"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, 25 January 2021

Snow, books and this and that


Like many others we had snow at the weekend.

Garden on Saturday

Overnight a lot more snow fell and it snowed most of Sunday morning.

It really does turn gardens into a Winter Wonderland.

Last week before the snow I went a wander round the garden looking for plants in flower.  

Winter Jasmine flowers and so does Bergenia


Primulas and Wild Primroses

The camellia has a few buds.

Turkey Tail fungi are forming again on an eucalyptus stump.


The latest Wesley Peterson book was a good read. I do like the way Kate Ellis blends crime with archaelogy.

Murder at Redmire Hall I read very quickly. I am really enjoying this series.

When we were in Oxford a few years ago for a Tolkien Exhibition we had lunch in a canalside pub in nearby Kidlington which was full of Inspector Morse memorabilia.  I've been meaning to try the Colin Dexter novels ever since (I never watched the tv series).  I enjoyed the first - good old fashioned policing.

I really wanted Orchard and it was a surprise Christmas Present from D.  It relates the story of a year in a traditional, organic orchard in Herefordshire. It is very well written and researched and the amount of wildlife to be found in this orchard is just astounding. A super book and highly recommended.

For my birthday last month D treated me to membership of the National Churches Trust and this book was part of the package.  As it is impossible to go church crawling at the moment or even to visit  churchyards unless very local this book was a bonus and thoroughly enjoyed.

This and That

With lockdown 3 E is at home again (a huge relief!!) and she made this Coffee and Praline Hazelnut sponge - a Mary Berry recipe.

D had this vegetarian cook book for his birthday. I've never really been a fan of Jamie Oliver to be honest but this book has some excellent recipes including a tasty Cauliflower, Cashew and Paneer Tikka Masala.

To try and fill the hours we have been playing family board games and completing jigsaws.

Even with the cold weather there are still not a great many birds coming to the feeders. Although one day last week a Sparrowhawk suddenly burst from behind the whitebeam tree, flew along the hedge and ended up perched on the feeding station!  He was unsuccesful on that occasion. Earlier today I saw him fly into the same tree for a few minutes.  I will be taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend and hope there will be more birds around!  Perhaps for a change this year I will get more birds rather than the opposite!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these challenging and worrying times.

Tikka masala photo by D. Rest of photos by me taken with the Pansonic FZ330 bridge camera.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Recent Reading


I still seem to be doing a lot of reading.  I'm not going out at all due to lockdown and not being able to drive the car anywhere to walk. OH and D do local daily walks but I have heard enough about people not social distancing to put me of going.

First of all another good Cooper and Fry Book. Sorry I can't get Kindle to show the cover of the actual e book for a proper photo.  A new Superintendent has been introduced who seems keen on change so it will be interesting to see what happens in the next book especially where Cooper and Fry are concerned.

Wednesday's Child was not the easiest book to read as it covered the abduction of a young child which made it upsetting in parts.  Overall though I am enjoying this series.

I've missed reading the Midsomer Murder books now I have finished the series and Caroline Graham has written two other novels.  The one below was just brilliant. I enjoyed every single minute. She really is a good writer.

The next in the Joanna Piercy series and again a book I found hard to put down.

Loving churches and carved misericords and bench ends I found this book fascinating. It contains a lot of information on the subject. Sad to have to buy as an e book as I would prefer a  proper book but I will rectify that if life ever returns to normal!

Another series I have recently started which I enjoy reading. Slightly different to some of the other crime novels I read as this involves one professional detective and one amateur.  Well written.

It took me a long time to read this book (a bargain buy a few years ago from The Works). It follows the journeys of 8 chroniclers of British travel through the ages starting with Gerald of Wales in the 12th century and finishing with H V Morton in the 1920's.  It is packed with interesting information although I enjoyed more chapters than others.

I've finished the first in the Inspector Morse series but I'll write about that in the next book post.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these worrying times. Take care.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Happy New Year


Thanks so much to everyone who visited my blog in 2020 and especially to those of you who left comments - every single one was appreciated.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. I know 2020 was a particularly worrying and horrible year for us all so let us hope 2021 will eventually be better.

Take care everyone and stay safe.