Here are some photos of the Turkish Baths at Cragside, in Northumberland that I’ve been meaning to post since our last visit. There’s a lot to see at Cragside. It’s now owned by the National Trust and was formerly the home of William George Armstrong (1810 – 1900). We didn’t manage to see this suite of rooms the first time we visited as there was quite a queue. But on our second visit there weren’t as many people. You go down stairs from the Library lobby to go into the rooms below the Library. The guide book describes them as:
The suite of rooms includes a steam bath, a cold plunge, a hot bath and a shower, as well as water closets and a changing room. They are the lowest and the first completed part of Norman Shaw’s first addition to the original house. His plan, which shows that modifications were still being made, is dated 5 May 1870, and Armstrong’s friend, Thomas Sopwith, recorded in his diary that €˜the Turkish Bath at Cragside was used for the first time on November 4th 1870€².
The baths were part of Lord Armstrong’s innovative provision of central heating for the whole house. The space occupied by the baths is cleverly situated between chambers with huge water-pipe coils, which, heated from the boiler to the north, were the source of hot air that was ducted up into the main house. (NT guide book for Cragside)
Apparently, Lord Armstrong was keen to build up foreign business and thought that:
Chinese or Burmese, or Japanese arms ministers would be more likely to agree to handsome contracts, if they were both well entertained and comfortable – even in a Northumbrian winter. (NT guide book for Cragside)
I think it’s an excellent idea and wish we had space for something similar!
Some time ago I posted a photo of Heidi in her little tepee. She still likes to sleep in it but she has other favourite places to nod off, one of which is our settee, so we cover the seat with a towel as she’s not very good at wiping her wet feet!
The other day we found her like this:
She didn’t even move when David leant over towards her:
Last Saturday I posted a photo of the little Japanese Maple still bearing its flame red leaves. We’ve had some high winds this week and this is what it looks like today – what a difference a week makes!
Just a few leaves are still clinging to its branches:
After my last post about reading from my own shelves I’m almost ashamed to write about the library books I’ve got out on loan at the moment.
But you see they’re from the mobile library and if we don’t use it the service will close down and that would not be a good thing! The library van comes once a fortnight and is an invaluable resource. And it’s so convenient as it stops just a short walk from our house.
The books from top to bottom are:
In the Woods by Tana French – a book I’ve read about and have been hoping to find in the library. It’s crime fiction, a psychological thriller, a murder mystery about a little girl’s death in an Irish wood. It has very mixed reviews on Amazon UK so I’m not getting my hopes too high.
Below Zero by C J Box. I keep seeing Box’s name on other book blogs and have wondered about reading one of his books. This is the 9th in his Joe Pickett series – Pickett is a Wyoming game warden. Below Zero is another book about a young girl who had been killed years earlier – or had she?
Perfect by Rachel Joyce. This book looks intriguing – in 1972 two seconds were added to time and the question that bothers James Lowe is ‘how can time change?’ I still haven’t read Joyce’s first book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (I have a copy which will be a TBR next year), but as they are two stand-alone books that isn’t a problem.
The Day of the Lie by William Brodrick. I’ve read two of his earlier Father Anselm books, so I’m hoping this one is just as good. It’s yet another murder mystery – this time with a monk as the detective, described on the book cover as ‘an unforgettable tale of love, death and redemption.’
A few weeks ago I posted about the Attack of the Sparrows on the House Martins’ nest. A couple of weeks later the house martins all left and flew off to spend the winter in Africa. Each year they use our house as a building site for their nests. They are beautiful little birds and I love to see them flying high in the sky above our house and the chicks as they poke their heads out of the nest waiting to be fed.
It’s illegal to remove their nests whilst they are building or using them as they’re protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and you could get fined up to £5,000 and/or a 6 month prison sentence for every bird, egg or nest destroyed. And as they’re on the Amber list (because of recent decline in numbers) the RSPB is encouraging people to help them nest.
Well, they didn’t need any encouragement from us and built four nests in the eaves of our house. One was above the living room window, so you can imagine the mess their droppings made on the window and window sill. But now they’ve gone David has taken the nests down and cleaned up the mess they left behind, so he could sadolin the soffits and fascias. The nests came away mainly in one piece. My photos show how they’re constructed – mainly of mud and sticks formed into a cup shape.