Most of my photos look better enlarged - just click on the photo to do this

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Pitter patter!

Listen to the rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter of the rain (goin' drip drop drip drop)
Pitter patter, pitter patter, pitter patter (goin' drip drop drip drop)
Pitter patter oooo

as sung by the Beach Boys just about sums up today's weather.

No coffee in the garden this morning ....

....but doesn't it all look green?

It's wonderful to hear the pattering on the skylight and to see the rain drops chasing each other down the window panes - yes I know - I love the sunshine as much as the next man (or woman of course let's be politically correct here!) but after so many days of wall to wall sunshine a little rain is more than welcome. It smells beautiful out there and I can almost hear the plants breathing a sigh of relief as they drink in the life enhancing moisture!

Yesterday I went to check out that Graden Centre and Craft shop I mentioned in the chicken sweaters post - it was huge and really interesting. The craft shop although small had more wonderful books on assorted crafts than I have seen anywhere apart from at an exhibition and the garden centre had just about everything one could wish for in a garden from plants, trees and shrubs to furniture, ornaments and sheds etc. Plus a gift shop selling books, household linens and so on and also a clothes department We had lunch in their cafe sitting outside in the lovely sunshine (good job we went yesterday and didn't leave it till today!) In all my excitement I forgot to check out the chicken sweater situation but I gather they are still collecting them!

After lunch we set off down this narrow lane - good job nobody was coming the other way!

to another nursery in complete contrast to Monkton Elm - this time situated in an old walled garden where the staff were passionate about the plants and very knowledgeable. The views were amazing and the pay point housed in an old potting shed strewn with papers, reference books, flowerpots and lengths of string and bizarrely a hand made bow . When I asked if it was for shooting annoying customers and where was the arrow to go with it the chap laughed and said the arrow was in the annoying customer!

View from the car park!

Wouldn't you love a walled garden like this? Maybe not it was quite large! We came away with an apple tree and some hedging plants well pleased with our day out. Today is a domestic day - indoor games methinks it will have to be!

I have been nominated by Su over at Living on the Edge for a couple of awards.

Thank you Su and I am happy that I have been inspiring enough to encourage you to join the wonderful community of bloggers! I have no idea how to put the awards on my side bar nor how to link them to your blog - sorry! I will also pass on the idea of detailing 7 things about myself and passing them on to more bloggers if you don't mind - wouldn't know who to choose from the long list of "friends" out there and don't want to tread on any toes and don't think anyone would be interested to know 7 things about me either! But thank you all the same.

PS In spite of the photos it was a sunny day yesterday and really warm - not sure why it looks so overcast!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Walking on Sunshine!

I'm walking on sunshine and don't it feel good

Yesterday I walked into town to meet a friend for coffee. Remember me showing you the daffodils along our main road here? Well obviously those have died back now but have been replaced with these lovely narcissi - we have had swathes of daffodils and narcissi along this road for months now.

I love this walk into town as although it is alongside the busy main road there is a wide verge with trees and if you concentrate on these and forget the traffic it is really beautiful.

I don't know if you can enlarge this one to enable you to see the detail on the petals - it's amazing and the squirly design make me want to copy it in some form of art!

Just look at that sky!

Blossom everywhere just now.
Isn't this colour amazing?

Even the humble dandelion looks so cheerful and sunny especially with the little blue forget me nots don't you think?

Boring old laurel isn't so boring covered with blossom each spire made up of hundreds of tiny flowers each with its complement of delicate hairy stamens.
Does anyone know what this is? I thought at first it was some kind of Kerria Japonica but my plant book doesn't mention a pink variety. Then I wondered if it might be some sort of blackberry but I haven't come up with anything remotely resembling it. Help!

In the afternoon we went to a nursery not far fom home and I thought this little arrangement worthy of a picture!

And inside the local resident who obviously thinks this is a self service shop!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Days out

I've had a couple of lovely days out this past week. The first was to meet up with a couple of friends in Salisbury. We were blessed with a fabulous day of sunshine and Salisbury looked at its best. We had a coffee sitting out in the sunshine at Fisherton Mill before wandering on to the Cathedral where we had lunch in the Refectory there.

This is the Close in front of the cathedral where many people were taking advantage of the sunshine.

The Cloisters - so peaceful

Noticed this plaque on the wall in the cloisters and thought "That's obviously where I've gone wrong"! Since I am neither quiet nor confident! I suspect my chattering is simply to cover my lack of confidence.

As we strolled towards the river after lunch we were assailed by a fabulous perfume and on turning a corner we came upon this bed of hyacinths!

We sat for a bit enjoying the perfume and watching some ducks with one tiny duckling.

It was a lovely day out and we wandered slowly back to the station, after having a cup of tea sitting in the sunshine outside a pretty cafe, for our separate trains which left within 2 minutes of each other - how well organised was that!

Then on Friday I went to the Stitching and Creative Crafts exhibition at the Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallet. As I drove along through stunning scenery with Classic fm playing on the radio I felt my heart sing (sounds naff but it's true). I obviously couldn't take any pictures for you as I was driving! But the countryside was England at its green and pleasant best. The distant views were delicately veiled in a faint blue mist which foretold of a beautiful day to come and the hedgerows were all soft green leaves and buds with here and there white blossom like so much washing spread out to dry! The banks had carpets of primroses and clumps of cowslips and the odd bluebell too. How I wished I could write poetry or paint or something as I so badly wanted to capture it all. If only it were possible to press Pause and to stop for a while right in this moment of springtime before it all rushes headlong into summer!

