"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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Recent Reading and a Wander round Millisons Wood

Recent Reading

First of all thank you all so much for your kind words and support over the horrors of rebuilding next door. It is very much appreciated.

Sorry for some reason I can't get the cover of the kindle book to show properly. This is the next book in the Cooper and Fry series.  Very readable although I found the fox hunting fraternity a bit hard to cope with!

I am romping my way through the Miss Read Fairacre books. So annoyed with myself for getting rid of all my old paperbacks a few years ago.  They really are a relaxing and lovely read.

I do enjoy the Anne Granger Mitchell and Markby books and read them pretty quickly!

I found the above booklet in my church guides storage box when I was looking for a guide to Hereford Cathedral.  I bought it from Birmingham Cathedral which has several very lovely Burne-Jones windows and I don't think I read it at the time.  An interesting booklet if you like stained glass and/or the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The above was a Christmas present from B and a surprise - he usually refuses to buy me books as I "already have too many"!!!  You can never have enough books in my view!  It is not a book I am reading from cover to cover but I am dipping into it regularly to read sections on counties I know well or have visited.  It really is a superb book and highly recommended if you are interested in Pilgrim Places, Holy Wells, Churches etc. etc.

Two more Miss Read Fairacre books as you can see I am working my way rapidly through the series. Then I will move onto the Thrush Green books.

The above book is a new series I have discovered by the Joy Ellis (Jackman and Evans).  This book was excellent and a clever plot and writing.  I really enjoyed.  I have also discovered there is a new Nikki Galena Fens story just come out which by a fluke I managed to buy for 99p.

Oh Joy!  There is a new Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs book out.  It was so good to return to Maisie's world.

Millisons Wood

I had promised D a trip out to Millisons Wood as it looked a good wood to walk round.  It was probably a mistake to walk past that house I missed out on - in fact seeing it again from the exterior and location it would have been perfect and the interior was lovely too from the website.  Anyway I have contacted estate agents to ask if they can let me know if by any chance it comes back on the market. Unlikely I know but worth a try and I have also registered with them to have details of new properties on the market sent to me.  Although one piece of news I wasn't expecting was that your house has to be actually on the market before you can view a property :(  So that means some hard decisions to make very soon. I suppose if I am honest I hadn't wanted to place our house for sale until I had found somewhere but it appears I have no choice. The thought of estate agents, surveyors and goodness knows who else visiting at the present time with the pandemic gives me the horrors and we shall have to do some rapid tidying up! 

Anyway the wood was definitely worth a visit and we shall return perhaps when the bluebells are fully in flower.  The wood was once part of the Forest of Arden and for that reason was awarded Local Nature Reserve Status in 2002.  It was surprisingly quiet too - we only saw a couple of other people walking dogs and one of them was on a different path.

The wood covers 28.17 acres and we decided to take the signposted nature trail which was a circular walk round the edge of the wood.

 A thicket of blackthorn in flower. I saw a Jay here.  Birdwise we saw a Nuthatch, Blackbirds, Dunnock,Robin, Blue and Great Tits.

Wood Anemone - flowers closed as it was cloudy!

A few Bluebells were starting to flower. According to a sign they have native bluebells and the dreaded Spanish Bluebell.

Lesser Celandine

Wood Sorrel

Wild Arum Leaves

We walked for about an hour but we did dawdle along!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Easter, Unwanted News and St Lawrence, Meriden

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter.

We had a quiet time at home with just the four of us.  By the way I know the Simnel cake has the wrong number of marzipan balls but to be honest I'm in a bit of a state at the moment and finding it hard to think straight. The reason for this I'll explain later.

 Some of you may remember that we were very worried last autumn about extensive building plans submitted to the planning department for  the semi-detached next door which links onto ours.  As it happened all worked out ok then as the plans were refused for at least half a dozen reasons.  We were relieved as the neighbours planned to move out for what we believe is at least a year as the house is not only going to be extended and altered internally at the rear (ground and first floor, but at the side, in the garage and above plus a loft room, new roof and twin gables (OTT!!) front and back of the house. In fact once finished they will have increased the original footprint of the house 3 fold!!!! The dust and noise would have been never ending.

Unfortunately the plans were re-submitted with just two small changes - they left off the "garden room" which already exists as it was built about 10 years ago and the conservatory which was the least of our worries.  We really did think that as so many of the reasons for refusal remained they would not get planning permission again. Sadly, we heard last week that this time (we are still bemused as to why) the plans had been approved.  

I wish I had known the decision 10 days ago as a rather super house had appeared on the market in a small hamlet near the village of Meriden and right next to a woodland nature reserve.  Of course by the time I decided we needed to view the house had already been sold!  Sorry long winded start to the post!  On the day the decision came through I just had to get out of the house to stop me pacing up and down so I decided to have a look at the house exterior and wood anyway in case other houses become available there.  It would have been perfect and I am somewhat kicking myself as we already guessed they would keep on submitting the plans until they were approved.

Anyway while in Meriden I decided to visit the churchyard of St Lawrence.

Church Farm

Mounting Block outside the churchyard.

The church of St Lawrence has  a Norman chancel. I've never seen inside as it is kept locked although (in normal times) I think it is sometimes open on a Sunday afternoon.

Moat House - timber framed and dated 1609 although Pevsner thinks it looks older.  D and I did a walk round here a few years back and thought the house looked spooky - it still does!

Grimmia Moss on the churchyard wall.

Back home in the garden I have seen several bumble bees, my first bee fly, two unidentified butterflies (too far away although possibly Peacock and Orange Tip).  Blue tits are busy building a nest box in the box with a camera and we have a Blackbird's nest with eggs in a holly bush.  A pair of Siskins appeared on the garden feeders briefly yesterday which was a great garden "tick" for the year.

Frogspawn has finally appeared although only a very small amount. Common/Smooth newts are also now appearing in the pond - are they eating all the frog tadpoles?

Wood anemones are now in flower as is Wood Sorrel and Green Alkanet.

I have no idea what we are going to do re: what is happening next door but one thing is certain we shall have to move. We have wanted to do so for some years but D and E still being at home with their jobs complicates matters. Warwickshire rural property is very expensive and I have seen very few affordable properties that I really like.   We shall have a moan at the planning department but it will do no good as, although the applicant can appeal if permission refused, those who objected can't.  We could write to MP or Councillors about the fact that so many issues which were refused the first time were allowed this time but will it get us anywhere?  The only other possibility is to consult a planning solicitor to see if requesting a judicial review (at huge cost!) would be worthwhile. Anyway apologies for being in "rant mode"!!!! One thing is certain I will be taking round a letter refusing access to our garden for any reason and also to point out they are not to chop down/back any shrubs or trees in our garden past the boundary. OK rant definitely over now. Will try not go keep going on about it!

Edit - Sorry going to rant just a bit more!! even worse OH has researched and it appears if we refuse access to our land and house they can take us to court and we will have to agree.  With the pandemic and worries also about security with scaffolding this has made the whole situation even worse. I shall do some extra reseach myself on this because my understanding was that you only have to give permission to access your land if it is to repair an existing building.  You do not have this right of access if you are building a new extension and the planning department suggests that you have a back-up plan in case access is refused.

Rant finally over!!!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

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