Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wild Romance by Chloë Schama

Connected reading, file 1

During a ten year period in the mid 19th century a different kind of court case hit the headlines in Europe and America, it was Longworth vs Yelverton.

Theresa Longworth met William Charles Yelverton in 1852 during a boat trip from France to England. They talked the whole night and afterwards started a correspondence that continued for years. The unusual thing about it, was that it was the woman who started the correspondence, and pursued the acquaintance.

They couple spent most of the time in different places all over Europe. Yelverton was a military man and went where he was posted. When he came to Crimea, Theresa followed him there to work as a nurse with a convent. Later on, when they were both in Scotland, they entered into a closer relationship which led to a different kind of marriage.  On April 12, 1857, Yelverton declared himself her husband with his hand on a Book of Common Prayer. There were no witnesses, but according to Scottish Common Law, Yelverton’s alleged declaration constituted a marriage. It was not unusual that people got married like this it seems.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

New book coming my way!

Yesterday, my friend Lena, gave me a book by Patrick Modiano, Nätternas gräs (L'herbe des nuits).  Quite suitable, since it was the Nobel day on 10 December, and Modiano won the Nobel prize in Literature this year. Looking forward to read it after the holidays. Review will follow.

Monday, 15 December 2014

TBR Pile Challenge 2015

You see how far my promises go? I said I would not participate in any challenges...and here I am at the first possible time. Having said that, it does go with my personal challenge of lowering my TBR shelves. As you might remember I have entered into a 'Connected Reading' challenge, where I follow a lead from one book to the next. Two 'files' are to be followed, and all of the books have to be taken from my TBR shelves or from the public library. So this challenge really goes very well with Roof Beam Reader TBR challenge.

The challenge is back for its sixth year! You have to choose 12 books, plus 2 extras just in case you can't go on with the chosen ones, from your TBR shelves. They have to be published before 2014. To participate, go to the page linked above and link your own page with your chosen books.

Monday morning

Today is a grey Monday morning, which does not really help. Reading the paper does not really help your mood either. Disaster, disaster, disaster wherever you look. However, I have two nice things to share with you.

There has been simultaneously auctions in Brussels and Paris on comic book drawings. A rare 1939 drawing of Tintin and his dog was sold for 539,880€ (673,468 USD). The cover which was made for the Belgian weekly "Le Petit Vingtième", scored the world record for a Hergé cover for that magazine. The buyer is not identified.


Through Bloglovin I found the 'Into Mind' blog by Anuschka from Berlin. In her post '10 ways to de-stress your day hour by hour' she shares a lot of useful tips in different areas. One of them is the site 'Skillshare' where you can sign up for free and take on-line classes. They cover a lot of different areas, so something for any of us. I signed up of course, and this morning I got an e-mail with some tips on trending classes and posts. Among the posts was one 'The Skill of Self-confidence', a TED lecture by Dr. Ivan Joseph. If you are interested you can have a look at it here.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Friday, 12 December 2014

A Dark Inheritance by Mary Williams

As you might have seen from my 'Read' list, I have read some historical romance lately. Always nice to relax your reading with a little bit of romance these grey, rainy days. The books were; A Code of Love by Jackie Delecki, The Duchess War by Courtney Milan and the book that I will review here, A Dark Inheritance by Mary Williams (from Endeavour Press, where I downloaded it for free).

I liked all three books. The two first ones have a young, intelligent, beautiful, brave woman in the lead (as usual) trying to resist the handsome, rich, rascal lord (as usual). We all know how it ends, but if the story is good enough it is enjoyable. A Code of Love has a story of code breakers during the Napoleonic war and it is exciting enough. The Duchess War has a more social story connected to the working conditions of the poor. The young woman has a secret, as has the lord, and the story is quite fascinating since, at least for the young woman, everything is not revealed in total until the end, and it is an unusual story. Quite entertaining.

The best of the three though is A Dark Inheritance. It is set in Cornwall in the mid 19th century. Adelaide's husband David dies in the Crimean War only a short time after their marriage. She goes back to his ancestral home, Trenhawk, to reside there. However, since they have no children, it has gone to David's cousin Rupert, who is not willing to sell it, although he is in some dire financial straits due to his biggest investment and interest; a mine.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys

This is a book in my second line of 'connected' reading. The first and previous book was Wide Sargasso Sea so the connection is the author. See ny new 'Connected' page here or go directly from the Home page.

