Friday, 22 September 2017

Two Years Ago in Hebden Bridge Park

Looking back through all my photographs recently I came across this set of photos from a September 2015 afternoon spent in Hebden Bridge.

It was a beautiful warm and sunny day.

Hebden Bridge park is in a lovely location.

George and Nicholas look so little here compared to now, just two years later.

They are growing so fast. Too fast!

Like most places these days there's an outdoor gym in the park.  Gary decided to show off his athletic ability.  He launched himself into the air..

landed and 

launched himself again ...

and with great ease landed again.

Look at that!  We were all impressed.

George however had a more relaxed view on things.

Until next time,

Thursday, 31 August 2017

High Peak October 2016

Back in October last year when Maureen and Jerry were home on holiday William and I took them and Jean over to visit Andy and Sylvia.  

Andy and Sylvia live in the beautiful High Peak district of Derbyshire where they have a nice chunk or two of land and keep horses, chickens, ducks and dogs.

These are just a few of their chickens.  Sylvia keeps telling me though that they've gone on strike recently and are not laying as well as they should and if they don't sort themselves out they might well end up as the Sunday roast.  I think she was having me on.  Or was she??

We took a walk up the country lane to look at the horses, Ickenham and Jethro.  Both gorgeous animals.

Jean was in her element.  She loves horses and used to ride back in her heyday.  She was the only one of us who was interested in horses.  The horse loving genes must've been passed on somehow though as Caroline had riding lessons for a few years when she was at school and loved it.

The men having a chat.

Then a walk along one of the leafy country lanes which surround Sylvia's home.

Where Andy educated us all on matters of sheep rearing.

A rustic scene along the way.  I love this kind of thing.  In this fast paced hi-tech digital world it's good to see something olde worlde and solid, and a bit run-down perhaps, still exists.

We had had a refreshing gentle walk and at this point we had turned back toward Sylvia's home.

And the final image of the day.  Sylvia and Andy's "Well rotted horse manure.  Please help yourself" pile.  The people who live in this area don't always have to help themselves to this pile.  Andy has a quad bike complete with trailer and being the gentleman that he is he very kindly delivers the stuff to a couple of local allotments.  Now, that's what I call neighbourly.

Until next time,

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Gardens of Luddenden

A couple of weeks ago now William and I took a short drive over the border into West Yorkshire and in particular to the village of Luddenden.   Why Luddenden?  Well, because Luddenden was opening to the public (for a small charge) the gates to 16 of its village gardens.  This is something that many towns and villages in Britain do throughout the summer and luckily for us I found out in time to visit Luddenden.

Luddenden is in a very hilly part of the world.  In fact there's not much flat ground to be found anywhere in these parts.  The village clings to both sides of a steep valley so the people who like to garden here do not have it easy.  We must've visited at least eight or nine of the sixteen gardens and only one of them was on level ground.

This is part of the garden behind that house.  The owner was telling me that he and his wife had lived there since 1970 and had worked hard to turn what was just a wild hillside into the garden it is now.  I think I'd call them plants-people rather than gardeners.

Some of the gardens, like this one had plants for sale.  Many of the gardens had thriving vegetable plots this garden being one of them.  The owner was busy cutting down rhubarb to sell while we were there.

The sun was cracking the flags by now and it was hard and thirsty work climbing up and down and around this glorious little village.

So we decided to rest a while and have a bite to eat and a cup of tea.  Very civilised and very British.

I really liked these containers full mainly of succulents. In fact I've copied this idea.  I've got all my fingers and toes crossed in the hope that my little terracotta potful of succulents survives and flourishes like these have. The plastic spray bottle up there in the first of these two pictures contained a garlic solution to keep slugs at bay.  Never heard of that before.

This is the side of the house, we were on our way to find the next house.  Billy is carrying the plant we purchased here in that little brown cardboard box.  

Aren't the original old cobble sets lovely to see?  They are to be found everywhere in this old village.

