Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

Thursday Doors; St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

I’ve got lots of doors from St Ives!!!! So here are some doors and some cottages thrown in to boot! Fantastic place for DOORS! For most of these doors Mind Your Head and Mind the Gap!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Notice that many of the doors in these pictures are surrounded by pipes of some kind!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Red seems to be a very popular color here for a door!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwal

 

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Many doors come with tiny, tiny cottages!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Many doors have fancy stuff on them!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

And some have tell-all signs and door knockers! This sign says “Dog” and the knocker is a wolf.

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Some have fancy knockers and a door handle a foot off the ground!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Some have fancy covers!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

And some are just darling!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Something tells me the door frame was added much later!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Some just never want to give up the boat!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

And some never want to be painted!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

And some are salty and crusted!

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

And some have fancy wrought iron AND studs!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks doors from St Ives in Cornwall, UK! More to come next week from St Ives!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?

 

 

 

Reason to Love St Ives #2: The Gardens

The Gate to the Garden at a Victorian Terraced House, St Ives

The Gate to the Garden at a Victorian Terraced House, St Ives

I have been pondering and came up with this…… St Ives is like a US football stadium, only cut down the middle lengthwise. There is the sea on one side and half of the playing field is the beach. The bleachers and stands are the wobbly, wonky, cobbled, twisting lanes that go to the rim. Once you are on the rim you will discover the large parking lot and the cemetery! Then it’s all downhill again, but with less lanes, straight to another albeit bigger beach. With that said, now that you know the layout of St Ives, it was a marvelous weekend for me because some of St Ive’s secret gardens were open for viewing for a charity fundraising! So all is not lost on the garden front!

First, I walked up a Slight hill to see the gardens at the Victorian terraced houses! Let’s go in this gate!

The Gate to the Garden at a Victorian Terraced House, St Ives

The Gate to the Garden at a Victorian Terraced House, St Ives

 

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives, Cornwall

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives, Cornwall

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The maroon-wine colored florets look like they are made of wood!

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives, Cornwall

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives, Cornwall

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

The Victorian Gardens at St Ives

No Hawkers No Circulars!

No Hawkers No Circulars!

The gardeners in most of these lovely terraced gardens were elderly gents!

The Road to the Victorian Terraces

The Road to the Victorian Terraces

Now which overhead line goes to which house? It would be a challenge on that pole!

The Victorian Terraces at St Ives, Cornwall

The Victorian Terraces at St Ives, Cornwall

Some terraces had a garden front and some folks wanted a teeny, tiny space to park their car!

The Rose Blush on the Corner!

The Rose Blush on the Corner!

A Cacti in the Crack, St Ives, Cornwall

A Cacti in the Crack, St Ives, Cornwall

Wrap Around the Corner, St Ives, Cornwall

Wrap Around the Corner, St Ives, Cornwall

A Wall of Greenery, St Ives, Cornwall

A Wall of Greenery, St Ives, Cornwall

There were several gardens on this lane, but we’ll explore some more on other lanes too! See you the garden! Enjoy!

Reason to Love St Ives; The Scenery

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

I got over the HILL thing and decided not to leave our cozy cottage and St Ives. I never went back up or down that hill until our stay was up! We soon found out there is lots to see and do here! I loved the scenery! Here are a few days of exploring the beach!

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Conrwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Corwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

I did come on this vacation as part of my English Garden Tour, so is there a garden to explore in St Ives, since my traveling to outside gardens has been foiled? The Dreaded Hill AGAIN! The garden fairies have come to my aid! See you tomorrow in the garden or should I say Gardens!

Some Days You Just Can’t Win…….A Good Sense of Humor Pays Off

25% Incline?? Are You Kidding Me?

25% Incline?? Are You Kidding Me?

The best thing you can have on a vacation is a sense of humor. After exploring Agatha Christie’s home at Greenway, we had a much longer day than expected and then continued on with the drive to St Ives in Cornwall. My sense of humor was nipped in the bud as soon as we got there.