The show was a bit of a disappointment unless one was keen on card making - but I did enjoy my day out - I did a short workshop on machine embroidery - see my efforts above!

and learned how to make this little gift package which came with a couple of chocolates - I wonder where they went?!

And what I was most interested to discover was how to print digital images on fabric so I had booked a workshop where I produced this chap. It worked well and I have since washed the sample and find it is in fact colourfast so I am well pleased as for some years I have been wanting to incorporate my photos into my textile work but didn't like the horrible rubbery T-shirt transfer method and when I tried printing directly onto the fabric it wasn't washfast. Only problem now is that I need a printer which uses pigment inks rather than dye inks and needless to say our printer is the latter! New printer on my birthday list perhaps?!

As I said above I go on too much don't I and must print out that plaque and remind myself that less is more if I want to become strong!!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
PS Have just discovered how to straighten up photos since the spire in the first photo was somewhat leaning (it isn't actually perfectly perpendiucular but the lean I had made it look as if I had had too much to drink!) The photo of the clock tower by the river is also slightly askew but I won't bother with it as I find Blogger a bit of a B****er when you alter anything it throws everything out of correct spacing!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wednesday's Writing

Having just been over to Mousenotebook and Menopausal Musing and seen their posts on the subject of handwriting I thought I'd join in the fun. Seems this idea was put forward by Jackie at Dog Daisy Chains.

Spelling error - should read too verbose!

Speaking of paraphenalia does anyone these days use a blotter or make penwipers at school for Christmas gifts? Of course not and I dare say most of you fellow bloggers wouldn't even know what a pen wiper was would you?! Those who do will probably keep quiet so as not to reveal their ages!

My favourite writing implement was - until it ran out - a cheap roller ball pen which someone had left on my desk at work!

As I said I don't think I will be doing a handwritten post too often - I found my thoughts didn't flow properly and I couldn't get them down as fast as usual! However it would be a pity if we lost the art of handwriting both for letters and for this sort of thing too as can you imagine in years to come people collecting vintage e-mails and using them in their craft work or scrapbooking etc? And there is nothing like a real letter taken into the garden to be enjoyed over a cup of tea is there? Speaking of tea I must go and put the kettle on - anyone fancy a cuppa?!!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

One thing leads to another...

I don't know how many of you are followers of Menopausal Musing's blog but if you haven't read her last couple of posts - which tell the tale of a well travelled toy chicken - I urge you to pop over and do so. You'll be in for a good laugh.

I was reading some of the comments earlier and came across one from Bad Penny which mentioned knitting Ernest an Aran sweater - you'll need to read the post to understand what I am going on about - and I was reminded of an article I had read yesterday in the Waitrose Weekend paper which talked about knitting jumpers for chickens.

It seems that these are ex-battery hens which when finally released from their horrific labour camps are almost always bald and whilst their feathers re-grow they need to be kept warm. I searched out the paper and read it again and then checked out the webpage address given. where I found this article:

The great chicken cover up...knitting in many hen jumpers as we can.Before we knew it, a film crew came round to our knitting club - to see Dorothy the hen star in her BBC mini-film click on green link to see OUR FILM STARRING DOROTHY (Dorothy belongs to Jenny Armstrong who rescued her
If you would like to knit some hen jumpers, either come to our monthly knitting group
Click here for our clubs and classes or knit at home & drop them off at the craft centre, and we will post them on. Click to get the hen jacket pattern.If you would like to find out more about adopting or sponsoring a hen please click on following links:Little Hen RescueBattery Hen Welfare Trust

It was an interesting site with all sorts of crafts and home items for sale as well as courses in crochet, scrapbboking and so on as well as the info about the hen sweaters. As it is not far from where I live I might pop along one of these days to have a look.

If the weather continues like today those chickens will not need jumpers but sun lotion might be more appropriate to prevent sunburn!! But if you feel you'd like to knit some needy hen a warm woolly pop over to the Monkton Elm Garden Centre website for the pattern!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Birthday gift

I have just made this little "thing" as a birthday gift for a friend. At our age it is so difficult to think of anything friends might like, that is not too expensive, that is easy to wrap and doesn't weigh too much so that the cost of postage is more than the gift is worth..

So I came up with this little idea - not unlike the pocket book I showed you here

... but this time just a little hanging.

It is nothing very exciting but it was made with love (as it says) and is certainly not something anyone else will send her!

Do you think she will like it?

Does anyone else find that their craftwork seems to have a life of its own? I didn't intend this to be purple but had in mind shades of blues as I know my friend likes blue but it seemed determined to be done this colour! I guess it was because the little saying came with a mauve border and it just went from there!

Sun's out today so must get out in the garden now I have done my sewing ready to post this afternoon!

PS Anyone else finding that Bolgger can't count? My post tells me I have 3 comments but when I check there are in fact 5. It did the same thing with my previous post too!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Des. Res. courtesy of Royal Mail!

Came across this whilst on a walk with friends this afternoonn!

I wondered about the damage to the babies in the nest when I read that damage to mail posted may occur!

Those birds obviously have a taste for things vintage in their choice of home as you will see they have picked a GR mailbox (must be over 50 years old) rather than the next one we came across which was an ordinary ER one!!

Here are a few more photos I took - as ever I can never get over how lucky I am to have ended up in this beautiful part of the world.

Pretty stream with primroses and wood anemones along the banks.

I haven't seen anemones for ages but there were hundreds along our route.

So delicate and perfect aren't they?

Nearly there - just up this country lane and we'll be back to the car park where we left the cars - I don't know how far we walked it took us about 2 hours but with some many stiles to be negotiated, friends for company, such stunning scenery and beautiful wild flowers to see it didn't seem that far at all!