Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - November 2011

Here are my photos for this month's Photo Scavenger Hunt.  A lot of them are taken at home as I haven't been out and about very much this month. Thanks as always to Kathy at Postcards from the P.P. for coming up with the monthly challenges.  Here is a link to some of the other participating blogs.

 A Lucky Charm
A little black pottery cat with Looe stamped on its back. I'm not sure if I bought it whilst on holiday or if it was given to me after someone else's holiday.  I've kept it since I was a child and it lives in my 'treasures' box.

A Poppy
Well, a poppy seed head anyway.  I collected some earlier this year from the garden and dried them out and placed them in a vase.  I made this photo black and white as it shows more detail that way.

A Self-portrait
Taken in the bathroom mirror.  I've done this one in sepia tone just as an experiment.

Comfort Food
A bowl of Macaroni Cheese is always comforting!

A memorial in the churchyard of St Mary's, Attenborough, Nottinghamshire to all the civilian workers who lost their lives in an explosion at the National Shell Filling Factory in nearby Chilwell on 1st July 1918.  One hundred and thirty seven men and women were killed - only thirty two of them could be positively identified.  They were buried in a mass grave in the churchyard.  Two hundred and fifty people were injured. The blast was heard over 20 miles away.  Photo taken on 26th November.

Polka Dots
I'm never sure of the difference between spots and polka dots but anyway this is the spotty Aga at the Emma Bridgewater Factory Shop, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Of a finger-post taken at The Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire on 19th November.  It was an extremely sunny day so just right for taking a silhouette.

 Something Purple
A cyclamen growing in the hot-house at Buxton Pavilion, Buxton, Derbyshire taken on 12th November.

 Something that lights up
A display case in the Museum in Buxton, Derbyshire
Something you have made
A Coffee and Walnut Cake for a friend's birthday.
Staircase in the upstairs art gallery of The Beetroot Tree, Draycott, Derbyshire taken on 26th November.

A warming bowl of Broccoli and Stilton soup for lunch much appreciated after a brisk walk in the chilling wind.

That's it for this month - just one more to go!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holly Hobbie

I was thinking about this plate the other day and went on a search for it in the dark, depths of the cupboard finally finding it amongst the sea of orange and brown Hornsea wares that were both mine (Saffron) and my mother's (Bronte).  We both started collecting it at the same time in the mid 70s after a visit to the factory on the South Yorkshire coast with the village WI that my Mum belonged to.  Anyway, back to the plate and  Holly Hobbie as she and her little ginger cat always make me smile.

I think Mum bought her at a charity shop in the local town and she went on display soon after,  hanging on the bright turquoise wall in the back porch right opposite the back door.  I remember she was the first thing you saw when you went into the house high up over a bookcase which was full of old hard backed books like dictionaries,  encyclopedias, little china ornaments and dangling spider plants.  The back door was at the top of three steps on which the rusty tin containing tokens for the milkman was always placed.  At the side of the steps was a small paved area with a seat under a window and which, in spring and summer. was always full of pots of colourful flowers.

Through the door, which was always unlocked and often, in summer, open with one of those candy striped plastic fly curtains fluttering in the breeze, past the downstairs cloakroom and into a warm living room with its Rayburn fire and settee covered in crocheted granny square throws and plush velvety cushions.  Holly Hobbie stayed in her place on the porch wall way after Mum died as Dad wouldn't move anything, any ornament or picture had to be left just as Mum had wanted it.  Later, when my sister and I cleared the house we boxed and bagged everything and halved the boxes and took them home sorting through them at our leisure.  Many of the things went to charity shops but I kept this plate.  I desperately need to have another clear out and I think all the Hornsea stuff will have to go to a charity shop or free to a good home if I can find someone who collects it. I'm holding on to the plate though as I love the words on it!

I always thought Holly Hobbie was the name of the little bonneted girl but it is also the name of the designer of the complete range of Holly Hobbie goods.  Here is a  - link - to her Wikipedia entry so you can read more about her.

Monday, November 21, 2011

You don't live here!!

Casper is a lovely cat!  He has a lovely home!  He has caring owners (servants) who tend to his every whim, who paid out hundreds of pounds in vet's bills when he was run over by a car last summer.

He is now supposed to be on a diet to help him lose the weight he gained after so much inactivity during his time with a steel pin in his leg.   Of course, he's found another source of food - in our house!  He waits for us to go out and then pops into his local cafe!

