Thursday, 29 September 2011

Indian Summer

Last week our weather was wet, windy and cold.  This week it's hot, sunny and the temperatures have been in the high 70s all week, this combined with autumn leaves falling like rain to the ground. 


A very nice combination too!


Both yesterday and today after I collected Charlie from nursery school I took him to the local park where we had a picnic lunch.  Today Charlie got lucky - the ice cream van came into the park.  I got lucky too.  Charlie sat still and I was able to take loads of photographs of him.   Have I ever mentioned I love taking photos?


This is the view out over our pretty little park.  We have the splendid Pennines for a backdrop.

I have so enjoyed taking Charlie to the park this week.  We've both had fun, he playing alongside other children, me chatting to other nans while soaking up the sun's rays. Also, I've taken a million photographs and am happy with quite a few of them.  All of these things are just plain old simple pleasures which is handy because today is my day to post my weekly Simple Pleasure.  So there we are.

Until next time, 


Monday, 26 September 2011

Men at Work.

There was work to be done on the homestead yesterday.  What was left of a huge sycamore tree needed to be felled.  The other half of this tree came down in a wild storm we had here a couple of years ago.  The remaining trunk was leaning on the garden shed and threatening to squash it.  It had to go.

Billy called in a few favours, well, that's what they always say on the telly.  Actually, he asked John, our next door neighbour and son-in-law Gary to come round and help him. 


The offending tree trunk can be seen here behind the shed.  The junk on the right is just some of the stuff that came out of that little tardis-like shed.


The men take up their places.  Of course, it rained practically throughout the whole operation.


There was a whole lot of pulling, pushing and shoving going on.  It seems that even little sheds can weigh a ton!


There, they got it just where they wanted it.  Out of the way of the falling tree trunk.  William built that shed all by himself and he didn't want his hard work being smashed to smithereens by that tree.


John had brought his chainsaw with him.  It was time to get serious.


The tree trunk was lassoed.


John got the chainsaw busy.  The other two heaved on the rope.


There she goes!


Gary striking a pose for the camera - bless him!


Three happy chappies, they deserved a cup of coffee after that.  I was relieved that the tree felling had gone according to plan and with no casualties.   However, a pickaxe and a regular axe were broken during the proceedings. 


Of course, it didn't end there.  The trunk had to be sawn and chopped up - no easy task, it has to be said.  We now have enough firewood to last forever.  Oh, and the shed had to be put back where it was and refilled with all the stuff that came out of it. 

All in all it was a lot of hard work but I know that all three had quite a bit of fun too.  Thanks John and Gary for all your hard work!


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Two Little Robins

Cross-stitching.  I used to be obsessed with cross-stitching and completed a fair few in my time.  I first got the habit from my sister's sister-in-law, Sherry, who lives in Arkansas.  Sherry had so many wonderful cross-stitch pictures on her wall and I thought they were all amazing.  Sherry kindly gave me the basic instructions in how to, my sister took me to a Michael's store, where I purchased the necessities and I was off to a very enthusiastic start.  That was back in the late 80s and for several years I always had one on the go.  I would frame them myself too.  I also passed the bug onto a few other people.  One of whom is still ploughing her way through the Flower Fairies series.  Which reminds me I have one of those kits tucked away waiting to be done.

Then I lost the bug for a while.  Then it made a brief come back a couple of years ago and that's how long this cross-stitching of two cheery little robins has been hanging around.


Today though, I finally got motivated and framed this little, it measures 7" x 5", project.  The frame is an old one I already had so I have no excuse at all for not finishing this project a couple of years ago,  just lack of inclination.

However, I am thrilled to bits with the result and think the time of year is just right to get it hung on the wall.  Now, I would usually link up with Dayle over at A Collection of This and That for her weekly Simple Pleasures party but sadly Dayle has decided to shut up shop (her words) and there will be no more link ups.  But because this blog is after all entitled Simple Pleasures I'm going to continue once a week listing that little something that has given me pleasure, raised my spirits or made me smile.  

Actually I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and that's why the robins are perched in my nasturtiums patch.  I love nasturtiums and this year they have been such a vivid shade of orange and are a source of joy every time I see them that they are also a Simple Pleasure this week.


Red Squirrels

I just came across this image of baby squirrels on the Yahoo home page.

Aren't they adorable?!