We had signed a lease for a fisherman’s cottage located on the flat part of St Ives and near the old historic area. The cottage came with a parking spot which they advertised as a “must have” since parking was at a premium. This was their advertisement;

A beautiful town centre 17th century stone cottage tucked away in a quiet cobbled street. Lovingly restored and completely refurbished in 2013 to an exceptionally high standard – the cottage has all the comforts of a bijoux boutique hotel with the freedom to do as you please! Cornish Cottage is a 2 minute level stroll to St Ives harbour, restaurants, cafes, galleries, shops and beaches. Steeped in history and full of original charm and character with wonky walls, a wood burning stove with cornish granite fire surround, granite coins, window seats and exposed beams. Parking space for one car. Underfloor heating and gas central heating. Delicious Cornish Cream Tea or surprise welcome pack awaits guests on arrival! We regret the cottage is not suitable for children. Sorry – no pets allowed.

Things we were not told about…

1. The parking space was a mile away……. up or down, however you want to look at it…….on a 25% grade……….OMG! Who would walk that everyday?

The good thing about arriving at the top was the view! The cemetery had one of the best views in town!

The Cemetery in St Ives, Cornwall

The Cemetery in St Ives, Cornwall

The Cemetery in St Ives, Cornwall

The Cemetery in St Ives, Cornwall

2.  Behind the cottage was a Fish&Chips establishment with a pub……….the smell of used, rancid grease heating up to fry the fish at 0600 was unbelievable!

3. About 0630 every morning the lorry came to deliver the metal casks of beer to the pub…….. rolling barrel after barrel into the pub! The delivery entrance for the pub was right next to our quaint little cottage!

4. After the beer lorry left, the trash man would pull up to get all the glass beer bottles. Clang, clang clang, dumping hundreds of bottles into the truck!

The Tale of the Cottage and the BINS, St Ives, Cornwall

The Tale of the Cottage and the BINS, St Ives, Cornwall

5. The road next to the cottage, also the main road to the parking areas of St Ives, was frequented day and night by tourists whose conversations we could hear without trying! Double glazed windows would have been nice!

The Cottage Window Overlooking main Tourist Walk, St Ives, Cornwall

The Cottage Window Overlooking Main Tourist Walk, St Ives, Cornwall

The Main Tourist Walk to Parking in St Ives, Cornwall

The Main Tourist Walk to Parking in St Ives, Cornwall

6. It has been a long time since I was in a beach town and I forgot the sound the seagulls make all night and day when they are nesting! OMG! This is the sound, just add hundreds of birds at the same time!

 

The Seagulls, St Ives, Cornwall

The Seagulls, St Ives, Cornwall

The Seagulls, St Ives, Cornwall

The Seagulls, St Ives, Cornwall

Now the good bits were……….once I got use to pretending I was among the pirates, heave ho and a bottle of rum and all that!

The cottage was fantastic!

The Fisherman's Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman’s Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman's Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman’s Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman's Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman’s Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman's Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

The Fisherman’s Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall

This may be the first time we’ve Ever been to a vacation spot and never left the spot! Did I ever make it up that hill again? Stay tuned! More tomorrow from St Ives!

The Butterfly Garden; It’s Not What You Think It Is

The Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden

I like to read, a lot. I read over 60 books a year and in the last year I have enjoyed reading books on gardens, especially gardens I have visited in the UK on my English Garden Tours. Virginia Woolf’s Garden by Caroline Zoob has become one of my favorite reads. I loved the photographs and details of the gardening skills of Zoob, while she and her husband were the caretakers of Monk’s House (the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf) for ten years for the National Trust. It also was a look into the Woolf’s private lives during their time at Monk’s House, beginning with how they came to own the property, up until the time of Leonard’s death. So to me it was a gardening book and a history book, which I loved!

I always have books on my Kindle and get alerts on Amazon, you know the ones; if you liked this book then you might enjoy…………  and I get alerts on books from some of my book club friends as well, so I always have a book or 20 in the pipeline. Sometimes I read a book review and I add that book to my wish list as well or a book is recommended on my Kindle Unlimited account, to read for free.

Went I left on vacation this year I looked over my list and just glanced at a title I had placed in my wish list book pile. So I downloaded The Butterfly Garden by Dot Richardson, not bothering to read an excerpt, believing I had done so before I put it on my wish list and just thinking from the title that it would make a good read while I visited the gardens on this year’s English Garden Tour.

