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Friday, 25 September 2009


This is the front of the cathedral in Wells - we didn't go inside this one today.

We have been to Wells this morning. It was a lovely sunshiny day and so we decided on a whim to go out for a couple of hours - that's one advantage of being retired!

As I was driving I couldn't take any pictures but the scenery we passed through was so beautiful I wished - not for the first time - that I was skilled enough to write poetry or music, to paint or create in some other medium something which would bring to life what I saw. However since I am not that clever all I can do is to try and create a word picture for you - it won't be like a photo but it will mean you can see for yourself whatever your imagination brings to mind. I have added some links (if they work) which may help with the lack of illustrations. Having checked the post out I realise that the links don't show too well and you will need to move your cursor over the text to find them - sorry about that!

The trees are really beginning to turn now and there were so many yellows, golds and reds amongst the different greens it was absolutely stunning especially in the clear autumn sunlight and with the sky such a wonderful transparent sort of blue that only seems possible at this time of year. I noticed along the hedgerows the pale skeletons of the cow parsley - it seems incredible that such slender, brittle stems could have been the support of that frothy white mass of flowers and their pretty fern like leaves just a few months ago. They stand sentinel over the roadside edges and look so attractive now that it is possible to see the shape of each and every stem, umbrel (is that the right word?) and seedhead. Such a delicate tracery they make.

Behind them were the occasional clump of fluffy thistledown heads (I could almost imagine them being used to make fairy beds!) with their dried out brown leaves - the thistles which earlier bloomed purple in the hedgerow. There were berries a-plenty of every type and colour: blackberries clambering over the bushes where once they were delicate pinky mauve flowers along with the honeysuckle and dog roses, hawthorn berries of deepest crimson, rosehips of vivid scarlet and shiny black elderberries hanging heavy from their delicate stems over all. And here and there the twining vines of the wild clematis now covered in balls of cream fluff indicating whiy it is also called Old Man's Beard!

The fields were a patchwork of greens, and some even the velvety brown of newly ploughed soil. We passed through villages whose houses were built of the soft grey stone common in that area in contrast to the warm yellow Hamstone which we see round here. It is a pretty grey and not dark and depressing looking even in the rain as granite stone can be. The pinks and blues of the geraniums and last of the lobelia look lovely with this soft grey and one or two of the houses were covered in Virginnia creeper which at this time of year is so stunning it can be forgiven the hard work it causes when one has to collect up the fallen leaves and trim it back to prevent it taking over altogether (we had it on our house in France and I loved the look of it but not the clearing up!)

As we reached the brow of one hill we were rewarded with a fabulous view of Glastonbury Tor set atop its hill and basking in the autumn sunshine - it is truly a stunning sight set in such lovely countryside and today it was at its best and the air was so clear we could see for ever (do check out this link as it shows a panorama of what you can see from the top of the Tor - we didn't climb it today but we have done so in the past and it was worth every hard won step!)

The gardens have some stunning brightly coloured flowers in them just now - it's as if nature ismaking one last final effort before the winter months come and any plants and flowers will be of the smaller less conspicuous variety. There are lots of sunflowers, dahlias in all their blowsy finery and of course the last of the vivid geraniums too.

Somerset is apple country and we passed orchards whose apple trees were covered in the fruit - not the uniform round supermarket golden delicious sort but the old varieties with their more subtle colouring - russets with their matt golden skin, Beauty of Bath with their delicate striped red and gold colouring and many other varieties all of which I am sure would taste delicious and nothing at all like the turnips we buy in the supermarkets!

It was a lovely drive and I shall treasure the mind-photos I have and bring them out to look at occasionally especially in the drear dark days of winter.

Hope you are still with me? and as I said sorry for the lack of pics. I leave you with one taken of a pretty doorway in Wells - just before my batteries ran out! Whoever lives there must either be very short or have got used to ducking their head when going in and out as the doorway was only about 5 feet high!


  1. Darling, I came by to wish you a lovely and sunny weekend.

    Love & Hugs

  2. A beautifully written post. I feel exactly the same at the moment, storing up the colour of flowers in my head to last me through the grey days of winter. Wells is lovely, isn't it? x

  3. I have always been intrigued and in love with the English countryside, but your writing and recent photos have me falling in love all over again. I must start saving to make my own trip across the pond. My last was funded by work and I spent almost 8 days looking out an office window at the gloomy skys of Luton!! I was only graced with two days to adventure which I spent soaking up every sight I could of Suffolk where I had lived for a short time as a child back in the early 70's. It was just glorious.....

  4. A lovely descriptive post. Thank you Jane for sharing your 'mind-photos' with us.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    Jeanne x

  5. Somerset is so beautiful - I visited Glastonbury Tor over 25 years ago and still the memory and the view are so vivid in my mind!

    Pomona x

  6. That doorway picture is sensational!

  7. A beautiful post Jane. Thankyou for every detail. The apples were a delight. I mourn the old apples we knew, which seem to no longer be available. I enjoyed the link to the Tor.

  8. Jane, I came to your blog by way of 'tales from a cottage garden'. I've just read a couple of posts, but your blog is lovely, and your descriptions of the flowers, etc, on your recent trip was more than sufficent for me to imagine the beauty. Great job! I love the name of your blog. I find the English blogs so charming and refreshing. Wish I could visit someday!! (If I could get over my fear of flying over the ocean---oh, that and the money to make the trip!)

  9. Oh, I meant to tell you that your descriptions reminded me of "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady", by Edith Holden---one of my FAVORITE books.


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