Thursday, November 30, 2017

Photo Scavenger Hunt - November

It's the end of November so I'm joining in with Hawthorn at I live, I love, I craft, I am me blog for this month's Photo Scavenger Hunt.

November's Word prompts are
Blue, Me, Starts with a 'W', Rainbow, Arch, Toy, Swirl, Brush, Nail, My own Choice

Blue - the blue bridge at Shugborough Hall and Estate, Milton, Stafford which takes you over the river onto the woodland area known as the island Arboretum.

Me - from about one to four years old.  I had great fun getting out the box of old family photos and searching through them.  Top left I look as if I'm wearing gloves too large for my hands and top right I have wrinkly 'Nora Batty' socks and what look like very heavy winter shoes with a summer dress. I vaguely remember having that photo taken in one of the parks in London.  Hence perhaps the walking shoes?  We had gone to visit my Mum's best friend, whom I knew as Auntie Dot, and her family in Edgware and I also remember catching the train into the centre of London and being taken to see a stature of Peter Pan.  I still have the teddy bear I'm holding bottom right.

Starts with a 'W'.  I love this weather vane at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire.  We visited recently and walked from the car park through the grounds and over the the island arboretum.  I spotted the weather vane on the way back.

Rainbow - having twice missed the chance to photograph a Rainbow bus in Kimberley, near Eastwood in Nottingham when we were visiting the well known Swedish store there a couple of weeks ago my mind drifted to the writer D H Lawrence as he was born in Eastwood.  I knew he'd written a book called The Rainbow.  Did I have it on the book shelves at home?  No we had Women in Love the book which followed The Rainbow and also Sons and Lovers so a trip to the library was in order to find a copy.

Arch - the arches in the roof of the Winter Gardens, Sheffield.  We visited the city to see the Raviious & Co: A Pattern of Friendship exhibition at the Millennium Gallery.

 Toy - A soft toy white tiger in the well known Swedish Store.  He was sitting on top of a large Christmas bag.  It brought back memories of when I was a child and presents were placed in a pillow case at the bottom of the bed and one year there was a blue and white panda at the top of the bag, I still have the panda although he's grey and grey now. 

Swirl - swirls of chocolate on top of a brownie at the Emma Bridgewater cafe at the factory and factory shop which isn't very far from where we live.  We can walk there in 40 minutes but more often we drive as the walk takes us down the very busy and noisy main road which leads to the city centre.

Brush - I suddenly thought of 'Basil Brush' and remembered the photos I had taken of the fox family in the garden during the summer.  This is one of the cubs, they still visit the garden but we rarely see them now the dark evenings are here.

Nail - I asked my husband if we had any nails.  He said yes, there is a bag of nails in the shed with enough nails in it to spell out the word nail.  So that is what I did.

My Own Choice - I realised that I had mentioned in two places that I still had both my teddy bear and panda so I thought I'd better prove it by showing you a photos of both very threadbare creatures each one well over sixty years old now.

Click on the link below to find other bloggers who are joining in this month.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


What a difference a day makes! Yesterday we walked in bright winter sunshine at Dovedale, today we woke up to a light covering of snow. 

We hadn't been to Dovedale for ages as it being a 'honeypot' in the Peak District it is always very busy but yesterday apart from one large walking group, a couple of dog walkers and a couple of fly fishermen it was reasonably quiet.

The sun was so bright as we walked along it was casting a gold shadow over the water of the River Dove.

The water in the river was quite high and had burst over the edges of the bank in some places.

The water was flowing along quite swiftly too.

The well known stepping stones which I used to love jumping across as a child.  Yesterday I found them quite challenging.
I did make it across with a supporting hand from my fellow walker.  I find age brings with it some challenges and uncertainties.  Not feeling as sure footed as I used too, not hearing people or bikes coming up behind me and finding walking towards the winter sun quite challenging.

We walked on along the path, the stark leafless trees looked wonderful against the bright blue sky.

