Works of Art
Eighteen months ago, I was wandering around Florence – I hardly needed to go inside any gallery to see a work of art because everywhere I looked, on every corner, there was “art”. It was in the architecture, the statues and fountains decorating each square and thoroughfare, in the bridges and even amongst the artists sitting, easel and paints to hand, creating pictures to be sold as mementos to tourists such as us. (The top painting is of course Venice and hangs as a work of art at Highclere)
Given where we are today, in almost every country in the world, it seems a world away now, almost a dream. Those who lead us are having to learn from day to day experience and constantly revising knowledge. The one strategy we are now all being asked to take is to hunker down, to withdraw into our homes and not to congregate in cinemas, pubs, restaurants or even beaches. We are being told we should neither work together, or perhaps even walk together, but to retreat into self-isolation.
It seems strange and uncomfortable, almost impossible, yet in the past our ancestors did encourage times, sometimes even weeks, of discipline, of silence and self-isolation. They believed it led to clarity of mind and thought. Indeed, the word discipline originally meant to learn, to gain knowledge and instruction. Ironically, in recent years, over-stressed and over-stretched people have often paid often huge sums of money to go on retreats where there is little or no contact, limited food and only water or tea to drink.
For everyone’s sakes we need to follow this advice, to retreat and be quiet in order to avoid spreading the virus further. We need to look at our homes as a sanctuary rather than a prison, a place of contemplation and meditation rather than a time of enforced inactivity.
Growing up, my sisters and I were often thrown into our own worlds. Often there was no television. Horrified my son likes to ask me if I was born before or just after World War Two.
Our mother was pretty organised in school holidays – the first thing we had to do was draw up a study plan, the next thing was a job rota. Whose turn was it to set the table, to bring the food through from the kitchen where Queenie, who cooked for us, prepared very traditional lunches, whose to dry up, put things away and so on. It saved a lot of arguments although naturally we found other things to argue about instead. Queenie made scones and cakes for tea and we helped her and licked the bowls out. We all read – although I read much more than my sister Sarah, who read only precisely what she had to and who only ever got A*s which was, and still is, incredibly annoying. If the weather was really bad sometimes we would try drawing a still life: for some reason I remember drawing shoes as well as the more traditional apples.
Turning back to structure, to timetables, to cooking a cake or a loaf of bread, makes me feel calmer and in the end more hopeful. Yesterday my son and I baked a loaf of bread – it should last us 2 or 3 days. All my books have a bread recipe in – it takes a little time to make and to knead but you now have time. The remains of a chicken from supper is stock for a soup tonight. Take it in turns to cook supper – write out a menu. Do some yoga stretches every day, listen to your breathing.
Amongst all the archive papers here are numerous sketches – likely done on rainy afternoons. Looking at them I have had the idea of a painting competition. Using photos of Highclere here or on Instagram (where I have already mentioned this idea), decide what you are going to paint or sketch.
We will have winners and runners up (two categories divided into over and under 12 years old). If you prefer words to paints – paint a picture in a poem, write a letter by hand… You could always submit a painting and a poem? The closing date to email in a photo of your work of art is Easter Sunday and I will put all the details on our website including the email address for your entries. The email is: [email protected]
We may be separated in space but we can be united in determination. I suspect we will all remain alone with our thoughts this year on VE day – the 75th anniversary. We have postponed our commemoration at Highclere to October – a time to remember others, support charities which will be even more hard pressed than they are today and to wonder what our parents and grandparents might think. Have we squandered their legacy of peace? We are distrustful of politicians, and thus the systems which lie at the very heart of our lives, and appear short-sighted, divided and angry. The veneer of kind behaviour is looking very thin with supermarket queues and shortages acting as the new battlegrounds.
We have to have hope and, as we travel deeper into this challenging storm, we need to help each other think of the common good. We can do it together, and it can bring out the best in us. We are part of a wider world, the borders we have created mean nothing to any virus and we each have a contribution to make. Humans are the most resourceful species and we will rise to the challenge now facing us all.
Thank you for your encouraging words today.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon! Hope you and your family are safe and healthy! All the best!
We are well and cooking together tonight – thank you! I am about to plan our menus. We have soup and salad at lunch, we cook and sit at night, that is what suits our mood at the moment. Tonight my son made a ragout for us, tomorrow I will make a risotto with whatever vegetables we have as well as good sausages and sage – I love sage!
Thankyou..very sensible words..