The Sky news article says the poor babies were a victim of Hurricane Katia and were knocked out of their nest by the high winds in Northumberland.  A passer-by found them and took them to a vet's surgery who passed them onto Sanctuary Wildlife Care Centre in Morpeth.  The mother squirrel was nowhere to be found.

The beautiful russet red colour of these sweet creatures reminded me that autumn is officially here.  Before we know it it'll be Christmas and I'm definitely not ready for that!


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It's a Bit Nippy Out There.

It's a lot windy too, mind you it always is up at Watergrove Reservoir.

A couple of hours ago when the skies were blue I decided to take Muffin out for a walk.  By the time I got to the Res...


...the skies looked like this!  Muffin and I had a bracing walk along the edge of the Res.  I decided not to walk all the way around it in view of those menacing clouds.


Muffin was skipping about like a spring lamb.  Well, he was once we turned back and headed for the road home.  He's not too keen on going for long walks anymore.

There were quite a few walkers out this morning, mostly people walking their dogs.  All clothed in waterproof jackets and winter wear.  All but for one woman who was braving the elements clad in just a tshirt (of course she had trousers on too).  She had to be freezing and crackers!

Guess what?  I'm looking out of the window at brilliant blue skies now that I'm back in.


Thursday, 15 September 2011


This beautiful little face belongs to my 4 year old grandson, Nicholas.


I took this photograph last Sunday when he was in my garden playing with his little cousin, Charlie.  I think it's a very sweet  photograph of Nicholas and I'm really happy with it.  But what really floats my boat about this photo are the catchlights in those beautiful  deep blue eyes.  The colours reflected therein - blue and white and a speck of orange - are tiny images of his cousin, Charlie, his Aunty Caroline and me, his Nanny, with camera up to my eye.

Catchlights, I love 'em, especially in this little fellow's eyes and they are my Simple Pleasure this week. 

I'm joining  Dayle for her weekly Simple Pleasures Party.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Blustery Weather

I love blustery weather and that's exactly what it was yesterday.  I like that word, blustery, don't you?


The wind was blowing so hard yesterday as Victoria and I walked round the lake that in parts when the wind was against us I could hardly push the buggy forward at all!  Victoria carried Max some of the way.  He weighs very little and she was scared he was going to get blown away.  Believe me, in that wind it was definitely a possibility.


At one stage Charlie got out of the buggy to have a little run around.  Max, (Victoria's baby Yorkie who is approximately 5 months old now), jumped right up in there practically before Charlie's feet had hit the ground!


Charlie played for a little while in the park and then it was back to facing that wind again. 

Exhilarating, that's what our walk was yesterday and we all three loved it.


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

West Bay, Dorset

Another post on our August summer holiday in Devon.  During the fortnight we spent in Devon last month Caroline introduced William and I to another new place to visit, West Bay in Dorset.  I loved West Bay so much that we went right back for another visit the day after.


There's something for everybody at West Bay - beautiful pebbly beaches, I love the crunchy sound when you walk on them; cliff top walks for the energetic giving awesome sea views..


Boats for the nautically minded. 

Old and new property sits side by side in West Bay.  The apartments seen here are in a great location.  A ground floor one had a For Sale sign in the window.  I rang the number out of sheer curiousity to find out the price.  How much do you think?  I'll tell you, it was £335,000.  Whether that's a bargain or not I wouldn't know.


Lots of places to eat.  There are several take-away food bars like this one.  Also there are some rather nice coffee shops and restaurants.   The coffee shop we particularly liked was Ellipse facing the sea.


Plenty of ice cream to be found for this cheeky little chappy.  Charlie Chops is passionate about ice cream, I think he inherited that little trait from me.


Father, daughter and grandson posing on the prom.  We had a lovely walk up and down and all around this pretty little seaside town.


Fancy messing about on the river?  West Bay has that on offer too.


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Standedge Visitor Centre

Britain is expecting gale force winds this weekend courtesy of ex-Hurricane Katia but while we wait for them to hit we're having the calm before the storm kind of weather.  Fortunately for me I love this kind of weather. Yesterday it was windy at times but at other times it was very calm and warm.  In fact for me it was perfect weather to be out in. 

Happily, Caroline and I had an outing planned and at about 10 a.m. we headed off through spectacular countryside...


