Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Beer Festival.

4 pm , from the top of the drive. Warm but overcast for most of the day. It got very muggy in the afternoon, almost thought we were going to have rain but then it cleared up in the evening. I cleared some of the paved areas, moving planters and sweeping up leaves and stones ready to start with the pressure washer which I will be collecting tomorrow.
4 pm, looking north to the cliffs. Later in the afternoon I had to drive Peter into town. How good an offer is this? "Peter, can you serve behind the bar for a couple of hours at the Beer festival? No pay but as much free beer as you want." I can think of a lot of men who would jump at the chance. Not surprisingly Peter was only too happy to agree. Luckily/unluckily I'm one of those people for whom alcohol has no effect apart from a bad headache which could last for 2 weeks. That's why I don't drink and don't miss it. Eating is my downfall and I'm working hard on counteracting that.

When I drove down to the Pannier Market to collect Peter (one happy bunny), the festival was almost over. It had been on for 2 days and the market, being in the centre of town was a much better venue than the Leisure Centre which is where it had been held for the past 5 years. As well as beer there had been stalls offering local food and fresh coffee. As it was the end of the festival Peter had ended up with free pasties, burgers and sausage rolls and I had some free coffee from the posh tea and coffee stall. Peter was also given several beer festival t-shirts.
And another 2 lbs gone. It seems like this diet has gone on forever but the end is in sight, 5 more weeks should do it. Phew! I made another chestnut cake today, this time adding 4ozs of flour. It turned out much more cake like than the first version. I had some as this is a non-diet day but I shall put the rest in the freezer for when we have visitors. Apart from the rest of the soft nougat and some cake I've just been picking from the fridge and I wish I hadn't. I do think that I would have felt better with some fruit and a yoghurt. I think my body is becoming so used to healthy foods that it just doesn't enjoy the rubbish that I used to eat.

Sunday, 30 May 2010


It has been dry today and reasonably warm. After a little weeding in the garden, and being visited by Active who daintily stole some grass from my weeding bucket, I decided to take myself for a long walk up the hill.
Walking along a farm track an inquisitive group of cows rushed up to their gate to see who was passing. I think cows are so funny, they are great lumbering creatures that run up to see what is happening then when you say 'Boo' they run away. See the touch of brown at the back of these Holstein heifers?

That's their lord and master, a ferocious Devon Red bull who spent the whole time hiding at the back of the crowd so I wouldn't see him. (I climbed up on the gate to get this picture.) However I would think twice before walking across a field with this group in. Farmers are supposed to not put dangerous animals in fields with rights of way across them but you never know.

I had walked diagonally across the field behind this stile to the gate because previously the 'stile' was a ramshackle affair with barbed wire and brambles across it. Obviously the parish council has been keeping a check on the local footpaths. Farmers do have an obligation to maintain any stiles on their land. Having read on someone's blog that stiles are not known in the USA here's some information as to why so many are found dotted around the countryside. Up to the 1750's there were few fences or hedges in the countryside. Arable farming was done by the 'strip' system where each peasant farmer grew crops on strips of land in large open common areas. This enabled a fair sharing of the better sections of land. Livestock were grazed on open common ground and were tended by herders. In the 1750's the wealthy landowners (for whom the peasant were tenants and paid a tithe of their crops as rent), decided that it would be more profitable to enclose the land into fields where they could keep more livestock. The tenant farmers were offered very small plots which were not sufficient to live on and many left the land at this time and became the urban poor. Because the land had been open up to that time there were many 'rights-of-way' and even when the land was enclosed farmers still had to allow access. As these paths may not have been where the farmers wanted to put gates and probably because people have always had a tendency to leave gates open, stiles appeared making it possible for walkers but not stock to cross the fence. On National Trust land you often find fancy stiles with little lift up gates to let dogs through. Where fields are fenced by stone walls there may be a set of stones jutting out of the wall to use as steps.
Here are a few of the country lanes I walked along this afternoon.
This is actually a dirt track that leads to a field.

