Friday, April 30, 2010

Back Home

We've spent the last few days in Wales. A land of huge hills and mountains, beautiful coastlines, ancient castles and slate quarries; a land of myths and legends; a land full of history and beauty. Here are just a few images from our visit. I'll be back with more later!

Criccieth Castle on a dull Sunday morning

Fishermen's cottages, Criccieth

Cromlech, Parc Glynllifon

Bronze statue of Prince Llywelyn's faithful hound Gelert, Beddgelert

Riverside Walk, Beddgelert

Filming a Welsh TV Soap outside brightly painted houses at Borth-y-Gest

Along the coastal path at Borth-y-Gest


Barmouth from high up on Dinas Olau - the Fortress of Light - after climbing the many steps through the old town.

Rooftops and old slate walls in the old town of Barmouth

Bangor Pier - ahead the island of Anglesey

Even here you can't escape the political world - love these election posters, though!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Off to see the Sea!

I'm off to the coast for a few days later this week. See you all when I get back!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Beanpole Week

This week is - National Beanpole Week - a week for celebrating local woods and woodland products and in particular locally grown beanpoles.

We went to an exhibition at Consall Nature Park today which had displays from crafts people all working with local willow and hazel.

There were people making bean poles, pea sticks and marker sticks and selling them along with bags of charcoal and logs.

We watched the crafts people weaving wicker fences and baskets and working a wood turning lathe.

It was all very interesting and visitors were encouraged to 'have a go' at the various activities.

We then went for a gentle stroll into the woods where, although the car park of the country park was full to bursting, it was very quiet. We watched a woodpecker as it flitted between trees way ahead of us. The ground was covered with wood sorrel, wood avens, dog's mercury and coltsfoot. It won't be long before the bluebells will be out and dangling their dainty bell shaped heads. Isn't this a wonderful time of year?

At home we use poles and supports made from tree cuttings, the ones above are from the trees you can see top right of the photo, rather than buy in the imported cane ones.

We also have our own hazel tree to use for poles and sticks;
so I think we are doing our bit in support of National Beanpole Week.

Thanks for all your lovely e-mails and messages after my last post. I've tried to answer you all a few at a time. Things are a little easier now but I'm still doing things very gently!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yellow and Blue

It seems ages since my last post! I haven't been on the computer very much because a recurring injury has made it uncomfortable to sit for very long in an upright position. A few years ago now I bent down to place a bowl of cat food on the cat's tray and felt something 'pop'. After numerous visits to the surgery, laying with hot water bottles on my stomach/chest and eventually paying for a scan because the Doctor was flummoxed and I'm sure didn't believe that there was anything wrong, I finally found out that I had snapped a piece of cartilage between my rib cage and sternum. I was uncomfortable for a whole summer, well, would you believe it has happened again! So, that is the blue because that is how I'm feeling right now.

Here is some cheerful yellow from photos taken today on a walk around Trentham Gardens and Lake.

Marsh Marigolds down by the lake

Daffodils in the Marie Curie 'Field of Hope' near the cafe and play area. There are over 60,000 daffodils planted here.

Forsythia - I've noticed so many of these lovely, vibrant shrubs around this year, especially in local gardens and in the streets around here.

My apologies if I haven't visited or commented on your blogs I can only manage to sit for a short while so I'm just reading when I can to see what you have all been doing.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

In Crowgutter Wood

We'd been meaning to find these woods ever since they were recommended to me as a lovely walk by Steph at Curlew Country. On Tuesday we at last found our way there.

Luckily we always have wellies in the back of the car because they were needed after the recent heavy rain. It was very muddy!

It was so quiet and peaceful in the wood. All we could hear was the calling of pheasants across the nearby fields, smaller birds twittering and singing high in the trees and the babbling of a nearby stream.

Wild garlic was growing along the banks of the stream, alongside it dog's mercury and wood avens all coming out to greet the mild, spring weather.

We walked along up hill, down hill, over bridges up and down steps, and by old stone walls until we reached the end of the walk.

Which came out onto the canal just by Consall Station on the Churnet Valley Railway. The only people we saw for the whole walk were on the boat passing by on the Caldon canal.

We'd walked along this stretch of the canal on Good Friday morning and it was quiet then, too! Except for the sound of the wonderful steam train which passed by as we stood and watched.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I spy.......

In the garden today......

Frogspawn in the Pond

Fairly tidy raised beds waiting to be planted. Chives growing in the front.

Wild Garlic under the hazel tree near the shed.

Rhubarb - crumbles and custard very soon!

Buds on the rhododendron and fresh lupin leaves.

Pink Heather near the steps up to the top lawn.

Daffodils and aquilegia leaves growing at the back of the greenhouse near the wildlife log pile.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Into April

It's April already! Where have the first three months of the year gone? Even though we are now on British Summer Time and definitely into Spring the weather has been really awful for the last few days.

I've decided to ignore the rain, wind, sleet and snow and make a Spring garden ready for this weekend.

I've also made an Easter twig decoration - how long it will last with the cats around I've no idea, I've already rescued one of the fluffy chicks!

Ready for Simone's Friday Cake Bake Paul has made some hot-cross buns - link to his recipe - and I've made some little fairy cakes with chocolate eggs on top.

My best wishes to you all for a very Happy Easter!