Friday, September 28, 2018

Scavenger Photo Hunt - September

The days are rushing by so quickly and just as I was getting used to leaving August and Summer behind and facing up to September it is suddenly nearly October.
The words for this month's Scavenger Photo Hunt which is organised by Kate at 'I Live I Love I Craft' blog are as follows

Brightly Coloured, Upside Down, Ink, Bag, Pattern,
My Own Choice

Brightly Coloured - bright pink Cosmos flowers.

Upside down -  grey squirrels in the garden hang upside down to take sunflower hearts or nibble at the fat balls in the bird feeders.

Ink - I imagine that the original of this poster which I spotted in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester would have been printed on ink coated letters on an old printing press.

Bag - just the right size to hold flasks of coffee and goodies to nibble on a day out.  

Pattern - photo taken in the factory shop at Middleport Pottery.  At present they are celebrating fifty years of the Burleigh calico ware patterns.

My own choice - a young Heron at the side of the lake at Trentham Gardens.

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

Friday, September 21, 2018


Recently I've been walking.........

by the River Derwent at Cromford between Masson Mill and Arkwright's Mill.....

and along the Cromford Canal as far as the Leawood Pumping Station.


The last of the Dahlias in the garden.


about Rain whilst it has been raining non stop for the last couple of days.  It's a lovely read, not one hundred pages long but full of wonderful prose and information. 

Four walks across four seasons, three in places I know or have visited. All in the rain.

Spotting signs of Autumn.........

In the trees

Loads of Sweet Chestnuts on the trees
but most small and unformed 
and falling to the ground

leaves on the path, blowing in the breeze.

Lords and Ladies plus lots of different fungi.

We had a quick walk around the lake this morning starting out in sunshine and blue skies. We watched the Martins swooping over the lake catching the last of the flying insects.  Halfway round it started to rain, heavy infrequent drops which soon turned to a short, sharp shower as we left the gardens.  As we drove home we spotted a rainbow so delicate it disappeared no more than five seconds after we had spotted it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Weeping Window at Middleport Pottery

On Monday last week we visited the '14-18 Now' Weeping Window of ceramic poppies at Middleport Pottery which stands on the Trent and Mersey Canal.

We had booked tickets for 11a.m. so arrived about 9.45a.m. at nearby Westport Lake.  We had a stroll around the lake and a coffee in their cafe when it opened at 10a.m.  

The stroll down the canal from Westport to Middleport takes no more than fifteen minutes. We arrived at the entrance about ten minutes early and were told to wander down to the canal side keeping to the left.  We went straight up to the poppies.

 In my mind I had thought that entrance would be strictly timed with only so many people allowed in at a time. Not so.  It was quite relaxed although I would think it was not so relaxed when busier at the weekend or late afternoons perhaps.

We stood for a while by the poppies just taking a few photos from either side and then taking a few moments to reflect on what the poppies meant before moving on to allow other people to move forward.  I wondered how many young men working at the pottery volunteered or were conscripted and how they fared.  How many young women from the pottery went to work in munitions factories and what sorrows and hardships would face those left behind.

It always upsets me that this generation lost so much.  I think of them as children running and playing, struggling at school or working at home with no idea what the future would hold for them and what horrors they would have to see and endure.

It is hard to imagine as we enjoy the freedoms of life today. All we can say is thank you and always remember their sacrifice.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bee in the City

We spent most of yesterday in Manchester as Paul wanted to see and photograph the Sopwith Snipe which was part of a display of planes which is travelling the country to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force. 

  The planes were on display in Albert Square in front of the town hall and as we walked down there from Piccadilly Station we spotted quite a few bees.

'Bee in the City' is an art and sculpture trail of about 100 large bees and many smaller ones across the city.

Each bee has been designed by a different artist to celebrate the unique buzz of the city from its industrial heritage to its vibrant music scene.

Organised by Wild in Art and Manchester City Council the bees are a great learning facility for schools, colleges and community groups and are a source of pleasure for locals and visitors.   Above the bee outside Selfridges department store.

  We had great fun spotting them along our rather meandering route to Albert Square and down to the Museum of Science and Technology. Above is the Queen Bee by Lee O'Brien in the Royal Exchange which was once the hub of the cotton trade.