Ashelford Corner. In this part of the country none of the roads have names (they do have an official B Road number but nobody knows them). Every minor junction does have a sign post showing what lies in each direction and the junctions have names which are shown on the sign post. It's OK giving directions to locals because you identify places by who lives where or farm names but it is much harder to give directions to outsiders. You have to remember how many little farm tracks the poor delivery driver has to ignore before making the correct turns. One driver had to make 3 calls for instructions to find us and once I had to drive out and find the lost person. It doesn't help that there is no sign at the top of our drive. It isn't our land and the stable owner next door was convinced that putting a sign up for the stables would encourage opportune thieves.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Bank Holiday Weather.

The hawthorn tree in the garden living up to its name of May Blossom.
It's a Bank Holiday weekend so no surprise that it has been raining all day. Not too heavy but persistent. This has forced me to do some housework, 2 grown men at home and neither of them can work a hoover! I've also been doing some sewing alterations. I'm not a careful seamstress but I am prepared to alter clothes to achieve my individual style. I've been working on 2 pretty tops both bought in the sales at the end of last summer. One was a mini dress which I had already converted by removing the frills at the bottom but also needed one of the frills at the shoulders to be removed as well. I've now started on the other top, it's a smock top which for some reason had several rows of elastic stitched at the bottom. Only a person who was the size and shape of a tooth pick could wear such a style and look good. The elastic was on a separate piece of fabric which I have now removed, and may turn into a hair band, and the voile fabric needs a hand stitched rolled hem. I can do that with the tv or radio chattering away for company.
Yesterday evening I was pottering about in the garden being serenaded as usual by the song thrush. Actually I think he was competing with a rival that I could just hear further up the valley. He has a wide repertoire but it was a surprise to hear his newest offering, the high pitched whinny that both of the foals make when they see something exciting. That really made me laugh. Another amusing wildlife incident happened on Thursday. I had just stepped out of the front door when a startled squirel dashed across the yard. It got into the long grass at the edge when something must have frightened it. It stopped and the next thing I saw was the squirrel doing a perfect loop the loop in the air above the grass. We don't often see squirrels in our valley though one did come to try and steal nuts from the bird feeder until I suspended the feeder from some fishing line over the stream. For a while we watched a slap stick routine from the window on the stairs as the squirrel attempted to tight rope walk over the rope crossing the stream or leap from a nearby branch. As every attempt resulted in the squirrel ending up in the stream it eventually gave up and left the nuts and fat ball for the birds. Recently the greater spotted woodpecker has been helping himself to the peanuts and scattering plenty of debris for other birds to pick up from the ground. The pair of sparrows that have taken up residence in the hole in the stonework by our bedroom window are very busy collecting flying insects for their young. They are quite noisy and remind me of the days when I lived in central London and the only bird sounds were sparrows & town pigeons.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The End Of An Era.

After work I dropped into Brian Ford's to be met with the sight of half empty shelves as they sell off their stock prior to their closing in 3 weeks time. It looked so sad. BF's is/was the biggest independent supermarket in the UK. Here food sales are dominated by 4 chains that have enormous, gleaming stores. Each one with identical prices and identical layout no matter which town you are in. Every town or district will have 1 or 2 of these stores. There are 4 other food retailers, 2 cheaper and 2 more expensive with slightly smaller and less frequent stores. And that is the choice that most people have where ever they are in the country. Then there is a massive gap till you get to the tiny independent corner -shop type stores which are slowly being squeezed out of business by the big 4. BF's is unique in that it is very large, a whole warehouse with basic shelves or goods still stacked on wooden pallets. The normal branded food is the same price or more expensive than the big 4 but the fun part of shopping there was the random items they would have at cheap prices. Different every week, ends of lines destined for Europe or short coded items. We especially liked a range of frozen food, very basically packed by a company that sells to the catering trade. One week you could buy mini spring rolls or garlic mushrooms, another it would be vegetarian lasagna or battered prawns. By being selective we could eat very well at a reasonable price. I also like the fact that in the fresh food section were a lot of local vegetables as well as local meat. A year ago it was revealed that Tescos had secretly bought up BF's with its planning permission to expand and now the store will be closing soon. Some items are being highly reduced, shelves have been emptied, but other stock is still the same. I suppose they want to keep people coming in up to the end. I was cross to find my normal very cheap brand of clothes washing liquid gone. It's not only that it's cheap but I am very fussy about the smell and really can't stand some of the big name brands of washing liquid. So I had to stand there opening bottles and sniffing them to find one I didn't mind.Flowers on the rocky hillside. I have been teaching all day and had a really good day with my 7 year olds. They have been doing so much formal work with their SATs that once we had done some literacy I gave them a fun art session where I provided a variety of media and also paper in different sizes and shapes and let them do what they liked. My only instruction was that they spent the time doing art activities. Some children worked together, others made cards, others painted or got messy with pastels in shades of grey and they all had a creative and focused time. What more could I ask for?
At home the garden is blooming and the 'snow' continues to fall from the willow trees.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bye To Junk.