Thank you from Winchester, VA. USA
Thank you from Winchester, VA. USA
Thank you for this wonderful letter, it’s so inspiring. I’m in Maine in the US where the virus is still at low levels. But the grocery store is a scary place. I’ve discovered I’m elderly because my neighbors are calling to check up on me. Guess the white hair and cane are a dead giveaway… I love books about England in WWII and from them I’ve learned a lot about economy in the home, managing with few resources, staying calm and carrying on.
Hello from Sweden
Two years ago we were visiting High Clare Castle An unforgettable memory We had planned to go there this year too but a nasty virus came between But I know that the castle will be there when the virus is gone Looking forward to see this fantastic place again
You are so kind
We can thank God and Julian Fellows for our “link” to you and your lovely home. Have a peaceful week, until next Monday…✌️
Cheering words! Thank you, Lady Carnarvon.
I have a niece who is hunkered down in her home and three months pregnant. I can’t imagine that amount of worry, so I suggested she distract herself with baking. I encouraged her to bake her first loaf of bread yesterday.
Meanwhile, I made a scratch chocolate cake and rolled out scratch whole wheat pasta all before 10:30 in the morning. The kitchen is my refuge, a place of both creativity and security. It nourishes body and soul.
Courage, everyone, and bake something!
Thank you for the encouraging words! We spend so much time being over committed, treat this home stay as time to organize your “nest”.
Doing those chores we never have time for.
Reading, gardening, quilting are my pastimes.
I hope to someday visit your lovely home, that I have admired so much!
Your writing is so uplifting and beautiful. You are a wonderful writer. Thank you for the peaceful vision and hope. Thank you for the activity to help focus our minds.
I was scheduled on a tour of your house in May, my first time over-seas from the US, and am sorry to miss it. I hope to be able to continue through on cancelled plans. For over 50 years, I’ve dreamed of going not only to England, but to the country and villages. It is not my time. I hope my time will come at some point. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy your writings.
Thank you from Austin, Texas, USA
Thank you for your wonderful art idea. However, have you considered it would also be fun for adult artists to do the same? I dabble in pastel, watercolor and oil and kept the Highclere calendar
I purchased there on a closed tour in May, 2016, with the idea of doing some kind of art work from the photos. So far, it has just been in my future project file, but it might be fun to let us share our work as well, even if not as competition, but simply a way to fill some of the void and connect with others who also love Highclere. Just a thought. In the mean time, although I fit the age of people who should be worried, I am thankful that I am pretty fit so can go still go and hike, and, though my barn is now controlling how many people are there at a time, I can still go ride a horse. So many people are so much worse off than I am, and, having visited Rome and Florence last year, find myself thinking about all of the people we met, like the lovely older woman who was our Roman guide and really loved the city, and wonder how they are doing. I hope they are well.
One category for adults and one category for children – please paint and lead the way
Last year I was fortunate to visit Hampton Court and was aware that the Royal Collection had
allowed 25 Canaletto paintings to be displayed. What is more interesting is how these pieces of art were actually acquired for George III and the price paid.
I have my own Canaletto, well a wooden jigsaw of a view of the Thames. So nice I had it framed.
Look forward to a Highclere cookie or hobnob in October.
Carry on Highclere………..as always.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What a great idea of having a painting contest and I am sure it will be a roaring success. It will be fun and entertaining looking at the different pictures.
Thank you for you calming post concerning these strange times. It definitely is no better here in the USA with people’s patience getting a little shorter each day. The wether here I. Florida is a godsend. At least we can get outside and breathe the fresh air.
Stay safe and thank you for bringing me my Monday moment of joy.
All the best,
I am just about to go out and record a meditative post for our instagram – good for me to do too!
Well written. We just rise or as a race we will fail each other in a dramatic fashion.
Your words are very calming. Thank you for saying these things to the world.
I am 72 years old, living in Georgia, USA, with my 3 bulldogs, Butler, Scarlet, and Tara. We are not bored but enjoying each other’s company. They keep me laughing.
Stay safe and healthy.
They will occupy you and talk to you
Such a lovely way to look at this time in our lives, wonderful ideas to keep ourselves calm. Thank you, wishing you well.
Thank you, Stay safe
Greetings from Fort Worth, Texas. I have this quotation hanging on the wall among my bottles and tubes of paint, flower pots full of painting material, brushes, and canvases in various stages of completion.
“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.”
-Elsie de Wolfe
To me, it is inspirational in its simplicity, and can be applied to our lives in so many different ways. Once again, thank you for allowing us to share our thoughts with you.
Today the sun is shining and I can can speak to my girlfriends on the phone and together we encourage each other
What a lovely quote,
Perhaps I can barrow it and paint a sign and hang it in my kitchen….. thank you for the idea!
