Tuesday 30 October 2018

A Sunny Start

Sunday morning gave us all an extra hour in bed unless of course you were a night shift worker like the niece who is a nurse and then the night was an hour longer! Our clocks have 'fallen' back and we have dark evenings ahead of us.
The temperatures have dropped dramatically but fortunately it was lovely and sunny. I took Poppy for a walk mid morning in between cooking Sunday lunch. Everywhere had a crisp autumnal feel. Many of the leaves are now on the ground and were good and crunchy underfoot.

Some trees are still looking colourful.

We took one of my favourite short routes.

Some of the old ewes are in the field with the lambs. The latter are of course pretty big now and have been separate from their mums since August. The old ewes are very friendly because they are used to following a bag of food. They come right up when you walk through the field. This is not ideal when you have a dog because they have a tendency to butt when there is a dog around. Luckily Poppy is pretty good off the lead amongst them and tends to wander nonchalantly through them.

The hens are another matter. She is still strictly on a lead when walking through them.

The horses were all out grazing in the sunshine enjoying their last few days of being outside all the time if their owners so wish. 

Around the second week of November we will start restricting the horses to being out only during the day. When the weather turns very wet they will have to spend days entirely in their stables apart from when their owners are exercising them.

There is no doubt that winter is on it's way.

Monday 29 October 2018

Coffee with one Sugar Please!

I am having to make sure the sugar bowl is replenished regularly at the moment and the biscuit and cake tin. Did I mention that we have builders working here at the moment? It's time to do some work on the main farmhouse and they have started with the roof.

They are gradually redoing the whole roof and fitting new windows which is going take a few weeks.

So as you can imagine there are a few teas and coffees to be made. It's also an excuse to make cookies and cakes to keep the roofers' energy levels up. 

This is the beginning of a bigger plan. More will be revealed in due course.

Saturday 27 October 2018

A Multitude of Balloons

One of the scarecrow entries is placed on the corner of a side road that I regularly pass. The other day I took a few moments to stop and photograph it. There is actually not a scarecrow in sight. This one is more of a tableau.

If you haven't already guessed it's all about ballooning.

Hot air balloons are a big thing around here. Cameron Balloons who produce a lot of them are based in Bristol. You can stand in this basket and get a feel of what it might be like.

All the balloons are beautifully made and decorated. 

They come in all shapes and sizes.

It is like a mini balloon fiesta.

Which is your favourite?

Friday 26 October 2018

The Chocolate Connection

The walk with my walking group this month was along a stretch of the River Avon close to Keynsham. This small town between Bath and Bristol is probably best known for being the home of the Sommerdale Cadburys / Frys factory. It was relocated here from the Frys factory in central Bristol and was originally the factory where such products as Fry's Turkish Delight were made and then in time it was completely taken over by Cadbury. The red building is an iconic landmark that can be seen from a great distance.

A takeover by Kraft resulted in the factory being closed much to the dismay of many local people. The site had been a big part of many people's lives with extensive social facilities situated around the factory originally set up by the Quaker owners.
It has now been redeveloped as luxury housing and a retirement village called The Cadbury Quarter.

Our walk took us along the opposite river bank but we also caught glimpses several times during the walk.

Our walk then took us through the village of Hanham skirting the entrance to Hanham Court which has gardens that are open periodically to the public.

The boundary of the gardens incorporates an old tythe barn. 

I surprisingly didn't recognise this despite having visited a few years ago. It was only when I looked at my photos that I realised where we had been.

Our route then took us up onto a nearby hill which gave us a 360 panoramic view including looking back down to the roof of Hanham court.

Another notable building we passed was the old mill at Willsbridge.

It was then back along the river in the Autumn sunshine.

We then finally met up with a short stretch of canal which had a number of narrow boats along it before heading to the pub for lunch.

Another lovely walk completed.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Take Three Thursday: A Taster of Scarecrows

Thursday has trotted round again and it's time again to join Mary Lou at Patio Postcards with her meme Take Three Thursday. The idea is to take and post three photos with a theme of something you have noticed this week.
 Many of you will know that it is scarecrow time around here in aid of a local charity called A Siblings Wish. The theme this year being Wonders of the World. The categories are divided up this year and these are three examples of some of them.

1. Place.
Have you spotted the observer in this one?

2. Phenomenon 
You will probably find the answer to this more tricky. I have the advantage of a sheet of possible answers!

