Friday, April 03, 2020

Into April with a Friday Five

1.  April Calendar 



We turned the calendar to April and crossed out any entries on it.  Hair cuts, dental appointments, meetings with friends and going away for a couple of days for our wedding anniversary have all been cancelled and that is as it should be.  One date has been put in - the delivery day of a Morrisons box.  We have decided to give it a try and have ordered a vegetarian one.  I wonder what it will contain? I'll report back on this one.


2. Garden visitor - a juvenile Goldcrest has visited for two or three mornings this week. An unusal and rare visitor for us.

This will be one of last year's brood as it does not have its head markings as yet.  Apparently they develop after the first year of life.  You can see the buds are forming on the Amelanchier tree.



3.  Garden produce - there is still plenty of rhubarb and I found a recipe which enabled us to use up a couple of oranges as well.

Prepare the rhubarb, cut into chunks and lay in a dish, squeeze and zest the oranges and pour the juice and  zest over the rhubarb.  Drizzle some honey over the top and bake in the oven for about half an hour.  It's delicious.  We served it with a spoon or two of Greeek yoghurt.

4.  Still reading, curled on the upstairs sofa with mugs of tea nearby.



 Mont-St-Michel, Manche, Normandy

5.  Old photos - I've been looking back at holidays we've taken over the last few years so I though I'd share a few taken on a visit to France seventeen years ago.  It seems such a long time ago and yet it seems like only yesterday.

Abbey Church at Lucerne Abbey, Lessay, Manche.

Dol-de-Bretagne, Ille et Vilaine, Brittany

Menhir de Champ Dolent, Dol-de-Bretagne, Brittany.

Beaumont Mansion, Valonges, Normandy. 

All for now, stay safe and well everyone. 

Edit 3rd April

Since I wrote this post ready to publish today we have had some very sad news.  Our friend and next door neighbour, the kind person who always looked after our cats and watered our greenhouse when we were away, has lost her fight against Motor Neurone Disease.  She was taken into hospital last week suffering from some kind of respiratory infection.  She tested negative for Covid 19 so had been treated with anti-biotics but was too weak to fight the infection. Our little corner at the top of the
Crescent is a very sad and subdued place today.



Saturday, March 28, 2020

Home and Garden

I'm getting used to staying at home although we did manage a walk very early on Wednesday morning when there wasn't a soul about.  The car hasn't left the garage since Monday morning. 


Berryhill Fields is just a short walk away from home, down the street, round the corner, across the road and up a little lane and we are there.  It is still very wet and muddy up there so we wore wellies.  Just us and the skylarks out in the fresh air.  It's good to have a green space so close.


 The good weather has enabled us to get out into the garden and start tidying up now that the soil and grass have dried out after that extremely wet winter. Cutting, clipping, mowing and sweeping have taken place.  The first butterfly seen this year was a Peacock which rested for long enough in the sun for me to take a photo.  Later on the same day we saw a tortoiseshell and a yellow Brimstone.


Exercising has been on the bike which we have placed in the corner of the conservatory so we can look out over the garden as we clock up the miles.  As our humble abode doesn't run to a long gallery in which to elegantly exercise indoors I may have to take to walking round and round the table like the Bronte sisters did.  I have  friends who walk the length of their house from back to front door with fitbit counting their steps whilst they listen to an half hour radio programme or podcast through ear phones for timing - seems like a great idea.  Apparently Desert Island Discs or radio dramas are good for this.



We had several items of vegetables left over from previous meals which needed using up so we had a cooking session yesterday morning.  Little bubble and squeak (cabbage and potato) burgers were made and frozen.  Both celery and carrot soups were made.  the carrot soup has been frozen, tomatoes skinned and frozen too.  I made a red cabbage and apple bake for today's tea and we will have the celery soup for lunch. 

Clocks go forward tonight to take us into British Summer Time even though we have only just seen  the first day of Spring.   

To pass the time I'm reading, watching television or iplayer when I feel like it and blogging and reading other blogs, again when I feel like it.  

Take care and stay safe everyone.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Musings

I'm lost for words at the moment as it seems wrong to write about everyday happenings when so much is out of kilter and so many people are suffering and feeling anxious yet if we don't think about and appreciate the small things around us that we can still see and do everyday as our world gets smaller then life and getting through the next few months would seem such a hard thing to encompass.


I woke in the night and could hear the owls screeching, tawny owls we think.  Drifting back to sleep I was awoken just as it was getting light by that wonderful sound of a skein of geese flying overhead.  After that the pigeons started calling and gradually the world outside the bedroom window came awake.

I think the above photos were taken in Abbey Park, Leicester.


I'm thinking about my Mum today, I showed you some photos of her a few posts ago.  She was born in 1916 in the midst of a world war which was immediately followed by the flu epidemic which took  so many more. She then, as a young woman, lived through another world war.  I wonder what she would think of what is happening now?   I'm sort of glad she isn't here to know about it.  



We have been putting the wildlife camera outside overnight now both wind and rain have disappeared.  We are concerned that one of the foxes may have mange so some new treatment has been sent for.  One of the pair of foxes also visits and takes food back to the den, I suspect there may be cubs. The last couple of nights we have been visited by badgers too.  Not a great photo as it is night time but you can see that one badger appears to be paler than the other. 

A few signs of Spring


We've not been far all week a couple of walks in quiet places and an outing to a supermarket with very bare shelves, hardly any fresh fruit and vegetables also missing were yeast and eggs.  We didn't tick much off our short list.  



With all the hand washing it was time for a new soap in the bathroom, this one was so pretty I had to take a photo of it.

