Friday, May 29, 2020


Lately I've been

1. Walking

We've got into a walking routine over the last couple of weeks.  At around 9.30a.m. we collect the dog from next door following social distancing rules. We have a good system worked out. We've been walking him most mornings since he lost one of his owners in April and the other owner who has MS broke an ankle.  We take him as early as we can before it gets really hot as his fur is getting longer and thicker and there is no chance at the moment for him to be groomed.  We get back usually an hour later put the chairs under the gazebo and have morning coffee

2. Sitting

in the garden for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea is lovely at the moment now it is warm enough.  It's good to sit out there reading too as well as watching the wildlife.

3. Baking

I finally got around to trying the plain flour and baking powder together to make a sponge mix although we do now have a bag of self-raising flour.  I used half to make an Eve's pudding with some apples that needed using and with the mixture left I made a few little fairy buns.  Both tasted fine and rose well.  The buns were treated to a little spoonful of white icing on the top.

4. Reading
 I've been reading books either on my Kindle or my ipad.   The Kindle books are purchased of course and the ipad ones are borrowed from the local library.

 Caro Ramsay's books are set in Glasgow and feature detectives Anderson and Costello.  I've read four so far and enjoyed them even though I'm sure I've read them out of order.

 I'm enjoying these books too.  Set on the Scilly Isles (or should it be the Isles of Scilly?) they are wonderfully descriptive of the islands both past and present. I like the detective Ben Kitto although he does seem to get beaten up quite a lot. I remember visting one of the islands, St Mary's, many years ago, I'd probably be in my early teens.   We caught a boat from Penzance, I remember it took some time to get there.  We then boarded a small bus and were taken around the island.  I remember the driver was keen to point out the bungalow owned by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

I always enjoy watching and reading anything by Lucy Worsley.  I recently enjoyed her book about Jane Austen and am now reading about the early life of Queen Victoria.

5. Watching
There have been some interesting programmes on televison the last couple of weeks.  We've enjoyed programmes about the Chelsea Flower Show presented by Monty Don and Joe Swift from their gardens and this week Springwatch again presented from various areas very close to the presenters' homes.  I'm really enjoying this format and it was a great joy to see Mark from Fox 'n the City featured again.  I've been following him on Facebook for about three years now and his films and photos of the foxes in his London garden are always a delight.  I'm also enjoying A House Through Time which started this week.  I watched the last two series and this one is as fascinating.  There have been repeats of Vienna Blood which I watched and enjoyed last year then read the books and I'm looking forward to the next and last of the Canadian series Cardinal starting next week.

Whilst Paul was flying his Tiger Moth from Old Warden Aerodrome to the Fenland Airfield, all on his flight simulator of course, I watched an enchanting film called The One Hundred Foot Journey. A French setting, glorious food, wonderful actors and a happy ending.  What more could you want to divert you for a while in these troubled times?

Well, that was my five for this Friday. I hope you all have a good weekend.

Sunday, May 24, 2020


Today in the Garden and on a Walk

Whilst walking across Berryhill Fields and back via Fenpark early this morning we spotted swallows, a skylark, loads of crows, two lovely foals in the fields, elderflower in bud also comfrey and foxgloves flowering.  I have no photos to show you as it was drizzling slightly I didn't take a camera.  I should have put the little one in the pocket of my waterproof jacket as by the time we were halfway along the walk the weather had dried up.

I've done some weeding still too much grass amongst the flowers which I am unable to pull out as it hurts both knuckles and elbow. Brambles are growing everywhere, Crocosimia is shooting up through the middle of the sedum and what I think is Feverfew is growing around and choking the white flowered shrub which we call 'the plant we bought at Clumber Park' because we can't remember what it is called.  All seems such a mess at the moment.  I did cut down lots of Aqilegia that had gone to seed and pulled out some forget-me-nots which were also going to seed.   I filled the bird baths with water and rescued a few things that had blown over in the strong wind we had yesterday.

I think it is Sunday though I'm never sure.

Photos from the garden

The plant we call 'the one we bought at Clumber Park'

A cutting we took of the plant above last year is growing well.

 Bistort surrounded by Forget-me-Not and Red Sorrel

Golden Hop





Teasel - I was going to pull it out but apparently the Goldfinches love it.  As we have lots of those visit I'm leaving it.

 Sicillian Lemon Garlic


Hawkweed, both common and orange in the grass at the side of the front path.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Again

Friday comes around so quickly doesn't it? It has been very warm for the last few days, gardening has been done, walks have been taken, sitting in the garden reading in the afternoons has been enjoyed. Not much rain over night but it is very, very windy today which I'm not very keen on. It's howling around the house as it does during a late Autumn gale.

Anyway, as its Friday here are five photos from our visit last June to Beamish Museum in County Durham. I thought I'd just quickly show you five modes of transport.

Tram - in the good old days before social distancing became so necessary.

