Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Surrey, Polesden Lacey, Shakespeare and Dogs

I used to live in the small part of Surrey that is within Greater London and still remember it with affection. We had the best of all worlds there: twenty minutes to the city by train; a majestic length of the River Thames on our doorstep; royal parks all around us; and a short hop from some gorgeous countryside.

Fellow blogger, Jenny Woolf, recently published a post about Surrey, and has kindly allowed me to use one or two of her photographs.

This one makes me think of the bluebell woods on the Polesdon Lacey estate, where we sometimes walked Sam, the delightful Staffordshire bull terrier who shared our lives then. The woods were a sight for sore eyes if you could catch them when the blooms were out. 

Polesdon Lacey is a National Trust country house at Great Bookham near Dorking and Leatherhead. The NT displays inside focus mainly on the Edwardian era before the First World War when owner and society hostess, Mrs Greville, entertained there. Guests even occasionally included King George VI and his queen.

More recently, in my time as a Surrey resident, we used to attend outdoor theatre on the lawns beside the house.  I recall a particularly silly Shakespeare comedy competing with the tail end of noisy displays from the Farnborough Air Show one year. I think it might have been Much Ado About Nothing. Whatever, it was always great fun to enjoy a picnic, washed down with wine of course, and watch a play in the open air, even if we did have to huddle under blankets and even umbrellas as the evening wore on.

I'm repeating a picture of our lovely Sam to end this post. No Surrey reminiscences are complete without him and we still miss him, although we now have the comfort of our lovely Jade, whose pic is also easy to find on this blog. These two make a really good example of how different dogs have different characters. Sam was always raring to go, while Jade is a much more laid back little lady, who will often avoid play with other dogs and just likes to run alone to let off steam in places that are special to her.


aw said...

Brought up in Farnborogh I can sympathise with the issues regarding aircraft noise. Might as well not have been back at school in September during the weeks of the show (practice week and actual show). It was often impossible to hear the teachers.
Polesdon Lacey is one of the few National Trust houses in the area we haven't visited but it featured recently on TV. I believe it was an episode of Antiques Road Show.

Jenny Woolf said...

Thank you for the mention, and also for your words about Polesden Lacy. That was always one of my favourite houses, and I know the very bluebells ... we used to take our kids there to the youth hostel in Tanners Hatch. Sometimes we still return just to see their bluebells. That picture was taken not too far away, in the National Trust woods near Ockham.

Sharkbytes said...

Sam actually looks both happy and ready to GO

Jean Knill said...

Ann - I think IO caught the tail end of that TV programme. Polesden Lacey is definitely worth a visit.

Jenny - many thanks for use of the pic and letting me and other readers know its location.

Joan - Sam was always happy and ready to go. Sadly his life was cut short by cancer when he was only 8.

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