Friday, 30 June 2017

Kittens!

Yesterday we went to see our new kittens for the first time. I found them online, and instantly fell in love… I contacted their present owner and we arranged to go up yesterday evening to meet them – we combined this with a day out, which you can read about in the previous post. What a lovely way to end an already marvellous day!

They live in a beautiful place in the depths of the countryside. Our satnav took us right to the door, and as we approached we saw this!

01 Sign Outside Kittens' House

They were all indoors, though.

Are you ready for some cuteness overload? Yes?

Here is Kitten A, with my hubby.

03 Nicholas with Kitten A

And here is Kitten B.

11 Kitten B

No names yet!

Here are the two of them together.

15 Kittens

16 Nicholas with Kittens

19 Nicholas with Kittens

 

Aren’t they simply adorable? They are very similar in appearance, but one is slightly lighter than the other. One has a grey nose and the other has a grey inkblot on her nose, and they both have little grey spots on their pads. Both have white mittens and socks, and white bibs, and the prettiest of pretty markings, and are stripy like little Siberian tigers.

At present, aged just over 5 weeks, they are too little to leave their mummy, but we have arranged to collect them at the end of July, when they will be 9 weeks old. Not sure I can wait another 4 weeks!!

Their mother is a tabby and white. Here she is with one of her babies. I love how at this age, their tails are like little fir trees.

02 Malteaser with One of her Kittens

05 Kitten on Floor with Fir Tree Tail

Their father is a pedigree silver tabby, so the kittens are silver tabby cross, both little girls. They have another sister, who is going to remain with the family, and two little tabby and white brothers who have yet to be adopted. Five is a big litter for a young mum to handle – my first cat had five, and she was also not quite a year old when she had them. Also in the family is the kittens’ uncle, and grandpa (who is very unimpressed with this whole kitten thing…).

I am sure that four weeks will soon pass, and we’ll be bringing them home. In the meantime we have been getting prepared for their arrival – I assembled the huge cat tree I got from Ebay the other day, and we’ve been washing all the kitty bedding and finding all the toys that Beatrice and Phoebe were too old to play with. We have found out what food the kittens like, so that we can get some in, and they will have one thing at least that is familiar to them when they arrive in a totally strange place, away from their mum and siblings.

It is going to be such a joy to have kitties in the house again – we feel the loss of our two old girlies so much, and although no other kitties can possibly replace them, these two little ones will cheer us up no end and heal the wound of loss, and provide us with an outlet for all that pent up kitty love!!

Visit to Barrington Court

Yesterday was the day we went to view our new kittens (see next post) and as we had to travel to Yeovil for it, we decided to combine it with a day out. Some time ago, when I was attending an Ileostomy Association meeting in Yeovil, my hubby had taken himself off and had discovered Barrington Court, a beautiful National Trust property, and had been waxing lyrical about it for some time, so that is where we decided to go on this occasion.

The house is empty of furniture which is rather strange after all the other National Trust places we’ve visited, but it did enable one to see the beautiful panelling and admire the proportions of the rooms etc. There are several buildings on the estate; the main house is a Tudor manor house and there is an Arts and Crafts house too.

Although the downstairs of the Tudor Manor house was beautiful, for me the main attraction yesterday was the gardens, which are extensive and out of this world. My hubby said, “Shall I look for ideas for our garden?” Lol! We have a postage stamp, but it is his pride and joy and he has worked so hard in it and made it utterly gorgeous!

We had a great lunch in the restaurant. A small menu, but beautifully cooked, using vegetables grown on the estate. My hubby said his cider (produced locally) was the best he’d ever tasted, and I agreed, tasting my apple juice (also produced locally). Later, before we left, we returned to the restaurant and had a cream tea.

I took so many photos that I couldn’t possibly show them all on here, but here is a selection. The local stone is called Ham Stone and it is a beautiful warm and mellow colour. Much of the ancient stone work had lichen growing on it, which enhanced its beauty further. It made a lovely backdrop to all the trees, plants and flowers.

