Monday, 8 February 2016

February Begins

Hello Lovelies,
here I am with what seems to be becoming a regular weekly round up. I'd love to publish shorter posts more regularly but that's not happening for one reason or another. 

I'm smiling at this first picture as it's rather similar to the start of my previous post. Guess I just love sunlit winter woodland............


These images are from last Wednesday morning when we were blessed with blue skies..........


Though I think you could call the going "heavy" .......


It may be muddy out there, but there is blossom too............


Indoors the same day I was smiling at the Daffodils on my mantle...........


Then in the afternoon I was delighted to come across this wonderful "book bench" when mum and I visited a local art gallery...........


I had this edition as a child and it was one of my favourites...........

Ladybird books were a big part of my childhood and it's so nice to see them celebrated in this way, in the town where they were published. You can see more images of them HERE


On Thursday I was out with my lovely walking group again. This walk was being led by two ladies who haven't been leaders before. They did a great job, choosing an interesting route past a home that was once a windmill...........


and climbing up to look down upon the  raging wear.........


They even supplied yummy snacks to go with our morning coffee. This marmalade flapjack with sunflower seeds was so tasty.......


The group is full of kind and interesting people. They do  make me smile. I loved it when one of the older chaps started counting us using the traditional sheep counting rhyme...Yan tan tethera. His knowledge was impressive though he has never been a shepherd :0)

After a steep and slippery descent to river level, then a steep and tiring climb up again we were all happy to sit down by a pretty church and eat our picnics.............


Look where was a moss covered stone wall for me to dangle my legs over.........

excuse the mud :0)

It really was a delightful spot. The bulbs were just opening up in the churchyard......


and through the little cluster of charming old buildings you could just see the river..........

as another lady said, it really was a timeless spot.

I liked this weather vane very much..........


and it was appropriate as the only locals we saw were this friendly pair..........


On the way back we saw another converted windmill. Wouldn't it be nice to see them with sails...........


It was somewhat less scenic here....just acres of ploughed fields....this bit did remind me of chocolate though....

Milk or plain? :0)

And the farmer had helpfully made some tyre tracks for us to follow, otherwise it would have been rather treacherous.........


We have had quiet a lot of rain again too. On Saturday I never left the house. But I was enjoying more Ramblings podcasts on my phone...I got a little speaker, it's great...........


My Diary last week was telling me of Imbolc ( it's linked to Candlemass).... I loved the idea of celebrating the first stirrings of new life as the days begin to lengthen........


And I loved the colours in this wild flower Mandala.........


So I made a crochet version...........

It's THIS lovely pattern, with a slight twist

I think it looks pretty and seasonal, with it's snowdrop and crocus colours...........


It's making me smile despite the rain .

Jacquie x

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful

Hello again Lovelies,
I think I'm the sort of person who generally feels blessed. I've written it here often enough. I'm blessed to have my family, blessed my own mum is still well, blessed I can work part time, blessed I'm healthy (touch wood).
These are the big things I am thankful for.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes I feel annoyed and upset by stuff.  When that happens getting outdoors generally lifts my mood.
This week my walking group were blessed with the best day of the week weather wise. Thursday morning was cold but sunny and I loved walking through the winter woodland.......


Then stopping for a coffee from my flask in this sunlit glade.... and being given home made cake by our walk leader.

 I'd never heard of Porter cake but it was yummy. A moist and tasty fruit cake. I've found a recipe HERE. I might try and make it myself.

As we walked further through the woods one of our group noticed this Red Admiral butterfly.... such an amazing sight in January. I felt sorry for the poor, confused thing..........


The colours of the woodland and the green fir trees did make it look like somewhere continental rather than Blighty in January ...........


as we came out into open countryside the fields were full of free range pigs, each with it's own shelter it seemed. "Is that what they call Glamping?" one of the group asked....and we all laughed......


Lunch was in a very neat little churchyard...that even had a sweet model of the church in the lawn........


I do love my walking group...but I also like to explore a little on my own. So while they were still eating I wandered off to look a little further..........


and came across this strange ruin in the cemetery.........


and I loved the far reaching  views, both back towards those glamping pigs........


and across rolling fields of green...........


Here's the ruin from the other side. I couldn't weigh it up...thankfully the internet provided the answers. It was made from parts of a ruined Saxon church that stood on this site.....so they are over 1000 years old.......

and this spot is alleged to be the resting place of Will Scarlet. How interesting. I love discovering things like this.

In the afternoon the clouds and wind built, but we tramped on and  smiled at the pigs.........


and these cute cottages..........


this cottage even had a famous character looking out of the window........

 Did you spot Tintin?

It was a whole day walking...well you can see on my phone it was from 10am till about 4pm. We covered 12 miles ( and that's my longest walk since last July)..........

yay...a great reason to feel cheerful.


This weekend my growing collection of cheerful Log Cabin granny squares were arranged to make diagonal stripes......


Ummmm, that reminded me of something.

I got out my old photo album and found this snap from 1984. I know exactly what year it was, as this new fangled "Continental Quilt " was my 18th birthday present...and look what cover I chose for it :0)............

 a replacement for my green candlewick bedspread and blankets :0)

 We had some lovely sunshine again yesterday and I even hung out some washing, then noticed my neighbour had done the same...........



Indoors I love that this batch of mini daffs are not so leggy ...a sign the light levels are improving?



 The droplets on the glass were courtesy of eldest who was outside with the hose washing my car...and kitchen window ( his idea...bless him).

My third lot of Hyacinths are also flowering.......



I accidentally knocked of one of the flowers...so I popped it on bird's head...

 Cute hat :0)

A good book is certainly a reason to feel cheerful. I picked up this book in the library last week........


Another book called walking home ( I read THIS one last winter).  It's very different to Simon's book.....but happily just as good. Clare writes in a easy to read style and this book wont last me much longer. It's funny and touching and full of emotion. It's also introduced me to Clare's Radio 4 programme called Ramblings...how had I never heard of this?...well quiet easily I suppose as I'm not a radio 4 listener. I love the format of walking and talking to interesting people in some of the most wonderful parts of the U.K. ..........

 Happily there are podcasts......yes yes, I can listen to them at my leisure. I've already enjoyed 3 of the 156 programmes currently available. Listening to them on my phone while I'm cooking is great...but I could do with some plug in speakers to make the sound quality better.

 They are so inspiring. I now want to walk Kinder Scout (preferably with Mike Harding alongside to sing I'm a rambler as he does at the start of THIS episode). Oh and the Mourne Mountains sound amazing. Oh and Windsor Great Park.....and the South Downs. I could go on.
As I said...very inspiring :0)

 I'm looking forward to walking in some new places this year....but I'm always happy to walk familiar paths too.

 Saturday afternoon Was prefect for a quick blast of fresh air..........


The Snowdrops are flowering by the church...........


Such cheerful harbingers of spring.....but be careful if you crouch down to get a low angle shot of these little beauties.....as you may get stung on the bottom for your effort.........


 Like I did .

I'll finish this long and somewhat rambling post ( get it ) with a photo of the cheerful pink house I often pass ....it never usually shows up as pink in my photos....but this time it did........


Well done if you made it this far. Wishing you all a cheerful week Lovelies.
Jacquie x