Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Photo Scavenger Hunt - December

In early December we travelled up to Wakefield in Yorkshire to attend a funeral.  We decided to stay overnight so we'd be there on time the next day.  We were able to visit a couple of places whilst on our travels so I've included some photos from our visit.  A couple of weeks later we visited Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire to join in with their Christmas activities.  Other photos are from local walks we've taken in the last few days at Trentham Gardens and Consall Nature Park.

I've enjoyed joining in with this month's Photo Scavenger Hunt kindly organised by greenthumb at Made with Love  just click on the link  to find other participants.


The sight of Little Moreton Hall always fills me with joy and especially in December when it is wonderfully decorated inside for the festive season.  Visiting the hall is always the start of Christmas for me


Early and historical music duo Hautbois play together in the main hall at Little Moreton Hall.  The visitors all joined together to watch and join in with some of the carols.


A rather misty photo of a tree in Consall Nature Park


This ornament has been around for as long as I can remember.  First memories of it were at my Aunt and Uncle's house on their dresser and then it came to my mother and was on her sideboard for years too.  I have had it on my windowsill for ages.  As it is the Festive season and Charles Dickens is always a favourite at this time of year I thought I would include it.  He's Mr Pickwick of course and his head comes off as it was originally a container for spirits perhaps whisky or brandy but I don't think he's seen either of those for decades.


A late afternoon visit to Wakefield Cathedral it was dark and gloomy outside but inside was light and bright.


Christmas at home with pudding, candles, tree, cards, music and holly - oh, I forgot the presents but all are opened and much appreciated.  Thank you.


The wet path seemed to sparkle in the sunlight as we walked along
at Consall Nature Park


Giving food to some pygmy goats - a little tub of grain cost 50p and fed several of the goats.  I loved the feel of their soft, gentle mouths on my hand.


A  table laden with festive fare in the main hall at Little Moreton Hall - all fake of course.


On our way up to Wakefield at the beginning of the month we popped into the Yorkshire Sculpture Park very briefly for lunch and a look at the  gallery exhibitions, we saw that some of the poppies that had been at the Tower of London were still on display so we made our way down to the river to see them.


Back home from a damp and misty local walk as soon as the coats and boots were off we went into the kitchen to make a pot of sweet rhubarb tea - a favourite at the moment especially with a ginger biscuit or two.

Whatever you Want 

The giant mushroom on the left has been on display at Trentham Gardens for a few months now but when we walked around the lake just before Christmas two more had appeared to make a mushroom family.  I wonder if there will be anymore?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Boxing Day Walk - A Day Late

We were going to go out for a walk on Boxing Day morning but it rained and it rained and then it rained some more plus the wind was very gusty so we decided to spend another day at home.  We'd spent most of Christmas Eve and all of Christmas day at home so were ready to get out even just for an hour but it wasn't to be.  So yesterday we set out to a local country park to blow some cobwebs away.

It was quite grey and misty but at least the wind had dropped and the heavy rain had, for the moment, rained itself out.

It was our usual walk at Consall Nature Park along the paths which pass the two fishing pools.

Down towards the river, railway and canal.

We walked along the towpath and past the little station which serves the Churnet Valley Steam Railway.  We didn't see any trains but apparently they were running at the weekend.

We crossed the railway and the canal and wandered back amongst the skeletal winter trees

It was good to be out in the fresh air and we saw lots of different mosses and fungi as we walked.

 I'll be back soon with my December Scavenger Hunt photos.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Christmas

Season's Greetings to everyone

I hope you have a Christmas filled with joy

and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year

Friday, December 18, 2015

Five on Friday

It's Friday so I'm joining in with  Amy at Love Made my Home for this week's Five on Friday.  Click on the link at the bottom of this post to find others who are joining in too.

 Well, of course it is all about Christmas now and I think I'm finally getting to grips with things.  Cards are posted and present wrapped and some of them distributed, others will go next week.  I didn't feel like having the large tree and mantle piece swag this year so we have kept it very minimal and I'm quite happy with that.

So Christmas 'things' have appeared gradually over the last week and there are still one or two bits to make an appearance.

1.  The glass holly decoration - I think this came out of wrapping first.  I seem to have photographed it on a misty day or perhaps the windows wanted cleaning or perhaps they were steamed up from cooking.  Well, I'm opting for a misty morning on this one because we've had a few recently.
2.  The Christmas shopping bag was the second item to make an appearance and is in use now.  It was bought from Tesco a few years ago when Cath Kidson designed a few bags made from recycled plastic bottles. I use it every year through December and I love its bright cheerfulness.

3.  Cards began to arrive in the post and they went straight onto the mantle piece and lamp table to start with there are more now so I'll have to find a way of hanging them or perhaps put them along the bookshelves and tuck them into the books to stop them wafting away every time we walk by.

