A Room With a Truffle

I spent the other evening soothing my soul with the A Room With a View DVD and half a box of truffles.  I’d had a rather long and stressful Monday, and have been trying to get hold of this DVD for ages.

As I’m going to be at the castle over the weekend again, I’d like to wish everyone a lovely May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, with many gorgeous films and truffles hopefully involved 😉

If you haven’t seen the film, here’s a link to part one:

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A View From the Past

In more ways than one!  This postcard belonged to a friend of my family.  She lived next door to us in a house that was practically new when she moved in, in 1911 or thereabouts.

This postcard is particularly special, as the shop called H.F. Blackwell was her father’s who died during the Great War.  The town is not far from where we lived.

I was lucky enough to inherit a number of special things like this when she died.

View From the Past

My Second Blogoversary

It was our second year in the blogosphere yesterday.  That’s 469 posts and 2744 comments worth.  Thanks to everyone who has commented/viewed so far.

Happy Blogoversary to me!  Does this mean I get presents too?

Here’s a few firsts:

My First proper post

My First proper photograph post

My First Blogoversary post

Any favourite moments dear readers?  Who knew that we’d still be here 2 years on, eh?

You Know When You’ve Been Twilighted

Back in early December I talked about getting around to reading the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Well, I have to confess I have given up for now, as I couldn’t get into it.  I am thinking of skipping to the next book New Moon though, to see if I get on any better with that.

On Monday though, I finally got a copy of the film to watch, and oddly enough I quite enjoyed it.  It’s intrigued me enough to want to watch the next film, which is supposedly out in November this year.

So, did anyone else like it?

The Teddy Bear Orphanage Is Go!

I’ve probably mentioned before that we do a few small fund raising things to raise extra money for projects at the castle.  The main one for the last couple of years has been selling second hand books that have kindly been donated to us.

I had a brainwave this year, and decided that maybe visiting children would like to see a Teddy Bear Orphanage in the castle somewhere.  I wasn’t sure what the response would be at all, really.

This past week I’ve done a test run, and we are nearly out of the current group!  I’m really happy that everyone has liked this idea.  I’ve even had a few more homeless Teddy Bears and friends offered to me today, so there will be more on their way to a new home at the castle soon!

If you adopted one of our orphans, I hope you’ll be very happy together!  I’ll try and get some pictures of the next group very soon.

With regards to the books, we did really well last year, and managed to buy a digital camera for the castle, and are currently researching our next purchase, which I shall reveal soon if all goes well.

Thanks to everyone who donates, the books will be back on sale in the Entrance Hall very soon.

All Together Now!

After my recent Austria related  post, the Mum and I decided to curl up with a chocolate egg or three and The Sound of Music DVD.  You can blame her for this – she saw the film three times in London when it came out, and we’ve watched it on high days and holidays ever since.

Not that I particularly mind that is – a chance to drool over Austrian scenery and a good sing-along?

It got me thinking though.  I knew that the film was only very loosely based on the life of Maria von Trapp, and a lot of the details had been changed.  I did a little more reading recently, and discovered the following family information (which I have abbreviated):

Georg Ludwig von Trapp (1880-1947) first married Agathe Whitehead (who was of English descent) in 1911.

Georg’s parents are August von Trapp and Hedwig Wepler.

Georg and Agathe had 7 children together, they are –

Rupert von Trapp (1911-1992) m in 1947, 2 sons, 4 daughters, later divorced and m for a second time.

Agathe von Trapp (1913+)

Maria von Trapp (1914+)

Werner von Trapp (1915-2007) m in 1948, 4 sons, 2 daughters.

Hedwig von Trapp (1917-1972)

Johanna von Trapp (1919-1994) m in 1948, 3 sons, 4 daughters.

Martina von Trapp (1921-1951) m in 1949, stillborn daughter.

Georg’s wife Agathe died in 1922 of Scarlet fever.

Maria Augusta Kutschera (1905-1987) came to the von Trapp household in 1926 to tutor the second oldest daughter Maria, who was still recovering from the Scarlet fever which killed her mother.

