Of Cinemas and Stately Homes
This week was half term for Little Miss. Time is flying so quickly, and it even feels like there’s a smidge of Spring in the air. Whilst it’s still cold, the long awaited sunshine has shown its face a couple of times this week. It’s been a jam packed week, so brace yourself for a long post and a lot of photos.
Little Miss has been asking to go to see the new Puss in Boots film for weeks, not understanding that the trailers come out a long time before the film does. I hadn’t taken her to the cinema before, and thought that would be a good film to start with. Last Sunday it was showing at our local cinema, The Hollywood Plaza. This is another one of those small local cinemas that I adore.
This one in particular is over 100 years old, and retains many of its original features. While we don’t always get the films as soon as they are released, the charm of this cinema makes up for it. There’s plans afoot to develop a multiplex cinema in the town. Scarborough needs it with so many shops having closed in recent years, but I dread to think of the what the impact will be on this place.
I digress, the film was great and Little Miss thoroughly enjoyed her first trip to the cinema, asking if we could go back and see it again the next day.
Monday brought with it the day I always dread, the annual MOT and car service. My car is 13 years old now and with almost 120,000 miles on the clock, it’s never pretty. Of course, I needed work done, but it wasn’t as bad as it might have been. The worse thing was not having my car for half the week while they replaced shock springs and tyres. I’m definitely very attached to having a vehicle at my disposal.
Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. Trying to keep costs down this year (especially with that MOT to pay for) I’d made all of the gifts for the chap. I was especially pleased with the pyrography coaster, which is only the second pyrography project I’ve done. I could definitely get a liking for that.
Coupled with a selection of homemade chocolate, and hot chocolate stirrers the chap was super pleased. The chap had bought me a fabulous Lego valentines set. I think he worries I’m missing out while Little Miss fills the house with Lego creations.
I made it that night though, and it’s super cute, and now safely on display in my bedroom. Both having days off work, we decided to go out to a local stately home, Sewerby Hall.
Just before the chap arrived to pick us up, a beautiful bouquet of flowers that he’d sent to me did, so that was lovely.
The last time I visited Sewerby was 2020, it was just when we were starting to be allowed to go to places again after the pandemic, but a lot of it wasn’t open, or I chose not to go in because I wasn’t comfortable at the time.
This time though it was all open. The weather was bright, but cold, so I decided to layer up as much tweed as I possibly could, which kept me incredibly warm. I also wore my very under-loved Hicks and Brown hat that I don’t reach for nearly enough. I don’t know why, I received some compliments on it at the Hall. I’m terrible for forgetting what I have and not using it, a habit I’m most definitely trying to get out of.
We thought we’d start our afternoon out with a trip to the cafe, but after 15 minutes of queueing and getting no further along we abandoned that plan and headed for the zoo. I decided there and then that I need to get better and bringing a pack up on days out, it’s no fun spending your day trip trying to get a coffee.
The zoo at Sewerby hall is quite compact and houses a mixture of exotic birds, including penguins, farm animals and more exotic small species such as the Cappucin monkeys. My particular favourite are the pigmy goats because one day, I’d love to have some pigmy goats.
Little Miss was quite smitten with a cuddly donkey, and the chap is just altogether animal mad so is definitely in his happy place when we visit zoos or wildlife parks.
After a wander around the zoo, we could see that the cafe had emptied (yes, far too much of our day was spent monitoring the food situation) so we hopped back in for a late lunch before heading round to go into Sewerby Hall itself.
Overlooking the sea (when there isn’t thick fog covering it like there was on Tuesday) and with its beautiful whitewashed facade, I think Sewerby hall is absolutely beautiful. Originally built in Georgian times, but extended and updated as an Edwardian country home around 1910 (the same time as my own house was built) it’s grand without being overwhelming.
On first entering, you’re struck with the grandeur, which, while not as opulent and luxurious as nearby Castle Howard, it’s still impressive enough. Pass through a few rooms however and soon you are in the stark and more utilitarian ‘servants wing’ where the blinds were kept closed in the parlour so the servants couldn’t look out at the family while they were in the grounds. The rooms are dark, and small and it really makes you realise that the life of those in service would most definitely not have been the way that programs like Downton Abbey would have you believe.
Imagine the pain in your back from stooping over this tiny stove all day cooking all manner of courses for the family.
Back in the main house, there were beautiful exhibits of Edwardian dress in the drawing room, as well as in the impressive and spacious dining room, all set with beautiful china and glassware in readiness for the Edwardian family meal.
The chap was particularly taken with the billiard room with its full size snooker table and stags heads adorning the walls.
I couldn’t resist but pose on the beautiful grand staircase up to the second floor. It’s not difficult to imagine being an Edwardian lady in a beautiful gown ‘swishing’ down this beautiful staircase for the evening’s meal in the graceful family dining room.
Along with the standard family rooms on the second floor, there was an exhibition of ‘popular culture’ through the 1980s and 90s where I was highly amused to see my dream laptop on display. I never did get one of these Clamshell MacBooks, and sometimes I’m tempted to buy one on eBay for nostalgia sake, but I know that in comparison with modern tech it would drive me to distraction.
Having wandered around the nursery, complete with creepy baby doll in the crib, and the beautiful bedroom with four-poster bed we took a wonder around the Amy Johnson exhibition.
Aviatrix Amy Johnson had a special link with Sewerby hall, having opened it to the public in 1936 and, latterly, her belongings had been donated to the hall to keep as a permanent exhibition. I hadn’t realised that she was from Hull originally, and it was interesting to read a bit about her adventures, including her ultimate demise when she went missing in an aviation accident. The exhibition even shows her travel bag that was retrieved from the Thames in Oxfordshire after her plane came down.
As we left the hall, the sun was starting to set lower in the sky. We took a very short jaunt around the gardens, marvelling at the giant monkey puzzle trees and enjoying the peace and quiet and last bits of fading light.
We were too late to get into the walled gardens, so started the slow walk back to the car, which the chap had no choice but to park some distance away since the car park had been full when we arrived. Just outside of the grounds, however, I spotted a welcoming looking village pub. We went it for a quick drink before heading home to enjoy the curry that I’d put in the slow cooker before leaving.
It might not have been a conventional way to spend Valentine’s Day, but we had such a lot of fun and genuinely didn’t miss spending £100 on an overpriced meal in a restaurant.
The rest of the week was fairly quiet. My friend visited on Thursday for a cuppa and a catch up, and brought her boys along to play games with Little Miss. Friday, I finally lost it with my wardrobe and had a ruthless sort out. Some stuff has gone to charity, two dresses are being donated to the local secondary school for their prom dress wardrobe, where students who may not otherwise afford to go to the prom are able to choose a dress for free from those that have been donated. The remainder of clothes have been separated into spring/summer and autumn/winter, with the latter going into storage. My wardrobe is a much happier place again, and I feel like I can see what I’ve got and stop forgetting about things.
Monday will be back to the usual routine, but I really feel like I’ve made the most of this week and had a wonderful time. Hopefully, with spring in the air, I’ll start feeling more energised again.