Whilst on one of our short walks we saw a Red Kite overhead wheeling around over the houses, searching for food perhaps?  Later a Buzzard up above the garden being chased off by crows.  Herring gulls glide overhead so even though I can't get to  the coast yet this year their call reminds me of walking along a beach somewhere.

Meanwhile in the garden the old fence panels which blew out in the wind have been taken down.

With the help of kind neighbours on the other side of the fence the new ones were slotted in.

In the conservatory tomato seedlings are appearing.  Outside the greenhouse is being cleaned and prepared for them.


That's all for now, it's time for coffee and the crossword.


Stay safe everyone.

Friday, March 13, 2020

On Friday

A week of staying local, staying around home, only venturing out to the local shop when needed for fresh goods like milk, yoghurts, fruit and vegetables.  Also to the library to collect books, an appointment at the optician and a couple of walks in quiet places. 

 Friday has come around so quickly again so below are five things from this week.

1.  The first rhubarb from the garden turned into a crumble and served with our favoruite rhubarb yoghurt. 

2.  Also in the garden the first signs of Lungwort, Wild Garlic, Bluebells and White Windflower.

 
3.  Iris and crocus at Trentham, we went early one morning to walk around the lake whilst it was quiet and ventured up into the gardens to look at the spring flowers.


4.  Library Books.  One read - the latest Louise Penny, one being read - the latest Kate Ellis Wesley Peterson novel.  The other two to be read.  I've been reading books on Kindle so it's good to get back to real books although I did struggle a bit with the print size of the Louise Penny novel.




5.  A few treats, a Sunday breakfast of orange juice, croissants and coffee.  A bowl of crisp, sweet red apples and a homemade cottage loaf made to an old recipe for Paul's bread website.  He makes all our bread but we do occasionally buy wraps, bagels and croissants from the supermarket.


Tomorrow will be an anniversary for this blog as I will have been blogging for fifteen years.  My first post was written on Monday 14th March 2005.  Where has all that time gone?  Those early posts have no photos with them as we didn't have a digital camera then.  Now I feel the posts are more photos than text.  I find I can't write long passages of text now because of how being on the laptop for any length of time affects my eyes, but I hope to carry on for a while longer if possible.




Monday, March 09, 2020

Sunday Morning Walk

Yesterday morning we walked at one of our favourite places.

Although there was a slight drizzle in the air it felt warmer than it had done for a while and there were signs of Spring along the way.

 Dog's Mercury

 Pixie Cap fungus

 Lesser Celandine? Going by the leaf shape?

The paths were very muddy and wellies had to be hosed down once we got home.

 In the pond we spotted frog spawn and we could hear the frogs croaking from quite a distance away.

 New signs, gates and fences had been added since the RSPB took over the site.

Consall Station on the Churnet Valley Steam Railway.  It stands between the River Churnet and the Caldon Canal. There is a bridge over the river into the station yard.  We could smell the wood smoke from the fire in the waiting room.
 Oh the joy of the sound of the 'toot-toot' and 'chuff, chuffing' of the engine.  The sound of the warning bell at the station and the smell of the steam.

 The engine was from the USA No 6046.  All the carriages seemed full.

 Butterbur on the edges of the canal towpath.

 Bright yellow Broom

 Pheasant

Robin - who can resist taking a photo when they pose and sing their sweet song just for you?



Two things

  Firstly thank you for your comments on yesterday's post I will get around to replying to them. 

Secondly I seem to have lost the spell check button on my blog so I may have missed spelling or typographical errors even though I always check sometimes it is easier to miss your own mistakes because you sometimes see what you expect to see when reading through.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

For International Women's Day

Some of the women in my family of whom I have fond memories.

My Mum

Sitting left



My Grandma




My Granny




My Aunt Gladys





I'm listing them with the names they were born with rather than the names they took when they married.

Florence Hilda Limb 1916 -1999

Florence Mary Stubbs 1884 -1962

Rosa Edwards 1879 - 1963

Gladys Emily Limb 1907 - 1967

I'm also adding two of my great-grandmothers although I never met them. 


Martha Elizabeth Matthews 1854 -1915
born Welby, Grantham, Lincolnshire.

 Sarah Ann Hodgetts 1854 -1939
born Birmingham, West Midlands.

Also my other two great grandmothers.  I've never seen photos of them.

Celia Palmer Young 1866 -1915 born Ilkeston Derbyshire 

Sarah Ann Gutteridge 1851 - 1915
born Stanton, Newhall, Derbyshire.

I've just noticed that three of my four grandmothers died in 1915.  Two of them are buried not far from each other in a cemetery in Shirebrook, Derbyshire. .

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Park in Winter

Sorry I haven't been around much over the last couple of weeks.  I have a problem with one of my eyes and the nerves in my head and face which makes it difficult for me to be on the laptop for very long.  I've tried to leave short comments on your blog posts when I could but writing a post myself was taking too long and making my eye sore. Consequently I have lots of draft posts which I started to write but hadn't the heart or energy to complete and publish, perhaps they will be edited and published later.  

This morning before the  wind, hail and snow set in we went down into town to collect a book I'd had reserved at the library.  The sun came out for a while so we had a walk in the park before returning home.

I always have a little camera in my bag so I took a few photos.













 Looking out of the windows at the snowflakes drifting daintily then whirling and dancing in the strong breeze its time to settle down with a warm drink and the book I collected earlier which is the latest Chief Inspector Gamache mystery by Louise Penny.



Tomorrow is the 1st of March, so don't forget to say 'White Rabbits' before you say anything else in the morning. When we were children we used to shout 'White Rabbits' as soon as we woke, even before we got out of bed.  Rabbits always remind me of Spring which I hope is just around the corner.