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.

Sunday 28 February 2010

Early Primroses.

The forecast storm has rampaged over Europe causing flooding and deaths but Britain only caught the edge of it last night. There are some flood warnings in the east of the country but nothing out of the ordinary here. In fact for most of the day it was sunny and warm. I put in a full day's work in the garden which was very satisfying. I started what I thought would be a quick task, clearing the long grass growing around the 4 azalea bushes on the grassy bank by the drive. Unfortunately on closer inspection the grassy bank turned out to be mainly weeds which I couldn't leave. By the time I had used my trusty screwdriver to remove the dandelions, buttercups and plantains, leaving the primroses and daisys, there were a lot of bare patches on the bank which will need reseeding. Before that I need to give the leylandii hedge on the top of the bank a trim so that I can clear up the trimmings before throwing down some grass seed. I found my very first primroses of the year growing in the shelter of the hedge. The previous 2 winters have been wet and warm and the spring flowers have appeared very early on but all the experts are saying that this winter's bad weather will delay the spring flowers by at least a month.
While up in the chickens' run I spotted a few visitors to my neighbour's lake. I couldn't see the second call duck, maybe it was successful in its attempts to get home to Ashelford Farm.

Saturday 27 February 2010

Sun And Weeding.

The woodpecker was back at the bird feeder this morning flashing his red rump as he swung around, I haven't seen him since last autumn but he was a regular visitor last year. Plenty of small garden birds have been feeding on the peanuts and fat balls that I put out for them all through the winter. The sun was out again, after a few heavy showers, making the day seem almost warm. I managed to weed both the flower beds near the house. it's not such a satisfying job because being herbaceous beds there was not a lot growing yet under the mess of dead foliage and they now look sad and muddy where I've removed a few weeds and some over exuberant scrambling geraniums. It's nearly all hardy geraniums in there and when the summer comes it's an extravagant mass of foliage and colour but this year I do need to have a little bit of a tidy up. At least that is one more job to tick off the list.

Friday 26 February 2010

Smiley Simile.

It was a little wild and windy this morning as I set off for work. 5 mins before the start of school we had a hailstorm resulting in soggy and excited children. The rest of the day has been bright and sunny. Despite my worries the day went well with this new class, one child doing his own thing but not being overly disruptive and even wanting to join in with the literacy plenary. Our literacy objective was to write a poem about the night using adjectives and similes. The children came up with some good ideas though I did gently draw the line at one of the similes for 'stinky' - 'as my Dad's farts.' I got away from school quite quickly and managed to get in an hour's gardening before it got too dark and cold. We have been lucky with our weather down here in the South-West. Up in Scotland they had another 2 ft of snow overnight resulting in roads and schools being closed & power lines down. At one point there were 45,000 homes without power ! We've had our first storm warning of the winter as a severe storm with winds up to 100 mph is predicted to come swirling up from the Mediterranean on Sunday. If the rain isn't too bad I wouldn't mind driving down to watch the waves at Barrricane. It's a good forecast for tomorrow so I plan to be back out in the garden once more.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Back To Full Time.

Just 2 days of full time work and I'm back in my overworking habits. Tonight I was unable to tear myself away for an hour until I had taken down a display from last term and replaced it with some work the children have done this week. Nothing spectacular but I strongly believe that children's art work should be given credibility by being displayed even if only for a short time. Tomorrow is my first full day with a Year 2 class (7/8 year olds) and I have been given a free rein to organise the day to my own way of working. We have discussed the outline of the literacy and numeracy but I need to do more detailed planning so that I my teaching will be organised. Apart from being a new group of children which I have never taught full-time it is a very lively class with a lot of boisterous boys and some serious behaviour issues and I think that I will be using all my class management skills. Until I get to know the children better, and they are aware of my expectations I think it is going to be quite hard work. Well, I asked to do this job and it will be good to keep my skills practised. Off now to write up a full day of lesson plans.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

A Touch Of Sunshine.