Was I in for a surprise when I opened that book! Now I have to tell you I don’t watch scary movies or TV programs. At my age the daily news is enough bad stuff for me and and I tend to turn that off too. Neither am I a prude or shrinking violet, I was a registered nurse for many years and worked critical care, so gory is not a problem for me. But, this book turned out to be a psychological thriller and I was so shocked by the first chapter that I simply could not put the book down because I had to know how everything turned out! All I am going to say is that it was quite graphic, frightening and a good read! I will NEVER be able to look at a butterfly floating lazily among the flowers or a butterfly collection in the same way again!

That book made me promise myself to always read the review before I place a book on my wish list and again before I download it. I think I’ll go back to my lovely gardening books of flowers and vegetable patches, sun-dappled paths and golden brick walls and give my heart a rest! Take heed, but if this kind of thriller is an interest for you, you will not be disappointed!

Agatha Christie’s Potent Plants

Monkshood

Monkshood

Well I’m finishing up my day at Agatha Christie’s Greenway and thought I’d do a post about poisons! During World War II, Christie again worked as a pharmacist and nurse, just like she did in WWI. Her knowledge of medicine influenced her mysterious characters, many of whom died from lethal injection. So I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the plants and what books the poisons were featured in!

Some of the ‘potent’ plants will be familiar, some not:

Aconite (monkshood) has as its symptoms when ingested: rapid onset of symptoms including stomach problems numbness and tingling. Death occurs within hours.  Agatha Christie Books; 4:50 From Paddington; They Do It With Mirrors

Willow

Willow

Aspirin (willow): Well-known headache remedy but toxic in large doses. Appears in many Agatha Christie books; And Then There Were None; Dead Man’s Folly

Deadly Nightshade

Deadly Nightshade

Belladonna (deadly nighshade). Ancient herbal remedy with unpleasant side effects: Hallucinations, delirium, convulsions. Used in traditional witchcraft. Agatha Christie books; The Caribbean Mystery, The Big Four

Japanese Cherry Tree

Japanese Cherry Tree

Cyanide (prunus family). From the seeds of the prunus family. Potent and rapid, causing breathing difficulties, convulsions, and asphyxia. Agatha Christie books; Sparkling Cyanide, The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side

Thornapple

Thornapple

Datura (thornapple). Taken by Native American Indians to communicate with spirits. Ingesting Datura causes hallucinations and insanity. Agatha Christie books; Sleeping Murder, The Cretan Bull.

Caster Oil Plant

Caster Oil Plant

Ricin (castor oil plant). Slow acting poison from a popular bedding plant. Ricin causes violent stomach ache and kidney failure. Agatha Christie book; The House of Lurking Death.

Yellow Jasmine

Yellow Jasmine

Gelsemium (yellow jasmine). A small dose causes double vision, wellness and nervous system problems. A larger dose equals death. Agatha Christie book; The Big Four.

Henbane

Henbane

Hyoscyamine (henbane). Traditional herb of witchcraft. Causes stomach upset, excessive salivation, headaches and convulsions. Agatha Christie book; A Pocketful of Rye

Poppy

Poppy

Morphine (poppy).  Derived, like heroin, from the infamous Poppy, poisoned victims slip quickly into a lethal sleep. Agatha Christie books; Hickory, Dickory Dock,  Sad Cypress

Nicotiana

Nicotiana

Nicotine (nicotania). Highly toxic and easily absorbed, symptoms like vomiting and convulsions precede a quick death. Agatha Christie books; Three Act Trilogy, A Pocketful of Rye

Oxalis

Oxalis

Oxalic Acid (oxalis). Found in many plants in small amounts. Concentrated it causes severe stomach upset, lethargy and death. Agatha Christie books; Murder is Easy, Cards on the Table

Foxglove

Foxglove

Digitalis (foxglove). Effective treatment for heart problems, toxic doses lead to visual disturbances and death. Agatha Christie books; Appointment With Death, Crooked House

Yew

Yew

Taxine (yew). The symptoms of taxine poison include severe stomach inflammation and pain. Death is from heart failure. Agatha Christie book; A Pocketful of Rye

Hope you enjoyed the poison post! See you tomorrow!