81 The House

Before lunch we wandered around looking at where they were selling plants, and also in a row of artisans’ workshops where such activities as furniture making, jewellery and woodcarving were taking place.

01 Plant Shop

05 Artisans' Workshops

Everywhere the paths were paved with narrow bricks, arranged in attractive patterns. At times these were pretty uneven so I had a pretty bumpy ride in my wheelchair but managed OK!

09 Brick Paving

21 Brickwork Path

11 Gate Under the Trees

15 Through a Gate in the Wall

17 Lily Pond

The white garden was so beautiful. There’s definitely something to be said to limiting the colour palette in a garden to a single colour, if you’ve got the luxury of space to do it.

25 White Garden

There were some ancient cow pens which were fascinating.

31 Nicholas by the Cow Pens

33 Cow Pen

35 Inside the Cow Pens

A beautiful weathered old linenfold door (in two halves, like a stable door) leading to a little bridge over the moat that surrounds the whole house.

39 Linen Fold Door

The carved lintel over the top.

43 Carved Lintel Over Linen Fold Door

Looking back towards it from the bridge over the moat.

42 View Back Through Linen Fold Door

45 The Moat

There was a tennis court, and beside it, a little pavilion with a thatched roof.

55 Tennis Pavilion

Beautiful trees everywhere. I particularly loved the pattern these tree trunks made with their graceful curve into the ground.

57 Tree Trunks in a Row

Lichen.

59 Lichen on Stone Wall

80 Lichen on Muli-Faceted Sundial

The kitchen garden was massive. There were apple and pear trees trained along its walls, which were all topped with decorative tiles.

61 Apple Trees Trained on Kitchen Garden Wall

67 Kitchen Garden Wall

62 Corner of Kitchen Garden

There were two sundials that we discovered, including this very unusual one with ten faces on it, each with its own sundial.

78 Multi-Faceted Sundial

There were numerous beautiful arched doorways through the various stone walls, each one different, and leading one into separate gardens.

51 Arched Gateway

53 Tunnel Through the Trees

64 Gateway into Pillared Courtyard

71 Massive Gateway

Many of the gardens had a central feature, such as a pond, fountain or statue.

27 Statue in White Garden

69 Kitchen Garden Fountain

There was even a statue of a Roman soldier.

66 Roman Soldier Statue and Orange Flowers

As for the flowers, plenty of colour and variety. It’s a funny time of year because the spring flowers are now all over, and the roses are coming to an end, but the later summer flowers aren’t yet fully in bloom. Despite that, there was plenty of colour.

13 Flowers in Walled Garden

19 Lilies

37 Red Roses on Cow Pen

38 Dark Red Poppy

After a good traipse around the garden, we headed for the house. We weren’t able to go upstairs with the wheelchair without a lot of bother, and by this time I was getting a bit tired anyway, so we had a good look around downstairs. Here’s a selection of some of the rooms and corridors, and the rich panelling.

83 Looking Through Doorway Into the House

86 Landing from Below

104 Linen Fold Panelling in Great Hall

88 Linen Fold Panelled Wall in Great Hall

89 Detail of Linen Fold Panels in Great Hall

91 Gallery in Great Hall

95 Panelled Corridor

96 Stone Archway and Pink Walls

99 Carved Wooden Ceiling

For the past few days the weather had been poor – cold and wet, and my hubby suggested giving this outing a miss if yesterday had turned out to be wet, but I said we should go anyway, since we were going to be in the area, and we could stay in the house if it was wet. As it turned out, the rain had stopped by the time we arrived, and only started again just as we were leaving! The day was dull, though, which meant I had to lighten most of the photos, and there were none of the interesting light and shade effects you get on a sunnier day, but it was still well worth it, and we so enjoyed going around the gardens. It was a really great day out.

As the day passed, we were constantly aware of the time, and counting down the hours until we would meet our new kittens! It gave us something nice to look forward to at the end of a lovely day out together.

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