Che’rie from Scottsdale
Thank-you Lady Carnarvon for your inspiring post:
In these troubling times, you are right, the mind wanders back to trips and visits in our past. We see those places again but as in a far-away dream, exactly as you describe.hello
It is indeed in the simple things like baking bread and cakes that we find solace and comfort.
Here in Paris, we are entering our second week of ‘purdah’ ! And my husband and I are starting to adapt.
As you say, we need to see our home as a sanctuary where we can tap into our inner resources and take the time to reflect.
I love hearing about your childhood and your lovely cook, Queenie.
The sight of spring beginning to blossom at Highclere is also so reassuring. Life goes on amidst this crisis and the arrival of spring gives us the hope and the courage to push on !
Interesting, uplifting, positive, beautiful and timely words. Perfect reading for where this world is at right now.
I so look forward to your weekly blogs; they always bring a sense of having a dear friend that shares the beauty and peace of country living.
This blog has touched my heart and takes me back to my childhood when family and friends were the true blessings in life and not materialism.
In admiration and appreciation,
Many thanks for a thoughtful article on another somber Monday. Your reminiscences of admiring unusual works of art in architecture and nature, and even kneading the dough which becomes precious bread are new ways we can take advantage of this “down” time. I may take a chance on your competition to write, since I can’t draw very well at all. Thank again for this suggestion to do something different to perhaps clear our minds for awhile.
You bring up many good points. Home should not be a prison but a comforting retreat, full of things that you love to use and to look at, be among. We have been thrown back to a simpler time, where we find things to do closer to home, there are no bars or restaurants, and shopping is kept to going for what we absolutely need. This moment, I have just heard our governor is shutting down the state for two weeks, we can’t go anywhere unless it’s essential, so…I am a home worker, and am glad I am used to, and enjoy being in my home…
I have read many messages lately but this is the one most resonates with me. Thank you.
It confirms what I believe in and it is of great comfort, soothing and inspiring to know of your thoughts. Keep well and stay safe.
Thank you for your sweet words, so calmly encouraging these days. I have a new watercolor set on order and am enjoying the decision as to what to paint. Highclere inspires!
Beautiful narrative and interesting historical information. As always, thank you, I look forward to your posts.
I look forward to your inspirational views each time. Isolation is good for the soul! God bless you and your family. Be safe and stay healthy
I love the last picture with the promise of spring in the forefront (a great perspective). I also love the one of the 18th century cedar (wish I could have seen the whole tree). How did you determine its age? I love the cedars that weep gracefully on the Highclere landscape. I have one of my own that is my favorite.
Your first picture of Venice, in it self, speaks of centuries of life in a very distance, enchanting paradise centuries ago, in some forgotten land.
The picture is MAGNIFICENT.
Job well done!!
All the Best,
John Roberts, Amherst, N.Y…U.S.A.
What a encouraging way to begin this Monday morning Lady Carnarvon,
My daughter Chloé set up canvases & painting supplies and her dad and I all sat down to create together Saturday morning. I read your idea for painting in Instagram and began to attempt to sketch a picture of Highclere from a photo we took while visiting last May. We were coincidentally posing for a photo in the courtyard by the tea room and gift shop with the brick side of the castle looming behind us…. To our surprise your husband and son exited a doorway and disappeared through an archway…my husband and I thought it was an extraordinary moment to catch a glimpse of your family obviously working as if it was just another day in their lives while all of us tourists stood in awe taking photos & videos with our phones! Such amazing memories! During this surreal time we are as you say spending quiet time together as a family…. I for one am creating a family movie of our 3 week holiday in Britain since I finally have the time…. At least we can relive our exiting adventures and share them with those we love…
Che’rie, Stephen & Chloé from Scottsdale, Arizona
The last paragraph of your message today is so inspiring, with hope and kindness for this weary world right now. My husband and I are self quarantining ourselves at home presently and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. It does give us time to reflect on what is truly important and how we take so many things for granted now a days.
I do agree that our parents and grandparents would be appalled at the way we are treating this situation regarding how we carelessly disregard the instructions of our leaders. They are only trying to bring about a healthy and orderly world.
We wish you and your family a healthy Spring and thank you for your words of wisdom.
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon. As always, a highlight of our week.
With, painfully, a now-cancelled visit(s) to Highclere (two visitations were planned an ticketed in the first two weeks of May), we are wishing you, your family and staff well during the Covid19 Crisis. And, of course, we are hoping for an opportunity for a future opportunity for tours.
