Be happy at Burghley – mission not entirely impossible?

I’m supposed to be finding things every day that I’m happy or pleased about at the end of it. This isn’t easy, mainly because I don’t seem to have the energy to create much movement at all and partly because being happy, being pleased and living has a measure of guilt attached, which is hard to shake off. Being happy makes me sad.

But yesterday there were people in the house who were flatter than me. And I needed to revisit that place of finding I like being out with my girls, just us. Being out as a 5 makes us talk to one another, being out as a 5 has less of a space in it than being out as a 6 with the 7th missing :(

So we went out. We went to Burghley House to walk in the grounds (not the sculpture garden as it isn’t free till November and it is too expensive for 2 hours). Plus I cried when the woman at the desk asked if I had any under 5’s and I had to leave in a hurry.

We took cameras and took photos of the beginning of Autumn – everyone had a go.




We took photos of them.
Look. There is almost an accidental space in that one. I’m going to see it for the rest of my life. A space for missing people who might have filled it. But lovely girls too, full of life, alive and okay.


We looked at tree shapes and types and spotted horse chestnut, chestnut, oak, hawthorn, cyprus, pine, beech and more. We spotted the bunches of Mistletoe last seen there the day before Freddie’s funeral. We gathered seeds and seed cases. We admired the deer and the house and talked about it.


We giggled at this sign because from a distance I convinced them it said “Ancient Park Trees – Beware!”

We even had a mini physics lesson thanks to changing camera batteries and them having the power meter bar on the side – so we did circuits in a field 😆

Despite my best intentions, they still obsessed about gym!



They did a lot of running around shrieking, filming each other and playing Sarah Jane Adventure games. Right at the end I taught them the use-a-scarf-to-be-a-horse-and-rider game and that was extremely popular indeed.

And I was pleased with myself because that is the furthest out of home I’ve been without an adult with me, or a person at the end of the journey, in more than 6 months. I could only do it because I didn’t have to interact with anyone who didn’t know about Freddie. But I did it. And it was good.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  1. Joyce says

    Glad you had some fun with the girls. And if it is me that you are quoting the book doesn’t mean it has to be dancing with joy happy. Sometimes all there is to be happy about is the fact you put one foot in front of the other all day. It means to appreciate and honour yourself and be pleased with you for doing that. Love the photo of the tree trunk.

  2. says

    Beautiful photos Merry. I am so proud of you for taking what I know all too well is a huge and frightening step.

    I don’t know why but I noticed immediately the empty space in the photo before I even read your caption. For some reason it is comforting to me. As though your living children or the universe or something recognized the loss and represented it perfectly.

  3. Debbie Ellard says

    We go there a couple of times a week as its round the corner from us.

    Somthing about a Capability Brown lanscape to calm the soul.

  4. says

    Your girls are just beautiful.

    I also have a hard time being out and about without my hubby or mother or some other adult I am close with. When I’m the sole adult it’s so easy to get caught up in my somber thoughts and end up in tears. Ugh, it sucks that so many things are so hard now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *