Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Garden visitors..........................................................................................................

It's been a really wet summer... but the garden wildlife has been fantastic.

Comma

Red Admiral

Speckled Wood

Wall

Orange Tip

Peacock

Red Admiral... again.

The weather has been great for the garden though... the planters have exploded!
So colourful.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Chatsworth House.................................................................. the garden cascade

Chatsworth House has a wonderful cascade in the gardens.

The original cascade was designed by Monsieur Grillet a French hydraulics engineer with experience in decorative waterworks for Louis XIV of France.

It took two years to build and was completed in 1696.
This preceded the Cascade which exists today and was a shorter and and in some ways a more complicated affair.

The Cascade House was built at its summit to designs by Thomas Archer.

The remodelling was largely completed by 1708 and work on the supply pond to the Cascade Pond which lies a little higher up the hill continued until 1712.

The building continued the established tradition of using water in amusing ways to surprise and delight visitors one of whom in 1725 reported how jets within the building.
‘throw up several stream and wett people"
(the spouts in the floor are still there)

The new Cascade is nearly twice the length and substantially wider than the original.
Chatsworth House is a wonderful place to visit.

Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Our weekend Hotel.................................................. a bit of style with fine dining

We have had such a wonderful weekend it will take me ages to share it all.
Saturday afternoon was spent looking around and shopping in the pretty little town of Bakewell.

I had booked us a room in a Country House hotel in the nearby village of Ashford in the Water.

The building dates from 1620 with extensions added in 1760... over 300 years of history.

We had a "Garden Room"... with French doors opening onto a small patio and the gardens.
Ours is the second from the left with the doors open.

A Lutyens bench... and a view over the garden towards the trout filled River Wye.
So relaxing.
The rooms aren't numbered... ours was called Rose.
Dinner was fantastic... our steaks were cooked to perfection.

Monday, 3 August 2015

A comfortable chair................................................. made from Half Dollar coins

 There was an exhibition of chair design at Chatsworth when we visited... the theme was MYC 
"Make Yourself Comfortable"

 My favourite chairs were made up of 1500 US Half Dollars welded together... 


... and yes they were very comfortable to sit on.
I looked but couldn't find any rare silver half dollars amongst them.

Our World Tuesday

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Just home from a wonderful trip to Derbyshire............... loads of pics to share

We have just had a wonderful weekend visiting Bakewell and Chatsworth House.

I have loads of images to edit and share.
The fountain at Chatsworth House is famous.

The photo opportunities are so obvious... but just have to be done.
Good on you Mandy X
More images of our wonderful weekend to follow.

Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 18 July 2015

I have bought myself a Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag!.................................... S Type

I have just bought myself a new car... a 2007 Jaguar S type.

 I have always wanted one but they don't produce them any more so it was now or never.
£35.000 worth of leather and walnut... and a 2.7 V6 twin turbo diesel automatic for just £7.500.

 It's in nice condition with just 58,000 miles on the clock.

The leather interior is immaculate... it looks untouched. 


I love it.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

My Grandson Arthur..................................................................... deep in thought

Arthur working out how a cocktail umbrella works.

Deep in thought. 
He is three years old in a a couple of months.... and may have come up with a new design by then.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

My garden planters have burst into colour............................................................

I planted most of this years flowering plants into pots this year.

They are doing really well... and I can move them around and turn them so they get even sunshine.

I am also going to have to raise some as the trailing plants are already touching the ground.
More images coming soon.

Our World Tuesday

Friday, 3 July 2015

My little garden last year..................................... it's looking great this year too!

A short video clip of my colourful garden taken last summer.


My garden has had a bit of a makeover this year... I hope to share some images soon.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Look who I had in the garden this morning......................... first one in 10 years

While I was getting ready for work this morning I was chasing squirrels off the bird feeders.
A quick bang on the window usually sends them packing but today they were very blasé.
All of a sudden one on the fence launched itself about 10 foot and legged it after landing.
Seconds later it all made sense.... as a Fox jumped over my fence.

 I grabbed my little point and shoot and got a few images from my front door.
Half dressed in just a shirt, underpants and slippers...luckily my house isn't overlooked.

 Calm as you like it just walked slowly around me and out on it's way.
It's probably the same fox we've seen in Mandys garden and on the estate during the past few weeks
It's another species for my garden list... and a confident one at that.

Linking to Saturday's Critters and Our World Tuesday

Sunday, 21 June 2015

13 years Wilde...........................................................................................................


Findlay Wilde who's wonderful Blog Wilde about Birds I follow asked me to write a guest blog about what I was doing when I was thirteen years old (Findlays age now).
He has invited a few people he has met over the last couple years to do the same so please visit his blog and scroll down the last few posts... they make an interesting read.
My post on his blog is here: 13 years Wilde

This is what I was up to when I was around 13 years of age. 
I started to watch the birds in our garden when I was 8 years old. I had been to a friends birthday party (way back in February 1964) and he'd been given a bird table that came free with a pack of birdseed called "Swoop". His feeder had loads of birds feeding on it and I wanted one. My birthday was just a couple of weeks later and I was given one as a present, a passion was born and I must have spent thousands feeding the birds since.
Mum, myself and Colin...  on a camping holiday in Scotland.

