Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Nana Inquisition Pilgrimage #1: DORNEY COURT

Well I have to say that THIS blog entry is super late. Sorry about that. Also I must admit I probably wouldn't be writing it yet either, IF I wasn't dying to write about something else (what could that be, I wonder???).... and insisting on keeping these entries chronological at the same time. xD



I have to say I am still amazed at how I managed to stay alive to drive there and back without killing anyone, considering I had driven back to Worcester from Scotland the previous night at 4 am. I am Wonder Woman for the sake of Nana! Also, I am quite proud of myself for doing something that even my dad has not ventured to do - which is driving a MANUAL car in the UK. I am made of pure win.

Anyway, to the main story.... Lovely drive from Worcester > Birmingham (to pick up an Inquisition member) > Dorney Court listening to Nana all the way. Good way to build up the mood and excitement (and keeping me pumped up and awake on the wheel)! Had no problem finding our way there - when the sat nav got retarded Dorney Court signs had already appeared and we followed them.

I would never have thought seeing an old English manor could be so breath-taking; the sight of it, recognizing it from Nana's documentary and Ultimate Diamond pictures, was unbelievable. We were greeted by a small old dog, which without a doubt, had once been petted by Nana herself. Another interesting sight awaited us in front of the manor - namely the fact that we were the only young people there (everyone else visiting was, I don't know, above 60?). We looked pretty lost I assume, since we had no idea if we needed to pay the entrance fee to view the premises or just to view the house, as this aged sir running the place and the tours came to speak to us and told us we could look at the premises first then come back to the entrance by 3pm to pay and go on the tour of the interior. Thus... the fun began!

The first thing to catch our attention was the archway where she posed for one of her Ultimate Diamond pictures!

The archway Nana stood in! See for yourself!
Omfg I've stood where Nana stood and touched the stone Nana touched! <3

Then we went to see a church/chapel behind the manor that had not been present in any of Nana's photos or the documentary. Very lovely inside and out. We left our names in the guest book as proof of our visit. Muahah.

We had no time to explore the outside further, as it was nearly time for the tour. We returned to the entrance of the manor, and since there was still a little time, the man who had spoken to us before started chatting with us again. After a while he asked the question that I knew was bound to come up eventually judging how we looked out of place there: "What brought you here?" Somehow everyone else was too shy to tell, so I explained to him how our favorite Japanese singer had had a photo shoot at the manor in 2009.  His reply "Oh I remember her - she was tiny!" made me feel warm and fuzzy inside - it made Nana more concrete and we were in a place where she really had been. He asked us her age and I told him she was 31, to which he replied "She definitely didn't look like a teenager anymore" - well, doh? xD

The ticket to amazingness!!

It was now time for the tour. Apparently, the old lady usually did the tour narration, but this time the man insisted on doing it instead - I have a feeling we had awakened his interest big time and he was eager to talk about something else in addition to the same old narration he usually had to do. Being inside the house was amazing, like a dream. Seeing the rooms where Nana had been, seeing the things she had commented on in the documentary, breathing the same air she had breathed...... am I sounding creepy enough yet? :'D It was a shame taking photos inside was forbidden, as it would have been lovely to take a picture of the huge four-poster bed Nana took a picture of herself. After we exited that bedroom the man commented: "The room with that big bed, that's where she changed clothes for the photo shoot." LOL why is that the first thing he tells us??!! ARE WE SO OBVIOUSLY PERVS?? I mean wait what? x'D Psst, fill a bottle with the air of the bedroom asap! Haha, he then also told us that Nana visited this one room because she wanted to see the framed picture of Scarlett Johansson that Scarlett had given to them on her visit. He also told us how Nana had taken lots of pictures on these small stairs - I assume for the brochure of Live Diamond, as they were not present in Ultimate Diamond.

Then it was time for what we had been waiting for - the room where Nana had taken most of her photos! First we looked down at it from a balcony and were entertained by a dog who decided to roll around on his back, feet in the air, for at least 5 minutes - very hilarious. Later on we entered the room itself and to our great surprise the man told us "Go on, take a photo!" which nearly made me explode from joy. By now, the other people in the tour had gotten curious and asked us "Do you worship her or something?" haha. Anyways, we stayed behind in the room to ogle at everything and take some photos while the rest of the group continued to the last room.

"That tiger is fantastic... Tiger or a cheetah." Bless Nana <3

"Cute rocking horse." :D
Amazing horn and turtle... something?

Rocking horse and part of tiger-cheetah-hybrid can be seen here. :D
Can see horns on the back! Also the piano + painting etc from the rocking horse picture. :)
After we had gotten our fill in that room of blissful Seventh Heaven, we continued onward to where the rest of the group was - the final room. It was hilarious when we entered, as the people on tour with us had apparently been waiting for us to arrive and when they saw us they exclaimed: "It's here!!" and frantically pointed at a particular guest book on the table. With hands shaking from anticipation, I opened the book and there it was! NANA'S AUTOGRAPH HELL YES!! Looking at that page was so magical, and felt so unbelievable after having watched Nana write it there in the documentary. It even came equipped with a little Nanette doodle!

We were standing there dazed looking at that page forever. I am really surprised the man did not kick us out, but I guess he felt how amazing this moment was to us. I really can't even begin to describe how I felt then, there are no words that could fully encompass the emotions running through me at that instance.

After we exited the manor, we stayed around to take more pictures in the premises from the places where Nana posed. I will not post pictures of those here anymore, mainly because I think the autograph deserves to be the grand finish. :) The man let us stay around a bit over time to take our pictures - he was such a nice fellow. I never would have believed our pilgrimage would be this successful and smooth, I mean, I thought we'd even have to beg to be able to see her autograph. Also, I think we are the only people so far to do a Nana trip to Dorney Court judging by the man's great surprise. Makes it seem all the more special I feel.

All in all a very amazing day. <3 Good way to end my residency in the UK.


  1. It's all because Nana is:

  2. JUICY BLING!!! HELL YES!! :D One day I shall steal her from inside those pants.... I mean.... steal those pants from her.

    Also, I am tempted to photoshop myself in that pic so that it'd look like she's petting me on the head. XD