Nim and I hadn't quite given up on running into Mr Darcy, however. We headed off to Chatsworth, rumoured to be the house that inspired Pemberley. Chatsworth is one of the best organised in terms of attracting visitors, but I didn't find it overtly commercial. Just very clever about it, with well laid out shops and cafes and other facilities. The interior of Chatsworth was a bit grand for me - Haddon Hall and Lyme Hall seemed more liveable. Of course, we only got to see the grand parts of the house!
At a suitable distance from the House and with a good view, Nim and I set about the task of photographing Bingley at his friend's maybe-residence. Nim was struck with the idea of perching Bingley in the branches. Remember, Bingley is a ball of yarn. He didn't want to sit still in the branches. He kept rolling away down the hill through the daffodils while I jumped up and down: "Nim! There's tourists coming down the path!" Nonetheless, we did manage to take a few photos!
As we headed down the hill, we realised that obviously, Darcy had been there ahead of us, but in his dash to remove himself and thus avoid looking disreputable and sexy in a wet shirt, he'd left his rubber ducky behind!
(With thanks to a friend who came up with this lovely scenario!)
He'd also obviously tried then to have a comfortable, private shower under the Spitting Willow (at least, I think it was the Spitting Willow... I just kept thinking of Whomping Willows and how this one might be related!).
In fact, Chatsworth was having a duck hunt... a suitably non-violent duck hunt where identifying all the rubber ducks in the grounds was the aim. There was even one perched high on the maze. Alas, lots of rubber ducks, but no Darcy... :-(
Chatsworth is wonderfully poultry-friendly, though, and forgive this blog for now indulging in a little chicken-fest.
Nim rolled her eyes when I then walked out of the souvenir shop with my own chicken... one that happily cleared customs and quarantine.