Maria and Georg married in 1927, it was – for want of a better term – a marriage of convenience as Maria loved the children, and Georg wanted a mother for them.  The pair grew very fond of each other, however.

Maria and Georg went on to have the following children:

Rosmarie von Trapp (1929+)

Eleonore von Trapp (1931+) m  in 1954, 7 daughters.

Johannes von Trapp (1939+) m  in 1969, 1 son, 1 daughter.

(NB, I do have the names from the children’s marriages, but have chosen not to disclose them, as many are still living.)

The family left Austria to tour, later settling in the USA, where Johannes von Trapp still runs the family resort in Vermont.  You can visit their website here.  Has anyone ever stayed there, it looks lovely and I’m curious!

There are also some interesting books out there, some by Maria and Georg themselves, plus there is a really interesting article about The Real Story of the von Trapp Family, complete with photographs from their Declaration of Intentions in 1944 from the National Archives, USA.

Some of you however, may just like to take a trip down memory lane, and enjoy bits of the film again.  Here is the original trailer, enjoy!

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The End of An Era

Been thinking about some family friends of ours in Austria, who have now retired.  They shut up their family run hotel for the last time on the 31 March.

Wishing them a wonderful retirement, plus cue gratuitous Kitzbuehel picture.  One of my favourite parts of town the two old churches…

The Two Churches

For those browsing elsewhere, this image is under my copyright, and content thieves will be hexed!

A Victorian Brooch Collective

I wanted to update everyone on my Victorian brooch collection, as I’m preparing a post about a ‘new’ item I’ve just acquired which is linked with these.

To recap – I started collecting name brooches after I fell in love with a little silver one ‘Edith’.  I’ve added to the collection from time to time, usually only when I spot one I particularly like.

So, to start there is:

All the Ladies



The New Girls



So Many Brooches, So Little Time

This is when I branched out into other Victorian brooches that I liked, not just names.  Also included:


Contrary Mary

This is the most recent name brooch I found, and has an interesting story!


Stay tuned for the sequel, more jewellery to come.

So What Have I Been Doing?

Since the 2008 castle season finished on the 31 October (plus our own personal castle hunting season), some of you might have been wanting to know what I’ve been up to during the Winter.  Well, those bits that I haven’t already told you about already anyway.

This time around I’ve been volunteering for the Housekeeping or Collections Care team at the castle.  I say team, there’s not that many of us!  We are the people who make sure that the castle sleeps safely over the Winter.

These are just some jobs involved that I can think of:

  • Cleaning and polishing of silver/metal and ceramics and then packing away in acid free tissue paper
  • Covering of items (protective) that are left out on display
  • Vacuuming and turning of carpets
  • Vacuuming and resting of curtains and pelmets
  • Dusting of pictures and ornaments
  • Dusting and checking of taxidermy
  • Repair and refurbishment of modern blinds
  • Sweeping of window cills and cleaning of door furniture
  • Vacuuming of ceilings
  • Checking bug traps
  • Reviewing of research files and photographs
  • Re-writing of room guide information
  • Big research project on castle picture collection
  • Clearing of store rooms

It’s not exhaustive, there’s probably a lot I’ve missed here.  I’m sure you get the picture though!

In February I was lucky enough to attend a Collections Care course at Fyvie Castle.  It was great fun, we met fellow enthusiasts, and learned specifically about care for:

  • Carpets and Floor Coverings
  • Natural History
  • Stone and Plaster
  • Integrated Pest Management in Practice (Bugs!)

I hope I get to go next year too…

We also had Christmas events on up until mid-December, and a few Winter weddings happening.

This month brings that all to a close, and I shall miss it – and seeing all the lovely people I work with less often.  I have learnt so much, and I hope that I can continue to learn even more.  I have also learnt that much more about the castle and its people, which makes me extra happy.

All our efforts can now be seen as we re-open for the 2009 season.  I hope you enjoy them.