What a change in the weather. This morning there was a soft breeze blowing up from the south which was almost balmy. The outdoor temperature was a comfortable 11C and best of all the sun kept appearing from behind fluffy white clouds. This warm front is hitting a cold front right up north and the news was full of pictures of snow up in Scotland. They also reported several significant avalanches. So different to here where it was such a pleasure to be working out in the garden with all the birds singing around. It was hard to wrench myself away to go to school for the afternoon. I had to fly out of school to get up to the hospital for another pre-op check. Something strange going on with my notes which I will take up with the consultant. Today the nurse informed me that I was having my first injection next Monday, WRONG, and she also seemed to think I'd had some injections in January, also WRONG. I hope they haven't got my notes mixed up with some one else's or maybe it is the booking clerks trying to make it look like I failed to turn up for treatment. Either way it is worth following up if only to get the notes accurate. I was out of the hospital pretty quickly and I was planning to put in another hour's gardening only to run into rain. Linas informs me that it has been raining all afternoon up here.
Rain clouds over home.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Still Cold.

Another grey and chilly day. A lonely blackbird was all fluffed up to try and keep warm this evening. We had some sleet in the morning but I wrapped up well and put in some time up in the scree garden. It was a bit mad but every hour spent gardening now is an hour less later, or even more when you factor in that the weeds grow and the fallen leaves break up and turn into a horrible slushy mess. The current job is working on the big stone circle which is the main design feature of the scree garden. It's about 10ft across delineated by larger rocks. Inside that is a ring of aubretia which I grew from seed, that's an achievement for me. Inside that is a ring of sedum plants, a later (Sept) flowering variety with dark red flowers, and finally a central ornamental grass to give the effect of a fountain of water splashing out. It's a good idea but if I was to do it again I'd chooses a different grass. This one has very heavy seed heads which start to sprout while they are still attached to the parent plant and flop down in a tangled mass. This summer I'll try cutting the flower spikes off as soon as they start looking messy to avoid the many sprouting plantlets which I'm now having to remove. The whole scree garden is covered with stones, (each of which I'd removed from the soil, graded and washed clean!) so weeds are not too much of a problem but the nearby mature trees drop a lot of leaves which I usually end up removing by hand. I have got a leaf blower/ sucker but it only works on dry leaves and isn't that efficient.
A nice cheery picture of the scree garden from May last year.

Monday 22 February 2010

Monday Blues.

It's been a miserable old day today, weather wise that is. Cold and grey, no actual snow but a few spits of freezing rain in the morning. We were just about to leave for town when the dentist phoned to say that my crowns hadn't arrived so my appointment was cancelled. With my work schedule and the limited number of appointments available it will be the middle of next week before I can have the crowns put on. So yet another week of sensitive teeth. I had a couple of things to get in town and Linas had his plans too so we went into town anyway. After all the excitement of Christmas shopping I've gone right off shopping. No birthdays coming up, January sales over and no excuse to buy clothes as I'm only working part-time. It was cold and the light was so grey, my back was aching and I was truly fed up by the time we got home. I did manage to get to the library, no fines this time -Hooray. I asked if they had a copy of The Egg and I (by Betty MacDonald) that I could reserve and they located a 55 year old copy in the back room, last loaned out 2 years ago. When I got home I couldn't motivate myself to go outside for a while and instead sat with a cup of tea and started reading and I LOVE the book. Her views are so current and funny yet her life was very hard, beyond anything that most of us have to put up with. Eventually I ventured outside and did some clearing of last year's growth and fallen leaves in the scree garden and felt much better for it. I can't bring myself to take photos when the light is so poor so here is a view of the tidied up bog garden taken in yesterday's sunshine.
Listened to an amazing guy on the radio on Saturday morning. Stan Brock is in his 70's and runs a charity called RAM which brings dental and medical care to those who are too remote or can't afford it. 60 % of his work is in the USA where hundreds of people turn up for his free clinics. His attitude is so humble, yet he does so much for others.
To find out more go to www.ramusa.org/about/stanbrock.htm .

Sunday 21 February 2010

Clear Skies.

We never know what the weather is going to be like when we wake up these days. Today it was a sprinkling of snow with some crunchy ice which soon melted. It looked as though we were in for rain but once we got to Barricane Beach the sun had come out. Plenty of people were out on the beach enjoying the good weather. The sea was full of kayakers taking advantage of the more settled waves, not many surfers.
A lot of extra shingle had been thrown up onto the beach, at least an extra foot deep across the central part. This made it easy for me to climb out on the rocks to explore the high level rock pools.