That's William sitting down there at the bus stop.  He wasn't waiting for a bus he was waiting for me as I had soldiered manfully on up another hill to see another garden.  Billy wasn't fit enough to take on all these hills as only being six weeks away from open heart surgery he didn't have the energy for it.  The heart surgery is a whole other story.  One that came from nowhere out of the blue but he's still here to tell that story and for that we are grateful!

Here he is sitting on another wall earlier in the day.  Lucky for us, and everybody else for that matter, the organisers of this event had laid on transport to take people up the hills to the less accessible gardens without which we would only have seen half of what we did.

Having been up one side of the valley we now began the descent to the valley bottom.  We were both mighty glad we had to walk down this cobbled hill and not up it.

At the bottom of the cobbled hill we were rewarded with this view as we crossed in front of one garden to reach the next.  Lots of lupins in this garden.  I really liked this higgledy piggledy little corner of the village.

Another tiered garden at the bottom of which was a lawned area.

On the lawn was a sweet little summer house with an enviable view.

Moving on again to what was probably both mine and William's favourite garden. I got talking to the lovely lady who lived here and she told me that she and her husband had worked hard over the twelve or so years they had lived here to make the garden what it was now.

Between them they created this large, full to the brim, tiered garden from what was in the beginning just a forlorn wildly overgrown hillside. And now every which way you turned there were loads of different plants and interesting features to take your attention.  The pictures just do not do it justice at all.

In one of the gardens was this greenhouse.  Only small but packed full of goodness.  Look at the size of those cabbages!  (This one's for you, Jerry, I thought you might like to see some vegetables.  Note the tomatoes, they can't compete with yours can they?).

We had had a full day traipsing around Luddenden and thoroughly enjoying all it had to offer.  I don't know which I liked most, the gardens or the panoramic views from them.  As with all good things they come to an end and here's Billy waiting on another wall.  And this time, yes, he was waiting for a bus... well a big 4-wheel Range Rover type vehicle to take us back down the hill to the car park

This was my purchase from the garden where we ate lunch.  Two weeks later and it's still looking good.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Coniston Water in England's Beautiful Lake District

Continuing with our Silverdale break...

Having waved Sylvia off on Thursday morning, a ride up to Coniston Water was on that afternoon's agenda.

It was a bit of a blustery day.  One of those that blows the cobwebs off.   The building you can see up there is The Bluebird Cafe and that was where we ate lunch enjoying stunning views across the lake.

Taking a stroll by the lakeside the weather was definitely a bit fresh.  Exhilarating, even. Middle sister felt the need to rearrange big sister's coat for her.  Looking at this photo now reminds me of chimpanzees grooming each other.  :-)

This is the river which runs through the centre of Coniston town.  Picturesque for certain.

A close up of the house in the distance in the previous photo.  How idyllic is that?  How wonderful it must be to sit out on that deck with a good book and only the sounds of a babbling brook and birdsong for company.   Heaven.

Something had caught Jerry's eye in this shop.  This was the second time he had looked in this window.  He was on the lookout for souvenirs to take home.

Maureen left them to it and Jerry left whatever it was he'd had his eye on in the shop.  Only window shopping done this time.

Gorgeous scenery on the way back to the car.  I think an estate agent would describe this property as "a delightful cottage nestled in glorious countryside near the lake".  And as it happens, so would I.

This was one of several sunsets we were fortunate enough to feast our eyes on from the caravan park.  

"Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if we were looking through the gates of heaven".
John Lubbock

And so, our break in the Lake District was drawing to a close.

Friday was going home day.  On the way home we broke our journey in Kirkby Londsdale where we consumed a hearty late breakfast at The Old Bakery.  William and I love that little place and have never been disappointed with the food in there.

My birthday is in September and in her card to me Maureen had written "Our road trips together have been some of our best memories and the ones coming up will be nothing less". To that I want to add "my sentiments exactly".   As with every holiday we have ever spent together we had had a wonderfully, happy, fun time in Cornwall and, no surprise, more of the the same in Silverdale.  Silverdale had perhaps even been a bit more special adding Jean and Sylvia into the mix.

Come back soon, Maureen and Jerry, let's do it all over again!