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Stay Tender, Dear 2018

What do you wish for in this new year?

In the beginning of 2017, I picked “Everything Is Connected” as my motto for the year. It was neither a statement nor a commitment, just a fact of life which I wanted to comprehend better.

Oh, did I! 

So for 2018, I’m choosing another phrase to guide me through the next four seasons.

It is: “Stay tender.” 

Tenderness is the feeling I get when something good and beautiful is reflected back at me; when my efforts are returned in equal measure or more; when I get something for nothing simply by being around inspiring people and positive energy.

It’s the feeling I get right now catching up on your Instagram updates, with my adorable family by my side.

#Tenderness. May it also be a part of your new year. 💛 .

What Is Courage? - My InstaReflection

#COURAGE (noun) -- which one of these definitions do you agree with the most?

(1) The ability to do something that frightens one.

(2) Strength in the face of pain or grief.

(3) The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.

I pick 2, because if you can overcome the pain of fears or the grief of regrets, you will have gained the key to a whole new world. 

Eileen Hsieh Buckingham Palace sunset pastel sky followthatbug London England UK

Courage is:

📍 to let go of your ego, and act on this thought. 

📍 to own up to your shortcomings, recognise strengths in others, and learn to grow in a different and better direction.

📍 to ignore outside voices, and say and do things that you truly believe are right.

📍 to let go of your past, and start every new day learning to be the "you" that you would like to become.

Today I saw a flash of courage in someone, so I just want to throw this message out to the universe -- you can do it.

You may feel lonely, you may stumble, but there will always be people cheering you on, because we all wish we had a little bit more courage within ourselves.

Give Less, Give Smarter - My InstaReflection

Always be kind to yourself, and help others who deserve it.

But do not confuse being kind with giving unconditionally, because kindness - when presented to someone who doesn't want it - is wasted energy that could be used to empower someone else who truly desires it, or yourself. 

If you're reading this and thinking that I'm talking about you, you're mistaken. 😘

This question -- how to strike a happy medium between helping others deal with their struggles and focusing on my own challenges -- is one that I've been thinking about a lot lately. .
.

Lo and behold, while scrolling through my boring twitter feed earlier, I came upon this article called "Why I Stopped Helping People and You Should Too" by Cammi Pham (link in my insta stories), which gave me the reassurance I was looking for. 

It's time for me to give less, and give smarter. 🤓 💜

Eileen x

Little White Flowers - My InstaReflection

For you... just because. 🌼

Just because I want to say hello with these pretty little flowers.

And to thank you for sending over so much love and support for my #FTBTimeOfMyLife project. 
I write every entry on the day of post. Some take minutes to finish. Others take hours as I wade through decades of memories to identify the one single moment that helped shape me into the person I am today.

Coming up, as I enter a new chapter of life, the posts will be become darker, more complex, and possibly even difficult to digest. 

So you may find me sneaking snapshots that reflect my Present into those of my Past, just to break up the intense emotions that I know I'm about to trek through. 

So here they are, tiny little flowers, so perfect in their harmony, so consistent in their form, no matter how close you look. 

Eileen x

#thankyou 💛

P.S. This comment from viviennejlevick adds so much more meaning to this post:

Made me smile to notice that considering the context, you chose yarrow, achilliea millefolium, or 'soldiers woundwort' - used for centuries to help heal wounds xx

FTB Time of My Life is an exercise to celebrate the things that have shaped our lives. Click here for details on how to participate.

Legacy of a Lonely Baron: Waddesdon Manor | 寂寞男爵的黃金屋:沃德斯敦莊園

Once upon a time, a wealthy and widowed Baron built himself a fairytale castle on a bare hill in rural England.

In it, he filled with the most precious things one could find under the sun: porcelain artefacts with intricate designs, paintings by
masters of the time, exotic birds and flowers from faraway land that people had only heard about but never dreamt of seeing with their own eyes.

He led a life full of opulence and abundance like Aladdin's cave, but no matter how much treasure he acquired, the hollowness he felt inside was never to go away.

This is the story of Ferdinand de Rothschild, and this is his castle. 

從前,有一位富有的守寡男爵在英格蘭農村的山丘上建了一座童話般的城堡。

城堡裡收藏了來自世界各地的珍品:設計細膩的陶瓷,文藝復興時期的藝術真跡,與稀奇古怪的鳥類與花卉,都是人們只從書裡讀過但是從來沒想到能夠親眼目睹的寶物。

他的生活就像阿拉丁的洞穴一樣的富裕,但他內心的空洞是無論再多的寶藏也無法填滿的。

這是費迪南德·羅斯柴爾德的故事,這就是他的城堡。

Waddesdon Manor was built in the style of Loire Valley chateaus, as designed by French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur.  © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

When was the last time you found treasure in your own backyard? 