The trail of bees has been in the city since 23rd of July and finally closes on 23rd of September.  We  managed to see just a few of them before they all buzz away.  We were told by one of the collectors for the RAF Centenary appeal that all the bees would be brought together to be auctioned for charity later this year.

The bee above, called The Homing Bee, is the artist C'Art  Dawes's reflection of her brush with homelessness and the need for everyone to have somewhere to call home.

Above is Rocket the Steam (punk) Bee. It reflects the
growth of industry and transport in the city in the 19th century and also the Victorian inspired Science Fiction popularised by writer Jules Verne.

This was one of my favourite bees.  Pablo Bee-Casso created by Jenny Leonard.

Industrious Bee in the garden at the Museum of Science and Industry.  The worker bee has been transformed into a mechanical steam machine.

Bee-Live in MCR created by Amy Coney has signatures of some of the artists who have performed in Manchester.  Dedicated to the artists and their fans who keep Manchester alive and gigging.

Distiller Bee by Kate- Laura Chapman celebrates the rise in popularity of gin and shows the ingredients used in the process like Juniper berries, thyme and lemon balm.

Above is The Crown Jewels one of the little bees which we spotted in the Manchester Art Gallery.  It was created by jewellery artist Ambrin and celebrates the Suffragette movement, reflects on the history of jewellery and wonders that if Manchester had their own crown jewels what they would be like.

I expect you are all bee'd out by now.  I'll be back in a few days with another post (non bee related) about our visit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Kedleston Hall

On the last Tuesday in August  we visited Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire.  The last few times we had visited we'd gone just to take walks around the estate grounds.  We hadn't been in the house for ages so it was time to pop inside.

We arrived at about 11.30a.m. and as the house didn't open until noon we had a wander around the stables, the shop and the gardens first.  I was hoping to go in the church but it was closed.

I'd forgotten how huge and opulent all the rooms were although I did remember the marble pillars.  Walking around you can easily get a crick in your neck as you are continually looking upwards.

The rooms are stunning, with much marble, flocked wallpaper and the colours of turquoise and gold stand out as being the predominant colours of the day.

The exception was the music room which was a tad more homely.

The curved gallery contained portraits and family trees of the Curzon family who have lived at Kedleston for about 900 years.  The present house,  built in the mid 18th century, was commissioned by Sir Nathaniel Curzon.  Most of the building was designed by Robert Adam.

Above - the dining room no turquoise and gold here either.

Step next door into the bedroom and the opulence takes over again. The guide told us that behind where she was sitting was an en-suite bathroom built when it was hoped that King George V would visit.  He decided to go to nearby Chatsworth instead!

Back downstairs the museum contains many artifacts including those from the time when Sir Nathaniel's son George Nathaniel Curzon was made Viceroy of India.

In 1895 Lord Curzon married Mary, daughter of Levi Zeigler Leiter a Chicago millionaire.  Above is the famous peacock dress she wore for the Dehli Durbar in 1903.  Here is more information and better photos of the dress than I could take through the reflecting glass and low light levels.

Above - The Orangery which is apparently facing in the wrong direction as it faces due east and only sees the sun in the early morning.  In 1920 Lord Curzon wanted to formalise the garden and the Orangery was one of the buildings moved to what was considered a more appropriate place.

It is thought that the Hexagon Temple or Summer House built c1800 was moved at the same time.

The bridge at Kedleston was designed by Robert Adam was built in 1770/71 and is Grade I listed.

Above is a collage of just a few photos taken of the outside of All Saint's church.  It is a redundant Anglican church and like the bridge is Grade I listed.

I loved these quirky willow animals and chalk board signs.

I'm afraid there are no photos of any kitchen or servants quarters, usually my favourite parts of any historic house or home, as the cafe is within the Hall and sited in the kitchen.  There is a huge range and spit and shelves full of copper and pewter dishes, pans etc.  I didn't take any photos as the cafe was very busy, by the time we got there the quiche and salad was sold out so we had jacket potatoes with salad instead.  

Hydrangeas and Wisteria growing on the front of the stable block.