After finishing Rebecca, I have been dreaming of a visit to Manderley. For those of you who haven't read/seen Rebecca, Manderley is the magnificent, grand old house that the protagonist, the new Mrs de Winter, moves into after she marries. Manderley is the book's anchor, and in many ways it features so heavily that it becomes a living, breathing character in and of itself.
I couldn't help but think of Manderley when we visited Ightham Mote yesterday. This beautiful, charming house dates from the 14th century (hard to believe!) and is surrounded by a moat and acres of gardens and orchards. Each of its 70 rooms is filled with fine antique furniture - including, much to our surprise, a Charles II daybed which we also have (if you remember, we found it in pieces, discarded in the street on Camberwell Grove!). No detail has been overlooked at Ightham Mote - the painted wallpaper, the linen on the beds, the wood paneling on the walls - it is enviable, that's for sure.
Unfortunately for me I struggled a bit, hobbling around Ightham Mote after slipping over in the rain on Friday, straight onto my knee... The worst part was two people walked by whilst I was on the ground, clearly in pain, but no one offered me any help - what is with that? Are people embarrassed or just don't care? I find it odd that you would just walk on by, and choose not to help someone who is clearly in need of it. It really upset me!
Oh well, nothing that a good National Trust property can't cure, eh?