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.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A Yellow Five for Friday

As it is Friday again - they come around so quickly - I've found five yellow things from in and around the garden.

 1.  Buttercups spread across the lawn. They sparkled in the early morning sunshine.

2.  Courgette flower in the green house.  Courgettes and tomatoes always seem to do so well in there.

3.  Dragonfly on a wild garlic leaf.  Chaser or darter? Male or female? I've no idea but it was a beautiful creature.

4.  Flag Iris in the pond, with alchemilla mollis or lady's mantle around the edge of the pond.  The pond was so low after the last few dry days that we had to top it a little.

5. The yellow rose bush is always the first to flower.  It was in the garden when we moved here.  It used to be very close to the back gate but had to be moved because I kept catching clothing on it - especially soft summer skirts - as I went through.  It has been at the top of the garden for over ten years now and appears to be just as happy there.

Friday, May 17, 2019

It's Friday

I thought as it was Friday I'd look back at five things that have made me smile over the last few days.

 1.  Young water birds.  The black swans at Trentham Gardens have cygnets.  Meanwhile at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust headquarters at their Wolseley Nature Reserve we saw a moorhen with a chick, mallard ducklings, Canada goose goslings and a nest too, full of eggs,  mother goose moved off the nest to stretch her legs and then went back to sit on her eggs.

2.  The Tamarisk Tree in the middle of the garden has gone from dark pink to light pink almost overnight.

 This coupled with all the pink and mauve aquilegias has made the garden take on a pink hue.  I love the tree at this time of year.

3.  A visit to the library and three lovely books to read.  I'd read about 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' in several places so when I spotted the book on the recommended book shelf I picked it up.  The other books I'd had on reserve and both arrived together.  I really enjoyed the first Roz Watkins book I read earlier this year so I was pleased to find her second one again set in the Peak District with the same rather accident prone detective DI Meg Dalton.  I also enjoyed reading Ali Smith's books 'Autumn' and 'Winter' so I'm looking forward to the third one, 'Spring'.

4.  Yesterday we met with three friends from Nottingham, one of whom was celebrating a birthday, at Thornbridge Hall in DerbyshireWe had lunch in the Carriage House cafe and then a leisurely stroll around the gardens.

I didn't take a lot of photos as we were all busy chatting and taking everything in, enjoying the views of the Derbyshire countryside and each other's company.  I'm hoping to borrow a few of Paul's photos to add to mine so that I can write a post about the visit later next week.

5.  Last week we met with my second cousin and his wife in Bakewell, Derbyshire.  It was a damp, cool and rainy day.  We visited the Old House Museum and then drove out to the village of Great Longstone.  After lunch in a pub in the centre of the village we visited the church. 
We were looking around in the subdued light when a lovely lady arrived to do the flowers.  She switched on all the lights for us and told us a bit about the church and pointed out the main features of interest.
Again I didn't take many photos but somehow the rain added to the beauty of the church building and the lovely cottages and gardens in the village. 

I'll be back in a few days with a post about Thornbridge Hall.

Monday, May 13, 2019

In the Garden

  After the much needed rain the garden now needs some warmer weather, perhaps  a little more sunshine and it seems that we are going to get that over the next few days. 

 The sparrows, goldfinches, blackbirds and robins are in a feeding frenzy at the moment flitting backwards and forwards between the feeders and the hedge, cramming their beaks with as many nibbles and sunflower hearts as they can. 

Squirrels with ragged tails have been running around the garden looking harrased and the female fox seeks peace and quiet in the garden away from her cubs.
She could see me with my camera up in the bedroom window.

Yesterday and today we have been able to get into the garden, it has been lovely in the sunshine just to potter.  Below are some of the flowers and plants I spotted as I went around the garden weeding here and there - mostly dandelions that had gone to seed.  We'd left the bright yellow flowers as long as possible for the bees.

Lily of the Valley


Aquilegia, also known as Granny's Bonnet.

Clematis Montana

Broad Beans

Wild Garlic or Ramsons




Perennial Cornflower

Have you been spending time in the garden over the last few day?

Saturday, May 04, 2019

At Beauvale Priory

There isn't actually much left of the priory buildings
but there is a lot of history to discover about this place.

The remains of  Beauvale Priory are in the Nottinghamshire countryside close to the town of Eastwood.

The Priory was founded by Nicholas de Cantilupe in 1343.  It was one of only nine priories built in the country which were dedicated to the Carthusian Order.  
Here generations of monks lived quietly and peacefully for two hundred years before the Dissolution of the Monasteries when they refused to sign the Oath of Supremacy which acknowledged King Henry VIII as head of the church in England.

Sir Nicholas de Cantilupe had the land raised and a platform built in preparation for the building of a church and accommodation for the first monks to reside there.

The remaining parts of the building appear to be made up of local sandstone and Derbyshire grit stone.

Apparently Carthusian churches were very plain inside usually with no aisles or ornamentation.  Above part of the church and the Prior's House.

The orchard to the side of the Prior's House is the site of the cloisters.

Beauvale was never a rich Priory as the Carthusian beliefs were based on the ideals of its founder St Bruno who believed that each Priory had to be self sufficient and not dependant on funding from other sources. 

Henry VIII couldn't have gained much from the closure of this Priory, just the stone and the land.

The stone above which is placed where the high alter would have been in the priory church commemorates two local martyrs John Houghton and Robert Lawrence, who as Priors of Beauvale refused to sign the Oath of Supremacy at the start of the Reformation and were therefore sentenced to death
Local author D H Lawrence, born in nearby Eastwood, wrote a few times about Beauvale in his novels and short stories. 
He always referred to it as The Abbey.

This fine fellow was waiting to greet us on our arrival,

He kept his beady eye on us as we walked by him towards the ruins.

There is a splendid tea room in the gatehouse at Beauvale but it was full when we arrived and any empty tables had been reserved.  Had it been a finer day there was plenty of outside seating but as you can see from the rain splashes on my camera in the photo below it wasn't the brightest of days so we moved on.

This was our first visit to Beauvale Priory although
we have visited this area of Nottinghamshire quite often as ancestors on my mother's side came from nearby Eastwood, Kimberley and Awsworth.  Her surname was quite common to this area and was used by D. H.Lawrence in his book 'Sons and Lovers'.