Since its beginnings earlier this year Wombat Friday (#wombatfriday on Twitter) has be a delicious diversion at the end of every week amongst the charming folk of the Pre-Raphaelite community. Imagine how ecstatic we were when the National Trust's Red House joined in...
I have made the journey to Bexleyheath before but this Friday I had a very special reason. It was the first Wombat Friday that the Red House had with their Wombat Trail. God bless you Red House! Yes, all this summer holiday, the good folk of the Red House are hosting a bevy of wombats and their own special brand of madness. How could we resist?
Time to get a bit heritage-nerd for you, but the reason I like the Wombat Trail so much is that it worked on a couple of levels. As you go in, they give the young (or not so young) wombateer a trail sheet. This is a folded A3 (4 sides) sheet. The inside has the wombat trail which briefly describes where various wombats (and other things) are hiding in the house and a visual clue. The outside has more 'text' based info on Morris, the house and wombats which manages to be accessible for children and factual enough for adults. It is also rather glorious to look at...
|The outside title - the outside of the leaflet contains information|
|The inside contains jolly wombat larks!|
|Wombat in the fireplace!|
|Lily finds Janey and Top|
|'But how did he get up there...?'|
|Part of an uncovered mural, possibly by Elizabeth Siddal|
|The beautiful mural of The Wedding Feast|
After all the dashing around there was no chance I was leaving without Miss Walker visiting the gift shop and by the time I reached her (I had paused to talk to the lovely James Breslin, House and Garden Manager, about wombats, obviously) she and a wombat, appropriately named 'Top', had made friends and was coming home with us. To be fair I added to the bill with one of their gorgeous pewter 'Si Je Puis' badges and an apple tree. Everyone left happy.
On a personal note I'd like to thank every single member of staff and volunteers we met yesterday. As most of you who follow this blog will know, Lily-Rose is severely visually impaired because of Albinism. This means that not only is her eyesight on the 'dodgy' end of the scale but she has added excitement with nystagmus (rapid uncontrolled eye movement) which means what sight she has can be disrupted into virtual blindness at any time especially when she feels under pressure or uncertain of her surroundings. Every room guide we met made every effort to engage with her in her hunt for wombats and helped her find them. |She loved every minute.
|Lily and Top|
Visitor information for the Red House can be found here.