Sunday 20 May 2012: Sam at Allan Bank
We managed to get all our jobs done in the guest house and get out for the afternoon (thanks to Grandma making all the beds). We went through to Grasmere, where the National Trust have just opened up Allan Bank to the public. When I was 7 we rented out the servants' quarters at the back of the property. It was an amazing 6 months and I have such happy memories of it. It was winter, and there was no heating - the flannels in the bathroom were frozen solid in the morning. After a couple of days we decided to try to get the ancient rayburn in the kitchen working. After covering the entire kitchen in several inches of soot, we got her fired up and the ice began to melt. I got to sleep in the same bedroom as my mummy and daddy. On my birthday I sneaked into the kitchen at the crack of dawn to peek at my presents - I was over the moon to discover they had given in and bought me a Rainbow Bright toy. We got Kitty Mogget - our first cat. We didn't have the views over Grasmere and the fells, but we did look out over the amazing gardens and woodland, where we saw deer every day. Mum (who was a biology teacher and botanist) spent hours in the woods with us discovering all sorts of exciting things. We made a den in the cover of a huge uprooted tree. We found an old potter's shed full of teeny tiny cobweb-covered seedling pots, I was sure they must belong to fairies. It was a very happy time.
It was odd to go back and see the kids rushing around the same gardens. The part we lived in was now being used as accommodation, so we never got to look round that bit, but maybe that's a good thing, I quite like having some of the memory locked just in my head.
Oh, and Sam is smiling because Milo and Summer are just to the right doing a painting at the activity table. There is another little girl there called Sofia. She is clean, cute, polite and drawing a lovely picture. Milo is drawing a picture of a Bad Potato with a gun and himself with a pair of bright green knickers on his head (in the picture, not in reality!). I like to think Sofia had a massive tantrum after we left, but I very much doubt it.