Hazel McHaffie

A grand diversion

My trip to London felt a bit like the Grand Tour of yesteryear: London via Chatsworth and Woburn, so today’s post might be a tad exuberant.

I’ve wanted to visit Chatsworth, the family seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, for ages. I’ve watched programmes about it, read about it, but it still blew me away. You need to experience it though, not just see it, and I know a few amateurish photos won’t capture the sheer scale or magnificence, but they’re all I can offer of …

the glorious setting ….the stunning settingthe beautiful house (complete with gold window frames!) …the beautiful buildingthe stately entrance …the stately entrancethe exquisite woodwork …exquisite woodworkthe priceless paintings and ornate furniture …priceless paintings and ornate furniturethe fabulous chandeliers …fabulous chandeliersthe amazing sculptures …amazing sculpturesthe famous cascade (gravity fed) …the famous cascadeand the stunning gardens …lovely gardensWow, my old English teacher would have a conniption at all these superlatives!

Woburn Abbey wasn’t open …Woburn Abbeyand the gardens in March, with temperatures below zero, aren’t a riot of colour, but the deer park was well worth seeing …the deer parkas were the antiques …antique centreand the quaint Woburn village …Woburn VillageAnd I came away with more than I set out to buy.

By the time I arrived for my workshops about medical ethics I felt totally refreshed and ready for anything. And I was in for another treat.

The sessions I run are very much interactive, and the delegates at this conference were superb, very willing to challenge and be challenged, and to move outside their personal comfort zone (always an aim of these events). We made the most of a whole day devoted to exploring just how far we would go in assisting conception and death, supporting choice or setting limits. All great fun.

And now we’ve returned to Scotland to find spring submerged in a second winter!But at least I’m not tempted to leave my desk and get out in the garden. Onwards and upwards.



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