Sunday 23 December 2012


A very Happy Christmas to you all - that is if I have any readers left!

We went to the "Treacle Market" this morning, which took on a good Christmassy air, even if there was a very brisk and chilly wind a-blowing!

We went fairly early, by the time we were ready to come home, it was heaving! There were a lot of foodie stalls:-

This man always has beautifully fresh vegetables. There were also bread stalls, with 'artisan' bread, gorgous-looking loaves with nuts, fruits, onion, garlic in (not altogether!) and foccaccia, ciabattam everything you can think of. The loaves are lovely, but from experience we know that they go stale very quickly, are absolutely huge, and there are only two of us! So we came away with a mini pannetone!

There were various fast food stalls:-

If you couldn't get what you want here I would be very surprised!

And there were lots of craft stalls, stalls with pictures and odds and ends, and a couple of book stalls, where I found three books, one of which will be a present for one of the gardening women in my family!

So now its nearly Christmas. It will be very quiet this year, as we are on our own.

Happy Christmas to you all!

Friday 16 November 2012


Last week I spent a few days in ~Surrey with my sister and brother-in-law.   We had fantastic weather, and she took me to the Royal Horticultural Gardens at Wisley

The Herb Garden was lovely, even at this time of the year,

And the flowers in the Alpine House were spectacular.

The trees were so beautiful, the autumn colours seemed to get brighter every day!   Surrey is very wooded, unlike where we live, and I was amazed at the beautiful colours along every little lane.

In the Glass House, the tropical House had some very odd plants, one stem, which was very thick, like a tree trunk, looked as if it had been plaited (braided)

I'm not a great lover of cacti, but these were giant sized!

We also went to Watts Gallery, which was the highlight of my visit.   GD Watts is a famous Victorian  artist and he had designed these buildings especially to hold his paintings and those of his wife.   It was all very "Arts and Crafts,  and had a wonderful shop and a really good cafe!

The Chapel, however was something else.   Mrs. Watts had designed it herself, and to my way of thinking was way over the top!

Over the door were all these faces, all different.   I wondered if they had been modelled on real people.

Inside was another surprise.   It was circular and had windows in each segment, the wallspaces between were covered in paintings and modelling like the above.   It didn't feel like a chapel to me, but had had some famous visitors, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall among them!


This particularly beautiful tree was in a local park, where I surprised myself by managing to walk right round a very large lake!

I promise not to leave it so long next time before writing a new blog!
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Tuesday 23 October 2012



On one of the lovely sunny days we had last weekend we set out on a very  pleasant walk to a place called Danes Moss.   It is now a Nature Reserve, although much of the original Moss has either been reclaimed for agriculture or is used as a landfill site for rubbish.   Mosses are areas of lowland peat, formed way back in the ice ages when rivers were dammed and lakes formed which gradually silted up, were filled with trees and vegetation which rotted, but without oxygen to complete the process, peat was formed.

The right to dig peat for burning in fires and furnaces was granted to some of the old Macclesfield inhabitants who owned land in the town.   Gradually, the rights were bought up and commercial companies dug peat for mainly horticultural purposes until 1966.   The the land was left, and became a wildlife refuge and a place where rare mosses and plants grew.

The start to get to Danes Moss goes down a hollow way – probably very old and worn down between the fields.   Trees have had to grip hold of the banks

After a bit the path turns, and the view opens up to the hills beyond.

Eventually we could see the entrance to the moss and we were very surprised to see that a small plantation of old larches had been felled.   Actually I was quite glad as I had always found it dark and spooky!

We were also surprised to find that a boardwalk had been built across the marshy and wet areas.

We set off along it, and it had obviously been there a while as there was plenty of vegetation growing round it.

The boardwalk then entered the woods, and it was here we made the mistake of not turning back!  Although it was very pretty in there!

The board walk suddenly ended and we were faced with a very muddy path, with gloopy mud thick in places and some tricky bits for me to negotiate!   the planks were lethally slippery, and I cannot walk unless my stick is on firm ground!   In the end I had to sort of crab sideways and slide my feet.   Mr.G was getting cross as he thought I would fall in the muddy ditch!

In places you could see the sleepers from the railway tracks which the peat diggers had used.   Horses would pull the loaded trucks down to the canal where they could be loaded onto narrow boats and moved across the country cheaply.

   Unfortunately several of them had nasty bits of metal sticking to trap the unwary!

We finally made it out of the woods to where we had thought we would arrive at miles back!   It was really a horrendously long walk, and too much for me, but we couldn’t go back so we had to go forward, or we’d be sitting in gloopy mud now!

Next time Mr.G says lets go for a good walk, I’m going to study the map first!