Cycle - Penny Farthing or Ordinary
Bus - we took a ride on this bus as well as the tram above.
 Horse and Cart

Steam Train - sorry its a bit fuzzy! We took a ride on this train too and imagined how the first people to ride on them must have felt - fear, danger, excitment? A glimpse into the future?

I worry about Museums (and Libraries, Art Galleries and Theatres too).  How will they cope in the future?  How are they coping now? Many are reliant on visitor numbers and entrance fees.  Sales in shops and cafes. Sales of tickets for special events and exhibitions. Funding and support from overstretched local councils.  I worked in Museums for over twenty years so have a personal interest.  They have had ups and downs over the years let's hope they can survive.  I look forward to being able to visit them again as they are good for both mind and soul.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Flags are Out

I love it when the Yellow Flag Irises are in flower around the pond.

They are so bright and cheerful. 

Meanwhile on our local walk yesterday on Berryhill Fields the May was definitely out.

Hawthorne Blossom

I'm running out of things to say so I'm going to search the archives and perhaps revisit some places I've  taken you to before.  I hope that will be okay. Stay safe everyone.

Friday, May 15, 2020

It's Friday Again

A quick five for Friday, things that have cheered and made me smile.

1. In the post

Tea - a delivery of loose leaf tea from the Loose Leaf Tea Company. there are both fruit teas and English Breakfast tea.


Flour - a delivery of bread flour from Shipton Mill. Still no self-raising flour to be had so we ordered  three small sachets of baking powder and plain flour.
 A beautiful card - It was a nice surprise to receive the wonderful handmade card above from a lovely blogging friend Simone at Linden Grove.  How kind and thoughtful of her to send it.  I smile  every time I look at it. Thank you Simone

 2. Stamps

On the envelope of the card was a lovely stamp with lines from a poem by  John Clare.  It's from a series of stamps featuring the Romantic poets.  Poets like, Keats, Shelley, Byron and Wordsworth.  Here is a link to some of the others in the set.

I'm not a stamp collector but I do have a few sets of stamps that I've collected over many years. I might be tempted to add the Romantic Poets set to them.

3.  Evening Visitors

Dog Fox

Male Badger




4. Mass Observation

On Tuesday I took part in the Mass Observation Archive.  I kept notes of all that happened that day and wrote a diary about the happenings and also about my thoughts and feelings about the virus and the lockdown and how it was affecting us.This year is the 10th Anniversary of the 12th May Diary Project.  The Mass Observation Project was started in 1937 when people were asked to record everything they did for the whole day on the day of King George VI's Coronation.

5. Garden Birds

Male Blackbird - they sing so sweetly in the mornings and late afternoons.

Robin - I haven't seen any young ones as yet.

Great Tit - there seem to be a lot of them around this year, I love their distinct markings.

Well I said at the beginning of this post that it would be a quick five but it has taken a lot longer than I thought and is a lot longer than I expected.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Last Few Days

Both Friday and Saturday were lovely days dry, sunny and warm enough to sit outside. On Friday I made a very small Victoria Sponge cake as I'm now down to my last quarter bag of self raising flour.  We sat outside in the afternoon and had tea and cake in the garden as a treat.  We could hear people enjoying their gardens across the walls, fences and hedges and the smell of cooking wafted in the air.  Barbeques were certainly being put to good use.

I sat out later in the evening and saw the most amazing thing.  I was under the canopy looking at the pond when suddenly something silvery and shimmering in  the sunlight rose up into the air from amongst the flag irises.  It flew straight towards me and then into the top of the canopy where it rested for a few seconds before flying off over the hedge.  It was a dragonfly which had a shorter but wider body in a dark colour.  I looked into the middle of the irises and saw where it had emerged from.

Saturday was another lovely day, I did a bit of gardening in the morning in the front garden, taking out a few weeds. 

 Wood Avens has appeared here now.  It's hard to spot as it looks very similar to the geums until the flower appears.  I've given up trying to take it all out and grudgingly accepted it here and there but the trouble is it's very invasive and springs up everywhere.

 Wood Avens

 Geum Rivale is also known as Water Avens so it does seem there is a connection between the two plants.  A few years ago we were given a big clump of the Geum Rivale by a friend who lives in mid Wales and who is a keen gardener.  It has spread quite a lot, been split and planted in quite a few places across the garden.  It seems to like our soil here.

 The peony flowers have opened up on the front but are still in tight buds in the back garden.

London Pride
Later that day I had my first experience of Zoom as we chatted to friends in Nottingham for over an hour.  It was great fun and seemed an easy and delightful thing to do.  In the evening we watched the film The Darkest Hour.

Today has been colder and wetter so I've been inside ironing, reading and making a plum and apple crumble for tea.  I forgot to take a photo it was delicious and we still have some left for tomorrow.

Photos taken from the bedroom window this evening.  The vixen visited earlier and I was hoping to spot her again in the daylight.  The Tamarisk tree has taken on a lovely pink hue.

Meanwhile here is a photo from Fox Cam or is it Badger Cam? 

How was your weekend?