We will be rescheduling April and May tickets – the office here is disbanding so we need computer code now written to help us (me). There will be hardly anyone in the office – I will go round computers as I can
Thank you for reminding me…we are not alone in this. In this pandemic If people in the U.S. would comply. Just comply !!! My son (age 44). Told us to keep our garage closed because he’s heard of looting and we have a freezer of meat. I want to make a cake from scratch. A white cake. A dense moist white cake.
Kathy….a dense, moist white cake is our favorite, too. Wedding cake! YUM!
Thank you for your calming beautiful words.
Prayers for all. This is a perfect time to reconnect with family, and reestablish our personal priorities. Enjoy your homes, family, hobbies. I enjoy your posts, and your photos. Keep it up!!
Thank you for this uplifting, inspirational read. It certainly is a very challenging time for us all. Myself & Husband are self isolating (he’s in vulnerable category)& not going out except for the garden, Its daunting to think we cant go out for our usual walks. However its not forever and we keep very occupied. We will come out of this having learnt a lot.
It is not for ever and it will be good to look back!
Enjoyed your uplifting & inspiring message. Thank you. I needed this motivation & plan to get into action today!
Thank you, thank you again for your inspiring words. So grateful to be sharing this site ….stay safe everyone.
We will thank you
Thank you…. we are all in this together and must just take a day at a time.
Bless you and your family. You have an incredible place to stay put….
Stay safe and stay health❤️
Thank you so much for calm and good advice for us all, and the world as a whole. I love your writings and in times like this the positivity is uplifting. You dwell not on any of your own worries but write to encourage others. Thank you so much. Gwyneth Gill
Greetings from New Zealand where we too are entering a 4-week lockdown period in a bid to defeat this invisible spectre which leaves such a trail of devastation in its wake. Thank you M’Lady for your blog. It is wonderful that the four corners of the world (and everywhere inbetween) can be united through technology, especially at a time like this. We have such liberty within our own walls! I believe that instead of lamenting the loss of freedom of movement, we should instead focus on the joy we’ll have later in being able to greet people who we’ll all have saved by keeping our distance now.
Stay safe and healthy everyone.
Thank you lets stay together, stay calm stay strong – I was sitting outside at the end of a tough day and recorded a video for our instagram which I post on each day – tell me what would be of interest!! @highclere_castle
Thank you! Good thoughts to ponder! Yesterday I found my box of art supplies. You’ve inspired me! You’re a blessing. Stay well. I look forward to Mondays!!!!
I look forward as you all check in
Dear Lady, We are happy to bring back memories to our childhood, especially when my childhood was joyful. As a little girl, I lived thousands of kilometers from you in a beautiful palace and park complex in Objezierze in Poland. I used to run around the Palace corridors, I admired the interior, beautiful paintings, sculptures and tapestries. Today I transferred these memories to my art, continuing weaving the tapestry according to medieval weaving technique, I want to save this wonderful decorative art from oblivion. I am sitting at my loom today, I paint pictures with wool and I remember this beautiful world.
Thank you that thanks to Lady initiative I was able to return for a moment to these beautiful memories of my childhood and to break away from this tragic situation for all of us.
My project Tapestry “Passion” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNaHhct
Lady Carnarvon, Respect, for both ourselves and others around you. Keep a little distance between yourself and others if you have to out for essentials. We will conquer this together with respect and kindness. Stay healthy Lady Carnarvon. My thoughts are with you.
I also agree with you to take this turbulent time to relearn to be happy with yourself and explore the wider world. Enjoy nature and surprise yourself by what you can discover about yourself and nature.
You are a leader with your message. Many Blessings
Thank you so much for this amazing letter.
My family is in isolation for everyone’s
We are in Barrie Ontario Canada.
Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
Thank you for continuing the lovely letters.
Kathleen from Canada
I find our “Monday Club” is uplifting as we all touch base…
Dear Lady Carnavon,
Thank you so much for today’s message. My sister and I had planned to travel to Great Britain in May for the Chelsea Flower Show and then onto Highclere Castle for a tour. Just received word last week that the show is cancelled. We have postponed our trip to next May.
The postponement will make the upcoming trip ever so sweet. In the meantime, I will enjoy your weekly blog and wish you, your family, and staff good health!
We are rescheduling like for like – we will look forward to seeing you – maybe we will all appreciate everything more.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for you calming words. As I read them, I can hear your beautiful voice. My husband and I were at Highclere in July of 2016 with a wonderful group from Viking Cruises. You were home at the castle that day and were so gracious as to visit with our group. I fondly remember strolling around the castle on the lovely lawns and visiting the garden. I felt as much at home there as I do in my own home in Nebraska, USA.