The moment I stepped onto the grounds of Waddesdon Manor, I knew I'd struck gold. 

Standing in front of this magnificent French Renaissance chateau, one can hardly believe that we are still in England. Buckinghamshire, to be exact, just one hour of train ride from London Marylebone station

你曾經在自己的後院找到寶藏嗎?這就是我第一次踏入沃德斯敦莊園時的感覺。

站在這棟宏偉,仿新文藝復興時期法國盧瓦河沿岸城堡而建的豪宅之前,真的幾乎不能相信我們還在英國國土。

事實是我們來到了白金漢郡,距離倫敦的馬里波恩火車站只有短短一小時的車程,可算是倫敦的後花園吧?

The Parterre at Waddesdon Manor has 50,000 plants, and the bedding is usually changed twice a year, in spring and summer. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Waddesdon Manor was built in the late 19th century by Ferdinand de Rothschild - a member of the prominent banking dynasty - as a country house, a weekend playground to entertain friends and family who wanted to escape London during the summer months.

A passionate collector of arts and artefacts, Waddesdon Manor also served as the perfect backdrop to display his vast collection of treasures from around the world, from old master paintings, exquisite miniatures, to furniture, porcelain and tapestries from the French Court.

Rothschild only purchased the best of the best. In 1882 he famously spent £6,300 on a Riesener writing desk made for France's Marie Antoinette, which would be worth around £530,000 today. And this was certainly not his most expensive acquisition.

沃德斯敦莊園建於19世紀末,是男爵費迪南德·德·羅斯柴爾德的鄉間別墅,平時只有夏季開放,時常在週末招待來自倫敦來的上流社會貴賓,其中包括了維多利亞女王和邱吉爾。

「羅斯柴爾德」這個姓氏你可能有聽過,這位男爵就是著名的猶太紅盾金融世家的一成員,家財萬貫,從小就對收集藝術品情有獨鍾,因此沃德斯敦莊園很自然地成為了他展示收藏品的舞台。

莊園裡處處可見法國18世紀的掛毯,牆壁鑲板,家具,陶瓷,繪畫,以及文藝復興時期的藝術作品。費迪南德只購買極品,而且花錢不眨眼,1882年他以6,300英鎊天價買下了一張為法國的瑪麗·安托瓦內斯皇后所製作的小書桌,換算今日的價值約530,000英鎊

男爵熱愛花與鳥,因此花園與鳥園也成為了訪客必參觀的景點。

The dining room, with table laid as it would've been for a house party in the 1890s. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

The china service display includes pieces originally own by the French court. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Baron Rothschild had great love for portraits of beautiful women, as well as chandeliers. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

In addition to planting a grand chateau in the English countryside, the baron was also credited for creating the lush landscape surrounding Waddesdon Manor today.

The legend might have exaggerated when it boasted that Rothschild had planted one million trees on his estate of 2,700 acres, but the result of his vision is undeniably impressive. 

費迪南德興建沃德斯敦莊園,替英格蘭鄉間注入了一股法式浪漫情懷,他也創造了今日莊園周圍鬱鬱蔥蔥的夢幻景觀。

傳說他在佔地2,700英畝的莊園種植了一百萬棵樹,雖然可能誇大其實,但是成果真是令人驚艷。

Sunset at Waddesdon Estate. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Mature trees are plenty on the estate. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Wildflowers on the meadow. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Today the Waddesdon Estate has expanded to 6,000 acres and offers some of the most stunning trails in all of England.

On my 5-mile walk from the village of Stone to Waddesdon Manor, my senses are mesmerized by a wave of pleasantry... giant trees soaring into the sky, fragrant meadows carpeted with wildflowers, and farm animals on the gentle hills exercising their limbs and enjoying their lunch.

今日,沃德斯敦莊園已經擴大到6,000英畝,擁有當地居民號稱是英格蘭數一數二的鄉村美景。

從我住的小村莊 Stone,有一條5英里的步道直通到沃德斯敦莊園的入口。路程中偶爾會看到行車和出來遛狗的居民,但大部分時間都只有大自然陪伴著我。

比天還高的樹林,開滿了野花的草原,和農場上悠哉吃草的牛羊馬兒,四處都是令人陶醉的景色,我一路深呼吸,停停走走,試著捕捉這如童話般的完美感覺。

A view of the rose garden. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

A very English rose, in red and white. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Running a manor of such a grand scale was never to be an easy or inexpensive task, so to keep the property from the possible fate of declining, the Rothschild family bequeathed Waddesdon Manor to the National Trust in 1957, along with some 160-acre of land surrounding it, to ensure proper care of the property for all to enjoy for generations to come.

