Blenheim in the heat

A summer holiday in England is always a toss-up. I’ve had summers where even homo sapiens feel the sogginess of hoof and mouth disease, and other summers with dry reservoirs and lengthy hose-pipe bans. This is one of the Augusts when green is but a memory.

So here in our holiday home just outside the gates of Blenheim Palace, our raincoats and heavy shoes haven’t made it out of our checked luggage, while we’ve had to restock sun block more than once. Salads for dinner, rather than Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pud.

Still, we’re not quite to the hose-pipe ban stage, and so long as we can let the kids run through the sprinkler in the heat of the afternoon, we’re okay. And I may have found a fixer-upper on the palace grounds:

It’s along the beginning of the stream Capability Brown claimed and brutalized to make a pretty lake for his client the Duke of Marlborough, the better for strolling aristocrats and floating swans.

And don’t forget the gaping maw of the carnivorous tree, fenced off from sheep and tourist:

Although the sheep do get their own back, up to a certain level:

I hope your summer is going well, though perhaps not quite so warmly.

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  1. Chris on August 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Welcome back! I’m in Spain just now (39°c, thank you for asking!) but in Scotland from the weekend, so if you decide to venture north, do say hello😄

  2. susan on August 7, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    pretty hot here in the midwest….but hoping these storms will blow it away! it was hot when we were in England some years back….the hard part they don’t seem to have AC the way we do in the states. i can’t think of anywhere i would prefer to “sweat out” a summer than England tho….

  3. Kelley on August 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Oh how fun to get home to this post! I’ve spent the day in Oxford at a lecture on Japanese influence on the Impressionists at The Ashmolean, and then a visit to the Tolkien exhibit at The Bodliean with Tolkien pub quiz after, so not far from you. The lecture and the exhibit actually complemented each other.

    That ruin would definitely be a fixer-upper, but I always hope someone will save crumbling old buildings with character.

  4. Cleo Huang on August 11, 2018 at 12:51 am

    As an English major in college back in the 1990s, I’d studied abroad at Oxford for a summer, with excursions to nearby sites on the weekends. Blenheim Palace was one of my favorite destinations. (Of course, I have eagerly absorbed all mentions of places in Oxford throughout the series, as well!) While I eagerly await await another visit to England some day, I enjoy the next best thing… experiencing them through the eyes of Russell and Holmes. 🙂

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