Wednesday 31 March 2010

The Coming of Spring

It’s been a long, hard and at times horrible winter, and even this morning, on the last day of March, the headlines in Britain are about heavy snow and ‘traffic chaos’. The brighter days can’t come soon enough.

So I thought I’d indulge myself with a few photographs taken on Sunday, when the sun made an appearance. On my visit to St Deiniol’s Library in Hawarden, to launch The Serpent Pool last month, I became aware of the 18th century ‘new’ Hawarden Castle, once home to William Ewart Gladstone, the Prime Minister who founded the Library, and now home to his descendants. In the grounds are the ruins of a much older castle, built around the 13th century, but with Iron Age origins.

Because I love history, I love castles. Kendal Castle features in a scene in The Cipher Garden, and I like writing about Daniel Kind’s passion for history as a subject which does require many of the skills of a detective. I also love attractive gardens (I admit to preferring to visit them than to doing my own gardening!) and again this is reflected in The Cipher Garden. So when I heard that Hawarden Castle would open its gardens last Sunday, I seized the moment – and was rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable trip to another country (well, Wales) that was only 35 minutes from home. A beautiful place.


Anonymous said...

Martin - What lovely 'photos! Thank you so much for sharing them. I have to say, of all of the things I miss about my own home, it's the change of seasons.

Ann Elle Altman said...

I can't wait until my copy of Cipher Garden arrives. I really want to get into it. At first, I thought those picture were of your house...(just joking) But they are lovely.


Dorte H said...

Oh, these photos are wonderful! I also love castles - and spring flowers!

Most of the Danish countryside looks dirty and downtrodden right now, but we have thousands of spring flowers in our own miniature wood to marvel at.

vegetableduck said...

Gad, Britain does have magnificent piles!

Great photos, they make me ache to be there.

I have a screen saver of a splendid ha-ha, Martin, inspired by Connington's The Ha-Ha Case.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Curt.
I have a copy of that Connington book, but haven't read it yet...

vegetableduck said...

I think you might like it, good ballistics and based on a true crime in part. Sir Clinton Driffield is rather an unlikable detective, but interesting. I loved the title, because I had no idea what a ha-ha was (though I knew about Lard-Ha-Ha)--it's like Vegetable Duck. Naturally the Americans changed it to The Brandon Case, yawn!

I frequently use British scree-savers. Right now I've got the Scottish Ailsa Craig up, an amazing sight!