Thursday 31 December 2020


 It’s the last day of 2020 and most people would agree that they will be glad to see the year go and will be looking for better things in the coming year. Somehow Christmas has come and gone which like for so many it was not quite what we had expected. 

I have been taking part each month in Eileen’s photo challenge, the subject for December being Christmas. My photos are limited but I thought I would use them to talk a little about our Christmas this year.

We normally, like most people have a series of Christmas activities that we do each December but this year was different. We had booked to go to Stourhead to see the Christmas lights with friends. Alas this was thwarted by North Somerset being positioned in tier 3 which meant that we could not travel to a tier 2 area for an event.

My only Christmas trip was therefore a walk around Tyntesfield grounds and gardens with a friend. The staff had made great efforts to decorate the grounds.

This little peep though the window gave an insight into what could have been if the house could have been open. I watched two TV programmes following two stately homes prepare for Christmas. The first Highclere House decorated the grounds and house. They were fortunate enough to be placed in tier 2 so were  able to open to the public. The second was Chatsworth House who also prepared house and grounds. They were unfortunate enough to be in a tier 3 so the public didn’t get a chance to see their 

It was closer to Christmas that we realised that our plans were going to change. The government announcement of the changes in Christmas arrangements and the plunging of all of Wales into a tier 4 type status dashed our hopes of younger daughter making it home for Christmas. Fortunately we were able to get a large parcel of gifts to her by post including a cake that I had made her just in case.

Our stress increased as we prepared for Christmas when Farmer Daughter went for a COViD test due to cold symptoms but after a very anxious 24 hours a negative result put us all at ease again. Well kind of at ease. I still had anxieties about my mum coming to join us. This cartoon I saw on the internet summed up the issues nicely.

Somehow we got to Christmas morning. The day promised to be bright, ideal for opening windows!

My mum was put to work on a few last minute jobs!

Amazingly my Christmas pud came out of the bowl whole so no reconstruction was necessary!

It was a quiet Christmas but restful in the end. We were grateful for each other and the available technology to speak to others who would normally be with us.
Here are a few of my Christmas tree baubles to finish.
Memories of past travels.

A gift from a blogger.

A bargain in the sales.

A previous gift from my Great nephew.

So wishing you all the best and a happy New Year.

Saturday 5 December 2020

5 in 5 On the Beach

 This opportunity to join in with Sandie’s 5 in 5 only came at the last minute. Farmer Daughter asked me to join her for a walk this afternoon. We had a very chilly  walk out on Brean Down which juts out into Bristol Channel and divides Weston Super Mare from Brean. We then had a quick wander on the beach to give Poppy a good run around. She had mainly been on a lead on the walk because of the steep cliff drops.

The sun was just setting so I had just time for a few photos for December’s 5 in 5. For some strange reason there were very few people around!

1. A panorama showing Brean Down.

2. Plenty of dog smells  to investigate .

3. Posing for a snapshot.

4. Beautiful sky.

5. A small number of the endless holiday homes.

We then retreated to the car for a very welcome hot chocolate that Farmer Daughter had been thoughtful to bring.

Sunday 29 November 2020


 Today I am joining Eileen in her monthly photo hunt. The theme for November was Tools. My photos are mainly taken without leaving the farm. The first are indeed around the garden where it is not uncommon for tools to be left where they were last used.

Similarly around the stables there is an air of half used tools.

Some tools have seen better days.

Men at work.

Then a visit to the workshop.


Finally a step back in time. These Bronze Age tools were found in one of our fields some years ago.

And this series of engravings we spotted on our walk were on the wall of a house in Stanton Prior. The middle symbol is I assume the Cornish shield which is generally represented on the Duchy of Cornwall emblem. What the implements are it is hard to say.

Saturday 28 November 2020

Birthday Walk

 Firstly thank you to those of you that have been been kind enough to send me birthday greetings. I had a lovely lockdown birthday which was certainly different. Birthdays on a farm always take second place to any work and at 7am a concrete mixer lorry arrived to fill some groundwork being done around the stables. I wasn’t involved in the spreading but Farmer Husband and Daughter were so there was a slight delay to the traditional croissant breakfast and present opening. Younger Daughter is still ‘Locked down’ in Swansea so she was only able to join us by FaceTime. I suspect it will be Christmas before we see her as we have been placed in a Tier 3 area.

It should also have been my Walk and Talk day but sadly that is out of the question due to lockdown. I did however manage a lovely walk with my sister. It was a cold foggy day but well wrapped up we set out from the village of Newton St Loe near Bath. The walk started on the edge of the Bath Spa University campus which is situated on the site of a Stately home called Newton Park. The grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th Century. This included two lakes and it was the lower one of these that we walked along the edge of.

You can just see some of the student hall of residences through the mist. What a lovely outlook they have.

This is also a popular fishing spot for those with a permit. There was one keen fisherman camped up for the day complete with his gas stove and kettle. Judging by the temperature he was going to need those hot drinks.

The walk followed upstream and we were fascinated to spot this fossil in the stream. We actually spotted quite a few in garden and house walls.

We had a somewhat muddy way through several fields.

All of this land is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall which is of course administered by Prince Charles. The estate was acquired by the Duchy in 1940. This stone barn looked particularly atmospheric in the mist.

The walk remained chilly but we did see a little sunshine.

Although we still had misty views back towards the hamlet of Stanton Prior.

There was also a wonderful display of spindle berries along the way.

Our route returned through the grounds of the university with glimpses of the top lake and parts of the original Newton Park estate.

It was then a rapid and chilly walk back to the start. We were of course unable to have lunch out but we went for the next best thing which was a takeaway from the farm shop ate in our adjoining cars with the doors between us open! Oh what strange days.