"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, 28 February 2019

A Few Hours in Stratford-upon-Avon

E is on holiday this week so on Monday we went to Stratford-upon-Avon for a wander.

The American War Fountain

Then a walk by the River Avon - the area was heaving with people. I do like Stratford but I have never known it anything but busy!

A dreadful shame about the litter floating by the Mute Swan

Black-headed Gulls

The swan had followed me along and here he/she is again!


It seems to me to have been a very good year for crocuses

Another view of the RSC

The Other Place - I have such fond memories of plays seen here when it was called The Courtyard Theatre and was being used when the RSC was being renovated.

Hall's Croft - this was the home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband the physician John Hall between 1613 and 1616.

We had lunch at The Windmill - D and I discovered this pub when we were last in Stratford - the food is good and reasonable and service excellent.

The first time poor Timothy had seen daylight! B and E walk much quicker than me and every time I stopped to take a photograph I was left further and further behind so no time for Timothy to pose for photos.

Three cheese toastie with chips

Guild Hall and Chapel

Grotesques and a carving of an angel on the Guild Chapel. I haven't been inside this church - perhaps one day.

New Place is a garden I would like to visit - it was being restored the year D and I had the Shakespeare Houses passes - you could just see this silver globe through a gap in the fence!

The Garrick Inn

I bought some cheeses from this shop. Paxton and Whitfield are a royal warrant holder having supplied cheese to various monarchs over the years and apparently the shop was also a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Wandering round a local churchyard, Meriden Rookery, first garden butterfly of the year

Sunday was a lovely day and, having seen reports of butterflies appearing, I decided to go along to Berkswell churchyard in the hope that I might see a Brimstone either there or along the country lanes.

There was plenty of colour in the form of tubs and

crocuses on the village green which were getting visits from bees.

Wells House once I believe the rectory and it was home to Maud Watson(1862-1946), winner of the first Ladies' Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon in 1884. Her father Henry was vicar at Berkswell church. Maud is buried in the churchyard with her sister.

(Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will have heard some of the history of Berkswell before as it is a place I do tend to visit fairly regularly!).

The ancient well is 16 feet deep and it is believed it was used centuries ago to baptise people converting to Christianity.

The War Memorial in the churchyard.

St John the Baptist dates from the 12th century and was built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. I didn't go in the church on Sunday but I have done previous posts on the church interior and its ancient crypt.

Some of the corbels around the exterior - I found some new ones on this visit on the North side of the church.

A friendly face and a

frankly quite terrifying one.

Sundial on the church tower

Sections of two walls of the church are covered in graffiti - some dating back to the 19th century. I always wonder about the stories behind the initials and names.

Lesser Celandine is now starting to flower although

the snowdrops were fading and I only found a few clumps with fresh flowers.

Lichen forming a miniature forest on the church wall.

The churchyard preaching cross is medieval and replaced an even older one.

Sadly no butterflies were seen.

On the way home I stopped off at Meriden to visit the rookery there which is always full of activity at this time of year and it is delightful to watch the rooks and their activities as they build/repair nests.

Yesterday I did see my first butterfly of the year - a Small Tortoiseshell on Bergenia flowers in the garden. It is always the same you go in search of butterflies and fail to find one but then unexpectedly when you are not looking for it one turns up!

Flowers including




Wild Primroses and


are now appearing in the garden and we also now have daffodils in flower.

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