"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

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Recent Reading


I'd wanted to buy this book for ages. In the end I ordered it direct from the author. Like all Little Toller books it is a beautiful book.  It tells of the authors travels in the south west in search of Romanesque sculpture interwoven with his own life and experiences as a stonemason. A really lovely book to treasure.

"The Quartet Murders" is the second book in the series and it was very enjoyable. Nice easy crime reading.

I do enjoy Trevor York's books. They are an interesting and comprehensive introduction to a subject and I am very keen to learn more on the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The next Joanna Piercy story - these books are really difficult to put down once you start reading them. I finished it in three days!

This is the final Midsomer Murders Mystery which is a shame as I thought the series just got better and better.

Some of you may remember I hated the "Dead Place" by this author so I was a bit nervous about starting this book but it was much better although I have to admit I did scan read a few of the post mortem reports!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Queenswood Arboretum, Herefordshire and Bonfire Night


Wednesday last week before leaving Herefordshire we paid a brief visit to Queenswood Arboretum.  We have tried several times before but the first time the place looked packed (it always does!) and the second time we had problems paying with Ringo for the car park as the car details and debit card details were both out of date.  This time we finally made it - I didn't want to go all the way to Herefordshire for a night without visiting just one place.

Queenswood Arboretum and Country Park is a fragment of a huge ancient oakwood that once reached as far as the Welsh Border. It is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) managed by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust in partnership with New Leaf Sustainable Development.  It comprises 123 aces of ancient native woodland together with a 43 acre collection of more than 1200 rare and exotic trees from around the world.

On the Gruffalo and Pumpkin Trail

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330.

Bonfire Night

We always have a few fireworks and fortunately had a box not used last year.  I must admit these days I always feel a bit antisocial but we have the display early evening and it only lasts about 20 minutes and we only have the more traditional fireworks similar to the ones I had as a child as opposed to the very noisy expensive ones.

Photos taken by D with the Canon SX50HS


My mum always used to make Catherine Wheel savouries and I've never found a recipe so I make up my own. Served here with hot chocolate and cinder toffee.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Hallowe'en and Brief Visit to Herefordshire


D and E enjoy "celebrating" Hallowe'en at home and this year it seemed more important than ever to have a few treats.  A few photos - D ordered a Hallowe'en Food Box from Morrisons which provided some goodies including paper plates, cups etc.  He also ordered some of the vegetarian sweets from M and S.

E made these cupcakes

The above photos were taken by D the rest are mine.

I always make Wizard's Hat Pasties and this year I made Spider's Web cupcakes (both recipes can be found on BBC Good Food website and are vegetarian).

Tuesday morning we dashed down to Herefordshire due to the fast approaching "lock down" so we could bring back some items such as bed linen and food, vacuum bag quilts, pillows and clothes, and do a proper mini "drain down" in case we get freezing temperatures.

The caravan site is due to stay open until 31st December this year but they will be closed during the lockdown period and whether they do re-open will depend on Government guidelines early in December. So it was quite a sad occasion as we may not be able to return until March at the earliest.

I took loads of photos on the journey - most pretty rubbish as from a dirty car window and a moving car! But I'll share a few.

This pub on Brigsty Common looks worth a visit IF we ever get a "normal" life back.

There are various "landmarks" we pass on the journey such as pubs, houses, villages, churches and trees.  This is the tree I call the "blasted oak".

This one in the centre of the photo I call the "Dragon Tree".

After lunch we spent most of the afternoon cleaning the caravan!

The tree I have been watching is finally starting to show some autumn colours.

Next morning there was a heavy frost and believe me those caravans get cold before the heating comes on!!!

We did pay a brief visit to Queenswood Arboretum but I'll show you a few photos in the next post.

In other news we have learned that the planning application for next door has been refused!  I am feeling relieved! although I suspect it will be short lived as they can of course appeal or submit new plans and they can go ahead anyway with the loft room and reroofing as that does not require planning permission.  I refuse to worry about it for now as it was causing many sleepless nights. We will just have to wait and see what happens!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.