As mentioned in my review of the previous book the author is new to me. And what a pleasant surprise. Having finished the second book, I look forward reading more by Rhys. She has a simple, poetic, down to earth language in her stories, which is quite fascinating. The two books I have read have another thing in common. The story takes places in Dominica and England, and tells of the difficulties to come from an exotic, beautiful, warm island to the coldness of England. Both in the different climates, but also how people are behaving.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood

Charlotte Brentwood contacted me and asked me if I wanted to review her new book 'The Vagabond Vicar'. Since I love historical fiction and a little bit of romance to go with it I agreed. The review to follow is my own personal view and Charlotte has not influenced me in any way.

First a short summary of the book. William Brook is an idealistic young cleric. His highest wish it to go to a foreign land to spread christianity and help the very poor people. Unfortunately for him, his best friend get a posting to India, and  he himself, receives a small parish in Shropshire. This is not exactly what he was aiming at. Although it was seen as a favour to him, since the parish is a good one and he has the approval of the nobel family in the area. However, his idealistic self cannot see how there will be too many poor to help and he realises rather quickly that many families are eager for one of their daughters to merry the vicar. He is determined to stay one year, not get married and then go abroad.

Once in the village he soon gets involved into the daily life of people. He makes an effort to get to know them, to help them where necessary and to take them on the path to a more 'modern' life. The previous vicar had been there for 50 years and things have been idling as they were. Not everyone is happy with his intentions.

His love to be, interest, is Cecilia Grant. She is considered a little bit weird since she get lost in nature and herself. Most of the time she seems to be in another world. She is a free spirit and have difficulties to fit in to a suitable life. One season in London left her without a suitor and her mother is now trying again to find a husband. Her eyes are set on the younger son of the local nobility.

After meeting each other casually for a couple of times both William and Cecilia realise that there is more to their relationship than friendship. While their relationship develops, other people does not look upon it with favourable eyes. Jealousy, bad behaviour and revenge are some of the results, but amongst this back drop, they fall in love. Their love story is threatened by secrets in the village and a scandal from William's past. It will take a bold girl to set things right.
Charlotte Brentwood
Charlotte Brentwood is a young author, and this is her first published book. Her heroes are Darcy, Knightly, Wentworth and Brandon. To be a first book and for the author to be so young, I find the writing very mature. You get into the book at once, the characters are slowly built up until you think you know them all, even the ones which are not frequently mentioned. The description of village life is very trustworthy, which is also the case for the religious parts which describes the work of the vicar. The story develops through the narratives of William and Cecilia.

As for most historical, romance novels, it is easy to read. Especially, since it is very well written. The story is very well put together and tied up in the end. There are several loose ends to tie up and she is doing it very well. The only thing slightly missing in the story line, is a little bit of a 'punch'? The story lacks a little bit of excitement and thrill, although at the end of the book it catches up. However, having said that, and considering the writing, I am looking forward to the next novel by Charlotte. If you like historical, regency, romance you should try this one.

You can read more on her website.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday bliss

Today started with a wonderful, sunny morning with blue sky. The autumn colours were awesome! Half an hour later it was all gone. Sky got all cloudy and the day looked gloomy. The first intention to go for a nice walk in the woods has now been abandoned. I realised when I ventured out in the garden, that it is nicer to cuddle up inside with candles and a good book.

Grey isn't it?

So what am I reading this grey Sunday? As usual I am on to several books that I alternate between.

The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood, a historical fiction that I received from the author to review. Review will follow shortly.

Vägen mot Bålberget by Therése Söderlind, also a historical fiction about witches in 17th century Sweden.

The Song of Taliesin, Tales from King Arthur's Bard by John Matthews. Taliesin, Arthur's poet who, like Merlin, was said to have shamanic powers. His writings are mostly lost but Matthews has used his imagination, based on his studies of original sources, to extend the original writing. Wonderful.

So, it seems like a good idea to stay home and read, finalise the Christmas cards and presents and feel that you are ahead of things. Why procrastinate when you don't have to?