Where he can empty Max's and Chloe's bowls of food and then have a snooze on the sofa in the conservatory where he has easy access to the cat flap.   This week he has got so confident that he didn't move when I took these photos.  He's such a lovely, gentle cat, but he's becoming a pain in the posterior as when we go out for any length of time our cats have to be kept in,  otherwise he would eat all their food and they would be very hungry when we got home.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A walk around Buxton

When asked where I would like to go today I replied - a nice town with historic buildings, a market, a museum and park with somewhere we can sit and enjoy a coffee in pleasant surroundings - Buxton it was then!

We usually park up near the town hall on The Slopes - I love this row of houses with the bay windows.  I wonder if there are seats in the upper ones?  If I lived in one of those I would spend ages gazing out of the windows watching the happenings in the town.

 From The Slopes there is a lovely view down to The Crescent

and also to the Buxton Baths
There are some lovely shops in the Cavendish arcade within the Baths building.  I did my first bit of Christmas shopping in Atticus Boo.  My second bit of  seasonal shopping was a pudding from Waitrose.  I used to make a Christmas pudding around this time every year but for the last couple of years we've bought a small one just for two.

After a cup of coffee in a pleasant cafe called No 6 The Square, just round the corner from The Crescent and opposite the Opera House,  we set off for the Museum and a wander around the galleries as well as a look at the temporary exhibitions.

 Then we had a walk in the Pavilion Gardens which were looking lovely in the sunlight.

There was a Saturday Bazaar taking place in the Pavilion with lots of wonderful craft work and tasty goodies on sale and  also some interesting art work in the displays in the Tourist Information Centre.

Outside the fire brigade were putting Christmas lights in the trees.

It was time to head towards home but we diverted out towards Wildboarclough instead of going back towards Leek....

.....and down to Rudyard Lake for a cup of tea and piece of cake before heading off through Endon and Stockton Brook towards Stoke and home.

Wasn't it wonderful to see some sun today after such a grey, dull and rainy week?

Edit 13/11/11 - I forgot to mention that I wrote a Remembrance post on my Family History blog this year - link in my sidebar.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

They were Three Sisters

Last night, courtesy of the New Vic Theatre and Northern Broadsides, we were transported up to the windswept Yorkshire Moors and back in time to the 1840s to a parsonage in Haworth where three sisters lived their daily lives trapped by place and time struggling with their growing awareness of the fleeting, fretfulness of life and the looming presence of death.
In the darkened theatre with the sound of wind howling in the background and a candlelit table with three writing desks the play starts with the line "Mother died on a day like this" and so the three Bronte sisters, Charlotte (the small, plain  and compassionate one)  Emily (the odd, wild and restless one) and Anne (the young, pretty, outspoken one) come to life.
Though troubled with worries about their ageing father Patrick, drunken brother Branwell and visited by various other characters like the doctor, the teacher and the  'love-sick' curate they encourage each other to write.  Like the three sisters in Chekhov's play who long to go to Moscow these three long to go to London.
In the last act as they see their brother spiral into a drunken, debt ridden life they cling to what they believe will be their purpose in life as Charlotte says  "Soon the years will have passed and we'll be gone. Our faces will be forgotten, our voices will be forgotten, all that mattered to the three of us will be forgotten.  But there'll be our books.  And in the end, we will be remembered"

This is a new play by Blake Morrison. directed by Barrie Rutter and acted by an outstanding cast of performers.   It's not as morbid as it sounds, there are lots of humorous moments,  but throughout there is the awareness, through hindsight, of what is to come.  It is a brilliant play! See it if you can.

I found the trailer below to give you an idea of what to expect.......

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

On the Fence

It was wonderful to see a thrush in the garden again over last weekend.  He or she stayed around long enough for me to run upstairs, get out my camera and take a photo through the landing window as it sat for quite a while on our side fence.  I was quite pleased with the result considering that it was taken through double glazing and that I couldn't seem to keep the camera still.  I think it is a Song Thrush as its feathers are quite dark and its spots brown rather than the black spots and paler feathers of the Mistle Thrush.  The shorter, sturdier neck and the song pattern we heard just before we saw it convinces me that it is a Song Thrush.  Does any one know?

Sadly the decline in song thrush numbers across the country especially on farmland means it is an endangered species accorded 'red status' by the RSPB and given high priority for conservation.  I'm pleased we have one in our garden.