Birds swooped overhead and landed on the bushes up on the slopes.  We also saw a dipper on the river and there were plenty of wrens and robins about.

We weren't sure if the birds we saw landing on the bushes were fieldfares or redwings

I only managed a very poor photo and can't tell what it is although we did see fieldfares as we drove down the lanes on the way to Ilam and Dovedale.

We also saw two male pheasants having a scrap.

and lots of fungus on a tree by the river.

It was quite chilly even in the sun and my fingers were getting cold.

It was time to head back to Ilam for coffee and scones at the National Trust cafe before we returned home.  It was so good to get out into the fresh air.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A visit to Sheffield

We set out on Wednesday morning last week having seen that the weather forecast was good and drove through Leek, Buxton, Castleton and Bamford right into the city centre.  The sun was bright in the sky and lit our way through some beautiful countryside.  The drive down Winnat's pass was wonderful, we've travelled that way many times before but I'm always stunned by the beauty of it.

Sheffield was much as I remembered it, once we had got our bearings as it must be about ten years since we last visited.  It was a regular shopping venue when I was a child and teenager growing up in Derbyshire as the bus to the city passed through our village at five to the hour every hour and the bus stop was opposite our house.  It was quite a long journey, over an hour as the service bus visited every village on the route.

Henderson's Relish or 'Hendos' as it is known locally is one of the icons of the city. There was a whole section of souvenirs dedicated to it in the Millennium Gallery which was where we were headed. We always have a bottle in the cupboard. I've put this photo in for my friend Robert who wrote about 'Hendos' recently in one of his blog posts - link here

 We walked down towards the Cenotaph near the City Hall then round to the Winter Gardens and Millennium Gallery. 

You can see from the photo below what a bright sunny day it was.  Walking was quite hard as my eyes aren't good in low winter sunlight.  I get blinded so easily by it and am always concerned about walking into someone - or a lamp post!

Opposite the Cenotaph is the city hall and in front of the city hall is a fairly new sculpture

Women of Steel by sculptor Martin Jennings commemorates the women of Sheffield and South Yorkshire who worked in the city's steel and munitions works during both first and second world wars.

The statue was commissioned by Sheffield City Council and unveiled in June 2016 with over 100 of the women who worked in the factories present at the ceremony.   This bronze statue has just won a prestigious award, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association Marsh award for excellence in public sculpture for the sculptor Martin Jennings who is also responsible for the sculpture of Sir John Betjeman at Kings Cross Station.

Into the Winter Gardens where we had a little wander around before going down to the cafe in the galleries for a coffee and sit down before we looked around the exhibition I had come to see.

I loved the light in the gardens streaming down from the arched roof.

I think the flowers above are Bromeliads, they were very colourful.

I was quite anxious to get into the exhibition whilst it was still quite quiet.  Cameras were put away as we wanted to concentrate on the things we saw.  I wasn't disappointed.

The exhibition, on tour from the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, covers the work of Eric Ravilious and his contemporaries and friends from their first meeting at the Royal College of Art, where tutor Paul Nash commented that in those years there was a 'rare outbreak of talent ' amongst the students, to the time he was reported missing in Iceland in September 1942 where he had travelled as a government war artist for the RAF. The exhibition was collated and curated to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Ravilious's death.

Some of the group of friends eventually became known as the Great Bardfield artists.  Eric Ravilious and his great friend Edward Bawden are featured in this wonderful exhibition. There are also works from Helen Binyon, Barnett Freedman, Enid Marx, Thomas Hennell, Percy Bliss, Diana Low and Tirza Garwood who eventually married Eric Ravilious.  I was particularly struck by her wonderful interior works. The exhibition shows how the work of these artists could be found not just as paintings but in fabrics, wallpapers, book illustrations, woodcuts, book covers and end papers, programmes, newsletters, magazines and in ceramics too.  

It is a fabulous exhibition and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Here are some links to see more

Millennium Gallery exhibition