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Nella Last's Christmas blues!

We all put a lot of planning ,thought and expectation into our festive celebrations and sometimes it all goes just perfectly  and other...

Friday, 27 December 2013

Nella Last's Christmas blues!


We all put a lot of planning ,thought and expectation into our festive celebrations and sometimes it all goes just perfectly  and other times we can feel a bit let down.
Like the wartime diarist Nella Last said, it sometimes all feels as if it's not living up to the promise.
In 1940 on Christmas day she wrote that she had cooked chicken ,sprouts ,brown  sausage , potatoes followed by pudding and rum sauce and cheese and biscuits. But because she was aware that her son had his eye on the clock to leave later that day, she felt it might just as well have been hash and bread and butter. Not one of her happiest Christmas days for sure.
The last few Christmas days have been a bit like that for us with family not in the best of health and trying to spread ourselves about but this year it was lovely as we had family fun with our new grandson and his mum and dad and then visited the rest of the family in their own homes.
It has been a year full of all that Life can throw at you, lovely things and not so nice things but here we are again ready to say goodbye in a few days to 2013 and head on into 2014. Lets hope the world becomes a more peaceful place!
We have had some visitors to our garden in search of food. First a flock of Redwings flew in and spotted that next doors holly tree was full of red berries{ its not now] These small thrush like birds are a rare sight here and in all the years we have lived here I think I have only seen them twice.
Then as I was drying my hair in the dining room, I spotted a flash of red on the tree near the pond and when I looked out there was a woodpecker on the suet feeder having a good old feed. Again not a common sight in our garden.




Boyce, next doors cat hiding in the lean to!
Spotted the Redwings high up in our trees

Redwing on the holly berries

The Redwing ate all the berries and moved on then!




We popped out, in the awful gales and it was really gusting but no rain really to speak of and only to get some bread.  I went into a couple of shops and came out with a lovely comfy cat bed for Ginger, for his old bones and some lovely scrapbook supplies for me!
What a Christmas some have had with this stormy weather , the barometer has been so far back showing low pressure for days now, which is so unusual
There is still time for snow ,well of course some areas already have lots but here it is not something we get a lot of.......I guess I had better not speak too soon!















Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Bonfires and Short Winter Days

 Short Days mean that if you want to get anything done you need to get at it in the earlier part of the day, as once any winter sun goes in after 2pm then it gets chilly pretty quickly.
   So last week just before the big Storm, that did so much damage over the East coast came in, I tackled the mountain of leaves that covered our garden. It was an afternoons work a bit of much need ed exercise and I soon had things looking much better.
We seem to be having some really mild weather but surely it can't last and we have ventured out and about,down to check on the boat and up to Myerscough College a couple or so weeks back. Everything looks so different at this time of year with all the vegetation dying down.
We stopped  there to look at the sheep and we were taken aback by the whole field which was  covered in a mass of webs that were showing up so clearly with the sun shining on the dew on the grass.
So two weeks to go, presents bought, wrapped and before we know it will be here.


The pond in winter

The swan family at the boat hoping for crumbs

A sharp frost on the shrubs, not been many frosts though.


spot the Kestrel
webs cover the grass


A garden full of leaves

Ollie helping or ready to dive in

A job that needs to be done

All my bulbs just emerging in the cold frame

Monday, 4 November 2013

Daphne Du Maurier at Fowey.

Avocet
 
 It never ceases to amaze me that after all the years we have been visiting Martin Mere RSPB reserve ,there is always something with the WOW factor and this week it was this fantastic Crested Crane.
Over the summer months a lot of work has gone into providing a very visitor friendly viewing enclosure so they can be seen easily and I was able to take these great shots
The Flamingos were also looking wonderful and had walked over the pond and were feeding on the main pathway so again It was a great camera opportunity.


A pretty white backed duck

 One of the loveliest places we like to visit when we go to Cornwall is Fowey.  Looking over the water you can spot a rather old house with a boat loft and it was here that the author Daphne Du Maurier put pen to paper and wrote her first real novel and best seller in the 1930s, The Loving Spirit. She loved it here with a passion and infact  came back to live close by until she died.
She was well known in the little town and loved the local coves and estuary so much. Many days were spent exploring on her boat and the idea for other books came to her from the things she saw and found.
I believe that Ferryside is once again in family ownership of The Du Mauriers.


 Across the water looking at Ferryside

 Old shop in Fowey

We visited Boscastle when we were in Cornwall so that we could see how they have rebuilt after the terrible flood of a few years ago, when so much of the little historic village was swept away. 


  They rebuilt this little place and it looks almost as it did pre flood.

 a calm harbour now instead of the raging torrent of 2004!


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ullswater, Keswick in The Autumn

 Autumn seems to be approaching at some pace now and while I was out in the garden doing a bit of tidying up Ollie followed me around hoping for a chance of playing ball. You would think he was a kitten sometimes instead of at least 10 years old.
 

 It was lovely to see the last of the butterflies on the sedum ,it has been a very good year for spotting them but I have  not seen that many Red Admirals  and I can remember a time when the sedum was covered in them.

 On our trip up to The Lakes we had a lovely afternoon sail out on Ullswater. We boarded at Pooley Bridge and the trip lasted 2 hours as we stayed on for the complete round trip. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon and the views were quite spectacular.


 This boat was first commissioned  for use in Dartmouth just after WW2 but was restored and put into use on Ullswater in 2007.

Out on Ullswater

A Misty morning  down At Derwentwater
 

Me on the jetty at Derwentwater


Hope Park looking up to misty mountains

Hope Park

The boat house on Derwentwater
 


Trees turning to red and gold in Hope Park

Looking up river at Keswick

 I had quite a nice time watching the Dipper  in the river foraging under the stones, he was there last year to.
The resident Dipper on the river

 The walk along the riverside through Fitz Park is lovely at this time of year with the leaves on the ground and the sunshine filtering through the different trees.


Hard to believe this river can be a raging torrent in times of flood
                   It is just a lovely place to be and I certainly look forward to another visit !

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