With all the new shells on the beach we had a good look for the little purple shells, some kind of oyster species, that I have been using in my jewellery making. It's very hard to tear your eyes away from the ground once you start looking, there always might be another shell or piece of sea glass to pick up.
The air was so clear that it was possible to see individual buildings on Lundy, even with the naked eye. That's 11 miles away! I took some really zoomed in pictures but they were a little too fuzzy to use. (Click on the pictures for more detail.)

Also slightly fuzzy but impressive at 30 miles away is Swansea with the snow covered Brecon Beacons a further 15 miles away.

As we drove home it was so warm we had the car windows open , coats off and sunglasses on. We did shut the windows once we were up high on the hill. To the north we could see right across the Bristol Channel to Wales, and the snow covered Welsh mountains and to the west the hills of Exmoor also had their covering of snow.
Once home I managed some time outside in the garden weeding up by the scree garden where I can work from the paved areas. Dancing On Ice completes our evening and then it's an early night before the start of another working week. I have really enjoyed being at home this week and feel that I am getting somewhere with all the gardening.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Next Job Done.

I had a bit of a lie-in this morning courtesy of the blanket of snow that had fallen in the night .... again!
There was more snow than yesterday's fall and the valley was blissfully quiet as I scrunched my way to feed the hens, with bare legs and dressing gown as I had rushed downstairs to scare off those dratted jackdaws.

The snow soon started to melt as the sun came out though the shaded parts of the garden kept their coverings of snow throughout the day. We are forecast the same again tonight with heavier snow on Sunday night. No problem for us so long as we can get out on Monday, I expect we'll leave the cars up the hill again tomorrow afternoon.
Today's gardening job was tidying the bog garden, down below the bank just behind my little snowy car. When we first moved here part of the charm of the place was the fact that the property is bounded on 2 and a bit sides by streams. The previous owners had dug out an in-line pond which we did maintain so that for a couple of years we had a shallow pond ending in a tiny waterfall. However water is an inexorable force and even though we are quite high up in the valley the pond would inevitably fill up with stones and gravel. Things were not helped by the fact that the lake next door has slowed the water down and reduced the fall of the stream. As the dam that formed the lake carries my neighbour's access road this situation is never going to change. The lake has been gradually silting up and I think that if some serious dredging isn't done it will be totally silted up in the next 10 years if not sooner. My solution was to abandon the idea of an in-line pond but to create 2 planting beds and allow the stream to run between them. Normally the stream is only a few inches deep and about 3ft wide but it can rise quite rapidly and often floods over the beds and path. My task today was to clear away all the dead leaves and branches on the path and to weed the bed on my side of the stream. In this bed are growing many astilbes which thrive in those conditions, some arum lilies which survive and some primulas. I did have a lovely clump of big candelabra primulas, the kind with white stems and bright magenta flowers, but I lost them eventually. On the far side of the stream I have a 'wild' bed. The high bank with mature trees that marks my neighbour's boundary keeps it shady in the summer and it would be hard work to have formal planting there. Instead I randomly plant/throw any of my garden plants that I think might grow there; wild flag iris, purple loosestrife, montbretia etc. This would probably be the ideal place to grow a gunnera which is such a feature of more formal show gardens around here but I think it is the ugliest plant going and I would never have it in my garden. For most of the afternoon the sun was shining down into this part of the garden which made working there quite a pleasure. One part of the path , which is made of stone chippings, was very silted up so I had to dig the stones out and clean them. To do this I used a wire in-tray lined with some garden mesh and let the mud wash off in the fast flowing stream. I got the whole job completed, knee is aching but I'm feeling satisfied. One more job to tick off, (I've had to add an extra section to my list as I spot more 'urgent' jobs).

Friday 19 February 2010

A Little Snow.

It started snowing this morning and lay on the ground until the afternoon. It took Peter 3 hours to drive into work this morning as he headed into worsening conditions. There had been 6 accidents along the Link Road and he spent a lot of time in queues with vehicles especially lorries, sliding all over the place. By the afternoon most of the snow had gone from the garden and I was at last able to get outside to do some gardening. The ground is so soft that I'm trying to keep off the lawns but I was still able to cut back all the buddlias and do some weeding. I'm fond of buddlias with their blooms in shades of purple from royal purple to pale lavender and pink as well. (I don't grow the white variety as the flowers look very messy as they turn brown.) And of course as each variety comes into flower it attracts a host of butterflies & bees etc. which are always such a pleasure to watch.
(July last year.)