My brother and I were also used to handling birds in our childhood, rescuing ones trapped in the nets covering dads strawberry beds. We lived in Sandiway a village just a few miles from where Findlay lives now... and just across the road were some fantastic woodlands.

My dad loved old cars and owned a few old Morgans... this one was built in 1947

 Kennel and Petty Pool Woods were our playground with wildlife a plenty and in the days when children just ran wild without supervision... "be home by 7o'clock or you'll get what for!"

Taking my brother Colin for a drive.
Day's spent catching tadpoles and newts and bringing them home to show Mum. 
Minnows and Sticklebacks in jam jars were our Goldfish... wonderful days.

Scaden... looking a bit like the Mary Celeste.
We were probably swimming from the dingy... with Mum cooking lunch inside.

At the age of 13 my life was fantastic... a couple of years earlier my parents took us (my brother Colin and I) to the Earls Court Boat Show in London.
Dad bought a yacht... the next few years weekends and school holidays were spent in North Wales.
The yacht was a four berth, named Scaden (Gaelic for Herring) and about the size of a caravan.

 We also had our own little dingy to play in.
Dad relaxing... I was the Skipper.

In Porthmadog harbour there is an island made from the ballast dumped by ships which were then loaded with slate from the local mines.
Ballast Island was our very own Treasure Island and we had it all to ourselves as the local kids couldn't cross the water.
We camped out, fished for our tea and searched for broken clay pipes discarded by the old sailors.  One bird species I remember from those days were Oystercatcher's... there were loads them.

I also joined our local Sea Cadets... how smart am I?
I went to a regatta in London in this uniform and was surrounded by Japanese tourists with cameras.
If anyone in Japan has a picture of me I would love to see it.
While out sailing in Cardigan Bay we would often see dolphins but the most memorable experience was one summers day on my brothers birthday (21st July) it was really calm as we dropped anchor off the stony beach between Criccieth and Black Rock Sands.
 We had fished for mackerel as we sailed there and were gathering driftwood to build a camp fire to cook our supper when suddenly the seashore became a frothing mass... thousands of mackerel were thrashing about by the shore which I now know were spawning.

 I would love to experience the whole episode again with a video camera in hand.
It was amazing!
All we did was scoop fish after fish into buckets by hand and we caught loads... then taking them door to door around Criccieth the next day selling them to the locals.
(The local chip shop even bought some).

Me the sportsman of the family... I loved playing cricket.

These are the highlights... but sadly by the time I reached 13 my Dad was quite ill.
My brother and I spent the summer of 1969 in Scotland (our parents are from Glasgow) on the island of Cumbrae just across the water from Largs. We stayed with family in the same house dad had stayed in when he was evacuated from Glasgow during the war
                             He served in the Royal Navy in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) before the war ended.

We had a great time, played golf, cycled around the island (10 miles) and saw all sorts of wildlife.
 There is a famous crocodile near the harbour.
The Crocodile Rock was first painted in 1913 before the First World War. 
Another memory from this holiday was hearing the Rolling Stones singing "Honky Tonk Women" for the first time... it's funny what memories come flooding back while reminiscing.

Mum and Dad.

Unfortunately my dad passed away in 1971 aged just 44 (I was 15) but when I look back down the years I realise I had a wonderful and quite privileged childhood with some fantastic memories.
I have added a few more images from my childhood on this post than I did for Findlay.
The reason is that I am now £35 out of pocket after purchasing a digital scanner to convert Dads old images as they were slides. 
The scanner has enabled me to convert them into digital images much to the delight of the family. The slides had been gathering dust in a box in the loft for years,
Mum is now 84 years of age but has an Ipad and is loving seeing all the photos again.

Our World Tuesday

Thursday, 18 June 2015

My grandson Arthur....................................................................... visiting Venice

Arthur is just two and a half years old but is already doing the Grand Tour.
A few pics of his recent trip to Venice. 

 Italian ice cream is fantastic!

Yummy?

Wandering around the streets of Venice... not a bad start to life.

with Dad... what a wonderful place to visit.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

It's official(ish)............................................... the Robin is now our National Bird

We have had a poll on which bird should represent the UK.

The result has been revealed... and the winner is the Robin.

 A lovely little bird I see every day in my garden... the Robin got a third of the votes.

It's not a Bald Eagle but it's a feisty little bird all the same.
It is the bird I voted for by the way.
The organisers of the vote are now going to ask the government to make it official.

Linking to Saturday's Critters and Wild Bird Wednesday