Sunday, September 12, 2010

Royally British

Jane Bennett: 'My dearest sister, now be serious. I want to talk very seriously. Let me know every thing that I am to know, without delay. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?'

Elizabeth Bennett: 'It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.' Pride and Prejudice

Lyme Hall, Cheshire was 'Pemberley' in the BBC production
 of the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice.
We completed our Halcyon Day at Edinburgh's Halcyon House, Elizabeth Bennett style. On foot. In AustenSpeak we were "all anticipation" at moving into our new dwelling on Princes Street. The aptly named, "Royal British Hotel".

That being accomplished, we set off, American-style, to "do Edinburgh". Which we did. Perfectly.

Seeing Edinburgh involves a lot of hill-climbing and endless cups of tea, broken up by looking at old canon through castle turrets, buying single malt whiskey, and eating in style at the Café Royal.

The The Royal British Hotel
The Café Royal
The National Gallery of Scotland
Edinburgh Castle

Canon at Edinburgh Castle
Then it was back to Buxton and England's Peak District, where we visited Lyme Hall. I was particularly interested in the Lake where Colin Firth drenched himself for Lizzie in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. Also of interest were several other things British. The rose garden, the Italianate palace of Lyme Hall, and the paintings depicting English soldiers chopping off Frenchmen's arms.

But perhaps the most British aspect of present day Lyme Hall is its staff - volunteers who are conscientiously present in every nook and cranny, and who are only too pleased (and able) to answer any question.

Roses, Lyme Hall Rose Garden
I had to smile though. I noticed that there were absolutely no
washing or toilet facilities except for an obviously later addition of a single cream and white tiled bathroom. I asked the nearby volunteer attendant when it was constructed. "Early twentieth century," she replied. "Oh," I answered, Australian-style, knowing the answer only all too well, "What did they use before that?"

I detected a momentary flicker of annoyance and disapproval. She then righted herself, poised again. "Chamber pots I suppose," she mouthed.

Ah, the British, gotta love 'em.

And now I really MUST go. D is preparing watercress sandwiches for lunch.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Jaded NYer said...

I think you are a closet Brit.

tee hee

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