The Gardens at Agatha Christie’s Greenway

 

The Walled Gardens at Greenway

The Old Garden Walls at Greenway

Let’s take a walk through the gardens at Greenway! What’s through this doorway?

 

Let's Look Here First, Greenway

Let’s Look Here First, Greenway

Tennis Anyone?

Tennis Anyone?

Or this one?

A Walk Through the Greenway Gardens

A Walk Through the Greenway Gardens

The Wildflower Bank at Greenway

The Wildflower Bank at Greenway

The Walkway at Greenway

The Walkway at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

This Doorway takes us to the Peach House!

The Peach House at Greenway

The Peach House at Greenway

The Walkway to the Peach House

The Walkway to the Peach House

The Peach House

The Peach House

I decided to take a little break and sit on one of the benches that overlooked the grounds around the Peach House. I soon had a little friend! He would come down from the tree and talk to me and as soon as someone would start to come close to us he would fly back up into the tree. As soon as the intruders were gone, back he came to talk to me! He flew up and down for over fifteen minutes!

My Overhead Shot of the Tree Where My Bird Friend Hid

My Overhead Shot of the Tree Where My Bird Friend Hid

My Bird Friend

My Bird Friend

The Vegetable Garden at Greenway

The Vegetable Garden and Greenhouses at Greenway

The Area Beyond the Wall is Called the Plantation

The Area Beyond the Wall is Called the Plantation, at Greenway

Here is the Fountain Garden.

The Fountain Garden at Greenway

The Fountain Garden at Greenway

The Pet Cemetery at Greenway

The Pet Cemetery at Greenway

And the pet cemetery!

A Look at the Restaurant and the Gift Shop Area at Greenway

A Look at the Restaurant and the Gift Shop Area at Greenway

One last look at the converted stables that are now the restaurant, garden shop and gift area at Greenway.

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Gardens at Greenway are not formal. They are restful, flowing, and carefree. Just like the holiday home for Agatha and her family was meant to be! I hope you enjoyed your walk! See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Greenway, the Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway House, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway House, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

At Entry to Greenway

At Entry to Greenway

Wipe your feet before you enter!

I think what I liked best about Greenway, Agatha Christie’s holiday home in Devon, was it was a home where I could see Agatha and her guests enjoying themselves. There were rooms, many rooms, filled to the brim with her collections; cupboards with stacks and stacks of dishes, her finds from her travels, games and puzzles scattered everywhere. The rooms reminded me of me; I like to collect things, especially from my travels, and find my treasures very comforting remembrances. One gets the feeling that Agatha is here in the house and as you wander from room to room you know you will find her right around the corner! This home is well loved and well looked after, so let’s take a peek inside!

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The pillows have sentences from her books printed on them!

The Drawing Room at Greenway, (Notice the Dominoes on the Floor)

The Drawing Room at Greenway, (Notice the Dominoes on the Floor)

The Piano at Greenway

The Piano at Greenway

In the drawing room is the piano she played only to entertain herself, never to entertain her guests.

Old Photos at Greenway

Old Photos at Greenway

The Fishing Gear is Ready!

The Fishing Gear is Ready!

The fishing gear and picnic supplies are by the stairs in case you want a quiet spot at the river before dinner.

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The library is comfy-cozy with a drink’s table by the door, just like in the old movies, and the frieze painted on three sides of the library’s upper walls is a timeline of WWII.  The frieze painted by U.S. Lt. Marshall Lee looks fresh, like it was painted only yesterday. Greenway was acquisitioned during the war, as an officers’ mess, and officers from the 10th U.S. Coast Guard flotilla headquartered here before D-Day.  When Agatha came back to the house after the war she wanted the frieze to stay, but the 16 makeshift bathrooms to go! 

Agatha's Closet

Agatha’s Closet

Her clothes are hung in the bedroom closet and her bags are packed and ready for the next adventure.

Books in the Library at Greenway

Books in the Library at Greenway

Love This Bookcase!

