I've been stuck in front of the typ-o-matic machine for what feels like ages; so I escaped out on the last good (forecasted) day of March and visited Clumber Park.
Although the manor house is long gone, the rest of the property remains, including the walled garden and glasshouse. This part of our recent history is fascinating to me; how Victorians built on medieval traditions of enclosed growing spaces, and used them to sustain new plants brought from the most exotic reaches of the empire.
They're growing rhubarb for the Rhubarb Festival at the moment- looking forward to getting a bunch of Red Champagne, or some of this:
It's exciting to see the cast iron mechanical technology still in working use after over 100 years; the levers, rods and moving panels echo the progressive positivity of science and engineering at that time. I resisted the urge to try them out (I'd like them to last another 100 years, please).
I'm sure it's one of the aspects of the Victorian era that influences Steampunk writers; and it's been the inspiration I needed to forge ahead with the final edit of Coalface, my YA Victorian adventure.
If my box brownie snaps have inspired to you visit, details are all here - have a good weekend.