...over the moors to Huddersfield.  In particular to the Huddersfield Christian Fellowship.   Caroline had found this little gem of a place on the internet and it fitted the bill perfectly.  This church is not only a place of worship.  Included in the complex is a bookshop , which is what I was interested in, a children's play area and a coffee shop - in fact something for each of us.   We spent a good couple of hours here and after enjoying a snack in the cafe fresh air was needed to complete the day.


That's where Standedge Visitor Centre came in.  Another suggestion of Caroline's.  It's a place she knew about but had never been to.  All about the canal and Standedge Tunnel - the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in the UK.  You can just see the tunnel underneath the bunting in this picture.  It travels for 3.25 miles through the hill above it.


I like how Caroline has got a firm grip of Charlie's shoulders in this picture.  No way is she going to let him fall into that canal!


They didn't look it but I'll bet this father and son duo were as happy as Larry in their patient sitting and waiting for the fish to bite.


A beautiful setting located in Marsden, Yorkshire amidst lush green fields and hills, I thought Standedge a beautiful haven of peace and quiet.  I'm planning on a return visit en famille.  Perhaps in a few weeks time when the leaves are turning we'll pack a picnic, get out the walking boots and have a good old tromp around Marsden Moor Heritage Trail.  Sounds good to me!

Well done, Caroline,  two outings in one and both wonderful in different ways.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

My Orchid

I'm in love with orchids.


I rave about orchids to anyone who will stand still and listen to me.  I have three of them just now and I can't believe how easy they are to care for - just water them once a week and they're happy.  It seems that they bloom forever too.  What more can one ask for in a houseplant?  This little beauty lives in my computer room where I see it all the time and I get so much pleasure from it you wouldn't believe it!  Its colours are deep and vibrant and a pleasure to behold, especially on days like today when outside is plain old grey, wet and miserable.

I haven't linked up to Dayle for her weekly Simple Pleasures party for a few weeks but I'm getting back in the swing of things and am happy to be linking up today.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Harlyn Bay

While William and I were enjoying our summer holiday with my younger daughter in Devon my older daughter and her family were in Cornwall enjoying their summer holiday.  So it was only natural that we would drive the couple of hours or so over there and spend the day in Cornwall with Victoria and her men.


Happily the day we chose was sunny, bright and beautiful.


We spent the day on the beach.  Gary and the boys all have body boards and Harlyn Bay is superb for this kind of fun.  Those waves might not be Bondi Beach big but believe me they were big, big enough to knock yours truly off my feet.  Yes, I got in there and had a go at body boarding!  It was exhilarating and I was quite proud of myself but I won't be buying my own body board anytime soon!


Nicholas gives his daddy a hug while they wait for the next big one to roll in.


George would stay in the water all day if he was allowed.


Nicholas too. 


Here's granddad watching Nicholas jump into the water.  Granddad was on pins though because Nicholas can't swim yet, he's only four, and that inlet of water was quite deep in places.


I can see why these little boys love Cornwall and going to stay in Aunty Sylvia's cottage - it's a veritable paradise, that's why!


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Ealees Again.

I can't believe that we are in September already! Where did the time go?  Anyway, ready or not, here it is and here I am with a few images from today.


The weather hasn't been too good of late and the risk of rain is never far away.  Today though we risked it and took the boys for a walk through Ealees.   Victoria knew that George and Nicholas would want to play in the water no matter what so she went prepared with swim shorts and a change of clothes.  Charlie was asked if he wanted to paddle but he wisely said "no thanks".

The boys start back at school tomorrow after the long summer holidays and somehow that always signals a change in the weather.  The nights are drawing in and the leaves are starting to fall - autumn it seems is just around the corner.  Autumn is my favourite season but somehow I'm not ready for summer to end just yet.  Does anybody else feel like that?

I'll be back soon with photos from our summer holiday in Devon.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Trying to get back to normal...

...after our fortnight's holiday hasn't been easy. It's the old game of playing catch up all the time.  Catching up on the washing, the ironing, the cleaning, the shopping, sleep, sorting all the photos I took and last but not least blogging.


I really haven't caught up with my photos yet but until I do I thought I'd post just a couple of my favourite landscape views.  The one above really pleases me.  It's a view I hadn't seen before, William and I happened upon it driving from Otterton to Sidmouth and I thought it was just beautiful!


And this is a view over Sidmouth and beyond.  Even though it was taken from the moving car while it was raining I just love it!

Hope to be back soon with more photos and I'm looking forward to catching up on what's been happening in blogworld while I've been gone.