Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Where am I?

On holiday in Northumberland on the English borders to Scotland. My family goes back four generations in this County, but I'd like to share with you a very special place in a village that has played home to our family for some time.My Great Grandma May (Nanny), used to be Head House Keeper here during the 1920's when my Grandpa Colin was a very little boy. She worked there for most of her life. The servants quarters were in the West Wing (see above) and my mother who lived in the village used to spend much of her time here too. Another generation later, I was born and I discovered the Secret Garden...The Pet Cemeteryand the Chair Swing - that looks a little worse for wear now.One more generation and my lovely daughters arrive, their Great Great Grandma May, only present in sepia photographs on the wall and now my Grandpa Colin, an old man, lives in the West Wing, the servants quarters now his beautiful home, however there is still his mothers handwriting on the inside of the giant linen cupboards - her presence always with us. I know I'm lucky, I love this place, but it makes me so sad to think that one day there won't be anymore of my family here, only those that lie peacefully in the church grounds that saw them Christened and married. My husband proposed to me in that church, afterward I wrote in the Parish visitor's book to record our moment. There is a big oak tree in the nearby woods, it has the carved initials of three generations of our family- our family tree. My Grandparents ran the Post Office, that no longer exists, but I look at the steps that lead up to its front door and wonder if the new owners know why they are so worn? I know where the Magic Fairy ring is and I know about the men behind the names on the WW1 stone Memorial, because my Nanny told me about them.What will I do, when I have no one to visit here, just a tourist, a visitor, that can only stand outside a cottage, point up to a window and say to my children, that used to be my bedroom? TTFN xxxx


  1. Oh Fleur that post brought a tear to my eye what a wonderful place to have as part of your family history?
    You could maybe write a letter to sny new owners just explaining who you are and why its such a special place to you, im sure they would have alot of respect for you, although you may feel a little weird, im sure it would be very satisfying for you.
    Hope youre having a lovely time away xxxx

  2. How wonderful - in a way, you have made a record here, on your blog, of all that makes the place so special to you. Do have a wonderful holiday, before you get back to your reliable internet connection!

    Our boys were born in Newcastle/North Tyneside, so we spent some special times in Northumberland on days out and small holidays. It is a beautiful, peaceful, largely undiscovered place, and the locals told us they wanted to keep it that way!

  3. It's lovely to have somewhere that you feel tied to, even though your family will no longer be there it will still be in your heart.

  4. What a great history! Too bad you couldn't buy the place.

  5. Such a thoughtful and poignant post Fleur. Really beautifully written, but then you say you're a writer so guess that's why it really captures the reader so well. I think you're incredibly lucky to have those stories - I'm adopted and often wonder what mine might be. So I love hearing what other people can lay claim to.

    The scissors you can get in John Lewis by the way. I really hankered after them as the bird is so lovely.

    Lisa x

  6. I was going to email you, but no contact so I'm back again. You asked how I juggle it all. No choice really at the moment, hopefully the world will calm down soon and the pace will slow a bit to a better pace. Hope it doesn't read as if I'm being a superwoman as far from it. Looking forward to reading more of your lovely posts.


  7. WOW. You are so, so fortunate. Not only to call such a lovely place so full of history yours, but more so because you appreciate how special your association with it is.

    I DREAM of being able to visit such a place -- not just as a visitor :)

  8. What a wonderful place , I'm sure it will always be in your heart!
    Rachel x

  9. What a beautiful post!
    I haven't managed to scroll down very far at the moment as I stopped at the doll post.
    She is adorable, I can see why your little girls love her.
    I'm curious as to where you managed to get the dolls heads from as i've been after one and haven't managed to find one yet. I hope you don't mind me asking.
    Beki xxx