Love This Bookcase!

Love This Bookcase!

Love This Bookcase!

The Bathroom at Greenway

The Bathroom at Greenway AND

The Books in the Bathroom

The Books in the Bathroom

There are books everywhere in every room! Some are in very interesting bookcases! I loved the end-table spinning bookshelves! There is a small library of books even in the bathroom! 

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

The Kitchen at Greenway

The Kitchen at Greenway

The Kitchen and Pantry are always interesting to me! Look at all the dishes! Agatha’s mother and grandmother were collector’s too. You can never have enough dishes! Be sure to notice the typewriter in the kitchen. More about that further in the post!

The Dining Room at Greenway

The Dining Room at Greenway

The Dining Room at Greenway

The Dining Room at Greenway

I watched an elderly gentleman pick up every plate on the dining room table making sure they were made in England! The plates were beautiful!

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

A Portrait of Agatha with Some of Her Treasures

A Portrait of Agatha with Some of Her Treasures

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

And the Dinner Gong!

And the Dinner Gong!

There were so many treasures to look at I asked one of the National Trust guides if everything was left at Greenway. She replied that the family (her grandson) took everything he wanted, but there was still plenty left over! Oh my, I’ll say!

Agatha never wrote at Greenway. She came here to relax, to read and go over her notebooks, many times reading her current mystery to her family and friends in the evenings. However, there is a writing project going on as part of the activities and events at Greenway and old typewriters are placed throughout the house, and even in the kitchen, where one can leave a message for Agatha. Some of the messages are posted on a Twitter account #Type Greenway! Very interactive! 

Greenway is one of my favorite National Trust properties, I loved everything about it. And tomorrow we’ll take a look at the gardens at Greenway! See you there!

A Day With Agatha Christie at Greenway: Getting There

Agatha Christie's Tour Bus, Greenway

Agatha Christie’s Tour Bus, (a 1947 Leyland Tiger PS1/1 single decker with Barnaby bodywork)

Agatha Christie's Tour Bus, Greenway

Agatha Christie’s Tour Bus, Greenway

I am so excited to be visiting Greenway House, the holiday home of Agatha Christie. It is the first private residence of the famous author to be opened to the public. Greenway House is situated on a 278 acre estate on the Dart River in Devon. I will be dividing the posts into several sections since there is so much to talk about and it is all so very interesting! Now let’s get on the tour bus, so to speak!

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born September 15, 1890 into a wealthy, upper middle-class family in Ashfield, Torquay, Devon. Agatha described her childhood as “very happy”, but that her childhood was over when her father died when she was eleven. She was surrounded by strong and independent women, (her mother and her grandmother especially) believing her mother was a psychic with the ability of second sight. She described her grandmother and her cronies as “always expecting the worst of everyone and everything, and were, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right.” Her mother insisted that Agatha be educated at home, so her parents were responsible for teaching her to read (which she loved) and write, and basic arithmetic, which she also enjoyed. In 1905 she was sent to Paris to further her education, but returned in 1910 when her mother was ill. They decided to go to Egypt, (a popular tourist destination for wealthy Brits at that time) to spend time in a warmer climate, and stayed three months at the Gezirah Palace Hotel, attending social functions with her mother. They were on the prowl for a husband for Agatha! 

Upon return to England Agatha met Archibald Christie at a dance given by Lord and Lady Clifford at Ugbrooke, near Torquay. Archie was born in India, the son of a judge in the Indian Civil Service. By 1913 he was an army officer in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple married on Christmas Eve in 1914, while Archie was home on leave.

Agatha involved herself in the war effort, joining the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in 1914, and assisted with wounded soldiers at a hospital in Torquay as an unpaid VAD nurse. She was responsible for aiding the doctors and maintaining morale; she performed 3,400 hours of unpaid work between October 1914 and December 1916. She qualified as an “apothecaries’ assistant” (or dispenser) in 1917 and, as a dispenser, she earned £16 a year until the end of her service in September 1918. In her spare time she wrote.

She was initially unsuccessful at getting her work published, but in 1920 The Bodley Head press published her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring the character of Hercule Poirot. This launched her literary career.

