Sunday, 9 September 2007


Rachael and I took a little trip out yesterday to Belton House and it was really lovely. I don't remember having been there since I was at primary school and my, what a long time ago that was!
As my lovely car has been off the road for a while it was good to give it a good run and blow the cobwebs from the engine. I managed to make it there and back without incident, which is no mean feat as it's not that long since the exhaust dropped off. I was even organised enough to check the oil and tyre pressures. Anyone would have thought I was doing some sort of long haul trip!

It was free to visit the house yesterday - and free is always one of my favourite things. We picnicked on the grounds, looking at the south face of the building and the sheer scale of it is just amazing. The sun was shining and cricket was being played on the oh so green grass.

I hadn't appreciated that Jane Eyre had been filmed there and it was quite interesting, having just read the book, seeing the rooms they had used and having the memory clear in my head for the scenes in the book where the drawing room, library and so on had been used for the filming. I didn't see the televised version of Jane Eyre and having enjoyed the book, I'm not sure that I want to. I'm never sure if it will be able to match all the images I had created with my imagination.
Sometimes I wonder if it isn't better to see the movie first and then read the book. Years ago, when I first saw Dances With Wolves I went and bought the book afterwards and found it made parts of the film make more sense. But when Lord Of The Rings was released I wanted to read all the books prior to seeing them on the big screen and was left with a disappointment at all the parts of the book that were missing from the final cut.

Anyway, as per usual, I digress, the house was glorious and yet it was so hard to imagine a family living there in relatively recent history as they only left in 1984. Generations of the same family lived there for over 300 years, that blows my mind. Naturally I was a little taken with the libraries, I wanted to take the books from their shelves and smell their pages, I love that scent of old books. I loved that all the shelves were numbered and could have spent ages perusing the shelves, if only you were allowed to touch. Those National Trust folks, they're pretty strict about the not touching rule. Spoilsports.


Domster1974 said...

I love film, and would always say watch as many as you can, and even though I can be a film snob, I would always say read the book first.

When you have such a creative imagination like yours, the worlds you can create for yourself will be far greater than being constrained to the cinema screen.

Book first, always

Flibbertigibbet said...

I absolutely couldn't agree more, although I remember reading Dances with Wolves after I saw the movie. In fact, the only book I've read twice and it made the movie make sense...