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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cawdor Castle

We stitched this morning. My group worked with Meredith on the Phoebe Anna Traquare birds. We learned to couch down the big loose under-stitches we had done and,like magic, they sat down flat - just like Phoebe's.
We all thought Phoebe was stitching along with us in spirit, approving of what we were doing and helping us out.

We also started on the berries and some got to start the birds. We laughed a lot, progressed our work and enjoyed ourselves.
After lunch we set of for Cawdor Castle, about 45 minute drive from Inverness - beginning along the shore of Loch Ness.
Cawdor Castle dates from 1398, with 17th century additions. It was the prototype for a number of Victorian castles. Lady Cawdor was to have met us, but was not back from France until tonight.

Today would have been Jim's birthday, and I thought it fitting and touching  that the motto that greeted us as we crossed the drawbridge was "Be mindful" - which could easily have been his motto.
We were let loose to make our way around the castle. I went all the way this time, in spite of several spiral staircases that I negotiated with extreme care (being mindful). The castle has a number of large,significant and beautiful tapestries, particularly in Lady Cawdor's bedchamber. Photographs are not permitted inside so I can't show them.

There is also a William Morris embroidered wall hanging of great beauty, which we were able to see close up, as well as an embroidered silk waistcoat and some smaller items.

The gardens are lovely, as is the exterior of the castle.
We were treated to prosecco and canap├ęs in the cafe. This had been planned for the garden but it was by now drizzling. We then had dinner in the restaurant  - a really lovely meal 
After dinner, one of the antique suzanis collected by Lady Cawdor was brought down from its room in the turret for us to examine - really beautiful.
By now the castle was closed and all other visitors gone. We were given the chance to go back into the castle and revisit any rooms we wanted so we could see any of the embroideries again. About half the group went. I didn't, but spent the time talking and taking photos.
By the time we came to leave, the drawbridge has been raised and we couldn't get out. The thought of the 15 of us being in the castle for the night was enough for someone to lower the bridge again!

We are all pretty tired tonight, but all feeling it was a really great day. I'm feeling priveliged to be here and grateful.

1 comment:

  1. My noble partner you greet with present grace........