Agatha Christie created several series’ characters during her writing career, but her best known was Hercule Poirot. Christie, was a fan of detective novels, having enjoyed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s early Sherlock Holmes stories. In her detective novel, Poirot was a former Belgian policeman noted for his twirly large magnificent moustaches and egg-shaped head. Christie’s inspiration for this stemmed from real Belgian refugees who were living in Torquay. He appeared in 33 novels, one theatrical play, and more than 50 short stories He first appeared in The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) and last appeared in Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (1975) which famously features his death. While her fans loved Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie herself was increasingly fed up with her creation. Late in her career, she described him as “an egocentric creep.”

In 1926, Archie Christie wanted to marry his mistress, Nancy Neele, and asked Agatha for a divorce. Agatha, totally overwrought, left her home and then abandoned her car at a chalk quarry, before disappearing for ten days. There has been a lot of speculation as to what exactly went on during this time. It has been suggested that Agatha disappeared to embarrass her husband, and call him out on the divorce, (mistress and all) or that it had possibly been a publicity stunt to promote her next book. However, when she was found at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate having registered under a false name, two doctors diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia and a depressed state from literary overwork, her mother’s death earlier that year and her husband’s infidelity. Agatha never spoke of the incident again.

A quote from Agatha; “I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”

Life goes on………. and Miss (Jane) Marple was introduced in the short stories called The Thirteen Problems in 1927 and was based on Christie’s grandmother and her cronies.

In 1930 Agatha married Sir Max Mallowen, (14 years her junior) having met him during an archaeological dig. Her travels with him contributed backgrounds for several of her novels set in the Middle East.

Agatha Quote; An archaelogist is the best husband a women can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.

In 1938, Agatha Christie, now independently wealthy from her writing, returned to Torbay and purchased a Georgian Manor, named Greenway. Greenway would be the setting for several of her books.

She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve around the investigative work of such characters as Hercule Poirot, and Jane Marple.

Agatha Quote; I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest.

She returned to Greenway again and again in her fiction, setting many of her classic murder mysteries at the beach, cove and island. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple both ventured to Torbay to solve heinous crimes. While Greenway was never Agatha’s primary residence, it was for a generation the family holiday retreat—where the family gathered for Christmas and Easter, and where she spent her summers. In 1950 Christie turned the house over to her daughter Rosalind Christie Hicks and in 2000 Greenway was transferred to The National Trust. Today, Greenway is restored and furnished as Christie and Max Mallowen would have known it in the 1950s.

 

Christie Mysteries Set Locally

  • Peril at End House
  • Sleeping Murder
  • The ABC Murders
  • The Body in the Library
  • And Then There Were None
  • Evil Under the Sun
  • Dead Man’s Folly
The Ferry Stop at Greenway

The Ferry Stop at Greenway

Greenway is not easy to get to. The preferred and recommended method of arrival is by boat—passenger ferry from Torbay, Dartmouth, or across the river from Dittisham. Any way you arrive at the quay, it is a 400-yard climb up hill to the house and gardens. This is not a trip for those with limited mobility.

The Lane to Greenway, Devon, UK

The Lane to Greenway, Devon, UK

Now that we have had a little background on Agatha let’s continue to make our way to Greenway! Take a good look at that narrow country lane! It is the Green Way, aptly named!  Arriving by car and getting closer to our destination, we first meandered through a neighborhood of Galmpton and then came upon this mile or so of narrow lane to Greenway. See that little extra pavement to the right in the photo? That is how much room you have to pull over if another car or bus approaches! Add to that the idiots that do not read the details of visiting Greenway. You MUST reserve a parking space that is available in 3 hour increments at Greenway House. If you don’t have a permit, pre- arranged, you will be turning your car around and heading home! Now some think it is OK to just park your car in this tiny strip and walk on to Greenway! Now how do the cars pull over when another car approaches???? This is an adventure all in itself. Once you reach the parking lot there is another extended hike up to the house. Golf carts are available to pick you up, but you must register for assistance and the wait can be lengthy as there are over 900 visitors a day.