3. Creature.
I would go so far to say that everyone has a soft spot for these animals.

I hope to get round some more this weekend with my camera. Each scarecrow has a number and as I said is in a category. The idea is that you match the correct number scarecrow  to the list of names in the entry form. There are over 80 to find.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Changing Seasons

The mornings are darker, the evenings are drawing in and the clocks fall back this weekend. All sure signs that summer is behind us. We have been lucky with the weather so far with some beautiful sunny days to appreciate the changing colours.

Many of the leaves have now turned on the trees.

Also in the plants.

The warm damp atmosphere has encouraged a lot of fungi making curious patterns at the base of the trees.

While a few last blackberries cling to the brambles.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

The Rural Buidings

I am finally taking you back to see the rest of the photos that I took on our visit to St Fagan's Museum near Cardiff. It is part of the Museum of Wales and depicts rural Welsh life through the ages. Many of the buildings have been brought from across Wales and then rebuilt. It is possible to walk around and also enter most of the buildings. Each one has a guide present to tell you more about the property.
 The first that we visited was Kennixton Farmhouse from the Gower. It has been added to several times but was originally built in the 1610 and added to in the 1680s and around 1750. The colour was supposed to ward off evil spirits as was the rowan tree in the garden. Sadly this has now died. The guide in this house was busy carving remarkable little items such as spoons from wood.

Just down the lane is this pigsty.

There are several water mills and this one was to power the Melin Bompren Mill. We saw this one working but were too late to see the wheat being milled. It is possible to buy the flour.

The toll house is typical of many seen around Britain. It was shaped to give the best view up and down the roads to spot approaching transport. There were often gates as seen here which were opened once the appropriate toll was paid. There were different charges for different modes of transport and the these tolls set up by the upper classes were understandably very unpopular. This particular toll house originated from Aberystwyth.

This next cottage would have been a farm labourers cottage and is built from 'clom' this is basically clay or mud mixed with straw and small stones. The furniture was basic and is furnished as it would have been in the 18th Century. The sleeping area was,simply part of the living room. Many of these cottages have a fire going in them which it is the duty of the guide to light each morning.

This high roof is the inside of a cockpit until the popular sport of cock fighting was banned in 1849. It was situated on the premises of an inn and it is far bigger than many houses of the time.

Cilewent farmhouse from Powys is another example of a house that has been added to. It was originally built in 1470 as a timber framed house and then in 1734 it was rebuilt in stone. It is known as a longhouse where there was central corridor with cattle off on one side and the humans on the other! It is set out to represent around 1750 and is very dark inside. I imagine it would also have been very smelly!

Llwyn-yr-eos Farmhouse and farm buildings is in it's original position. It was a tenanted farm on the Plymouth estate and was purchased in 1981. The house is shown as it would have been in the 1930s and is particularly fascinating to see. 

On the right is a farm labourers house next to the barns. 

The farm is till worked and a sow was busy nurturing her piglets in one of the outbuildings.

Tuesday 16 October 2018


I mentioned the other day that it is scarecrow time around here again. On Sunday I took my mum in the car for a whistle top tour around some of the ones in the village. We both agreed that there was one that had been given a great deal of thought and work.
This tableau depicts the county of Somerset and illustrates cleverly why it should be considered as one of the wonders of the world (this year's theme). Each detail symbolises an aspect of Somerset.

Starting on the left there is the Somerset born and bred band The Wurzels who have also played at the legendary pop festival Glastonbury (also in the county). Laid on the bales at the front is a stream of bunting with the Welsh flag on which I assume depicts the border with Wales across the Bristol Channel.

Then there is the Bishop of Bath and Wells next to the Witch of Wookey Hole with an underwater diver exploring the deeper parts of the caves. The blue table has apples and cider including a flagon of scrumpy.

Looking at the detail have you spotted the bath and small Roman by the Bath signpost? The seaside is  also depicted with various beach paraphernalia.

Some mini farm animals are included and a fisherman for the two large lakes.

I love these little touches. A cricket bat for Taunton and what else but a boot for Wellington! You can also see a bag of Cheddar strawberries on the top left.

Other produce is not forgotten.

Then there is of course the tourist bureau.

I do hope she has won some prizes for this one because her ingenious hard work is very evident. Watch this space and I will show you some more.