hope that we’ll all stop and pick up more daises. Hope you and your husband and doing OK.
I also like merry go rounds!
As always, your words are lovely and inspiring. Yes, this time of quiet in our lives will end. We will return to the bustle of life, but I hope, as you do, that we will recall this time and continue to make time alone with God and His beautiful world a priority.
I loaded the Highclere App and it is wonderful! So much fun to see inside and learn more about the Castle. Would you ever consider doing a photographic type book with just pictures of the Lady Carnarvon’s and maybe even their husbands? I would love to have that sitting on the table in my living room!
Please can you let the honey lady know also about my dad his nickname was dinkyboy becausce he was a big baby thankyou
Beautiful images of nature and Highclere castle by night. You can almost listen to the night sounds. Sometimes classical music helps us think clearer. Much blessings.
Dear Lady Carnovan,
The song, ‘Sounds of Silence’,
gave me a feeling of peace in this covid-19 chaos.
I too have been listening to the birds and the quieter sounds of the world with less traffic and noise.
These are strange times in which we are now living.
Lovely written message.
…words, like silent raindrops fell
whispered in the sounds of silence..
A lovely written message Lady Carnarvon and wonderful pictures of Highclere that brought back wonderful memories of two visits
to Highclere especially the last one at last year’s concert when I actually got to shake your hand!
With regards the piano I have, due to the lockdown bought a acoustic Guitar to fulfill a life long dream to play a Musical instrument!
So watch this space, my dream now is to play Sounds of Silence by a camp fire!
Please film it and share !
Lady Carnarvon, I just found a little booklet with some quotes on it. The one that I especially like is, Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. It does not say who composed it. Kind regards to you and your family.
I agree totally and it makes one less anxious to realise that!
Lady Carnarvon, What a lovely post! I certainly am enjoying the blog. The photos are so beautiful. I don’t know if I like the one of the sky with the great house and the trees in silhouette or the one of Her Ladyship in the field of poppies best. Both are so lovely and while different are apt reflections of the world at this difficult time. The vastness of the night sky looming silently over a much quieter world and the solitude of a walk in a beautiful meadow with birdsong as a soundtrack both give us things to be grateful for and to meditate on.
I am spending some of my free time reading my new books which arrived this week. So excited to read “Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey”. I have raced through the pages, as I have been unable to put it down. You have done a lovely job of telling her story. Lady Catherine’s story is waiting impatiently on my nightstand. I can almost hear her urging me to get on with it. So glad I ordered the autographed versions of both.
Thank you for spreading a little light and joy in the world with your books and your blog.
Thank you – I am inundated with office work and longing to start writing
What a beautiful thing that you have a blog! I was searching up something on the internet and it popped up! Your words are very true, I too, think this is a time to really see nature and our world impact. My love for photography had me go take photos of recent flower buds outside.
I was looking forward to visiting Highclere this summer with my grandma (we love the show!) and I am a big fan of England and visiting! As a university graduate this April, everyones situation is unclear. I hope to visit next summer. Thank you for giving me something to look forward to! May you keep healthy and well.
from Michigan, USA.
Look forward to seeing you !
Thank you for your wonderful thoughts. I have always been a nature lover. I had three eastern bluebirds fledge from my little bird house yesterday afternoon. I sit with my back door open, drinking my coffee, listening to the wind rustle the leaves, the birds sing, the flower petals blow up into my doorway. I am blessed!
You are our one of our best poets in these sad times You once again have proved what a beautiful writer You are , can’t wait for October to get to Highclerc Castle again because up till then everything else has been cancelled in my life
thank you – I will look forward to seeing you – we are thinking of small tours – limited guests
Lady Carnarvon, read this again today. It brings a peace and a hopefulness and an acceptance that feels so necessary today. I thank you for the sharing of your gifts..given generously.