All week my kitchen has been brightened by the lovely roses that Peter bought me for Valentine's Day. They match the bedroom better but as I spend more time in the kitchen they're sitting on the windowsill near the sink. Peter definitely won't remember but they are the same as the roses I bought from Covent Garden Flower Market to make my wedding bouquet over 33 years ago.

Thursday 18 February 2010

Snow Again.

I woke up this morning to see large flakes of snow drifting down. The snow continued all day but didn't settle, finally turning to rain in the evening. So it was all indoor jobs today, a mixture of tidying, sewing and more wall repairs. I also finished cataloging my 2008 photos and have already made an initial selection for a photo book celebrating the best images over the year. (From last Sunday.) I find micro habitats and miniature plants fascinating. The biggest of these coastal plants growing on the cliffs were no more than an inch high. With a hand lens or even a keen eye there is so much detail to be seen in these tiny plants and the different lichens. These rocks, despite appearances were not vertical but horizontal ridges of slate that lead out into the sea.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Trivial Gardening Thoughts

It was sleeting again first thing this morning but cleared up enough for me to get out and and do more gardening. I'm getting on with the weeding simply because I want to get that job out of the way before I have to start mowing and strimming. Romas did that job for me last year but I doubt if Linas will be so willing to help. I also want to get all the basic maintenance done and over with so that I can spend my time in the scree garden which is my favourite part of the garden. It needs tidying too and then I can complete the building of the steps up from the drive. Both Romas and Linas started the job but gave up when it didn't prove as easy as they thought it would be. By mid-day things had warmed up enough for the frogs to be active. Their croaking sounds like many tiny motorbikes revving up in the pond. I was working nearby weeding the steps up to the terrace. I originally built those steps from large rocks which I had found around the property and over the years the spaces between the rocks had become overgrown. My plan had been to grow alpine thyme between the stones so that they would give off their scent as you walk up the steps. Unfortunately despite putting in plenty of gravel and adding good soil the underlying clay makes conditions too wet and the thyme did not survive. I then tried low growing Corsican mint but that didn't last either. Now that we know we will be selling up eventually I'm just trying to get the garden tidy with the minimum of effort and cost so I'll probably plant some of the Mind-Your-Own- Business which I've already got growing at the top of the garden. It's not scented but should provide green cover. Sitting for several hours digging out weed roots, (I was being thorough and lifting the stones to clear out everything), really makes you focus on little things .... like weed roots ! Today's mix was grass with easily seen and removed runners and yarrow. It's only a small green weed but the roots are the same colour as the soil and are the type that get fatter at the bottom. If you are not careful when you pull them out they break and will grow back from the piece left in the ground. That's where my handy screwdriver came in useful once more. Oh what an exciting life I lead !
After lunch I needed to go and buy some milk. I've been trying to cut back on my frequent trips to the supermarkets and to start using up more of the food already in the house but there was no more milk in the freezer for tea or anything. It annoyed me to be driving out for such a small thing but I took some stuff to the dump as well and collected the recycling box , (the green thing on the grass), before somebody stole it. They're quite useful boxes and I've had several stolen already. You get them free from the council but it takes a few phone calls to get a replacement. They did also hand out wheelie bins, just how did they think I was going to get that up half a mile of hill, and 2 neat caddies with lids for our kitchen waste. As as our food waste goes either to the cats or the hens I didn't need them and gave them to Kate B to keep her guinea pig feed in. When I got to the top of our drive they way was blocked by some workmen who were using it to park in. However I couldn't be too annoyed as they were repairing some of the enormous holes that had appeared in the road after the bad weather. One pair of large pot holes were at least 6" deep with just enough room for a car to drive between them so I'm glad they have been filled in.
There were a few patches of sunshine lighting up the coast and I had planned where I would stop on my way back to take photos but the clouds closed in and the day stayed boringly grey.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

A Special Day.