It has been a lovely sunny day but much colder in the wind and/or shade. My first job of the morning was to take another car load of junk down to the recycling centre. Something I always find satisfying.

Most of the rest of the day has been spent clearing up one of the sheds. I've put the bikes in there for the moment but I'm tempted to get rid of those as well as they are looking very old and dilapidated.
Looking across our valley towards Exmoor. Our neighbours' house is the white one in the foreground but our house is completely hidden by the trees.

The drive down to our valley runs on the other side of the long hedge bordering the field with the tiny dots that are sheep.

The country lanes are a joy to drive along. Who needs the Chelsea Flower Show when you have this to admire on your daily journey? I saw a bit of a programme covering the show and in the gold medal winning small urban garden they had included cow parsley though not in such abundance.
This was the road where once I started turning my walks into runs. Being a non-athlete and not too fit (I was actually very anaemic) I started by running from the corner to the second telegraph pole, not a very great distance. I ran 5 or 6 times a week and my only rule was that I had to at least run the same distance as the previous day and attempt to run 1 or 2 more poles if possible. I would then continue by walking to the main road before retracing my steps. Luckily this is a very quiet road and very few people saw me puffing and panting and turning bright red. From such tiny beginnings I was finally running the whole way from the top of our drive to the main road and back , a total of 1.7 miles (I measured it in the car). Unfortunately my knee which had never been too good became so painful that the doctor said I had to give up the running. That was such a disappointment. Now I have to confine myself to walking. It is so much easier to loose weight if you can do some serious exercise but now I'm stuck with eating less, bah!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Changing Weather.

It looks like the good weather is on its way out. It has been slightly cooler today but the big difference has been the almost complete cloud cover. It got rather muggy this afternoon and on my way home some of the clouds were an ominous dark grey, (and that was even after I removed my wrap around shades). It has just started raining , the lawns could certainly do with a good watering after I scalped them down to rabbit nibbled height with my new lawn mower.
Everyday now there are new flowers appearing in the garden. The flag iris were one of the few plants that I brought down with me from London. For 10 years, despite being planted in ideal conditions, every time a flower bud appeared it would be devoured by the snails and slugs. When I decided to move it to the new scree garden drastic measures were called for and I went out and bought slug pellets which did the job. Now I have a beautiful display of these lavender coloured iris. Last year one rhizome reverted back to pure white and this year there are several white flowers.

I think the big flag iris are so beautiful and to look at a specialist catalogue sends me into visual overload. I want to buy them all. They are quite expensive so I won't succumb until I move and only then if the conditions are right.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Job For Linas ?

The sun still shone today but there was a noticable amount of cloud in the sky. As I drove home my view of the hills to the north was obscured by the sea mist that was already rolling in over the cliffs. It is still quite mild outside at 10.00, reminiscent of holidays abroad.
The wisteria is hiding its flowers at the top of the honeysuckle on the house wall. It was one of the few plants planted by the previous owners and we didn't realise it was there until it began to flower 10 years after we moved in. Unfortunately snails are very fond of wisteria blooms and and we loose them quickly. I do my best to remove any snails I see lurking around on the outside wall but they are a major pest here.
After teaching in the afternoon I went and treated myself to a few more plants for the garden, a couple of trailing geraniums, some osteospermum which I've planted in place of the ailing rosemary and a tray of sweet pea seedlings. I've always wanted to grow sweet peas so I thought I'd give them a go. I have put aside my principles and sprinkled some slug killer around them to give the sweet peas a chance to establish themselves.
Peter drove Linas down to Plymouth this afternoon for a job interview. It's not a proper job, just a 6 week internship as a web designer at a legal firm but even if it didn't progress to a job it would be good on his CV. He has got through to the next stage and has to produce a piece of work for them before they make their decision. Let's hope he is successful.
This morning before I could do any gardening I had to walk over to the stables to ask if they had seen my gardening glove. Yesterday Peter had seen Active (the hound puppy they are walking for the Hunt) take it from the patio table but she had run off with it before he could get downstairs. Luckily Paul had found the glove and it was in the back of his quad bike trailer.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Summer Days ........

