Friday, June 14, 2019

Simple Joys

Five simple things that have made me smile in a week of rain, more rain and yes, even more rain. It's hard not to feel slightly fretfull and depressed about the ways of the world in such dire weather, hence the need of simple pleasures to smile about.

 Strawberries from the garden.  In spite of the rain the strawberries have been ripening.  As soon as they show any signs of red we bring them in, before the slugs get to them and ripen them in the kitchen window.

A bunch of Sweet Williams from the supermarket.  I couldn't resist them as they were such a reasonable price and our plants in the garden are nowhere near as big as yet.

Both male and female bullfinch visit the feeders in the garden.  We see two pairs who visit the garden feeders several times a day. One pair always together sometimes accompanied by another female and then another male will visit at odd times. 

A lovely red poppy.  We have loads of self seeded poppies in the garden this year, I've never seen so many.  Some are pink and purple but others are this dark red.

I spotted these creatures dotted around and about in the flower beds at Trentham Gardens when we walked there late last week.  They made me smile.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

After the Rain

Yesterday the weather was very wet.  We thought Friday was going to be the wettest day but that wasn't as bad a predicted, I think it all came yesterday.  When we popped out to do food shopping I was back in socks, boots and winter waterproof coat.  Around nine in the evening the rain had stopped and the sun appeared casting a golden glow over the garden.

 I grabbed my camera and went out to take some photos.

 I popped back into the conservatory as it was getting close to 'fox' time.  The little cubs visit and play in the garden before mum and dad fox fetch them back into the school nature reserve behind the hedge.  I managed to get a photo of the littlest cub.  They are such a delight to watch in the fading light.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

A Cottage Garden

I love this little cottage garden.

It's in the show gardens at Bridgemere Garden World, near Nantwich in Cheshire.

Just a small garden but it's packed with gorgeous cottage garden plants.

In all the colours I love to see in a garden

Beautiful climbing roses

This colour was lovely and so hard to capture with a camera.

There were lupins in all colours

Mauves and pinks and purples all blending together

Lovely pink roses, I've no idea what variety they were.


More lupins

These purple lupins looked wonderful against the white fence.

Everything in the garden was a feast for the eyes and senses.  I've downloaded these photos today to look at and enjoy as it is so damp, grey and windy outside and not like a June day at all.  Let's hope the weather improves soon so we can get back out into our own garden and hang washing out on the line to dry in the sunshine.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

A Canalside Walk

On Friday morning we decided to drive to the nearby town of Stone and walk along the canal.

There was a little bit of drizzle in the air but it soon cleared up.

We had a cup of coffee in Marks and Spencer which stands overlooking the canal.  I expect it is well used by the boats that moor nearby.

The Trent and Mersey Canal runs between these two places and Stone is about halfway between the two.

We decided to walk towards the outskirts of the town before returning the way we had come.

There are lots of interesting features along the banks of the canal.  New apartments overlooking the water on one side.


and locks.

Boatyards and Chandleries

The Georgian Parish church of St Michael can be seen in the distance.

There were lots of boats moored near the workshop and the tip tapping of hammers and the buzzing of drills competed with the birdsong and the whiff of paint was in the air.  It reminded me of how noisy and busy the canal would have been in its heyday.

Boats were also moored in front of the old Joule's Brewery which closed in the 1970s.  Beer is now brewed at a modern factory in Market Drayton.

We saw lots of wildlife along the way

Including a swan family

An unusual pair of ducks. Mallard and Cayuga mix perhaps?

The grey heron didn't seem too bothered by people walking by as he strolled his stately way through the water quite close to the town.  At least you can see that the water isn't too deep.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Scavenger Photo Hunt - May

May has passed by so quickly. It's one of my favourite months but I don't feel as if I have appreciated it or 'felt' it as much as I would have liked. That short, sweet season of light evenings and bright early mornings filled with birdsong is slipping away already.

The words for this month's hunt organised by Kate at 'I live, I love, I craft, I am me'  blog are as follows:-  Seat, View from the seat, Lunch, Starts with a P, Transport, Your Own Choice.

All my photos have been taken locally this time.

Seat- complete with Fairy by the lake at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

View (from the seat) across the lake and up towards the Oak Wood where on top of the hill stands a statue of the 1st Duke of Sutherland whose family owned the Trentham Estate.

Lunch - Sour Dough Bread and Tintern Cheese from Brown and Green at the Trentham Gardens retail village. Bought after our walk around the lake and taken home to be enjoyed.

Starts with a 'P' - we visited the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery up in the city centre where we saw an exhibition of tapestries designed by Grayson Perry and a small exhibition about Beatrix Potter which featured Peter Rabbit.

Transport - Early one morning I was wondering where I was going to get a transport themed photo in time for today and suddenly heard the sound of a balloon being boosted - sure enough flying otherwise silently over the garden was this balloon transporting the occupants of the basket into an early morning world of mist and delicate sunshine.

Your own choice - we've had this shrub which we call Red Robin for at least fifteen years and it has never flowered before.  This year it is covered in blooms, I expect the type of weather we've had this year has made conditions just right for the flowering.

Click on the link below to find other bloggers who are joining in with this month's Scavenger Photo Hunt.

Monday, May 27, 2019

At Castleton

On Friday we decided to have a day out before the roads got too busy over the bank holiday weekend.  Castleton in Derbyshire was decided upon.  We were there in just over an hour and had breakfast first at the Three Roofs Cafe.

Scrambled eggs for Paul and croissant for me. I never know why they give you butter with a croissant as it is full of butter anyway.  I like mine just with preserve.

Usually when we visit Castleton I take photos of the church and the castle which I have written about before but this time my eye was drawn to some more unusual things.

A weather vane on a stone cottage
Chickens in a hedge

The sign brought back childhood memories of having a teddy and a dolly.  I still have the teddy but was never too fond of dolly so I eventually gave her away.  Mum always made me give one toy away to the children's home via Santa's Sleigh each Christmas.  Now though our neighbours have a Teddy (dog) and a Dolly (cat) so the names are still in mind.

An old stone barn

A Walk by a stream.

This stream is called Peakshole Water its source being the Peak Cavern.

Peak Cavern where at present a stage is being erected in the entrance to cope with the many events that take place throughout the year.

We approached the kiosk and were told that a tour would take place in a couple of minutes so we decided to join it!  Our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining.  We learned about the rope and tallow makers who used to live at the entrance to the cave. We watched him make a length of rope whilst he talked about the families who started the rope making industry. The families lived within the cave and one small room for a family was still there.  I didn't take a photo inside - there was just room for sleeping between working hours.

The rope makers also acted as guides to the well off people who came from far and wide to visit the cave. It was an extra way of earning money for their families.  Their children would be involved often standing up high with candles so that visitors could see the important features.  Piggy back rides would be given to those who didn't want to dirty their shoes all these services meant for extra tips to boost their meagre income.

At one point we had to bend low to get through some parts of the cave. Avoiding head bangs and spiders along the way. By the time I'd done it twice - you go out the same way as you go in - I was feeling a bit frazzled and my legs and back were aching.

I felt a bit like he looked and certainly in need of a sit down and another coffee.

Back to normal, up in the fresh air and a photo of the church - I couldn't resist. We didn't go inside as it was time to collect the car from the car park and move on whilst the sun was shining and the skies were still blue.