I have decided to add a personal project to my list of things to do. Over the years I have visited many stately homes all over the country and I never fail to leave the car park on a high of inspiration. I walk around the grounds and the house imagining myself living there. I'd invite friends down for weekends of fine dining, wine and general fun (sophisticated and national trust approved fun of course). By the time I sit down in the tea room to enjoy my coffee and cake, my mind nudges me and says "So, what are you going to do with this inspiration then?" Well, I could become a volunteer room guide and pounce helpfully on visitors as they enter the room or I could help out in the gardens, hoeing and weeding amongst the herbs and smartly dressed scarecrows sporting tweed jackets with leather elbow pads. I could do a number of things to satisfy the nudge of inspiration, however, I settle on retreating to the safety of my studio to instead create a map of the house and grounds. So far, I have completed a map of the magnificent and imposing Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. I chose this venue to start with because, well, its magnificent and imposing! Oh and I also spent many hours in the grounds there one memorable afternoon, trying in vain to find the Grand Cascade waterfalls and realising half way round that the 'leader' of our party didn't really know where he was going but was adamant it was "in this direction". I realise that former Blenhiem Palace resident Winston Churchill quoted "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." But I found it difficult to take his advice that day, particularly as we arrived at our car four hours later, still never having seen the Grand Cascade. Next time I visit though, I'll make sure I take a map..
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