Here’s hoping you and yours (as well as everyone sharing your blog) health and happiness in these trying times.
I was speaking to Viking Cruises this morning – we are all in the same boat but will find calmer waters is we all stay calm
I’m enjoying passing time doing Words With Friends on my smartphone.
Your lovely photo of the spring wildflower meadow and fluffy white clouds in a perfectly blue sky does indeed give us hope, Lady Carnarvon, and lifts our spirits, thank-you!
Thank you for reminding us that “isolation” at home can be an amazing benefit to the spirit and our view of what is most important in life: life! My time is spent cooking and drawing and painting, when not on the internet, so I shall be making something for the Highclere “mail art” event…though I am not sure if there is a way for it to be sent. There has not been mail delivery here since March 12th, sadly, not sure if the Greek postal service is working. We are in full lock-down in Greece, having to have our id and papers proving our resident address if we so need to walk to the neighborhood supermarket or pharmacies (no driving, no traffic, no walks in the parks,eyc.). I am “home alone” and with enough supplies for a month or more, with the hope that the Greek sun will kill the virus by summer. We are asked to stay in the comfort of our homes…not too hard, really, we are not asked to “shelter-in-place” in some bunker or underground tunnel with bombs falling. stay well, stay safe dear Highclere Monday family. Stay Calm…it is the world’s “finest hour”.
All very nicely said! We will get over all of the turmoil and everyone will be happy again. Everyone had to give up their plans for the summer and hopefully we will be here for the next summer.
I love your blogs. I was lucky enough to visit your home and have you give us the introduction along with your husband. I will never forget it.
Amazing, Lady Carnarvon, your comments apply entirely to the situation we are actually living in Chile. In spite of the thousand of miles that separate us, the same realities make way here: people, like me, working remotely (about 60% of the working population), queues in the supermarkets, or ordering products or medicines on line that take nearly two weeks to arrive, people that go and buy almost everything they can find without thinking of others. But, at the same time, a sense of belonging to a common humanity, with the strength of our spirits helping us to overcome this difficult situation. We stay at home, yes, but it could be a lovely opportunity to “discover” the place, ourselves and enjoy this self-imposed quarantine. Much good could come from it.
Oops! Ha! no need to worry about postal services, as I now carefully read that the painting or sketch or poem is to be sent EMAIL!!! Of course! Thank you for this fun activity!
Thank you for the reminder of beauty that still exists in our world. In the midst of the disarray of construction it is comforting to consider the future of our world’s possibilities. My trips are canceled and they can be rescheduled.
Life is always different; some people’s bubbles have been rocked/popped. They are doing the best they can, I suppose.
I am grateful for life. I am grateful for the weekly Highclere letters. By the way, the cedar reminded me of a question I’ve had. Is it the tree featured in “The Legend of Tarzan”? As a #treeclimber, I fell in love with that tree and it’s on my list of “trees to visit”, if possible.
Good health for all your family/Highclere family/ Highclere Diaspora!
Keep calm and carry on!
(I remember my nanny, Dolores Bertrand(z”l), who was an angel to my mischievous ways. She also guided me in the simple lunch prep! I will always treasure her; she was a blessing in my life.)
You are right -the cedar was here but not that one!
At least your son didn’t ask you if ever ate dinosaur meat! My sister was less than when her asked her that.
Thank you for your uplifting and encouraging words. I look forward to your Monday blogs!
I’m going to focus on more creativity and less news watching here in California.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for sharing contemplative ideas and images, a favourite being the endurance of the tree. Thank you for the images of Spring. Take care. Kindest regards
Dear Lady Carnarvon and our Monday Family,
I agree with you 100%. How often during our very busy lives do we complain that we don’t have time to do this or that in our homes. No time for maintenance, or projects. No time to read or enjoy a hobby. Well, we have time now! I’m not happy about the isolation, but being upset or angry fixes nothing. What upsets me is those who are not taking this virus seriously. One of the Churches up in Georgia have 41 parishioners who have tested positive. It seems an unsuspecting choir member was infected and it spread. One person has died. This is real…..please heed Lady Carnarvon’s words and stay home. It will go on longer as it spreads if people don’t stay home. Our house here in Florida is tiny…just over 1000 square feet. So being sequestered here is quite different from being house bound at Highclere! But, it is too important to ignore. We are both in the ‘at risk’ category. Home Sweet Home is our motto !
God Bless you. I almost didn’t sleep last night knowing your blog would be a bright spot today.
