Sunday, 6 July 2008

Happy 4th of July

We had such a fantastic day today. We decided last night, that although the weather has been awful, we were going to make the most of our day off together. We dicussed what to do, should we go to Blenheim Palace, Upton House, Birmingham. DH and I discussed the time we went to Blenheim and met an old couple who had been at a WW2 re-enactment day. So with that in mind, I hit t'internet......after a lot of trawling I found that an old house near us was having a 4th of July celebration - reasons why explained ina bit...anyway the day was planned, we would go to see what it was all about.

Well, we woke up this morning and it was pissing down - grey skies, wet, VERY wet.I thought twice, DH said no, we would go. Armed with our best summer clothes - waterproofs, wellies, walking boots, we set off.

To get there we had to go past this house....this is were my grandparents lived, and I have a lot of happy memories of this house, and I had almost forgotten how beautiful it is - really chocolate-boxy. All of that is one house, though I think a long time ago it was 2 cottages (or so Gran told me). It was good to see it again, and if I look carefully I can see me and Gran on the front steps picking sweetpeas.

We drove on and got to this place: Sulgrave Manor. It is the ancestral home of George Washington - yes, THE George Washington, hence the 4th of July link. We had a great tour round, and were given loads of info onthe house and the Washingtons, it was all very interesting. Who would have thought that this was only about 30 minutes from where I live..

this photo was taken late afternoon, look, blue skies!!!
We got met at the house by this chap - isn't he handsome. We all got to hold him, I was really surprised by how heavy he is......

We all agreed that this was worth the entrance fee alone
We had a wander round the grounds and I found these for y'all
Oh, and I spotted this guy in the gardens...
All this was pretty good, but then things got even better - look at this lot
We saw jitterbugging and jiving. We met GIs, and Winston Churchill. It was fab!!! I have always been drawn to the 40s - maybe it is a knitting and "making do" thing - having to do the best with what you have, the dresses, the attitude and strength of spirit, the music, the hair, the make-up..everyone today was so friendly. Have I said it was great????? Have I mentioned that I might be hooked on this re-enactment thing?????
We also saw some huskies, and got cuddles

and we watched some Appalachian Dancing from a group of very nifted footed women. Watching their feet was fascinating, the rhythm was pounding, and the music was very toe-tapping - violins, guitars and banjos....

And then I met Eddie!!! Can you tell from my face that I am a little bit impressed??? Lulu - he wasn't italian, but hey ;-)

The group finished jitterbugging, and then started to do the Lambeth Walk (oi!), with audience participation....can I let you into a secret now? If you don't want to participate, I don't recommend the following:
1. Sitting at the front
2. Shifting round in seat
3. Looking anywhere apart from at the people walking towards you.
4. Wearing halloween wellies
Cos as you can see, it doesn;t work. But I wasn't really complaining - sigh! He apologised for being "hot" (his word not mine), once again I didn't complain, he had just been dancing. DH got picked too, he looks very happy as well doesn't he? (should that sentence have ended with a ! instead of a ?, I think perhaps it should)

Anyway, we can now do the Lambeth Walk...

And then we met these two - don't they look fantastic. And they were facinating to talk to. We picked their brains, and we may well be visiting another in the future...perhaps next time we may be a little more participative - watch this space

Just going back to my Gran. Because of her I have a love of sweetpeas and grow them every year. This year I was late so they haven't even come into bud yet. When we were in the house, there was a vase of them and the smell was heavenly. AND a record that Gran used to play when I was little that me and my cousins would dance around to was Glen Millers "In the Mood", guess what we heard today. Actually that was probably obvious given that we were at a 40s do.

Destiny - all things happen for a reason. If you don't believe me, ask Dr Who.


Bezzie said...

What a fun time! And I love those red huskies. So pretty!

Batty said...

What a fun time! Jitterbug and jive, and a real live eagle! He looks really heavy, kudos for being able to hold him up.