Friday 24 May 2024

The Dambusters - Five on Friday

Hello there, hope you are well. Cold germs have lingered too long in my bungalow. First me and now my husband. If it's not coughs, it's catarrh... just fed up with it now. I've not been knitting very much lately, I need to get back to it. I crocheted some flowers and leaves, whilst on holiday - to make a brooch for the next WI competition. I need to start putting it together with some buttons for the flower centres. I've bought some felt for the backing and a brooch pin. I'll put it together and show it next time. 

Back in April we all went over to Hope Valley, Derwent Water in Derbyshire. We took Angus and Johnny, Nat took Ellis and her parents.  The weather was dry after lots of rain, lots of chat and a very good walk. We had a coffee back at the cafĂ© before leaving. We stopped for some fish & chips on the way home. 


1) Gathered for the walk - plus me holding the camera. 
We walked around the lower part of the reservoir, starting at the Dam. It's the place where the Dambusters practised for their mission during WWll 

2) The Dam - such an impressive Dam.

3) Angus - on the lead due to the sheep around and some main roads along the walk.

4) Village under the Derwent Water - the tale of the lost village is sad (photo: random people sat down). To build the reservoir, meant flooding the river valley, sacrificing the village. The people were rehomed nearby. In very dry years, the houses can be seen beneath the water of Ladybower Reservoir. 

5) Reservoir and Sunflowers seeds for the ducks - I took sandwiches and a few snacks for us and some sunflower seeds for the ducks. 

It was about 120 miles round trip to Derbyshire, the walk that we took was 7 miles. I'm not sure that we'd visit again, unless we were staying nearby. It's a lovely calm place, beautiful countryside with a vast amount of water. 

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Friday 17 May 2024

Missing: Holiday & illness

Hello there, hope you are all well. I've been absent from blog-land, first a holiday and then straight down with a nasty cold. 

We hired a motorhome and set off for The New Forest in Hampshire, Friday to Friday. Catching up with the laundry over the weekend, shopping on Tuesday. Then after lunch it all went down hill with sneezing. Angus has hated it, he can cope with thunder and fireworks but not sneezing. He's followed Mark around and jumped on anyone sat down. 

Some photos of Angus in the Forest (Hampshire, south England, UK). He had his first ice cream in a favourite place of ours - Tall Trees Walk, part of the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. It's a very calming place amongst the trees. 

Angus and me at the bottom of the two trees: Left & Right

So majestic and calming, these tall trees are huge! Difficult to get the whole tree in the photo. Sadly my battery died on my camera and I neglected to pack the charger. So these are all from my phone. 

Horses, The New Forest is famous for wild ponies with a right to roam. They'll be rounded up at the end of the season. Several years ago we were out walking with the boys, it started raining and suddenly the ground vibrated with horse hooves thundering towards the trees for shelters. They literally screamed at the cows already sheltering under the trees. The cows slunk away defeated. 

Ice cream stand in the car park... very expensive!

After our icreams, we had rum & raisin and mint chocolate chip, we headed to the Ober River walk - Aldridge Encolsure. It was a bit wet and boggy in places but I'm glad we went as it's another favourite walk that we enjoy. There were three bridges on this walk, the fourth one is closer to Aldridge Hill campsite. It's perfect for children, like the previous walk as you're following sign posts. 

Looking for tadpoles.

I'm going to post a 'Five on Friday' next Friday when I feel better. I'll be stopping by to visit your blogs this week too. 


Friday 26 April 2024

Garden - Five on Friday

Hello there, a quick pop round the garden today. There have been a lot of changes in the 2+ years that we've been here. Mark is the main gardener, however he always has so many other things to do. Apart from his work (teaching people to drive), mostly part time now as he really wants to retire, he is often found fixing things - both inside or out here and at our old house. Obviously I'm involved with the garden, our bungalow and the old house too and sometimes Johnny gives a hand. Though the focus is to get the old property ready for sale, this one has had many urgent needs too. 

Overall it's hard with two properties constantly in need of attention. My health has been rubbish for years due to IBS, it's quite debilitating. With underactive thyroid thrown into the mix, any upsets take days to get over. I nearly didn't post this as it all sounds depressing. We aren't depressed, just muddling through one day at a time. 

Today, 'Five on Friday' is a quick walk round the garden, trying not to notice all that needs to be done. 
Except for the fruit trees and the tree with the bird box, all the trees in the background belong to neighbours.

1) Left: the back garden, all the petals on the grass are from the neighbours Ornamental Cherry Tree. As much as I like them, they are pretty, the constant sweeping up of petals being trodden in is wearing thin now. The garden is on two levels, with steps in the middle. The soil is clay, so lots of slipping and sliding about on wet winter days. On the first photo, there is a glimpse of the conservatory which can be very warm from now onwards. A path can be seen in front of the conservatory, this will link to the path in the last photo. Tucked round the corner is another small patio, at the back of the garage. 

There are four fruit trees - Pear, apple, cherry and greengage. Typically I can't eat any of the fruits, they are all part of the Sorbitol group of Fodmaps. Behind the trees is a raised bank area along the back of the garden. Bulbs and other woodland type plants are planted there. The garden had lots of bumpy hills randomly about the garden. Lots of clearing was done to level them, a skip was filled with excess clay soil, hedge cuttings, and a diseased apple tree from the middle of the garden.  

2) Lower part looking to the right: next to the greengage tree is a gazebo in the corner with paving slabs. Later we'll set up the table and chairs, we've had a BBQ up there. We put a cover over it in warmer, calm weather. One day it may have a more permanent cover like the swing seat - I was fed up with bird droppings on the seat. Originally it had a fabric cover which either flipped up in the wind, or was rarely out, so lots of chair cleaning. We don't really sit out much, always lots to do. 

Next is the greenhouse, at the moment it's home to the firewood for the stove. One day there will be a log store - low down on the list. Then a large area which will be a massive shed car workshop. The existing small shed will be dismantled, it's battered and far too small. Though we have a garage (back of it) to the right, it's too small for Mark's 'car hobby' needs. The existing garage will have decorating equipment, bikes, lawnmower, chipper etc. in it. 

3) Across: This area started out as a raised area, now flattened the bulbs grow happily there. Generally the garden will be wildflowers and bulbs, to the right of the existing shed is a few rose bushes, heather, hydrangea, lupines and lavender. Leading to a gate to the front garden and drive.  

4) Flowers: The apple blossom was caught too late but it still looks pretty. Angus amongst the Tulips, bluebells, peonies and probably chewing a stick.

5) Path & wild garden: Due to the slippery soil, Mark is putting in a path. We first tried covering it in untreated bark chippings but they rot down too quick. They did enrich the soil but it's still awkward walking over. Under the wheelbarrow a channel was cut out, barge boards were added for the edge support and stones added against the bungalow wall. There was grass against the brickwork but we felt this would be better drainage. The path is absolutely necessary for access to the front eg for the mower, coal delivery etc. The two sides of soil will have wild flower seeds soon and bulbs.

From the top level looking across the new path... you can see 'The Wolds' in the distance. Also the same view from the kitchen sink at the front of the bungalow. It's a lovely garden but sadly with our to do list, we never find time to sit outside.

It's all a work in progress with all the important jobs in the garden or bungalow going to the top of the list. There have been so many leaks here, it's unbelievable, also sorting the bathroom floor and wall cladding due to a massive leak. The fans in both the bathroom and the en-suite needed replacing, also the kitchen a new cooker and sink were urgent. Sadly things never get finished as something else crops up for attention. 

Our old house needs the new workshop put in here - so we can empty out the garage.
We are concentrating on tidying and cleaning up from decorating and re-grouting the tiles.
Outside - cleaning paths, drive and patio.
The gardening is obviously ongoing too.
So to summarise:
*Clean inside & tip run
*Sort loft water tank (to prevent leaks), check boiler - water leak 
*Clean patio and paths
*Shed base, shed, transfer garage contents
*House on market
You can probably tell as I write, it weighs you down, we really need to see closure at the other place as soon as possible. 

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