We may all remember being taken by granny, thanks to her lifetime National Trust membership, taking leisurely strolls through the gardens of stately homes, staring at centuries old painting of aristocratic people in ostentatious clothing.
What I realise, now I am a full grown up, is that granny got it right: a trip to a stately home is a trip to a realm of wholesome nostalia not often available in our modern lives.
I first saw this view in the at Holyrood House in a 17th century painting of the Grand Fountain Garden.
On my way back from Edinburgh, I saw the Empress and the Gardener exhibition advertised and here we are!
The ‘new’ baroque side of the palace has a welcome Georgian freshness after the dour oppression of the Tudor turrets on the other side.
Why don’t I have an oil painting of my face to wake up to every morning?
Well surprise surprise! My two Wirral favourites, Emily and Sarah Shah. I heard someone call my name and saw Sarah waving over! We were kindred spirits in a rather dull sixth form college on the Wirral, and I met Emily for the first time when she invited me for a Scottastic Burns’ Night spent scoffing haggis and jigging at St John’s Church in Hackney.
Lost in the Maze, the oldest surviving maze in Britain. I envied the children running through the hedges for their ability to savour the novelty lost on sometimes cynical adults!
Note the young Dorothea Gibbs rustling through the Gardens map as we (well she) tried to navigate our way over to the Palace café anglomaniacal tea and scones