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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Beatrix Potter's house

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola, Lola and Nell (pic is of Pete and Nell reading A Tale of Two Bad Mice by Potter's favourite tarn)

Nicola: Beatrix Potter was able to buy a house from the sales of her first book, Peter Rabbit. Pete and I are obscenely jealous! However visiting Hill Top Farm at Sawrey was a really good day out - we were very lucky to get in as there were mini bus loads of Japanese tourists who clearly adore the cutesy side of Potter's illustrations.
Our friend Tom Wakeford (who has recently lent us his house and camping field) is a bit miffed that everyone forgets that Beatrix Potter was an amazing biologist who made astonishing discoveries about lichens in 1896 which the scientific community refused to accept. She has of course been proved write, and Tom has a full chapter on Beatrix in his book Liaisons of Life: from hornworts to hippos how the unassuming microbe has driven evolution (John Wiley, 2001). Though it has been translated into Korean he still needs to sort out the Japanese translation. At Beatrix's old house (which she gifted to the National Trust) one of the guides told us that he was planning to learn Japanese this winter because of the number of Japanese visitors. Good for him.

Lola: "I love Beatrix Potter's books and I got given two for my birthday. I saw a photo of Beatrix Potter and she didn't look anything like she does in the film, Miss Potter. She was really ugly. All of her books (apart from Peter Rabbit) were written at Hill Top. Beatrix Potter would have had no light (electricity) and no running water. She had her desk by the window so she could get the light. It must have been really difficult -dark and cold - in the winter. We also went up to the tarn where Jeremy Fisher was created. We didn't see a frog, but me and Nell pretended to be Hunka Munka and Tom Thumb (from a Tale of Two Bad Mice) and we ran all around the rocks pretending it was our mousehole."

Nell: "Beatrix Potter was an amazing writer. One of her best books was the Tale of Samuel Whiskers which has lots of pictures of her house in it. I found the staircase, the red curtain, the fireplace, the rolling pin and that thing where you hang bowls and cups and spoons (a dish rack).

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