We break our journey in Buxton, taking a day there to relax and see something interesting. This year it was Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire. What a delight; an off kilter dolls house in black and white, planted in the middle of a field with its own knot garden and moat.
You cross the moat, and find yourself in a magical courtyard, where the black and white timber framing is enlivened by windows with complex glass that reflects the light, breaking the surface of the buiding up even further, fragmenting the view through.
We took the very well informed guided tour; a particular pleasure was the room with wonderful trompe l'oeil panelling and a headless Susanna and the Elders frieze, nestled at ceiling height, revealed when electricians were working behind the later Georgian panelling.
Then I spent time going round afterwards, being quiet in each room, listening for echoes of past voices,
looking at light pooling on 500 years of others' passing feet
seeing the lichen of the years mottling the rooftops.
Imagining how others' lives were lived here
At the risk of sounding preachy, we are so lucky in this country to have these treasures from the past, witnesses to the way those before us spent their days, spaces and places that fulfil functions we are familiar with, but in such various ways. They are bits of our shared past that we can connect with, being thankful for their continued survival.