Wednesday 29 July 2009

My best walk this week!

Yesterday we dodged the rain and went out for a country walk. Teggs Nose Country Park is based on a disused quarry, and has gorgeous walks up the top (bit too far for me!) and round the bottom with very steep paths in between!. I used to walk there a lot with our previous dog, and pick blackberries there. Bilberries grow there too, but they are far too few and far between to be worth picking!

We stuck to the bottom path, which at the start is a grey stone-walled lane, very typical round here. The walls are covered with moss, and in some places overgrown with ivy, which isn't in flower yet, but when it is is covered with bees and butterflies.

There is still the traditional stone stile here, though now we can just walk straight through where there was once a cattle grid.

Although we weren't wanted in the fields alongside the lane,

There were distant views of the Peak District Hills

And lots of flowers

At the start (and end) of our walk, there is a run-off for the reservoir, which used to serve the town some time ago, and I suppose still does in a small way! The reservoirs are full, so the run-off had some splashy waterfalls!

I was so pleased I could at least manage a shortish walk, and have a much-needed change of scene!

Saturday 25 July 2009

A fruitful time

Have got myself together enough to think about a blog! I have been enjoying plums and nectarines, and all the lovely fruit around, so being really interested in food and photography, combined them both!

I love plums, especially Victorias, straight off the tree, warmed by the sun! We used to take our holidays in Greece for a number of years, and one of the joys was buying fresh fruit - gorgeous juicy peaches and nectarines, and huge, funny-shaped tomatoes. They tasted far nicer than the fruit you buy in the Supermarkets! There were also pomegranites and figs, often just dropping from the trees. To say nothing of oranges and lemons. it semed nearly every house had a lemon tree in its garden, even if they only had a tiny courtyard, one would be growing in a pot!

I loved Greece, the whole laid-back-ness, the warmth, and the sheer difference from life here. Ah, those were the days - clambering over ruins, sitting at waterside Tavernas, sipping drinks, eating on the harbourside in the evening watching the sunset and the moon over the water.......

However, back to the present! I am sorry to report that vegetable growing has been a failure. Nothing grew in my "raised beds", things came up and then stopped! Even my french beans, which normally I am excellent at, have stopped growing half-way up the poles. Though I have had flowers and now have a few, a very few, little beans. The two tomato plants are strong and sturdy, but have managed only two tomatoes between them. I have a nasty feeling it is the lack of bees to pollinate. don't know how my courgettes will fare - they have lots of leaves, and I spotted a flower (male) but I have hopes!

However, the flowers in tubs are bright and cheerful, though the roses made a big show a few weeks ago and have now died away. Judicious pruning will probably bring a second blooming later. At least we are not suffering from a drought this year! Where the long hot summer that was promised has gone to I don't know, but we seem to be having monsoon showers!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Monday 20 July 2009

Happy Times


Things are rushed, fraught and not conducive to blogging at home, so I have made a quick collage of happy times (some a bit long ago!) and will come back soon, I hope!

Have a good week, everyone!
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Friday 17 July 2009

Thematic Photos - Odd

I'm having a go at Carmi's challenge here which this week is "Odd".

I found this lady in the Flea Market in Leek, Staffs. She looked as though she was fending us all off, and quite what she was doing there along with various teddies and dolls, and a clock, I'm not sure! Seems odd to me!

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Alderley Edge

I had to go to Alderley Edge yesterday. Its a very pretty little town on the Cheshire Plain - a small high street, lots of speciality shops and boutiques, no national chain stores. It also has a lot of very, very big houses, where people with very, very big salaries live. Like footballers. And bankers. It likes to think of itself as a little bit different, and a little bit better than anywhere else.

Yesterday I remembered to take my camera with me. I've always wondered why Alderly Edge has to put its speed restriction signs on little houses on legs!

And this sign post reassured me that when I was pushed, it was good to know which way to go!!