To see the outside from the inside today will therefor be a better choice.

What about you? Nice weather and a relaxing Sunday? I hope this for all of you around the world!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2014

Historical Tapestry is hosting the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2014. I choose to read 10 Renaissance books and has now finalised this challenge. I am lucky to finalise at least one of the challenges. It has been a little bit uphill this year. Here are the books that I read.

1. The Chosen Man by J.G. Harlond
2. The King's Concubine by Anne O'Brien
3. The Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien
4. The Kingmaker's Daughter by Anne O'Brien
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant (not finished!))
5. Sofia Magdalena A True Queen by Gerd Ribbing
6. A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
8. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
9. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
10. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

I could not finish Sacred Hearts, I found it too slow, but all the other books are interesting. My absolute favourite  will have to be The Chosen Man by J.G. Harlond (review here), which takes place in Holland (among other places) during the Tulipomania hysteria in the 17th century. That made me go on to read Tulipomania by Mike Dash (review here) which is a really fascinating book about the power of Tulips.

Of course I have to mention the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, of which I am a fan. I am now reading book No. 5 The Fiery Cross while I am waiting for the continuation of the first season of the TV-series.

However, I must say I enjoyed all the books. Being a lover of historical fiction, I am happy to read about historical people or unknown people set in a historical setting.

Enjoy the Skye Boat Song theme with beautiful lyrics by Bear McCreary from the Outlander TV-series.

Sing me a song of a lass that is gone
Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye

Billow and breeze, islands and seas
Mountains of rain and sun
All that was good, all that was fair
All that was me is gone

Sing me a song of a lass that is gone
Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas shopping in Sweden

We have been in Växjö, Sweden for some days to visit our son and to do some Christmas shopping.
Absolutely lovely. Weather cold and even the sun shone on us from time to time. The first of Advent is the weekend in Sweden when the Christmas shopping starts. In the old days, that is, when I was a child, the shops used to decorate the windows and people walked around and enjoyed the creativity of the shops. The shops were not open, it was just to look. That is a nice remembrance. Today it is all commercial and the windows look the same all of December!

We managed to buy all our presents, so we were very pleased. I know I promised not to buy any more books, BUT, I could not resists since there was a place where they sold them soooo cheap. My son got a pocket book for student cooking which I think he will enjoy. At least when he realises that it is not that difficult and the variety is good. Two drink books; one how to make wonderful (hopefully) vodka drinks and one book about cocktails. One book by Mo Yan (last year's Nobel prize winner), "Det röda fältet" (The Red Field).  I have not read anything by him so this was a good bargain. Two audio books where the last ones. They are generally rather expensive in Sweden, so when you get one for 3€ that is a

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas feeling in Växjö

Over in Sweden to visit our son and do some Christmas shopping. Came just as the Black Friday sales are on, so discounts everywhere. Weather nice, cold and fresh. Today we have been walking around the centre where there is a Christmas market. We visited this beautiful ecological shop as well, see photos below.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

This is the first book in my second 'line' choice of 'Connective Reading'.

This is the book that tells the story about the 'mad woman in the attic' in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.

Jean Rhys was born in Dominica and came to England when she was sixteen. She tried a lot of professions before she started writing. She was one of the artists in Paris in the 1920s and Ford Madox Ford helped her publish her first stories. She had not published anything since 1939 when she made this remarkable come back in 1966. It saw her win the Royal Society of Literature Award and the W.H. Smith Award. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1966 and a CBE in 1978. She died in 1979, at the age of eighty-four.

Having had a background in Dominica, Jean Rhys was really suitable to write about Rochester's first wife who was born there. We don't get to know too much about her in Charlotte Brontë's book, just the tantalising information that Rochester discovered that she was mad as soon as he had married her. Since Jane Eyre is the main character in Brontë's book, and I guess we all want it to be the two of them in the end, we sort of dismiss Bertha (as Rochester calls her, in this book she is called Antoinette) and are also less inclined to like her.