Bluebells, buttercups,plantain and cow parsley.
We seem to be having a quick blast of summer time. Hot again today but temperatures are set to drop rapidly by the end of the week. I didn't get to spend the day at home where I'm sure I could have found something to do in the garden, but I spent the day teaching. I decided that my class could do with some fresh air (why be indoors when we have our lovely Secret Garden), so the children finished their day sitting in dappled shade or in the willow story- tunnel, reading their books to each other. We even ended up having our staff meeting sitting at the big round table under the trees. So much nicer than in the hot and stuffy staff-room.
Looking down the Lewis' Hill at 5.00 this afternoon.
At lunchtime I drove over to B&Q to take advantage of their 15% off week - end and bought myself an electric mower. The old hover mower is such hard work and not terribly efficient so I decided that to save my back I would splash out on a new model. I went for a fairly cheap and lightweight model and boy does it whizz through the grass. I have set it on the lowest cut and there were some terrible rattling sounds when it went over the flattened moles hills. That bit of ground is very stony and the dear little mole had brought quite a few stones up to the surface. As I didn't want to smash up the mower blade on its first outing I had to spend time carefully picking up all those surface stones. When I cut the lower lawn the amount of moss and longer grass being cut was unbelievable. I haven't put the grass box on the mower as I prefer to have the cuttings rot back into the ground but the bottom lawn does look as if I've been haymaking. I did have to keep stopping and clearing out all the cuttings that were clogging up the back of the mower. Now that these initial problems are sorted out I can see myself cutting the lawns in half the time and with much less strain on my back.

These last few days of sunshine have brought out all the wildflowers and the sides of the country roads are one gorgeous natural garden.

Hooray, another 2lbs gone. Today's treats were; chocolate and chestnut cake, boiled potatoes with dill pickled herrings and soft nougat. I think I may have overdone things a bit. Back on the straight and narrow tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Summer Snow.

The Purple Beech starts the year with autumnal shades of orange.
It's days like today that make it so hard for us to even imagine leaving the peace and beauty of our little valley. I think even Peter is rethinking his plan to live closer to 'civilisation' when we are older but it is going to be hard to find somewhere that matches this place.
The atmosphere in the garden has been truly magical as all weekend long the air has been filled with a blizzard of fluffy white willow seeds blowing and dancing in the gentle breeze. (The white specks on the picture above.) The sound of birdsong resounded through the valley, apart from when Paul got on his industrial sized ride-on mower to cut the field or the contractors zoomed around at the top of the hill collecting the cut grass for silage. The song thrush sat in his perch almost at the top of the highest tree to sing his heart out both morning and evening as he does every day.

I'm not so sure that the spiders appreciated their webs being filled with fluff instead of nice juicy flies. As I walked through the garden I could occasionally catch the sunlight glinting on the on the singles strands of silk, sometimes 10ft+ long, spun by little spiders that launch themselves into the breeze. It has just been such a lovely warm day, 22C in the shade and at least 27C in the sun. I put on the final coat of gloss paint , pulled up lots of stinging nettles, did some school work and ended the day having a barbecue with Peter and Linas. They had the barbecue while I filled up on cooked cauliflower drizzled with some tadziki.
A male orange tipped butterfly feeding on the aubretia.
PS I do have the flower Snow-in-Summer which is just beginning to come into flower.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Perfect Day.

Sunshine ! Blue skies ! Warmth ! At 27C today it could have been a little too hot if it hadn't been for a warm breeze. A perfect day for washing, working, lazing - anything. After the usual morning kitchen clearing up jobs, I painted the first coat of gloss paint. A very satisfying job especially when you are using crisp white paint. A little weeding and hanging up several loads of washing completed my day's tasks.
No need to worry, this is not road kill, just Patch aka Fat Cat sprawled out in the yard. It's hard work being a cat you know.