Will the rules for the competition be posted? The email is: [email protected]
Warmest wishes and hugs,
L. Sue Smith
I need an email account which I will sort but it is for anyone and everyone – I just thought we need an end date:Easter Sunday!
“… we can be united in determination.”
Yes. And thank you for this thought.
yes – we are all in it
I join the others in thanking you for your inspiring words, lessons of history when those before us self isolated for inspiration, AND for providing a task to absorb our energies in the wonderful world of art. My father was a portrait and landscape painter who often smiled to think that artists tread the clouds while others walk the earth. How wonderful for parents wondering what to do with home-bound children. The email is: [email protected]
Dear Lady Carnarvon, My husband and I were on the last tour of Highclere castle yesterday. All other 48 people in our tour group cancelled due to the current circumstances in the world and you were so gracious not to cancel our booking in fact we were personally rung by a member of your staff who said you were still happy to accommodate us. We had a long 4 hour drive to see Highclere, getting a respite from our blended family of 7, exhausted not only from our long journey but from the current state of affairs and where our future was heading. We wanted one last day out in the country before the new ‘normal’ set in of working from home, home schooling, and basically only being allowed out for essentials and our one hour of daily sunshine.
It was such a relief to be met by your very kind staff, laughed that all we could do was nod hello while we kept our social distancing space and how alien felt in our culture not to greet with a hand shake. How surprised we were that you wanted to say hello and thank us for travelling such a long distance with the current situation, and you insisted we were given the private tour and meet and greet at no extra charge due!
I told you it felt so strange not being able to shake your hand and immediately you showed me Namaste, which I am surprised has not caught on as it is the perfect social distancing greeting! We just had a lovely time being shown around on our private tour I felt like a little girl with the world’s largest dollhouse at my finger tips as we were able to get so up close and personal with every room. Our afternoon tea was of course made up as to go as every place has had to do lately, and we were greeted by your fantastic butler who was so warm and caring towards us as we shared a laugh over having to hunker down and ride out the storm now.
The best part was sitting in the garden in the country air, everything just feels better with the sun beating down you and a fresh scone in your hand, and I commented to my husband it was days like this I would miss the most until things got back to normal. It was so kind of you to join us in the middle of our tea, and or discussion of our children and how we were trying to help them through this showed me that whether you live in the gorgeous country side or in a smaller sea side town the desire to be the best we can as parents through out this ordeal is universally paramount. I will never forget this wonderful afternoon you let us have before the closures of everything in the country and your gracious hospitality and words of encouragement that we were all going to pull through this and will be smiling on the other side of it soon. Thank you for everything and part of home schooling my children will be showing them the art of Namaste, and telling them about the wonderful lady who taught it to me.
Thank you and I hope some of your family might do a painting ..
I envy your gift with words! So well said. Namaste!
Yes my girls will be as I am turning the afternoon tea picnic basket you gave to us into a craft box 🙂 I have had to order paint and paper as everything is closed, is going to make a lovely Easter project for them to work on and I know they will be excited to send the pictures of their paintings in 🙂
The email is now there: [email protected]
Thank you for this inspiring and uplifting post that we need in this difficult and uncertain time. I am looking at this time to focus on my well-being and learn what matters to me most. My church’s theme for Lent is the wilderness, and like Christ Himself, I have been feeling as if we have been in the wilderness ourselves. I am also using this time to catch up on reading and to enjoy Metropolitan Opera on Demand. As the kindly captain on the cruise I took last fall said every day, “please take good care of each other.” This time, we need it more than ever! I pray we will get through this! Stay safe and healthy!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for your encouraging words this morning. My favorite paragraph was this, “For everyone’s sakes we need to follow this advice, to retreat and be quiet in order to avoid spreading the virus further. We need to look at our homes as a sanctuary rather than a prison, a place of contemplation and mediation rather than a time of enforced inactivity”. I think each of us could use this time to be quiet, to read that book we have wanted to read, or simply take a walk enjoying the sights and sounds of nature without thought of a busy schedule in the back of our minds. Let’s take care of each other. Check on each other and above all be kind to one another.
All the best to you and your family,
West Memphis, Arkansas
Thanks for all the encouragement! God Bless – Always love love love your pics… give your doggies a hug from me…
“United in determination…” ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Lady Carnarvon, thank you for your soothing words. It’s always a joy and a pleasure to see images of Highclere.
Lady Carnarvon, I absolutely adore Highere and this year on my birthday (5th of May), my partner and I were meant to come visit.
My heart just stopped when I got the email notification from your blog, thinking you will tell us anytime soon that we can’t come enjoy its beauty any more.