This book gives a picture of her background and her sad story. Most of the story takes place in the West Indies.  It is only people who have lived there a long time or are born there, that seem to like it. Everything seem different from England; the climate, the nature, the birds, the sun rise and sun set,

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Odessa - Genius and Death in a City of Dreams by Charles King

This is a book I have read, connected from The Hare With the Amber Eyes. To try to lower the Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.
number of TBR books, the 'connected reading' will have to come from these shelves or from the library. I am in the process of creating a separate page, for this my very own challenge. I will use two different 'lanes' of books to connect. First one is the one above and the second one is

The Hare with the Amber Eyes connection: this book is about the Ephrussi family who originated in Odessa. There were many connections to pursue from this book, but since I have a book about Odessa it was a natural choice.

Mark Twain felt supremely at home when he visited Odessa in the late summer of 1867. He had come to the Russian port city on the world's first long-distance pleasure cruise, a jaunt across the Near East related in The Innocents Abroad. After a twenty-hour run across the Black Sea on the american steamer Quaker City, Twain stepped ashore to see Odessa's cascade of stone steps - one of the most famous staircases in the world - beckoning him from the docklands to the upper city. At the top, looking like a casual visitor peering out over the harbour, the diminutive statue of the duc de

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday bliss - From E-book to E-bike

Me with the E-bike!
Another lovely autumn day that has to be used. Yesterday we passed by the bike shop to pick up my bike that has been serviced. Once inside the shop we found this wonderful e-bike and my husband, Martin, insisted that I should try it. He has been trying for some time, to convince me that an e-bike is something for me. I have resisted, but once I tried it, I only needed about two minutes to realise that this was an absolutely fantastic bike. I did not need to much convincing that this would be a wonderful Christmas present.

Since it is too big to put under the tree, we decided to buy it right away. In this way I could benefit from the lovely autumn and still use it.  So already today we ventured out. Martin had to use one of the two bikes we just had in for service. Just ordinary bikes since I am not much for these modern bikes! Hmm, seems it is not entirely true. But...I am absolutely in love with this e-bike and can see myself improving on my physical condition within short! Let's hope.

 I did a little bit of biking yesterday just to try it out, but today was really exceptional! We went over to Chateau La Hulpe, continued toward Lake Genval and ended up taking a glass of champagne in a bar on the way. It was absolutely lovely sitting there in the sunshine, looking out over the lake.

Once home I made a check-up of the tour. Around 27 km in 1 hour 39 minutes, with an average of 16.6 km an hour! Not bad for a beginner. I am totally knocked out and I just hope that I will be able to rise tomorrow! But as Scarlet O'Hara said: Tomorrow is another day! 

What a wonderful day!

The beautiful surroundings of
Chateau La Hulpe

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Brussels and its history (part IV)

So finally I managed to finish walk No.2 from Derek’s book Brussels for Pleasure. It covered the Sainte Catherine district in the southern part of Brussels, where once there was a harbour. The harbour was covered years ago and it is difficult to even imagine how it was then.

I started the tour at the square ‘Quai aux Briques’ and took the first right turn to enter into the square Sainte Catherine. Continuing along the square it continues into a beautiful street with benches and trees in the middle, almost like a square. There we can look at the first house of interest, an Art Deco building constructed in 1928 by a firm importing exotic fruit. When we look up to the top of the house we see decorations suitable for such a firm; pictures of orange and banana trees.

Next fantastic building is on Rue de Flandre. This is a so called ‘hidden gem’. The real house lies hidden inside in the court yard. Today the building is a theatre and art

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Pleasure of Reading

Today I visited the library in Overijse for the first time. I wanted to check whether they had any books in English. And...yes, they did. Also in French, Spanish, Italian and German. The choice was quite interesting with a mixture of new, old and classics. There are many books there that I can borrow. I started with two books by Jean Rhys;Wide Sargasso Sea about the 'mad woman in the attic' in Jane Eyre. This is the story about her life in Jamaica before and after meeting Mr Rochester. The other book is Voyage in the Dark. I don't know so much about this book but it sounds interesting.

A brief liaison with a kindly but unimaginative man leads Anna to abandon the theatre and drift into the demi-monde of 1914 London: red-plush dinners in private rooms 'up West'; ragtime, champagne and whisky back at the flat; these, and a discreet tinkle of sovereigns in the small hours pave the way to disaster...

