Sunday, 23 November 2014

Basildon Park - The Portico

Basildon Park has many secrets to share, and many little details that are often not noticed by either visitors or those of us who are there regularly.

Today I wanted to share some details of the portico here, the staircases that go up to the first floor and the area outside the door to the house that is called the Loggia.

When I took a walk one lunchtime recently, I took a different route than I normally do and left by the main doors and went down the stairs that visitors now, and in the past use to enter the house.  There are two of these staircases sweeping up either side of the ground floor door and up the first floor that is where the entrance to the house is.

This is the ceiling that is above you as you enter, it is often overlooked as you don't look up, you just focus on where you are going upstairs.  Because I was coming down the stairs for a change it really caught my eye.

These wonderful lamps are inside.  I love the style of them.

One of the hidden details are these signatures and other graffiti.  They were left on the columns and pillars by members of the Army stationed here in WW2.  Some are British and some are American and Canadian - as you will see!

As I have said before, I don't condone graffiti at all, but these are historic signatures, quite probably left by men going off to war who may never have returned.  They are also part of the history of the house, so it is important to preserve them.

These are some of the little details that are again easily missed.  Above is the capital of one of the columns.  I believe that this is an Ionic style of column.

These are some details from the pair of torcheres that are either side of the main entrance door.

Here you can see the stairs as they go up from the ground floor to the first floor.  This is looking out from what is now the tea room area, but which would originally have been the servants areas when the house was first built.

Visitors often ask if the stairs are original to the house, as they are not of the style that they have seen before.  The answer is yes, they are totally original to the house and this is exactly how it was designed to be.  They also ask where the cellars are for the servants.  We don't have any cellars at Basildon, that is why the ground floor of the house was the servants areas!


Just to explain to new readers, I am not compensated in any way for my posts about Basildon Park.  I just do these posts because I love the house and spend a lot of time working there.  Basildon Park do know that I exist because I volunteer with them.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

In the shadows

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been enjoying playing with my camera recently on different settings and trying to look at things differently.  When I was taking my camera upstairs to take some shots on my desk I noticed the shadows that were being cast by the surprisingly bright sunshine that was coming through the doors and windows.  It seemed like a good idea to try and get some pictures as I had my camera in hand and I was in the mood to experiment.

The obscure glass in the door makes so amazing patterns on the walls, although, it isn't really very good at obscuring the view in or out!

The woodchip wallpaper in the hallway isn't really that attractive, but I find it so interesting to look at the patterns that it casts when the light shines across it.

Now, I have no idea what was casting this shadow.  It was so regular and perfect.  I tried moving things to see if I could work out what it might be, but I couldn't and then all of a sudden it just disappeared.  I haven't noticed it before, but I will look out for it again!

In some ways it is odd to be creeping around your own home camera in hand waiting to sneak up on the shadows, but it is interesting to see how the light moves and changes and is a good way to practice taking photographs.

I hope that the sun is shining with you today!


Friday, 21 November 2014

Five on Friday

I have been totally overwhelmed once again by the loveliness of bloggers!  You really are a wonderful bunch of people.  So friendly and creative and most of all fun and willing to join in.  Thank you so very much for being so nice.  I also wanted to say hello to new followers, you are most welcome, thank you for stopping by.

Just a quick reminder, today is the last sign up day for the Christmas Card Swap 2014.  If you want to join in, go to the post here and add a comment.  I will post who is swapping with who on Monday, so keep an eye out for the post and then you can all get ready to start swapping away!

I also asked if anyone wanted to join in the Five on Friday posts that I have been doing for some time now.  I was so surprised that so many of you wanted to join in, my hope was that perhaps three or four people might join me, but there was a much larger response.  Thank you all!

After some consideration and discussion, I suggested to everyone taking part in Five on Friday that we split into groups.  Each group will post one Friday a month, and I will post each week so that you know who else is posting that week and then you can go and visit them!  We will start the posts on the first Friday of December - the 5th.  In case you want to see who is taking part and what it is all about, I have added a page with all the details as well as participants names and links to their blog - in the sidebar, called About Five on Friday.  I am really looking forward to having others join me in this, I hope that it will be lots of fun.

Having read all that, I expect you thought that I wasn't doing Five on Friday today after all, but if you look there are five paragraphs!  There are also five photographs!