Happy Birth Day, Alice Rose....... 3rd daughter of blog friend Sarah.
It is Vytas' birthday today (middle row with glasses), Lithuania's Independence Day hence the patriotic name. His graduation 2 years ago was a very proud day me for because it symbolised his first steps into a career he had chosen age 4. Well, that was when he first stated that he was interested in rockets not people. His Masters in Physics has led to the PhD which he is currently working on and I can see him being happy to follow an academic career. It is not primarily the letters after his name that make me proud but the fact that he has been able to identify a goal and successfully work towards it. At the same time he has grown into a confident and self reliant young man. Maybe a little too self reliant in that we only saw him 4 times last year, that does make me feel sad but you do have to let them lead their own lives. His life is now his work and his fiancee who he met in his first term at university and who is also doing a PhD. I think that is the most we can hope for our children; health, good relationships and the chance to follow a chosen career.
(For cute/embarrassing toddler pictures check out the post for last year.)
Back here in (sunny!) Devon the clouds have been rolling in making work in the garden a bit hit and miss.

I had to drive up to the road with the recycling box which gave me the opportunity to capture the low lying clouds trapped in the valleys.

I failed to get a picture of the wisps that had gathered in our valley because in the space of a few minutes the clouds had gathered and unleashed a torrent of hail and sleet. The weather continued like this for the rest of the day so I alternated working outside with repairing some of the cracks in some of the inside walls. They're only where the new part of house has settled a bit but it's time to repaint some more bedrooms and I might as well do the job properly.
And of course it is Pancake day today. I made a batch of batter and Linas and I had pancakes with sugar & lemon at lunchtime. Peter has just arrived home so I made him a couple of pancakes which he is eating with some cheese as he is not a sweet eater. A little while ago Linas was asking me to make pancakes so I went one step further and taught him how to make them for himself. He sometimes makes himself a batch of pancakes in the middle of the night when he's been up chatting on the net. A good skill to have.

Monday 15 February 2010

No Wax In My Ears.

The pictures are from yesterday, a selection of the many forms and colours to be found at the beach. I could while away the whole day just looking at the natural beauty there and watching the waves.
Slabs of slate in a gully.
Paint splashes of lichen.

The power of water meeting immovable rock.

Streaks of algae glistening on rock.
We had a lot of rain last night and the day started damp and dreary. I had an appointment in the morning for the nurse to syringe my ears . I had tried listening to my MP4 player and thought that one of the ear pieces wasn't working. I even replaced them before realising that it was my ears that were the problem. However when the nurse looked into my ears the drops I had been putting in to soften up the wax had worked so well that my 'deaf' ear was almost totally clear and so she only did the other one. She did recommend that I used olive oil rather than the drops because they have been known to cause eczema in the ears so I poured away the drops and refilled & relabelled the bottle with its handy dropper.
It was dry in the afternoon so I was back outside kneeling in the mud getting grass roots out of a flower bed. I was so tempted to leave it and go and start another job as it takes a long time to clear a small patch but then I won't be able to tick off that job on my list. One more bucket full of roots should suffice for the time being and then I can move onto the next job.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Solo Beach Walk.

Happy Valentine's Day. I did go for a walk on the beach but it wasn't our usual weekend stroll. Peter had to spend most of the day getting a tyre changed. Every time he had been to get it done previously either they didn't have the tyre or there was 4 hour wait but now the tread had gone to the limit and he could be faced with a big fine and points on his licence if it wasn't sorted. By the time he got home he needed to do some OU work. It's our fortnightly dustbin collection to morrow and I had to drive the rubbish up to the road so I decided carry on to the beach. It's nicer to walk in company but I also like being on my own and not causing anyone to have to wait for me as I stop to take pictures.
When I got to Woolacombe the place was heaving. The bright sunshine and perhaps the date had brought everyone and his dog out. (And of course it is the start of the half-term holiday.) I expect that we can expect similar numbers as it gets warmer bringing people out for a post Sunday dinner walk. I have to admit to preferring fewer crowds around. We'll have to head for the high cliffs and the more remote beaches as people start coming to the area for their holidays. Today was reasonably warm and I saw a fair number of younger people in t-shirts including one couple 'in lurve' paddling in the sea with their trousers rolled up. Love must make you immune to the cold.

There was very little wind and the sea was calm. Even though we keep visiting the same beaches the character changes depending on the weather and the tide and there is always something new to see. Note the number of foot prints on the sand from so many beach visitors.