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Hare with the Amber Eyes - A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

Beautiful cover. This is the first page and...
This is a book I have heard of for quite some time. It was the title that first caught my attention, it
sounded so mysteriously in a way. And that is what this book is about. A mystery. A quest for finding out the story of a family, an international family that was scattered all over Europe. Furthermore, recently several bloggers have mentioned this book, so, when I went into Waterstones last week and this book looked at me from the shelves, there was no way back. I just had to have it...NOW! In spite of the fact that my own shelves are wearing down with books I have not yet read. I can only say that it was an excellent choice.

I did not realise though that it was a biography. That makes it even more fantastic. Edmund de Waal, a renowned ceramic artists, sets out to find out the history of his family when he inherits 264 netsuke figures from his great uncle. How did they come into the family? How did they travel within the family? How did they survive in the family through two World Wars and a Europe in ruins? This is more exciting than any mystery book.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Dark Quartet: The Story of the Brontës by Lynne Reid Banks

As a fan of the Brontë sisters I take every opportunity to read something about their lives. It does not
matter that you already know most things, each writer always has something to add to the whole story.

This book is a biographical or historical fiction of the four Brontë siblings. I love historical fiction so looked forward reading this. However, it is difficult to write biographical fiction about such loved characters as the Brontës. All the fans have their own view on how they were and how they lived. Lynne Reid Banks book is a master piece in this sense. I must admit that I had some difficulties getting into the book and the first part, the very start of the story, did not appeal to me. I found the writing a mixture between non-fiction and fiction. However, that changed rather quickly.

The more I got into the book, the more I was amazed how well she describes the siblings, as well as other characters connected to them. She has created their characters from what is known of them and from their writings, and at least for me, this is really spot on as I imagined them to be. She makes them so real, they just come into life in front of your eyes. Telling the stories from each of the siblings' point of view, you find out that they are all four very different characters.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Presence and the Art of Stillness

Today is a quiet Sunday morning, rather warm for the season, I even heard some birds singing. It is all quiet everywhere, which gives you a feeling of being alone. I went out in the garden to try to capture some late autumn colours. They are there because the autumn so far has been very mild. Here are a few flowers that lights up the day.

I have seen that some of you out there already have got snow. It looks really lovely, but I appreciate not to have to shovel snow from the drive way!

On brain pickings I found a wonderful article on What Leonard Cohen Teaches Us about Presence and the Art of Stillness. Novelist and essayist Pico Iyer, the author of The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, have interviewed singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who in 1994 moved to the Mt. Baldy Zen Center to embark on five years of seclusion. Midway through Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddist monk and given the Dharma name Jikan-Pali for "silence".  Iyer writes:

"Leonard Cohen had come to this Old World redoubt to make a life – an art – out of stillness. And he was working on simplifying himself as fiercely as he might on the verses of one of his songs, which he spends more than ten years polishing to perfection. The week I was visiting, he was essentially spending seven days and nights in a bare meditation hall, sitting stock-still. His name in the monastery, Jikan, referred to the silence between two thoughts.
One evening – four in the morning, the end of December – Cohen took time out from his meditations to walk down to my cabin and try to explain what he was doing here.
Sitting still, he said with unexpected passion, was “the real deep entertainment” he had found in his sixty-one years on the planet. “Real profound and voluptuous and delicious entertainment. The real feast that is available within this activity.”
Was he kidding? Cohen is famous for his mischief and ironies.
He wasn’t, I realized as he went on. “What else would I be doing?” he asked. “Would I be starting a new marriage with a young woman and raising another family? Finding new drugs, buying more expensive wine? I don’t know. This seems to me the most luxurious and sumptuous response to the emptiness of my own existence.”
Typically lofty and pitiless words; living on such close terms with silence clearly hadn’t diminished his gift for golden sentences. But the words carried weight when coming from one who seemed to have tasted all the pleasures that the world has to offer."

You can read the full thoughtful article  here.

The dilemma today is that we don't take the time to just listen to the quietness, to relax from social media and enjoy the stillness. Life is so busy so we somehow forget to live and forget what is the essence of life.

There some thoughtful words for a Sunday afternoon. I am awaiting a friend for lunch and am looking forward to the Masters ATP Final in Tennis in London this evening between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. It is promising to be a great match! So much for tranquility and reflection!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Autumn is here!