Scroll down for access information and a photo tour of this wonderful time capsule. Enjoy!

Eileen x

經營如此大規模的莊園不是一件容易的事,開銷也不是常人可勝任的。所以羅斯柴爾德家族於1957年將沃德斯敦莊園以及周圍約160英畝的土地遺贈給國家信託基金,確保男爵費迪南德以及家族成員所收藏的無價之寶能得到適當的保護,同時也開放給大眾參觀,讓羅斯柴爾德家族的輝煌歷史流傳下去。

沃德斯敦莊園是個美麗的時間膠囊,值得一訪。

以下是我的相簿與莊園參觀訊息。Enjoy!

Eileen x


Picture Gallery


Waddesdon Manor | 沃德斯敦莊園

AYLESBURY, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, HP18 0JH, UNITED KINGDOM DIRECTIONS

https://waddesdon.org.uk/


ADMISSION: 

Free for National Trust members

House & Grounds Access - £20 Adult / £10 Child / £45 Family 

Grounds Only - £10 adult / £5 Child / £25 Family 

House visits are by timed entry, including for National Trust members. Book House Tickets Here

If you’re travelling by train, you can download a 2for1 grounds admission voucher to use on arrival: 2for1 grounds admission voucher

EASY ACCESS FROM LONDON:

Regular trains run from London Marylebone to Aylesbury and Aylesbury Vale Parkway.

There's one daily free shuttle bus service between Aylesbury Vale Parkway station and Waddesdon Manor. Click here for details.

 

 

The Chocolate Box Life - My InstaReflection

A quaint 17th century thatched cottage near Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

I came, to find a quiet place to clear my mind.

I arrived, to find that I still quite like a mind brimming with thoughts, senses and fascination, except now the deafening sirens are replaced by chirping birds, the air is perfumed with wildflowers and horses instead of car fumes, and the skyline is embellished with not highrises but cottages and cattle.

Right now, I'm looking out from the bedroom window of this 17th century chocolate box cottage, watching the morning sunlight dance across the garden and turn a row of rose bushes into sparkly yellow diamonds under the gray sky. 

I'm in the home county of Buckinghamshire, and I feel home.

Life is like a Park Bench - My InstaReflection

Watching our lives go by.  St. James's Park, London. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

An escape to London’s city parks is one of life’s simple pleasures. 🌳

Here you’ll find urban greenery, wildlife, and free entertainment from the entourage of tourists who’re chasing squirrels as if following the Pope. 

Here, you never know who’s going to be sitting in the bench next to you. In any given frame of time, a complete stranger may be the closest person within your reach, and the smallest gesture of goodwill from either side may lead to delightful surprises that will stay with you long after the stranger is gone. 

Occasionally, the stranger becomes no longer strange and accompanies you on part of the journey towards your next destination. 

This is what I call fate, and it all begins with a small smile and an open heart. 

Eileen x

Under the Cherry Blossoms - My InstaReflection

Canary Wharf, London. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Canary Wharf, London. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

I love looking up from under a canopy of cherry blossoms.

It's like standing under a blanket of stars -- except they are sweet, plump, delicate flowers twinkling under the sunlight, swaying in the wind and making you want to run and catch every translucent petal that falls from above. 

I found this tree in the concrete jungle of Canary Wharf. The sparkles between branches made me think of the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, then it occurred to me that I never knew the full lyrics of the song! 

Now I do.


🌟
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

🌟

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, through the night.

🌟

Then the traveller in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark;
He could not see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

🌟

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.

🌟

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

🌟 

 

Eileen x

Pay It Forward - My InstaReflection

St. James's Park, London. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

St. James's Park, London. © Eileen Hsieh / Follow That Bug

Pay it forward, because it will always come back in the end.

As to what will be reciprocated, that is your own choice.

Every so often, I hear from people who feel belittled or ignored just for being their genuine selves. Kindness gets taken for granted or even trampled on, and they feel like everyday is a struggle just to be who they are and not who they should pretend to be. 

If this describes you, I just want to say... you may not know this yet, but sometime in the not-so-distant future, you will become the "good egg" that people aspire to be.

And don't think of it as a struggle, because if something comes naturally to you, lifts your spirit and makes even just one other person happy, then embrace it -- it will hug you back. 😊

Eileen x