Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Morning In Dove Dale

The weather looked fair so we decided to walk at Dove Dale.  It was colder than it has been for ages so extra layers and woolly hats were donned before we set off along the riverside.

We crossed the bridge to the Thorpe Cloud side of the river and made our way along the rough bank side - not quite as sure footed as gazelles.

The river was quite high and moving very rapidly, lapping at the sides of the path near our booted feet.

The water swirling and eddying in white frothy ripples as it travelled down stream.

Buzzards and light aircraft flew overhead

People chattered with delight and trepidation was they crossed the stepping stones, pausing halfway over to have their photos taken at this well known spot.

We followed the path towards Milldale.

Climbing the steps which are full of fossils

There were dippers in the cold water of the river

and crows in the bare winter trees

Time to turn back along the path already trodden

and cross those stepping stones - halfway across

Safely on the other side

 It was getting towards one o'clock

Lunch was calling!  Time for a sandwich and a warm drink overlooking the fields

  before driving down into to the village of Ilam 

 I always love this view of the church and the grey of the stone against the backdrop behind it

 A couple of purchases were made from the sale at the NT shop before we headed home.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Firm Favourite

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a long time will know, as I've probably told you many times before in various posts, than one of my favourite books - probably my all time favourite - is J L Carr's A Month in the Country.

I've also probably told you that the film version is one of my favourite films.

I can also now say that the stage version I saw recently is one of my favourite interpretations of this wonderful novel.  Adapted for the stage by Nobby Dimon the director of a splendid theatre company I hadn't come across before called The North Country Theatre it perfectly captures the very essence of the book.

We went to the performance with some dear friends one of whom is also an avid fan of of this unforgetable story.  Tom Birkin recovering slowly from the traumas of the WWI trenches arrives in the Yorkshire village of Oxgodby to uncover and restore a medieval wall painting in the church. Outside in the fields beyond the churchyard archaeologist Charles Moon, equally traumatised by his wartime experiences is working on an excavation to find the body of the disgraced ancestor of a church benefactor Miss Adelaide Hebron.  The story weaves around these two characters and those of the villagers. The solitary Rev Keach and his beautiful wife, Alice and Station Master Ellerbeck's family including his delightful daughter Kathy who are most definitely 'chapel not church'!  How to create the poignant atmosphere of this month of summer, this month of searching, dreaming, yearning,  recovering, of revelation and burgeoning love?

A small company of five actors with a small revolving stage of moveable props managed to do this in the most amazing and wonderful way.  They captured the characters of the main protagonists so well some of them doubling up and playing two parts.  The whole thing was so well performed, well timed and well constructed that it was a work of art in itself.  We had a most wonderful evening in the presence of this company of players who both before and after the show and during the interval will come amongst the audience to chat, to challenge and interact in a way I've never seen before.  Most definitely community theatre at its best.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wilderness Walk

Firstly thank you so much for your lovely comments on my last post.  I usually reply to them all but I haven't this time so though I'd show my appreciation here.  It's lovely to hear from every one of you.

It's been a busy week!  On Monday we went to see the film Mr Turner which I enjoyed very much.  It was quite a long film but the scenes and settings and acting were wonderful.  Tuesday I had my hearing test and I have to go back again next week as the tinitus I have is a lot worse and I have lost quite a bit of hearing in my left ear.  We also went to one of the Open Hanger Days at RAF Cosford - see Paul's blog for photos of that. 

Yesterday we decided to follow the path of the Wilderness Walk at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire.  We'd looked at the route on line but when we arrived we were given another map as the woodland part of the route had been closed for maintenance.

We set off anyway to follow what was left of the route as we hadn't done this walk before although we have done the other walks at Kedleston several times.

The house and gardens were closed but we did have a quick peek in the shop and intended to go back after our walk to make some purchases but we ended up going back to the car after the walk because our boots were very muddy and then forgot.

Across the bridge and along the side of the lake until we reached a gate that was the start of the route of the walk.  The air was very misty and damp and there was the constant sound of ducks and  geese from the lake and also the cackle of pheasants from the fields nearby.

It was a lovely walk and very quiet too.  The car park was a quarter full and most people had gone into the shop and cafe or had taken one of the other routes.

We crossed a couple of bridges along the way.

We also passed some stunning ancient oak trees at the side of the river.

We eventually reached the start of the village where we crossed the river to walk back down the other side.

There were lots of sheep grazing in the grounds

It was by now getting quite damp and a bit chilly

So it was good to see were back at the bridge where the walk started.

Did I mention that there were a lot of sheep?  Some more curious than others!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Evening Sky

The sky on Saturday evening was stunning!  I couldn't resit taking my camera into the garden to see what I could capture before it disappeared as darkness fell.

 It looked as if the sky was on fire

 Of course darkness heralded another round of fireworks

 Which lit up the sky in quite a different way

But of course, by that time, I was indoors where it was warm, blinds closed, planning where we would walk the next day.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The last few days

Because of the constant rain over the last day or two I've  found myself thinking back to the beginning of the week when the weather was bright, clear and dry.  I haven't taken many photos this week but those I did take seem to reflect those golden autumnal days of light and shade of shadows and reflections.  Below are some of the photos I took as we were out and about.

On Monday we visited the busy market town of Nantwich.  We parked behind the church but didn't linger as there was a funeral going on inside.  I thought the tower looked wonderful against the bright blue sky.

We had morning coffee in the bookshop which is on the main street in one of the old black and white timber framed buildings that Nantwich and this part of Cheshire is famous for.

 A walk along Welsh Row across the River from the main part of the town is an absolute delight if you are interested in historic architecture.  I've taken you along there in a previous post.

 Unfortunately this time no books were purchased in the drinking of this coffee.  The shop had changed so much since our last visit when it was more a book shop and less a cafe.  Now it is very much the other way around.

One of my favourite buildings in Nantwich is Sweet Briar Hall which was, as you can see from the description, lived in for a few years by Joseph Priestley, contemporary of all those famous names of the 18th century, names like Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton, James Watt and Erasmus Darwin, who were some of the illustrious members of the Lunar Society.

 On Tuesday morning we went for a walk around the lake at Trentham and it was just so beautiful

 The light on the trees and on the water was absolutely amazing, I'm afraid my photos don't do it justice.

 It was so hard to capture the transient beauty of those few hours

 The light on the water played tricks with the eyes

 and the camera lens

 Something to remember the sensation of and keep in memory now these dull, rainy days have come upon us.

 In the meantime the paint roller and brushes are out and the kitchen is being painted.  We realised that it hadn't been done since we replaced all the kitchen units ten years ago.  It was looking dull and forlorn.

At least it is something positive to do whilst the rain pours down outside.
Enjoy your weekend.