Today there was a large flock of seagulls out on the rocks. They were only common black headed gulls but their colour and smooth lines made them stand out against the grey rocks.

The sun had started to go down as I left for home. I stopped on the road out to capture the sunset over the sea.

And then again from a high point near Berrydown. Hartland Point (the headland in the background), must be a good 10 miles away across the sea. I like the way this little patch of sky looked as if it were on fire.

Saturday 13 February 2010

A Gardening Day.

Today is the first day of the half-term holiday. 10 days to really get to grips with the garden. We had spells of sunshine so it was quite pleasant working outside. On of the jobs completed today was cutting back the santolina bushes that grow in the top of the stone wall by the front door. All through the winter they have added interest with their blue grey foliage and sandy button seed heads but now it is time to cut them right back. At the moment they look like a row of spiky hedgehogs but the new growth is already bursting from the buds ready to grow into tidy round bushes.
These celandines are officially wildflowers but I'm happy to let them grow in a rather wet bed providing an early splash of sunshine before the astilbes and alchemilla take over.

After a hard day's graft in the garden it was nice to see a touch of gold in the sky before the sun finally set.

Friday 12 February 2010

Work In Progress.

I've had some fun experimenting with the shells and glass from the beach to see how I can turn them into jewellery. I have remodelled some pieces of jewellery before but I don't have any knowledge of correct techniques so I just try out different ideas to see what works. I quite like these 2 pendants and the earrings and I'm working on an idea for a necklace.
I was playing with the shells this morning because it was cold and grey outside and I was waiting for a phone call. I did go out for half an hour and nailed up some planks that had fallen off the wood shed and of course when I came in there had been a phone call. No problem as I was able to ring them back and sort things out. It was back to school for the afternoon with my youngest class. I enjoy working with them simply because they are so young and new to everything. I ended the day with a story which is my favourite activity as all children respond well to story time. Last year when I had the Reception Class I didn't read the end of day story to them as I had to listen to children read at that time and the teaching assistant had the fun of reading the story to the class.
It was beginning to rain on my way home so I spent the hour before it started to get dark collecting up various logs and bits of dry wood from around the place and cutting them up so we can have a good fire in the sitting room this week-end. The central heating had to go back on full -time when the temperature dropped but it doesn't reach the sitting room and it gets rather chilly in here. It's half-term now, a whole week off, so hopefully I'll be able to tick off a few more of the jobs on my massive gardening list.

Thursday 11 February 2010

Welcome Sun.

It has been a gloriously sunny day today. Cold but sunny. I didn't get a chance to work outside today as the piano tuner was coming to tweek the piano back into shape. It's been 18 months since he last came, (he rings me when he is working locally) , but he knows this piano stays in tune quite well as it is in a cold room. (The far end of the sitting room, well away from the wood burner.) Instead of stomping about in the garden I tidied up the place and even washed all the blue glass on the kitchen window sill as the sun was shinning through and highlighting all the cobwebs in the window. Now the window and all the glass are sparkling in the welcome sun. Well not right now 'cos it's dark but you get the picture. Then it was off to teach for the afternoon and earn some pennies for the bank. A little shopping after school and home with a few stops to capture the afternoon sun.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Chilly Morning.

It was even colder this morning with a thick layer of frost on the ground.
Once again the pond was frozen over,

... and the early frogspawn has been hit by the cold.
I opted for some active work outside, cutting down a 15ft willow tree that had been left unattended for 2 years, and getting to grips with more brambles. Being mindful of my back I tried to use brains rather than brawn and made use of a fork, prising underneath and levering from every angle before dragging out those prickly fiends. I now have a very large heap of brambles and twigs ready for burning next week if the weather stays dry.
This afternoon I was back at school with my class of 4 year olds. I am beginning to pick up their names and to know which ones to rein in before they get too boisterous. In this age group we are expected to assess them through observing the things they do and say during child initiated activities so even when playing a little board game with one group I was making notes on other children. One little boy was playing 'mums and dads' in the home corner with 2 friends. He came over to me and told me he was the dad and that he was going to do the ironing (which he did), it sounds like he has a good role model at home.
Despite being rather cold it was bright and sunny today. It is so good to see blue skies.

The sunshine wiped the greyness from the countryside and gave it a golden glow instead.