Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Dropping by Debo's

Dahlings, this post is dedicated to my first and favourite Blog Crush, the lovely Faux Fuchsia

In her honour I attempting it in the style of the FF blog.  But remember, at best this is Faux Fuchsia Lite, do not settle for imitations, get the genuine designer article here.

So when ole FF came over to these here parts last year she and I took a little road trip to Swinbrook in the Cotswolds.  We checked out where the Mitford sisters grew up, the churchyard where Nancy Mitford is buried and the pub that Debo (the youngest and only surviving Mitford sister) owns.

Here's a visual of Nancy's gravestone.

Ole FF wanted also to hotfoot it up to the Peak District for the day, to see Chatsworth, the estate of which ole Debo became chatelaine, when she married the Duke of Devonshire.

But I had to explain it was too far.  I know. I was disappointed too.

But during my recent trip Up North, the Universe directed me to Live on the Edge and go to Chatsworth.  I do what I am told.

Here's Debo when young.

Here's Debo painted by ole Lucien Freud.  'Spensive.

Here's Debo photographed more recently. She now lives in the old vicarage on the Chatsworth Estate and is over 90 and quite frail. The house itself is now run by her son the Duke of Devonshire and his wife. They have an appartment on the first floor.

Here is a Singer Sargent portrait of an earlier Duchess of Devonshire, think she was called Eveyln.

Modern portrait of the Duke's daughter in law, Laura, Lady Burlington - reminds me of FF's pic on her blog

This wallpaper was handmade in China, based on measurements for the room and then sent back in huge rolls; it is apparently the Devil's Work to fit as it is a continuous, not a repeat, pattern

You can walk up these steps if you want; like most stately homes these days there were lots of modern sculptures scattered about the traps

This is the Imperial Fountain, one of the Dukes wanted a fountain higher than that of his friend, the Russian Tsar.  His friend refused to come see it.

The house was sumptuous.
This is what the outside looks like. Don't look at the scaffolding people, imagine it's not there.  That's what I did.

They have lots of bits.  I was ready to question their comittment to De-Cluttering, what with Clutter being the Devil's Work.  But I got talking to the waitress in our hotel and she told me they had had teams from Sotheby's worldwide staying with them for months, preparing a sale - the ole Duke and Duchess had decided to clear out one of their 5 attics.  The sale was a Big Deal.  Jerry Hall and Madonna came.  Exciting.  So glad they action de-cluttering too.

I was shocked, shocked I tell you at the Undercushioning on this bed.
Look! Ginger jars, just like FF has in the Fuchsiadome!

There you are People - Chatsworth.  
Run, don't Walk!


  1. BLIGHTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh. My. God. Jealous that you got to go to Chatsworth and see everything with your own eyes! Did you visit the Farm Shoppe and buy some Debo sanctioned preserves? Did you take your Mum? So thrilling. Wish I could've been there. Meawhile you'll be hearing from my solicitor, something about passing off, see you in court, love FF xxxxxx

  2. Dear Mrs Blighty, You speak Faux Fuchsiaese with barely an accent! I particularly the reference to decuttering! I would have loved to have been there with you. Rather a lot of dusting would be required, don't you think? And the heating bills must be ruinous. I assume the family is no longer fabulously wealthy. I am now fascinated by Georgina, an earlier Duchess who lived in a ménage a trois at Chatsworth. Did you see her portrait? love Lindaxxx

  3. Blighty - that was very strange reading. It was like you were possessed or something, you can certainly channel like no other.

    I loved Chatsworth. I went for a weekend (although they didn't let me stay, mores the pity), and loved every minute of it. Debo was in residence back when I went, and I'm pretty sure the modern sculpture was not.

  4. Haha!! Fantastic take on FF, I hope she liked it as much as I did.

  5. It's like you are FF's bloggy doppelganger. Nothing lite about it.

    Chatsworth looks fantastic. Wasn't the Duchess beautiful when she was young?

  6. Hello Blighty,
    Top Posts-so funny. Has the post-anniversary date-stress (PADS)prompted you to run off and have a Nice Time by yourself at Chatsworth?
    My husband gave me egg cups for my birthday one year. I am still trying to work out what I could give him in return so he will understand...Cheers, Ruby

  7. hi blighty. well done! that wallpaper is to die for. ff is having a virtual blogging dinner party and i'm invited. you will be there won't you?

  8. That fountain looks a bit like the water coming off our unfinished roof right now, and like the Tzar, the builders refuse to come and see it.
    I lived a couple of years in Buxton and was a constant pest at Chatsworth. I lived for a few months in Hope and got a peculiar joy from telling people that "I live in Hope". Sad I know,

  9. V. funny - you are totally chanelling FF. Chatsworth is wonderful - as is Derbyshire generally - the hall with the floor tiles and the painted ceiling leaves one PANTING! Are you on a tour of the northern provinces, or was it a one-hit wonder? xxx

  10. Dear Mrs Exeter, we stopped off for a couple of nights in the Peak District on our way back from Newcastle; what a beautiful place, we had a great day's walking up to Mam Tor and along the ridge - it was sunny for once!!
    Dear Legend - we stayed in Baslow, at The Premier Inn, which was cheap and cheerful and very handy for Chatsworth.

  11. Thanks Blights/FF for transforming me to this beautiful area. It will go on my list of must-sees if I ever tour ole England again.
    Why the sculpture??

  12. Great post about Debo Devonshire! Have you read her memoir? I did recently -- really very fascinating. I wrote a short blog piece about it:

  13. Hi Idle Historian, thank you, I really want to read her memoir now, and I will nip over to your blog right now.

  14. Oh that was hilarious, as was FF's comment!


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