4. Candles - and spicy seasonal pot pourri are the next thing out of the cupboard and I also added a clove studded orange too.

5.  The Tree - we've put out the small one this year and just put on a few balls and baubles.  I think it wants just a string of lights to make it complete.  

As this is the last Five on Friday until next year I hope you all
have a lovely weekend, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Miscellany

Sorry I haven't been around for a week or so but I haven't been well and really haven't felt like sitting at the computer for long - I've just been lying around and taking it easy with a good book.  I'm still not feeling 100% yet but yesterday we decided it would be good to be out and about so we visited Little Moreton Hall, just over the border from us in Cheshire, for their Christmas Festivities.

We were met by a lady with warm spiced apple juice (brandy optional) and it was needed as it was very cold.  A jester entertained us as we stood in the courtyard drinking the apple juice and we then moved into the Hall where a table groaning with food was waiting by a log fire and the musicians were entertaining with tinkling bells.

We had a wander around the rest of the rooms whilst we waited for the musical performance by Hautbois which was excellent and very informative as to the origin of Christmas carols which were originally dances and not religious songs at all.

 There were people in each room in costume and plenty of activities for children and adults to enjoy.

 Did I mention that it was very cold? 

We returned to the main hall and sat not too near the log fire to listen to the performance.

After this I was ready to go home as it was the first time out for a few days except for visits to the post office and sorting office - would you believe that I was out at the post office posting cards and when I got back I'd missed a postal delivery and had to wait to retrieve it from the sorting office.  I was only out for an hour!  Oh, well.

Many apologies for not leaving many comments on your blogs recently, I think I have managed a few, I have been reading and enjoying though. I completely missed Five on Friday too! Hope to be back to normal soon.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Five on Friday

It's Friday so I'm joining in with  Amy at Love Made my Home for this week's Five on Friday.  Click on the link at the bottom of this post to find others who are joining in too.

As I mentioned at the end of my last post we had to go to a funeral on Wednesday.  We decided to travel the day before and stay overnight close to the little local church in Wakefield where the funeral was to be held and this worked very well.

 Late on Tuesday afternoon we walked into the town centre and as it was cold, windy and quite damp we popped inside the cathedral to have a look to see what changes had been made since our last visit a couple of years ago.  Work was still being carried out but much had been done.  Below are five of the photos I took whilst we were there.

 The advent candles around the font

 View through the West door

The Labyrinth

The lights inside.......

......and the reflections outside where the cathedral was reflected in the windows of BHS opposite.
The next day the sun shone as we said our goodbyes and celebrated the life of a ninety three year old lady, my husband's aunt and godmother, who had done much with her life, loved her family and served her community well; the church was full and the atmosphere was peaceful and reflective with a few chuckles too.  

  Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Photo Scavenger Hunt - November

November came around so quickly and now it has gone in what seems like the blink of an eye, I haven't been out and about with my camera very much in November so I've struggled a bit to meet all the categories but I have found one or two different ones. Once again I've enjoyed joining in with this month's Photo Scavenger Hunt kindly organised by greenthumb at Made with Love  just click on the link  to find other participants.

A Stranger

We met a stranger walking in the woods.  He had three black Labrador dogs and I threw a ball for one of them as it kept coming to me and dropping the ball at my feet, the dog's name was Winston.  I do have a stranger to thank for handing in my mobile phone when I lost it in the street near the library.  I now have it back, a bit scuffed - I think someone may have trodden on it or kicked it but it still works, I think that the leaves piled on the pavement must have protected it.  There are still some thoughtful and kind people around, thank goodness.

Looking Down

Squirrel on a bird feeder

Pop Culture

VW van used by enthusiasts of Northern Soul which is still very popular around here - photo taken in the car park at Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire.

The Weather

Snow - it stayed for about thirty six hours and then disappeared - scene in our back garden around 10p.m. one Friday a couple of weeks ago.


 A huge fir cone - well not really but a rather finely carved one at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.


 A sign for the Oak Wood walk on the Trentham Estate, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.


A small collection of old bottles and containers.  The blue bottle is inscribed 'Mother's Help or Gripe Water.'

Out and About

 Out and about on a walk in the wood on a hill overlooking the lake at Trentham Estate, part of the city of Stoke-on-Trent spread out behind.


 My sun hat on the bookcase.  I put it there for safety a few weeks ago when we cleared the car to have it serviced, it has been there ever since and likely to stay until next summer.


An entrance hole in the front of the bird house on the garage wall.  Didn't see the earwig on the side when the photo was taken;  no doubt it will crawl into the hole.


One duck on a fishing platform at the side of the lake at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Whatever you want 

 A lovely little hessian bag full of rich red roses, a gift from friends.

We are off on our travels tomorrow, unfortunately to attend a funeral, so I will catch up with you all when I get back.