Tuesday 9 October 2012



It was a gorgeous afternoon on Sunday, so we went off to one of our favourite spots.   Redesmere is a big lake, near Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield.   There are always a lot of ducks, geese and swans there, though in winter the numbers build up tremendously.

There is also sailing at the far end of the lake.



It was such a lovely day we decided we would go for a bit of a walk, and Mr.G would take the dog in the field.   However I decided differently, and managed to get over the stile into the field. Quite difficult as I use a stick, and have trouble with one leg!

  The path goes over a field, that had a huge bog in the middle, whcih we had to go round, and over another difficult stile into a track running between the woods bordering the lake and a field

It was at this point I made my mistake!   I knew there was a lane (no stiles) which led out onto the road again, two sides of the triangle, so to speak, so off we went down there.   Oh dear, it was MUCH longer than I remembered!


Imposing gateways, pretty thatched cottages and a little stream made up for the distance a bit, but even the old farmhouse on the road didn’t make it shorter!


We were extremely glad to get back to the car, with four sore feet, four sore paws and one very sore leg!

But it was really lovely down there, and afterwards I was glad we went!

Thursday 13 September 2012

The Swan Family


Once again I have been a bit slow in getting my blog written.   But I don’t go out that much, and you would get very bored with pictures of the park all the time!


However, you might remember that back in May our two resident Mute Swans hatched five cygnets.   the adult swans were fantastic parents, guarding the little ones very closely.


Unhappily, two of the young cygnets were attacked and killed by a dog.   or so it is reported.   It might have been a heron, or a crow or even a pike in the lake, but whatever happened, two of the youngsters were lost.

The remaining three cygnets have grown and grown, and are now as big as their parents.



They will stay the buff/brown colour for a year or two yet, and may stay as a family next year.   it rather depends on what the two adults do!


This was one very angry adult swan this morning.  He seems to think he owns the place!

their wings are very beautiful, especially the young ones.   I enlarged the wings up from the two photos above, as they are so soft and lovely!


And lastly, my favourite picture!       



Thank you, all my faithful readers, if you have got this far!   Will try to get a better blog next time!

Sunday 2 September 2012



You all must think I’ve given up blogs, but in truth I haven’t had the time to sit down, find some photos and write about them!   I’ve been busy with my other blog, plus some writing which needed to be done.


However, Mr.G and I managed to get out in the car yesterday.   It was a lovely afternoon, so we hopped in the car and drove round some VERY small lanes in an around the main roads near us.   You don’t have to go far from where we live to find lovely scenery, and some very isolated farms and houses.

This was taken from the car as we drove along.   The main road here is very hilly and very windy, and is a notorious spot for motorcyclists to speed down.   Apparently they come from far and wide to drive down the “Cat and Fiddle Road” (named from the Pub at the top! )


We stopped in a layby to take this.   Not much else around except sheep – and some very lovely hills.   The hills in the north are known as the “Dark Peak” because of the colour of the millstone grit stone.   Kinder Scout is the best known peak.



This pretty valley holds the infant River Dane – obviously still capable of carving its way through the stone in the past.



The extremely narrow road we were on was gated, which meant Mr.G had to hop out, open the gate, hop back in again, drive through, hop out again and shut the gate, and hop back in again to drive on.   You might wonder why I didn’t do it, but my days of hopping anywhere are over, and it takes me ages to get in and out of the car!   Luckily we met some walkers at two of the gates, who kindly opened them for us.   Apologies for the dirty windscreen!





There were one or two farms , but they were very isolated, and the road was extremely narrow.   Lorries would have had a difficult job, although there were a few passing places here and there.


Away from the tree-filled valley, the hills are bare, and drystone walls rule!   I love the patterns they make, especially in winter against the snow!   You can see how narrow our road was!

It was a lovely trip out, and I hope you have enjoyed my photos – that is, if I have any followers left!

Thursday 19 July 2012


It being one of the few fine days on Sunday last, we decided a walk in the hills was a good idea.   Not being able to do much on steep hills, we went along the Teggs Nose Trail on the flattish bit.


I tended to lag behind Mr. G and Max the dog, as I was photographing the lane, and the very large puddles!

The dry stone walls were covered in moss, because of all the wet we have been having, I suppose.

And the Hogweed looked very good against the sky

We eventually reached the stream, which I was very pleased about, as its quite a distance

IMG_2204      This really brought back memories of when we used to take my two grandsons when they were small, and they would jump across the stream, or wade in it, and then we would all climb up the hill, and go right round at a much higher level, and back again to the car park.   It really didn’t seem 15-odd years ago!   I wonder if the boys remember things like that?


When we got back we were very pleased to see the reservoir was not only completely full, but overflowing down the chute to the valley below.

At least we haven’t got a drought any more!