At the end of my little shady woodland area I caught a glimpse of red. The rhododendron planted on top of our little cross-bred terrier Sprite, is about to flower.
Now please don't laugh, this afternoon, months after buying my Nikon, I finally stuck the handbook disc in the pc to see how to use it properly. The first thing I read was 'Please read this handbook before using your camera.' Ah, never mind. I have worked out most of the bits I need but I was stuck on the manual focusing and speed. I could adjust the focus but not the shutter speed. This was due to me not noticing a small black dial on the top of the camera. I shall dip into the manual from time to time as I need it but I'm going to ignore the stuff about the menus and display settings for the moment. One step at a time for me.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot.

The aquillegias have grown to about 4ft and in the evening light they shine like fairy lanterns.
I spent half an hour waiting for one photo to load last night eventually abandoning my blogging and leaving it running overnight. This was especially irritating as earlier I had no problems loading a couple of photos onto yesterday's post. Blame the other user(s) of our network and his constant torrenting!
Anyway, yesterday was hot, hot, hot. The hottest day of the year according to the weatherman, here we reached the steamy temperature of 25C. I wouldn't actually like it any hotter. I was at school all day and I managed to get my classroom just right. Open windows on both sides and open doors at both end kept my hut nice and airy and a few degrees below the outside. Despite my classroom assistant being deployed elsewhere we had a very relaxed day with the children getting on well with their various tasks. I found a box of red pens so for their literacy I asked them to mark and correct Horrid Henry's homework. (We never really use red pens on their work as this is seen as too aggressive. The red pens only get used for marking the register.) I had written a piece where just about every word was phonically plausible but incorrect. The children were thrilled to be 'the teacher' and some even asked if they could write their names as Miss .... /Mr ...... . This was all in aid of getting them to read through their own work and check for spellings and punctuation, but in a fun way. Now I need to think up some more relevant but fun activities for Monday as I am back with them all day.
The evening sun shining round the back of the house onto the astilbes growing well in the bog garden. Plastic owl on pole can just be seen at the corner of the house.
After work I went and changed my gloss paint for 'brilliant white' and also bought more plants for the hanging baskets. Usually 3 surfinias (trailing petunias) in each are sufficient but this year I've been extravagant putting 4 surfinias in each and now I've crammed in as much trailing lobelia as I could. I had wanted to use all white lobelia to compliment the magenta, purple and lavender of the surfinias but I could only find 2 trays of white trailing at BJ's. At B&Q they only had big packs with mixed colours and at 20% off so I bought those and shall look forward to a riot of colour around the front door. Because of the slugs and snails hanging baskets are the only place I can grow a lot of annual flowers. One year I bought trays and trays of marigolds which I planted in the stone walls and it took just 3 days for the whole lot to be eaten. ( I keep my use of slug pellets to the barest minimum as they poison not only the slugs but any birds or hedgehogs that eat the dead slugs.) Looking forward to a promised weekend of more sunshine.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Warming Up.

The internet is running so slowly I haven't been able to load any photos but will try later. It was a very misty start this morning with a fine rain and low clouds across the fields. By the afternoon the air had gone from warm and humid to simply hot. On my way home this evening after a full day's work I could see sea mist blowing in low over the cliffs. At least the grass was dry enough to cut when I got home. I still don't like my mower but the constant cutting is making the job easier, or maybe I'm getting better at it.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

More Rain.

I was so disappointed to look out of the window this morning and find that it was raining. Especially when the weather forecast had been for warmer weather. So no painting this morning. And the internet was crawling at a snail's pace, it was so bad I couldn't even use my email. It got a bit better after Peter reset the router. It was the little ones again this afternoon, phonic work and stitching pom-poms together to make caterpillars. Nothing too taxing.
Even the cows in Ron's field had settled down for wet weather. Martin came down later in his pick up as we are a bit concerned about a tree in his field that is leaning on the electricity cable. He's going to ring the electricity company to come and deal with it as it is in an awkward position.
I even pointed it out to the men from the electricity company when they were down trimming trees about 2 years ago but they looked at it and said it would be fine. Now they've got themselves a much harder job.
It looked as if the rain was holding off this evening So I went up to paint the first coat of gloss only to discover that instead of pristine gleaming white, the tin of 'Trade gloss' was beige looking magnolia. Luckily I still have the receipt so the tin of paint will be going back to B&Q on Friday.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Job Change.

I've moved on from doing general building work to painting and decorating. A second coat of masonry paint this morning before work and primer this evening . By 'work' I am of course referring to that part of the day that I actually get paid for. Today the children's task was careful observation and painting using watercolours, of a dandelion plant. My aim is to get the children to actually look at plants and not just draw a lollipop on a stick with 2 round leaves at the bottom. They did some very interesting work today. At home the early summer flowers are just beginning to appear. The aquillegias seed themselves around the place but have a tendency to revert to shades of pink even though I originally planted a variety of colours.

The very first of the azalea flowers has opened. This yellow variety, though not so showy has a fantastic scent. I bought my 4 azalea plants at a local second hand auction. It might even have been the time I bought 2 armchairs for something ridiculous, I think it might have been £1. They were comfortable and survived several years of being jumped into by my boisterous family before we took them down to the dump.

Monday, 17 May 2010

A Busy Day.

Today has been a good one for work. It's been sunny all day and not too cold. I've got lots of things done so I'm in a good mood. There were a few mishaps but they turned out alright in the end. Mishap number one was my attempt to bake an Ardeche chocolate and chestnut cake. A little while ago I bought some tins of chestnut puree at an almost give away price. I found a cake recipe on the web and today I gave it a go. I was a little sceptical about not putting any flour in the mixture but I double checked the recipe and looked at several others which didn't have flour either so I went ahead. The resultant cake was a little on the stodgy side, more like a chocolate brownie, probably because I don't have much control over the oven temperature on my rayburn. Next time I'll add some flour which should lighten up the cake a bit. Most of my day has been spent outside working up at the scree garden. Having decided to spruce up the paintwork on the buildings up there, today's job was the least pleasant one of brushing away cobwebs, scraping off loose paint, sanding down and washing everything to be painted. I took a car load of junk down to the dump and came back with a mirror and a small metal box. I always like to have a browse around the items put aside for resale. Today I counted 12 assorted golf bags many with clubs, just thrown out! Back home I was able to paint on the first coat of masonry paint. It was only after painting a row of bricks that I realised the instruction 'stir well before use' should have read 'stir very, very well before use'. My initial stirring had not been thorough enough and I had been using rather watery paint. Providing the rain holds off I should be able to get all the various coats of primer and gloss done by the week-end.

Just scraped through with another 2 lbs off this week. One of the things that has made it possible for me to stay on my diet is the fact that I hardly cook any family meals. Peter has never wanted an evening meal during the week, sometimes he has a light snack but he prefers to eat a good breakfast and a late lunch. Good thing too as I have never seen my role as the happy home maker who rushes home from her work to get her husband's dinner ready each night. It was different when I was at home with the children and even when the boys were at college I would make them a cooked breakfast every day. This was more because I knew they didn't eat during the day. If I made them sandwiches they didn't get eaten and if I gave them lunch money they saved it for 'more important' things. Now the only one at home is Linas and at 23 and unemployed he is perfectly capable of cooking his own (and Peter's) meals. Peter does cook as well and I do normally (when I'm not on a diet) cook on the week-ends.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Evening Sun.

How many more excuses can I think of for not getting on with my work? Today's forecast of sunshine mixed with showers was, up to about 2 hours ago, actually heavy rain mixed with light rain. I've spent a lot of the day at the pc doing the most boring work for school. I had to look at the science and D&T section of the new curriculum in order to report back to the rest of the staff. Basically the content hasn't really changed and science is one of the core subjects where teachers will still have to refer to the old curriculum levels in existence. The layout of new strands & levels is quite good but now there is a whole new set of letters and numbers to delineate each strand to be learnt so that planning will contain the appropriate jargon. The Conservative manifesto specifically mentions overhauling the curriculum so how long is this 'new' curriculum going to be in place? I hate being stuck indoors so once the sun made an appearance I slipped on a pair of gardening clogs and went for a wander around the garden. That led to a stroll up the hill and then a further amble/shuffle (the clogs are too big) along the country road to check out the different views from the gateways.

Hooray ! blinding sunshine.

How lucky are we to have such a beautiful walk just by our home?

The whole countryside is looking fresh and green. On the other side of those hills are the cliffs above the Bristol Channel and from the top of the drive I could see the faint outline of the Welsh mountains on the other side of the sea. (I did put up a picture but Blogger won't let me move it down so I've taken it off again.)