The George and Molly series has improved with each successive book in my view.
I have been keen to read Mudlarking for ages and in the end bought the kindle version. I really enjoyed this book - lots of information about London history and objects found by Mudlarkers.
This is the penultimate book in this series by Caroline Graham and, in my view, the best so far.
This is the first book I have read by Ann Granger and I enjoyed it enough to buy the next in the series.
Elmdon Manor LNR
The first house at Elmdon Manor was built in 1547 and in 1760 Abraham Spooner, a successful Birmingham ironmaster bought the estate for his retirement. He demolished the old manor and in 1785 built a new house but never lived to see it completed so it was his son who completed the building. The estate changed hands several times and in 1944 Solihull District Council bought the hall and what was left of the estate. In World War 2 the house was used to home the local home guard. After the war the building was abandoned and slowly deteriorated badly. It was too expensive to restore and today a car park covers the site of the house and what remains of the parkland is now the popular Elmdon Park.
Elmdon Manor LNR, a short distance from Elmdon Park, is important for the mixed habitat of woodland, grassland, large pool and walled garden. It covers 5 hectares and is owned by Solihull Metropolitan Council and managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
The walled garden was built in the early 18th century and was reputedly the largest in England at about one hectare and it was one of the most productive fruit and vegetable gardens in Warwickshire. Later in the 18th century the area to the south and west of the garden was landscaped and a pool was created and exotic trees and yews planted. These areas now make up the reserve.
Usually on the few occasions I have visited in the past this reserve is very quiet and you don't see a soul but like so many local places since March it has become busier and we did see a few other people as we walked round.
We didn't see much wildlife sadly - birdwise a Grey Heron and Moorhen on the pool, and a Dunnock and Magpie in the wood. No butterflies not even on rotting fruit in the garden.
First few potatoes
Tomatoes ripening although I suspect I will be making Green Tomato Chutney again this year!
Muffins made from foraged blackberries. The following day we made more from a Tesco online recipe called Surprise Blackberry Muffins which were even more delicious although a bit fiddly to make. They tasted like an Apple and Blackberry Crumble Muffin - sorry no photo of those. If D took one I will try and remember to upload it in the next post.
Not sure why the above photo is to the left and not centred. I have come to the conclusion I don't like new blogger at all - it takes for ages to write a post and I hate constantly having to revert to left align and paragraph inbetween each photo when I insert text! Also for some unknown reason a massive gap appears between the end of the post and the comment part and I have to delete dozens of lines!
In other news we have had a letter from the planning department on those masssive house rebuilding plans for next door and have now viewed the application on line. I won't go into too many details as we shall definitely be submitting our views! But one thing I really hate is that the planned two storey extension goes right up to the boundary which means from our bedroom window there will be a massive brick wall going up to the roof. On the ground floor it will go out 6 metres at least and 3 metres on the second floor. We already have to put up with a 3 metre first floor extension. I have gone back to the stage of thinking perhaps we should try and move before they start work. It will be horrendous and with all the other building and extensions they plan (side two storey, conservatory and a room in the loft plus new roof) it will take months if not years. Unfortunately I have no idea when they plan to start work although I do know they plan to move out while it is done. I suspect too I won't even want to go the caravan because I will want to be here to make sure builders don't trespass on our garden or try and put up scaffolding or cut down our shrubs and trees beyond the boundary.
Sorry to have a moan but have been in a bit of a state about it ever since I looked at the plans earlier today!
All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera except for the last few of garden produce and baking which were taken by D with the Canon SX50 HS.