Monday 30 April 2018

Stopping for a Cuppa

Every now and then we have to make a trip to Mole Valley Farmers for a bit of a farm supply stock up . This time we needed lamb milk powder and boots for both of us. It's a bit of a drive to get to whichever store we choose either to Bridgewater or Frome. This time we chose Frome because it's a more scenic drive and also I had in mind a good tea stop on our return journey.
 A short detour onto a smaller road took us to the village of Mells. You make recall that I have been here a couple of times before and have written posts on the Walled Garden.

It is a kind of a mix between a tea rooms and a small nursery of mainly perennial plants. It changed hands last year and the new owners are really still finding their feet.

The garden actually seems smaller each time I go but is still an appealing place to visit. I like the informality of the planting and layout although it needs constant attention to ensure that more vigorous shrubs don't win the battle.

There are lots of lovely little features including the central pond and dovecote.

There are places to sit with your tea or meal all round the garden which makes for energetic work for the staff.

Every corner brings suprises.

Such as these planted wheelbarrows.

Highlights at the moment include some very ancient fruit trees that are in full blossom.

The age of these trees indicate as do the walls actually how old this walled garden is which has monastic origins and originally included a rectory cottage. It has never been associated with any particular large  house or manor.

The tulips were also in full flower.

There were some varieties that I had not seen before before and were really quite unusual.

We did get our cuppa and a piece of cake. Sometime we must try out their home made pizzas cooked in their wood fired ovens.

Sunday 29 April 2018

Tulip Time

The tulips are now all coming into flower. Mum has quite a variety growing on her balcony.

The shape, colour and design varies a lot.

Saturday 28 April 2018

Walking in the Rain

It was the day for our monthly walk with my walking group yesterday. The forecast was for steady and unrelenting rain. It wasn't far wrong! We therefore changed our venue from muddy fields and woods to something a little drier underfoot.
We met in a cafe on the sea front near the pier in Clevedon for a leisurely coffee before we braved the elements. Clevedon is a small town on the Bristol Channel. It is hard to believe it was once a popular Victorian seaside holiday resort! The  grade 1 listed Victorian pier has been restored in more recent years. It is a pleasant stroll to the end on a sunny day but wasn't on our agenda yesterday.

We went for a brisk walk along the front past the Marine Lake which consists of the boating pool and old tidal swimming pool. I recalled a Sunday School outing to Clevedon when we all swam in the rather ghastly green water in the pool. Several of us had either septic grazes or gastroenteritis as a result!
There was no swimming for us yesterday so we then climbed up the coastal path past the lookout which is reputed to be where an eye was kept for the sugar boats arriving. 

The Bristol Channel is very tidal and at low tide vast areas of mud flats are exposed. They are a great location for waterfowl and despite the grotty weather the patterns of mud , seaweed and rock are fascinating to see. 

It also reveals the sand (or mud!) banks that when covered can be such a danger to boats.

You can see what a dull grey day it was. I had to keep my camera inside my coat to protect it from the rain. It came out occasionally to capture my co walkers being as nutty as usual on the cliff top.

We have all known each other for many many years and worked together as paediatric nurses. I am sure you can see what a mad lot we were!

Our walk also took us along Poets Walk and past St Andrew's Church. The walk is so called because it is reputed to have inspired Coleridge, Tennyson and Thackeray. 

Hopefully they all enjoyed better weather than we did. We returned the way we had come and retreated back to the cafe for lunch. Let's hope for better weather next month.

Friday 27 April 2018

A Very Special Talk

One of the bookshops in Bath called Topping and Company hosts quite a lot of book events. Since I attended one of these functions I have been on their mailing list. Imagine my delight when I was emailed with details of a talk by Mary Berry and the chance of early bird tickets. I decided to buy two tickets and then find someone to go with me. This paid off because my friend Allyson and I had front row seats!

Mary Berry comes from Bath so it was the obvious place for her to be giving a talk. She talked about her recent TV series Classic and the subsequent book. She obviously talked about cooking, her family and lots more. She was natural, humorous and easy to listen to. We also heard a little about a new TV cooking competition which starts next Thursday....

The entrance fee was a book voucher redeemable against part of the price of her book so of course we had just had to buy one each.

Especially as they are signed copies.

Thursday 26 April 2018

Take Three Thursday: What's in the Woods Today

Today I am joining Mary-Lou with her Take Three Thursday where we show three photos which reflect what we have noticed this week.
A few days ago I went for a walk in the woods to see how the bluebells were coming on. They are not out yet but there were some other things to see. 
There was a massive patch of violets in one of the clearings.

The shape of the root of this tree always makes me smile. It looks like it has a character all of its own.You can also see where the animals rub against it by the red staining from the mud.

The blackthorn is out and looks particularly pretty with the sun behind it.

There is something different to see every week at the moment.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Help in the Kitchen

Today I was looking after The Boy again. I was amused in the playground when I went to pick him up. I had never seen a scooter pod before.

 This week he helped me put some gingerbread dough balls onto a baking tray.

He then made a gingerbread man with raisins for features.

He looked a little different when he came out of the oven.

I did suggest that we must be careful that the gingerbread man didn't run away but he didn't appear to be familiar with that story! The gingerbread man went home in a bag to share with his family.

Monday 23 April 2018

A Farm Tour

Yesterday mum came over for lunch then in the late afternoon Farmer Daughter offered to take mum out with her to check the sheep. Mum was initially a little reluctant but off she went travelling in style.

It didn't take Sky long to assert herself and move into the seats from the back.

The views are fabulous from this particular field. They then went for a bit of a ride round to see the primroses  and returned feeling a little chilly!
Photos courtesy of Farmer Daughter.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Making the Most of Late Afternoon Sunshine

Friday started very misty here but when the sun finally broke through it was a lovely day. It was quite late in the afternoon by the time I went out for a walk. I nearly didn't bother to pick up my camera. The bulbs at the top gate looked beautiful with the sun behind them.

The daffodils were almost translucent.

 The tulips psychedelic.

The hedgerows are full of blackthorn which again catches the eye with the sun behind.

Saturday 21 April 2018

Old and New

One aspect that I really notice when I Tavel to London is the changing skyline contrasting old with new. I lived in London for 6 years as a student nurse and as a newly qualified nurse in the early 1980's. Back then there were a few tall modern buildings such as The Post Office Tower as it was known then which towered above our nurses' home, Centrepoint and Guy's Tower where I worked for a year and a half on the 10th floor. Nowadays the skyline looks different everytime I visit. 
 On our visit last week we travelled by river bus from Embankment which gave us a grand view of the London Eye.

It was a cold dull day which made everything grey. We could however clearly see Big Ben shrouded in scaffolding. 

Whilst at the tower itself the mixture of old and new is evident from the battlements.

It is the Shard that looms dramatically above the oldest of the tower buildings giving an extraordinary mix of modern and ancient.


It certainly can't be easy when filming any period films.

Friday 20 April 2018

Another Primrose Hill

When we were in my mum's garden yesterday she commented that she has her very own Primrose  Hill. The lawn at the side of the house has each year an increasing number of primroses and other Spring flowers.

The scent of them hit me as I rounded the corner.

This is a grass level view.

There are quite a few pink primroses.

Some beautiful violets.

There is also the occasional oxlip.

They were all looking beautiful in the sunshine.