For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Monday, 20 August 2012

Doddington Hall Revisited

I couldn't get Doddington Hall out of my mind. Had my previous visit been dream or reality? I had to go back and find out. The church looked real enough . . .  

. . . as did the tomatoes, the courgettes and the sunflowers in the farm shop . . .

. . . but as soon as I entered the gardens the world turned topsy-turvy again. To witness the birth of an angel is no everyday occurrence . . . 

These miniature queens were vaguely unsettling . . .

. . . and the topiary unicorn behind them just plain surreal . . .

I wasn't sure whether this royal homunculus was yelling at me to curtsey or was simply bored by my presence, so I fled in relief  . . .

. . . to this owl-shaped assemblage of bric-a-brac for a few wise words . . .

. . . and to this bearded tramp for some sartorial tips.

The mannequins just got more and more lifelike. Imagine my astonishment when I came across these lifesize and hyperrealistic figures, the very spitting images of Dominic from the blog . . . made out of words and his wife Karen . . .  

. . . and this waxwork model of my own wife, Carmen . . .

Confused and disorientated, I pinched myself, then ran my fingers along an old blue wheelbarrow full of geraniums and poppy seedheads to make sure I was still in touch with reality . . .

Reassured, I pressed on through the vegetable garden, though it was a mistake to handle the artichokes, which had scales like daggers. Nursing my wounded hand, I sought the way out, panic-stricken . . .

. . . and was immediately confronted by this svelte Cinderella, naked but for one golden slipper. 'You will go to the ball, Robert,' she commanded, 'and you will go with me. I need a male companion. I know you are no prince, but, hey, who cares? Take off your clothes!'   

Fearing the jealousy of the model wife I'd left behind in the courtyard, I hastily retreated from such a brazen seductress, eavesdropping on this conversation as I approached the exit. One talking head was telling the other something about aliens landing in a fleet of flying saucers on that very lawn. On the verge of madness, I looked round desperately for the gate . . .  

. . . then stopped in my tracks, open-mouthed . . .

18 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

What had you been drinking I ask? Still, I can vouch for the reality of Carmen, Dominic and Karen - and I am thunderstruck by how like her mum Carmen is.

George said...

A fun post, Robert, and I'm happy to see that Dominic has finally located the flying saucer. When I first read the UFO post, I suspected that old Dom might be up to some mischief. Enjoyed all the photos, the blue wheelbarrow with geraniums being my favorite.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Re your UFO post the other day Robert - could it have been the International Space Station passing over (see Fifty something Yorkshireman on my side bar today)

Ruth said...

You've plunged beyond six impossible things before breakfast, and I enjoyed every word and gorgeous photo!

The Solitary Walker said...

Just coffee laced with essence of magic mushroom, Pat . . . George! I see you still do not believe in my previous post! Shame on you! I love that wheelbarrow too . . . The International Space Station, Pat? Not a chance . . . And Ruth: 'Life, what is it but a dream?'

Friko said...

Strange creatures, those life-sized models . . . .
Perhaps they escaped from the UFO you saw?

Goat said...

I think I used to be in a band in Newtown, Sydney, with that dishevelled tramp -- not Dominic, the other one.

Nick said...

What a strange place - fascinating.

The Solitary Walker said...

Very strange, Friko . . .

I've heard of 'Supertramp", Goat, but it occurs to me that "Dishevelled Tramp' might be an even better name for a band . . .

Yes, Nick, it's fascinating. There are 350 sculptural pieces dotted all around the gardens, and very imaginatively placed.

Dominic Rivron said...

Great day, wasn't it? Great photos. Those artichokes were extremely prickly.

Looks like I was feeling the vibes from the UFO rather than spinning it. A little telepathic communication with it might have settled the mystery of the previous post.

I remember when I was a kid a numer of small, glowing saucers -landed UFOs?- were found in various fields around Britain. It actually made the news. Policemen were seen handling them warily. Soon after they were carefully opened to reveal - Ever Ready batteries. "Students" were blamed. It's hard to imagine anything like that going that far or getting taken that seriously today.

ksam said...

Great post and a great way to start the day here! May have to go in search of some magic myself!

The Solitary Walker said...

See you again very soon, Dominic . . . and Karin, great to hear from you! I'm all for some magic.

jan said...

That looks like a place I would like to visit Robert. Love those miniature Queens particulalry oh and the owl too! Absolutely facinating post. Thank you for your comment on my blog too last week. xx

Goat said...

Hope your recent absence has nothing to do with UFOs, SW. Thought you'd enjoy this teaser from His Bobness's new LP:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/08/27/160015988/song-premiere-bob-dylan-duquesne-whistle

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Looks like quite the adventure just visiting. The birth of an angel - wow.

Lovely photos and I must say the color of the flower on the artichoke is most beautiful.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks jan, Goat and Midlife Jobhunter for your comments.

I think many of us are eagerly awaiting the new Dylan release (record/album/CD/MP3 — oh, what do you call it these days?) That taster sounds good! 

The Solitary Walker said...

PS My recent abduction by aliens was out of this world, Goat — and I'd blog about it, if only the buggers hadn't wiped my memory bank when releasing me!

Dr Mandeep Khanuja said...

wow i loved did piece !! so creative so lively and so vibrant !!! very nice pictures..put together beautifully