Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Not being quite organised for Christmas yet

We've been gradually getting ready for Christmas, partly by ordering a whole lot of things on Amazon, which one knows one shouldn't - but it's so much more convenient, isn't it, than trailing around the shops and finding nothing suitable? We did, however, go to the Christmas fair at Hopetoun House, which I always like doing. Hopetoun House is a 1750s grand edifice lived in by the Marquess of Linlithgow. Like most aristocrats these days, he has to keep the roof on by allowing people to visit, and, at Christmas, there's a very upmarket fair with lots of stalls full of lovely things, often made by the stallholders, none of which one actually needs. Still, it puts one in a Christmassy mood, as does queuing for coffee in the restaurant, which was once the stables for very lucky horses, but is now a lovely place to eat. 

You get to go round the house while visiting the stalls, and admire things like this pietra dura table top, 

and one of the Marquess's ancestors, 

who I think was sitting at this very window. 

And one can admire the extensive grounds

and the fancy ceilings and the silk-lined walls. We visited Hopetoun when I was a little girl, and I developed a fixed ambition to have two sitting rooms, one with crimson walls and the other (as in another Hopetoun room) with deep yellow. Hasn't happened yet, though I suppose it's still achievable. We probably wouldn't use silk, however, and we're a bit short of portraits of our ancestors. 

The weather here has been distinctly chilly, with quite a bit of frost. 

Last Saturday we went up north to visit a friend, and this was the view on the way. Brrr. 

We haven't had any snow here yet, and long may this last. Roll on, spring. 


  1. Snow, ack! At least it hasn't hit you yet. That Christmas fair and the surroundings would definitely get my spirits up; I would endeavor to buy several things, needed or not. Love the ceilings! When I was in Scotland, I took about 100 pictures of various ceilings. :) I too buy too much from the Evil Empire. It's so easy...

  2. oooo that looks wintry! At least you have made steps towards christmas, I have barely started.... luckily Amazon in Australia is a bit shit, I think it would be very hard to resist otherwise

  3. I love a Christmas market and hope to get to one soon. I don't think we have any in mansions though.

  4. It seems that Christmas always arrives quickly, taking us by surprise.

  5. Christmas gifts for children/family who grow so fast, and change their needs and 'phases' is difficult, isn't it. I used to do my shopping by taking my list to TradeAid, and what I couldn't source there, taking to Kirks (a very up-market shop in central Wellington, much like your Harrods) but...DISASTER... Kirks has closed and TradeAid become very commercialised, so I'm resorting to local crafts people and gift vouchers.

    I do enjoy your photos of stately houses, they're non-existent over here

  6. Sorry ... it 'sent' before it was meant to! ... but we belong to NZ's Historic Places society, and get reciprocal free entry to your National Trust places - otherwise I doubt we could afford more than a couple per visit to the UK!

    Happy Christmas to you - you haven't said how the recovery from surgery is progressing, and I'm hoping that means it is going very well.

    1. Oh, it's going fine, thank you. No more sticks. So you visit the UK?