But, we got here, Leon (the car) was all in one piece and I had my reservation to park, so what’s another walk? The house itself is surrounded by walled gardens, orchards and woodland gardens, so the walk was pleasant.

The Walled Gardens of Greenway

The Walled Gardens of Greenway

Navelwort in Walled Garden at Greenway

Navelwort in Walled Garden at Greenway

The stables and other out buildings have been converted to a gift shop and an eatery, so you can stop and enjoy this area before going on up to the house. What a beautiful view of the river and grounds from the front of the house!

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

There are lawn chairs to sit and enjoy this view either before or after visiting the house.

The Lawn Chairs at Greenway

The Lawn Chairs at Greenway

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie at Greenway

Agatha Christie at Greenway

Let’s go in! See you tomorrow!

Getting from Point A to Point B; Don’t Forget the a’s, b’s and little c’s!

Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

What an Inviting Entryway and Checkout the Flowers!

What an Inviting Entryway and Check Out the Flowers!

To get from Point A to Point B is more fun if you have shorter driving times and lots of smaller a’s, b’s and c’s along the route. After all we are on vacation! When you have been up all night, or at least not sleeping well on an international flight, it is easier to have small stops to look forward to rather than a long jaunt across the countryside in unfamiliar territory! So, those were the conditions I set for my “2016 English Garden Tour” starting at Heathrow Airport and beginning the “Official” part of the tour in Cornwall. But, I made a few stops along the way and they turned out to be lovely! As you have read in previous blog posts we stopped at two National Trust properties on the journey to Cornwall, Stourhead and Tintinhull. Oh, and we drove past Stonehenge, so we can say we’ve seen that too! And then we planned to stop for the night in Yeovil, and stay at the Ash Manor House. What a delightful stay between Point A and Point B! It was easy to find, there was plenty of parking on the premises, it was spotless and there is a restaurant on site! So if you are making your way to Cornwall this also may be a good option for you! Let’s see some photos!

The Lobby Area at Ash House Manor, Yeovil, UK

The Lobby Area at Ash House Manor, Yeovil, UK

The Lady of the Manor House in Her Time! I Wouldn't Mess With Her!

The Lady of the Manor House in Her Time! I Wouldn’t Mess With Her!

Notice looking at the “now” pictures of the house and the “original” picture, that the ivy has been removed from the house. I liked the ivy look better, but that’s just me! The ivy softens the stones and gives it a romantic cottage-y look!

Up the Stairs We Go!

Up the Stairs We Go!

A Beautiful Transomed Doorway at the Top of the Landing

A Beautiful Transomed Doorway at the Top of the Landing

Aww To Drop Into Bed!

Ahh, To Drop Into Bed!

A Quick Peek at LEON

A Quick Peek at LEON and the Village

From Heathrow to Ash Manor House I was trying to adjust to a rental car called LEON. Leon is a diesel engine vehicle that turns off whenever the brake is on for any period of time to save gas.  It is like they do in Nascar to save gas when they think they will not make it until the end of the race and try to conserve fuel. The only difference is Leon does it automatically and it is sooooo scary! I was always concerned it wouldn’t start up again just as we got to the tricky round about or stuck in heavy traffic and then needed to go! Just one more thing to add to the adventure! Who would name a car LEON anyway? I learned one more thing early on in my adventure; never let them stick me wth a LEON at the car rental! Maybe I just need a relaxing drink and something to eat! So let’s go to the bar!

The Bar at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

The Bar at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

The Dining Room at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

The Dining Room at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

My Yummy Evening Meal at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

My Yummy Evening Meal at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

And Then Dessert! The Frog is a Cinnamon Dip!

And Then Dessert! The Frog is a Cinnamon Dip!

And then the next morning, a scrumptious breakfast in the Morning Room overlooking the back garden.

The Morning Room at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

The Morning Room at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

The Back Garden at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

The Back Garden at Ash Manor House, Yeovil, UK

If you are traveling from London to Cornwall you might consider a rest stop at Ash Manor House. All my boxes for the perfect stay were ticked off!

Well, it’s a brand new day and we are off to another National Trust Property! See you next time at Greenway, home of Agatha Christie! I can hardly wait!

 

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