Saturday, 20 March 2010

A Peacock's Tale

It was a little way past dawn when George's cry woke me on my first morning at Thoresby Hall. As I peered from my window at the misty lawn below, I saw him there, his head cocked to one side, imperiously regarding me and my pyjamas. "Come with me," he said. "And let me show you my kingdom."

With a swish of his magnificent tail, he took me past the imposing entrance covered in ivy branches. I strolled the driving circle with him while he told me of carriages and fine ladies; of boot-clad gentlemen departing on their horses. He hopped onto the old mounting block by the door with a twinkle in his eye.

Together we gazed at the turrets and towers; the windows black in the early light.
"It is a fine house, to be sure," George said, pecking at the grass. "But I am still waiting for them to repair the clock."

In the gardens George showed me statues and fountains. He told me sad stories of broken stones and an old garden once hidden under piles of rubble and soil. But there was resdisovery and restoration, too...

...of statues being pieced back to life, and of fountains once again playing night and day, weathered but all the more beautiful because of it.

"How do you like my kingdom?" George asked me.
"Very much," I replied, wondering to myself just how George knew so much. Had he too been a sleeping ghost, waiting for the chance to come back to life?  How long had he lingered in the crumbling house and wandered the buried gardens wondering when his time would come again?

I asked him, but he only tilted his head and looked at me, knowing and silent.


  1. Laura! I'm so happy to hear from you. It seemed as though you had just vanished and I never knew what became of you. I'm glad you are doing well. I'm really taken with your 'Peacock's Tale'. Gorgeous photos and beautifully written. Like a little fairy tale. I hope you'll do more posts like this. I would love it!
    Happy to visit with you again,


  2. Hello Catherine; it's brilliant to hear from you, too! I did indeed vanish last year, and I'm so sorry about it. Unfortunately, I picked up the attentions of a rather determined stalker, and consequently shut down my blog. I then decided to lie low for the while, but it's very nice to be back and back in touch with my old blog friends again.

    Happy to hear you liked George's story (he really is called George) I promise to post more pictures from Thoresby Hall soon. :)