I really hope we will get the chance to soak in a lovely sunny day on the grass, enjoying the views…
My heart would be broken if we won’t get to see this gorgeous place…
We are delaying and sending out emails to gove reschedule options – we are however now asking all our beloved team to stay at home – we are not set up to work from home as we are a business based at Highclere …so another chapter of Highclere’s life
Dear Lady Carnarvon, you have done such a wonderful job preserving the cultural heritage of the Highclere Castle. Your love of history, art and life in general is truly admirable.
Now we are trying to survive
Thank you and love to your family.
Creativity of any kind always fosters inner peace and validation of one’s own worth. I marvel at the gift of drawing & painting that artists Express so effortlessly. I am blessed to have this wonderful digital camera as my canvas. I totally agree with your thoughts to be blessed during this time of limbo by the simple Joy’s of home and family. For those without and those afflicted my heart salutes you the real heroes of this war.
It is a leveller – we are all in it together and we all need to be heroes
Thank you for your calming and encouraging words. Self isolation is a whole new experience in our busy lives and an opportunity to pause and count our blessings. Your photos are always wonderful and I hope you’ll show us the blossoming trees on your estate as the spring is unfolds. I’m re-reading some of your earlier blogs in my isolation too. The dogs are my special favourite.
I am all ready for the bread making which I used to do with my Mum. The smell of it baking always takes me back to those days. Unfortunately the supermarkets here in Manchester have been cleared out of flour though they’ll hopefully restock and maybe ration it to customers this time.
We visited Highclere on your last day of opening before Downton The Movie started filming. We had a marvellous day and hope to return when this is all over. Meanwhile stay safe and well.
Thank you and we look forward to welcoming you
Thank you for a wonderfully uplifting blog…there is comfort to be found in simple pleasures…gardening especially. I was watching the new Downton movie and think I noticed one of tour dogs making a cameo appearance? God bless everyone.
Beautifully put. Thank you for an inspiring morning read…now to go make some bread 😉
Have fun!Still have not finished the loaf!!
Thank you for your thoughtful words this morning, we need to cherish all our love ones in these scary times, the world needs us to take care of each other! Be safe!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
A painting competition (The email is: [email protected])of all things that are ‘Highclere’. What a wonderful idea and what a great way for the children (and adults) to while away the hours on a creative and entertaining exercise. Unfortunately, my artistic skills are an acquired taste, so I will politely decline entering the competition, but I do wish all who do enter, much success – especially the children, I look forward to seeing some of the entries on your blog.
With respect to your forced re-arrangement of the celebrations of V-E Day, October is a very appropriate month for the commemorations and celebrations to now take place. For example, it was in late October 1945 (the 24th, to be precise) that the United Nations Charter came into effect. An event of world-wide significance for all of mankind but one that is all too readily forgotten or overlooked.
There also is probably an even less well-known event that occurred in early October 1945. When I first heard of it, I was quite shocked that it had occurred that long ago – namely, on 8th October 1945 the microwave oven was patented. Although my youth, teenage years and twenties were spent without a microwave, we managed quite well without a microwave. Now, I can’t recall there being a day that goes by without us using one. Mind you, I don’t think that celebrating the microwave would hold a candle to the celebrations that are deserved by VE Day.
Best wishes to you, your family, your jolly band of regular readers and their loved ones too!
I hope you are all well and that you stay well.
what lovely reply – thank you and we say UN in haste – each word is key – we need to be united and we are all one nation
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What a wonderful inspiring piece. As usual, your words are uplifting. I am here in New York City in my apartment in solitude. Trying to find ways of occupying these long days. Receiving calls from friends and hearing from family to lend some support. I usually don’t cook, but now I am preparing all my meals, and actually looking forward to selecting a nice dinner menu even though it’s only for me.
Thanks for your wonderful writing, and we are all fighting this virus, and we will overcome this.
We are all alone together
POSTSCRIPT: A Late Night Attempt That Needs Plenty of Work:
Hail thee, fair Highclere
You regally stand
on a field in a clearing
in a far away land
of which I have read
there were once dragons,
and invaders to dread.
The Romans too spent some time
on your grounds.
Their evidence is there to see.
It’s all around
the paddocks and fields
and mounded hills that abound.
Yet there is more to your appeal
than the centuries you’ve seen.
So what is it that draws us
to your walls that seem
to ignite a thrill and passion in us all.
It may be the chivalry
and joys of the past
the wonderful feelings
that we just want to last,
However, it’s more than that too.
Highclere’s a very special place
which statesmen and celebrities
have all embraced.