"The Edge" is actually a big sandstone bluff, from where there is a great view over the surrounding countryside. Mostly only in winter, as intervening trees have grown rather tall. The Edge is interesting, apart from good walks in the woods, as there are prehistoric copper mines there. They were used in the Bronze age, the Romans also mined them, and they were mined for the copper until, I think, the 17th Century. Its fascinating to think how many men have used antler picks, iron picks and modern steel picks to hack away at the valuable ore there. The Edge is a favourite place for families, loads of big sandstone boulders to play on and areas to run around in.

And just for you creative people, there is a little tree-lined lane all for you!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Saturday 11 July 2009


I thought I'd have a go at Carmi's Thematic Photography which this week is "Distance".

This photograph of my Dad in his Home Guard uniform was taken in 1942. He was 40, and in a reserved occupation, so along with those too young to join up and those too old, he guarded vulnerable points in the neighbourhood, and generally prepared for invasion by Germany.

I was 8 at the time, and obviously using his much-prized Roleiflex camera (I know that because the negative is square - my Box Brownie took rectangular negs!) This now seems a lifetime away. So very distant, and so very different to life today. Sixty-seven years ago, and at war, the country was in a state of flux, food was rationed, air raids constant (we had already been bombed out).

With hindsight, we can see how things might have been managed differently. Hindsight is always a wonderful thing! But that was what it was like then. Now it is a very distant, and very different, past. There is surely more distance between my life today and my Dad's then, than between those of him and his father?

The generations seem to put more and more distance between them as the years pass. I'm not sure this is such a good thing. We all seem to be in little boxes - the old; the Baby Boomers; the young-marrieds; the teenagers (aka the hoodies in some places); children. All kept very separate.

I don't think this is good.

Wednesday 8 July 2009



Our Day Lilies are just beginning to come out, so of course, the rain came down in torrents! I managed to get some photos of how wet they looked! Most of the lilies were moved last year to different places, so I am pleased that they are actually flowering. I thought they might take a while to recover. Their roots went a long way down and transplanting them got a bit brutal!

There are lots more flower photos on my flickr site

Oops, that link didn't work1 I shall try again!

my flickr

That seems OK!

Saturday 4 July 2009

Saturday morning Flea Market!

We both like going to Leek on a Saturday morning, when there is a Flea Market in the Market Square. Leek is a very old town, in Staffordshire, and has had a market since before 1214, when it was granted a Royal Charter. The present Council is called "Staffordshire Moorlands", and at the entrance to the Council Offices and Car Park is the Staffordshire Moorlands Lion. Now I have never seen a lion on the moors, but there he is, looking far from fierce, but rather friendly, I think!

One of the big markets here is the Butter Market. The other is the cattle market. The above is not the Town Hall, but the very grand entrance to the Butter Market.

The Flea Market has a very eclectic collection of goods on sale. I really think those mincing machines have had their day!

There are some lovely roofs and top stories of houses. Someone cared enough to get up there and paint everything that rather bright green!

The Market Square has houses of different periods, though all have been converted to commercial use now. The roofs are the same though!

But just look at those chimneys! Really fancy brickwork - I would think they are Tudor.

We didn't actually buy anything at the Flea Market today, though I was sorely tempted by a rather small bucket, missing its handle, painted cream and pale green, labelled "legumes". I did wonder where it had come from, and what stories it could tell. Similarly some rather smart, and very large, galvanised watering cans. They must have weighed a ton when full. But then the "big houses" would have had a whole array of gardeners to lift and carry them. Who most likely never ate any of the vegetables they grew for their employers.

We did end up buying some strawberries, cherries, and a big bag of mushrooms for 50p!

Wednesday 1 July 2009

I'm pleased to say all went well with my cataract operation yesterday. Feel a bit odd today, but it will all settle down in the fullness of time! Its remembering not to bend over that is so difficult!!

So I thought I'd post a couple of photos I took of the top of our garden the other day. Everything has shot up in the heat we've had, plus several good downpours of rain. Beans, tomatoes and courgettes growing well, but the seeds are not doing at all well. Think I may have had the wrong kind of compost!

Have a good day, everyone, and thank you so much for thinking of me yesterday!