This has been, for me, a busy week. I'll be the first to admit that I no longer like travelling, even short trips. There are lots of reasons, but I won't bore you.
But on Sunday, we took the short drive to Wilmington, Delaware, to Winterthur, the du Pont home and museum. It's a huge country house, 145 rooms, most of which are not on the tour. The house is preserved as it would have been in about 1929 - roughly the same post-WWI time period as the past season of Downton Abbey. Henry du Pont, the collector, was also a horticulturist, and the grounds and gardens reflect his skill. It was rainy the day we went, so we'll have to go back on a nicer day to enjoy the gardens.
In fact, until next January, there's a wonderful exhibit of the costumes from the TV show Downton Abbey. Photos except videos were allowed, but I never remember to take them. You'll have to go here to get an idea of what it's like and when to go see it. I highly recommend a visit if you're in the area. See the exhibit before you tour the house or you may come down with museum fatigue, as we did. The exhibit compares life in a house like Downton Abbey to life in the country home of a wealthy American family at the same time period. I'd love to have been a weekend guest at either home.
Tuesday, we went to the National Clock and Watch Museum in Columbia, PA. Go here to find out the particulars. This is a fascinating place if you have any interest in clocks or watches. We both like clocks. I love mechanical clocks, the kind you see in Europe, with little people popping out and about. I have a cuckoo clock I bought when we were in Germany in 1988 and I will admit to standing in front of it with a stupid smile on my face when the little bird comes out to cuckoo.
This museum currently has an exhibit of James Bond watches, which is fun. The clock you can't miss is the Engle Clock. A local inventor and watchmaker spent twenty years making this masterpiece, from about 1850-something until 1876. It's 11' tall, 8' wide, and 3' deep. At various times, Jesus and the Apostles appear, the three Marys appear, the devil pops out, the three stages of man (don't tell Shakespeare) come rotating out, angles sing, and Molly Pitcher reviews the troops. I'm sure I've forgotten some of the figures. It's awesome!
But I prefer reading to travelling. I've come full circle. I read voraciously as a child and youth, really all my life. Then I decided it was time to do or see as many things as I'd been reading about. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel a lot in the 1980s, so I'm satisfied that I've seen as much of the world as I care to see. I've returned to reading.
Currently, I'm back in history with The Count of Monte Cristo, I just finished the latest Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway mystery, I started a Val McDermid mystery, Retribution, but I can't always stomach her books. I'm also reading a biography of Ngaio Marsh and the letters of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell. Several people have read, reviewed, and enjoyed the newly republished John Bude mysteries. I have them on my Kindle and am looking forward to trying them.