06 May 2013
A few days after arriving in London, my friends and I visited Hughenden Manor in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. This used to be the country home of the Victorian statesman Benjamin Disraeli, who lived here from 1848 to 1881.
Paula explained to me that in England there is an organisation called the National Trust, which was formed over a hundred years ago, with the aim of preserving historic places and outdoor spaces, and preventing them from being built on and destroyed. Hughenden Manor is just one of many such places that the National Trust looks after, and which people can visit and explore. I thought this was quite fascinating. It was a lovely sunny day when we visited Hughenden Manor, and there were many visitors walking around the estate and enjoying the pleasant weather.
On our walkabout through the grounds, Paula and I met a rather scary scarecrow. He was very grumpy, and refused to let Paula take a photograph with me next to him. He didn’t even want to be photographed on his own!
“I am on duty!” he shouted crossly, waving his arms in a threatening manner. “Go away! I must scare the birds away and you’re distracting me!”
“Oh dear,” I whispered to Paula, who was a little taken aback by such rudeness, “he takes his responsibility very seriously, I think.”
“Yes, quite,” she said, “Come, let’s walk around and admire the beautiful grounds instead.”
And so we wandered around the lovely, peaceful woodlands and meadows, and enjoyed the feeling of the warm sun on our faces and the gentle breeze in our hair.