We have had a lovely autumn or more like an Indian summer extending well into November. However, now the leaves are very yellow and orange and are falling off the trees. This is how it looked yesterday when I took a walk in the rain!

This is how autumn is described in Wikipedia:

Autumn, interchangeably known as fall in North America, is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphere), when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier and the temperature cools considerably. One of its main features is the shedding of leaves from deciduous trees.

What does autumn remind me of when it comes to books and films? The first to come into my mind is the wonderful film Legends of the Fall with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt, based on the book with the same name by Jim Harrison. I have not read the book but seen the films several times.

Another film is the Autumn Sonata by Ingmar Bergman, with Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullman and Lena Nyman. It is about a married daughter who longs for her mother's love, gets visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist. Being Ingmar Bergman it will not be either an easy film or very happy.

Not to forget the present series I am reading; the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. The fourth in the series is called Drums of Autumn. 

Well, that seems to be all I can come up with for the time being. Do you have any 'autumn' titles to share with me?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

New purchases and the discovery of a new second hand book shop

Today it was a lovely, sunny day, with blue skies and trees or tremendous colours. One of these very nice autumn days. They are very rare here in Brussels where the autumn is mostly connected with heavy clouds and rain. Not this year though.

I went down town to Brussels today to finish of my walk No. 2. It took me to the St Catherine area of Brussels.  A post about this will appear shortly. However, I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled on a fantastic second hand books shop. Just have a look here:

 I just wanted to look since I did not want to carry around more books than I already had in my ruck sac, but guess what? I couldn't resist a book which I wanted to read a long time. Furthermore, it had some guidance for studies on this book, which I thought I very much needed. It is Stendhal's The Red and the Black.  For 5 € it was a bargain.

After my walk I went to my favourite Döner Kebab place and had my usual durum pita, sans pommes frites et sauce picante! Good as usual and the guys working there recognises me these days. I always go there when I am in the neighbourhood and always orders the same. A sure way to be remembered!

After that it is only like 50 metres to the Waterstone book shop. I was not going to buy anything, just look around on what's new. Hmmphph! Well, I couldn't resist a book I wanted to read for a long time and that has got fantastic reviews and won the 2010 COSTA Biography Award; Edmund de Waal's The Hare With Amber Eyes. I also managed to find a Christmas present for my son who is a Student Brain Food by Lauren Lucien sounds very useful. It should be good for him to find some nice recipes that he can cook himself. He relies too much on ready made food I am afraid. Hopefully he will enjoy it and above all: USE IT!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Els Calderers - a flair of times passed by

Els Calderers
We have been to Mallorca regularly for about 12 years. Still, after all this time, we find places,
houses, restaurants, beaches and much more where we never visited. This time we made an excursion to Els Calderers. It has been on my list to do for a long time. It is a manor house that has been in the same family for many years. The present building is in the style from around 1750. The family has now opened the house as a museum and for that we can only be grateful.

The office (I am envious of course!)
It was once one of the largest wine estates in Mallorca. As so many other wine farmers in
Europe they were caught up by the wine louse, phylloxera, which came from the United States some time around 1860. The vine had to be taken away and it was replaced by more traditional farming.

The inner yard in autumn colours
The tour around the house is lovely and you are transported back in time (even if this is not the Outlander). The furniture and the traditional work tools from this time can be seen in the house, attic and cellar. It is very well kept and has one thing that I just adore; an inner garden!

The garden is big and houses animals and also traditional houses which was needed for the self produced households that was necessary for the times; barns, butchers house, stable, wagons, storage areas and so on. I could have moved in right away.

Enjoy the photos!

The kitchen

The dining room

I wouldn't mind this reading place!

A chapel of their own

The Bible

The wine cellar

The music room

The bedroom

The storage area for grains and seeds
At the back of the house was a lovely place with a circle in the middle and trees planted around it. Outside the tree circle they had some old fashioned torches, wonderfully made. A iron basket on a pole and inside fire wood. I would love to see it lighted on a party evening!

Going round the house on the back to come into one part of the garden

The circle of trees. Maybe it was used for dancing or playing?

The torches!