And we too can experience
the enchantment felt
by a visiting queen and king.
And hear the lark, the swallow
and the robin, all sing.
A place where a great country was planned.
The home of a Lady and an Earl who are grand.
The bastion where a secret invasion was confirmed.
A place where ancient history lurks
but here there is no mummy curse.
A place where butlers, footmen,
maids and cooks
entered service with pride, distinction
and ne’er a stray look.
Highclere is the setting for
great dinners and balls,
of hunts and riding,
Of grand rooms and fine halls.
A place where we modern folk
can partake of our dreams
and be part of a lifestyle
that is now rarely seen.
But Highclere is more like the friend
that we’re always happy to see.
A Castle to embrace and a home to enjoy.
And of this I’m certain you will all agree.
NEEDS WORK !
Thank you Lady C., Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night I think of Highclere. I’m hugging a cedar tree, walking down your staircase, looking at your front door, drinking Champaign (sp?), all the little instances that happened while I was there! I hope to see you again. Best wishes, Karen NJ USA
Good Afternoon, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and Highclere. I am leaving Devon today to make my way back to London for a flight back to America tomorrow. My friend and I watched Downton Abby. She had yet to see the series and I was excited to see again. It made me happy yet sad, as I was to visit Highclere next Monday. My flight plans had to change. I will make it there next trip. For now I will enjoy your blog and revisit the show. Take care and stay well. It is back to reality for me. After a 14 day quarantine at home I will be back at work, on the front line of this disease. For the first time in my career I think I’m fearful of the uncertainty of the future, especially when it comes to healthcare.
Thank you for your kind note and I look forward to welcoming you here in the future – it is so hard to deal with the deep anxiety within us all, most of us have been spared it during our lifetimes, I imagine the intense fear is there sometimes, however, for those who serve and save. Hope and work helps me focus – I am not there yet if trying to walk that walk!!
Thank you for your always interesting and uplifting writings. I am here in York, Pennsylvania in the US, which, so far hasn’t been hit too hard. But I am 69, still in good health, but I am staying close to home, drinking my tea which is sitting on my ‘place her ladyship’s drink here’ coaster, bought on my visit to Highclere last year. It was a highlight of my life. I was supposed to visit Italy this year but that, of course, has been put on hold. Maybe next year. I actually don’t mind my solitude so I have made a goal of calling someone I know on the telephone every day so I don’t cross over from solitude to loneliness. Take care, be safe and best wishes to you.
Thank you we were supposed to go to Spain in 6 weeks – we have left the deposit with the hotel – they need it. I will write another book and pay another deposit!!
I find your message very calm and reassuring. It amazes me how good, sensible people are the same no matter where in the world they reside. My wife and I had scheduled a visit to Ireland and England (and Highclere) in April. Talk about bad timing. We just bought Highclere tickets also for June. Hopefully we will get to make our trip of a lifetime sometime this year. We both read your blog and find your outlook on life interesting and refreshing. It’s so amazingly similar to our own at times even though we come from different backgrounds half a world away.
Thanks for the thoughts,
We will keep are scheduling until you are here. We do all share so much, so much of what i turn around in my thoughts is about the threads that join us
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
You are as eloquent as you are elegant! Thank you for the inspiring and true
thoughts. I smiled when you said you drew shoes, as the gorgeous
velvet heels you had on December 7, 2019 were the best!! Just returned from Egypt ten days ago. I thought of you all when we were in the Valley of The Kings and we looked at Tutankhamen’s amazing tomb. How generous you were to show your private collection to us! Good health to everyone. When I get antsy to go out from my
self-quarantine, I will think of your reflections.
Richmond, Virginia USA
Lady Carnarvon, last night my Husband Jeff and I watched Secrets of Highclere. It has many years since I first saw it . Jeff had never seen it. It was a delight for me to watch it again. I said to Jeff save it as I know I will want to watch it again. As before, I hope you, your family and all are keeping healthy. We will conquer this outbreak together. Blessings to you .
Thank you for helping to keep our spirits high during this time of uncertainty. The works of art you have posted take you into a time of beauty and peace. I have to say; away from the office for a while, it feels nice to have time to meditate, create and enjoy the warm sun of March. My best wishes to you.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
It seems strange what we’re all going through together. It would be wonderful to see a photo of your family. Your description of daily activities to do during this time of survival were so encouraging. Be safe and I always look forward to your next blog.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for your blog on art.
Sorry to learn that you had to postpone the VE Day event at Highclere.
I am considering submitting an entry to the upcoming art competition.
Look forward to your next posting.
Thank you and do put brush to paper