"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Recent Reading and Bits and Pieces

First of all I really do hope you are all staying safe and well during these worrying times.

Recent Reading

I am spending a lot of time reading so another book update!

I have enjoyed all the Kate Atkinson books and this was no exception. I have another new one in my pile of fiction "books to be read". For once I am grateful of those "to be read" piles and also for my kindle which means I can buy books without even leaving the house!

I really enjoyed this newly published Shire book on Fonts which I had pre-ordered. I find Shire publications very useful for a good introduction to a subject.

Another good Maisie Dobbs book - sadly I fear there are now only one or two left in the series to read. I will have to check and see if the author has written any other series.

I am really enjoying the Cooper and Fry series by Stephen Booth - it is hard to put down one of these books once you have started. Thankfully I think it is a long series which should keep me amused for a while.

A fascinating little book - I do enjoy reading about folklore, legends and myths. Unfortunately, the static caravan we bought in Herefordshire was not ready when the site re-opened in March. They had problems moving it to its new location after all the rain we had had for months and then there were a few teething problems. We were due to go down last week just for the day to take some items but the timing was not good as the announcement was made about not being able to leave home for non-essential items and the site was then closed anyway!

Last week I rather stupidly slipped off the front door step twisting my foot and then landing on it as I fell. It is somewhat swollen and bruised so I haven't been able to get in the garden so my son picked me this small posy of garden Spring flowers to cheer me up.

A few days ago I found a bumble bee (buff-tailed I think) comatose on the garage door. So I gave it some sugar water and then put it gently in the little greenhouse which was warm. The vents were opened and it had disappeared a while later so I hope it had fully revived and had flown to some nearby nectar.

The nestcam is still working so we have been watching Blue Tits taking nesting material into the nestbox.

I have been avoiding supermarkets and even the corner shop so we have been making do on store cupboard food and freezer items until we were lucky enough to secure a supermarket online delivery. Once stocked up again on eggs my daughter yesterday made these choc chip biscuit bars from a Mary Berry book. They provided a pudding after the homemade mushroom soup.

Both D and E are at home now - D has always worked mainly from home and his meetings are being held via video conferencing and he does not have to go out now and cover Council Meetings as they have been cancelled. My daughter is on paid leave for 3 weeks.

Hopefully, next week I will be able to get in the garden and take a few photos to share with you.

Take care and stay safe and well everyone.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ 330 bridge camera

Sunday, 22 March 2020

A short walk in the Countryside

Yesterday I really did feel the need to escape for a while so D and I did the mile circular walk not far from home which we have done many times before and I am sure some of you will remember. It was good to spend an hour in the countryside when for the first time in two weeks I actually forgot all my worries and anxiety and just lived in the moment.

Apologies in advance if some of the photos are a bit rubbish - it was windy making it difficult to take flowers aand on top of that I stupidly didn't wear my wellies so didn't venture much onto the grass verges.

Lesser Celandine could be seen everywhere

and there were several patches of Dog's Mercury also in flower.

Luckily there was now no sign of a flooded road.

White Dead Nettle and

Blackthorn in flower.

Dandelion flowers are appearing now.

This is one of my favourite cottages with a rather charming gate in the hedge.

Record shots (to put it mildly) of a Red Legged Partridge and Pheasant running along the roadside in front of us.

A flock of dozens of Fieldfares descended in a tree in front of us silhouetted against the sky. i.e. a rubbish picture!

A species of Wild Strawberry - last time I guessed the exact species I got it wrong. I am sure Stray Rambler gave me the correct species but unfortunately I can't find the post to check.

Wild Arum leaves

I hope you are all well and staying safe. I don't know about everyone else but I find I am hardly sleeping - waking up hours earlier than usual and just lying there. I am going to try and make myself wander round the garden each day.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Recent reading, garden wildlife and latest knitting project.

We live in a very worrying world at the moment. I do hope everyone is well and ok.

Recently, rather than going out unless I have to do a food shop, I've been reading a lot and escaping into other worlds as this is my way of coping with worry.

The first books are all fiction as I continue to work my way through various detective series - thank goodness for kindles where you can buy a book without leaving the house. I really enjoyed all the stories and Hidden on the Fen by Joy Ellis was particularly addictive - I read it in two days and had to keep charging my kindle!!

Tales of Old Herefordshire was interesting full of old tales, legends and folklore.

I have been waiting for "Orchid Summer" to come out in paperback and bought it a month or so back from Kenilworth Books. This is the story of the author's quest to spot all species of British orchid in a year and it also contains loads of information on orchid species. Highly recommended - I loved this book.

Another book on the subject which I read a few years ago called "The Orchid Hunter - A Young Botanist's Search For Happiness" by Lief Bersweden is also well worth reading.

I bought Timpson's Country Churches secondhand some time ago from Astley Farm Bookshop. I really enjoyed reading about the churches he had visited - he has a wry sense of humour and there is lots of information about each church and many excellent photos.

Garden Wildlife

This jay visited the garden twice last week perching in the whitebeam tree. My son managed to get a few record shots.



Frogs started appearing in the garden pond last week although there were a lot fewer than usual. I suspect the common newts are eating a lot of tadpoles each year. Frogspawn appeared on the 11th but sadly only a small clump this year.

Last year we had a eucalpytus tree that was getting out of control cut down to about 7 feet and the tree surgeon left a few logs which we placed around the garden. A few weeks ago I spotted Turkey Tail fungi on one of them. A new species for the garden.

Bumble Bees are starting to appear and a pair of Blue Tits have been in and out of the nestbox which has a camera. We haven't seen the pair of Ring Necked Parakeets for a while so I was thrilled last week when 5 alighted briefly on Silver Birch trees at the end of the garden.


At the end of last year I started to make an owl tea cosy for a teapot we are taking to the caravan. Over the last few weeks I have made a real effort to finish it.

I hope everyone stays safe and well.

*D Photo taken by my son with the Canon SX50 bridge camera

Fest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera