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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 14 Jun 2015

Voluptuous gardens and luxury house

A three night break to the SUBLIME Millgate House in Richmond.

I had seen this amazing B&B on the TV earlier in the year as it was featured in the Top 5 Gardens in the UK and SELECTED BY THE TELEGRAPH MAR 2015 AS ONE OF THE TOP 25 HOTELS TO STAY IN SPRING LIST . The garden at Millgate House came first out of 3200 entries in the National RHS Garden competition.

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It is run by Tim and Austin and is their much loved home. The garden and house are stunning. Timing our stay for late May was deliberate – the garden would be flush with spring. The house is Georgian and right in the middle of Richmond. The interior is stuffed full of fabulous antiques, art, books and curios. It is quite expensive (!) but was worth saving for.

We were warmly greeted and as we went up to our room we were offered a glass of wine – and it arrived in a crystal antique glass. Room 1 is the largest there and full of lovely art and furnishings. The views are out over the garden and you can see the river falls just below and the hills beyond. From two side windows we had a view to the castle keep. There was even a little crystal decanter of whiskey and two glasses. The bathroom was large with a big deep bath. I had a long sudsy soak every day we were there gazing out of the high windows to the castle walls.

After unpacking a bit we walked down through the garden and I was in heaven. It was as stunning as I had heard. Gorgeous. We left the garden through the bottom gate and were quickly at the river in late afternoon sunshine and could wander around the rocks and by the falls. I practiced some trick panorama photos – capturing Hector twice or more on the same photo.

On our first evening we ate in town, walking up through the cobbled market place.

The first full day was bright and sunny. After a superb breakfast in the exquisite dining room we walked just a few yards to the castle. A nice few hours up and down the towers and in and and out of the little ruined rooms. A quick coffee and cake at lunch time and we retrieved the car and had a drive out through the Dales to have a walk at Aysgarth Falls. Peaty stained river falls crashing through a lovely valley.

In the evening we got some fish and chips and ate them in the garden. It felt a bit like lowering the tone – but very pleasant!

On our second full day we went the whole hog and had a cooked breakfast. We needed an hour or so before we headed out though. We set out for Ripon. The town seemed ””shut”” so we walked to the Cathedral. We arrived just as a Sunday service was ending but were shown into the back near the big glass doors and given service sheets. It was beautiful – the choir singing in latin, the organist playing Bach. Really beautiful. When the service had ended we explored a bit and went down into the crypt. The choir stalls are especially lovely – candlelit and full of interesting carvings and plaques. Realising we were so close to Fountains Abbey and Studley Gardens we went there next. Some years ago we visited the Abbey and this time we wandered around the ruins a while before making the half mile walk to the Water Gardens. A lovely walk. A cup of tea and an eclair at the cafe was a nice break before we walked up through the deer park – sadly no deer to be seen – and the fabulous rather OTT church St Michaels, on the top of the hill by the road. It is dripping in marble. A Victorian Earl of Ripon was keen on marble apparently! It was another half mile or so along a path back to the car park.

Tim and Austin had made a reservation for us on our last evening at a French restaurant they recommended in town. I hadn””t had a French meal for SUCHJ a long time. What a treat and the service was very very good. Hector had Boeuf bourguignon and I had chicken in lemon butter sauce. The wine was good and we each had all three courses.

I was rather reluctant to leave to come home. It is a must to go back some time. DEFINITELY!

Everybody deserves a stay at Millgate!

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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 14 Jun 2015

Holidays in May – heaven

A week off before we had a short break in Richmond was lovely. I got loads done at home and in the garden and truly relaxed. I did some baking and some rearranging in the sitootery.

We met Jane and Phil for lunch one day at Larch Cottage Nursery. Lovely to see them and the food was yummy.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 14 Jun 2015

Nests and frogs

I did not think any of our bird nesting boxes had been occupied this spring. But I heard teeny little tweets coming from the one buried in the flowering clematis on the wall. I stood still and quiet and the parent Great Tits came flirting in. Since then blackbirds have made and are using a nest just a few inches from the nesting box.
I wonder if the supply of dog fur nest material helped them….

While Liz was here for coffee and a chat we were delighted to see a nuthatch on the feeders. It came back later so I could take some pictures.
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In early June I noticed a frog in the tiny old ceramic sink pond. I was hoping it would not be on its own and by mid June it had a companion! Hurrah.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 14 Jun 2015

Boom crackle

Mid May.
Boom – crackle.
Very angry clouds over the Eden Valley – it was thundering.
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Jane and I took Mum out for her birthday for cake and coffee in Ambleside. She loves to do that and always wants to go to the same hotel. Its scary to think of her as being in her mid 80s.

The weather has not been great for May. Chilly and windy. When it was ok one afternoon I had a walk around Edenhall and my favourite tree was looking fantastic.
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From May 21st I was off work for 11 whole days – and by chance only 4 of those were working days – what with a bank holiday etc.

Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 14 Jun 2015

Baking and cooking

I am getting more into baking…. the favourite is chocolate brownie tray bake but Ive done a few decorated buns etc.
A butternut squash soup was ok but the seasoning wasn””””t quite right.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

On sale at £1.50 a bunch at Booths

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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Proud aunty – AGAIN

Clare was a bridesmaid for her good friend – from childhood – Katie. We all go back a long way!
Jane and I met up where the wedding was taking place so we could see them arrive and then everyone come out of the church service.

Clare looked lovely, the brides dress was gorgeous. It was good to spend some time with Jane too.

This is Clare when she was a bridesmaid in the early 90””s and the bride in face paints!
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And at yesterdays wedding….
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Mums birthday

Jane and I took Mum out for her birthday to her favourite Ambleside hotel to sit overlooking the lake. Very enjoyable and Mum was happy.

Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

This quote amused me
“In the once solidly red-rosette glens and braes and lochs and heather the Scottish National Party snatched the sporran, ripped the kilt off and walked away in the ghillie brogues of Labour.”

Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

The election

”Nuff said!

Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Quirky cabinet

A Devon man makes these wonderful units – using good pine wood and with beechwood chopping board tops and the drawer fronts are from French wood wine boxes. Perfect for our kitchen!!
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Charity auction

Sally and her family held a charity auction of the collection her late Father and Mother had of farming and other implements. It was held at her parents home in Morland. It was a lovely day and lots of us helped. A real auctioneer ran the auction and with the refreshments and suchlike it was a very enjoyable and in the end over £7,000 was raised. A wonderful tribute to her parents.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Ahhhh. Spring

Year two of the Sitootery. Plants are maturing now and the blossom on the small trees at its best.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Great views from Wansfell

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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Truck and tree

Sally took me on a walk out near Morland to see a long abandoned farm truck in a field with a tree growing up out of it. Very interesting – and a nice walk too.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Nesting birds

I found a bag with some clippings from the dog. I had kept it deliberately to put out for nesting birds and had forgotten. So, I used a wire peanut feeder and put it out for them. Within a few days several species were dragging chunks of fur out to use for their nests. A lovely thing to watch.
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Forgot – the eclipse!

Hector and I were at home for the almost total eclipse. It was cloudy but cleared in patches so we were able to see it. amazing…. the way the world changed to an eerie dark.
I was able to capture this…
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

May Bank holiday in North Wales

What a treat. 3 days in North Wales near Llangollen in a cottage with a hot tub, set in lovely gardens, totally private, high up in the hills with views down the valleys. It was bliss. Heavy rain on one day – what the heck… you can still spend hours in a hot tub.
On our first night we shared a bottle of bubbly in the tub and enjoyed the views and the late evening sun.
We gave up on a day in Llangollen when it rained so hard, but spent one day at Frontcysyllte by the canal and over and around the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Very enjoyable day. I love canals and narrowboats. Always have…. Ive done the narrowboat trip that goes over the aqueduct and it is an amazing experience.
I was surprised by how narrow, winding and steep the roads were. It took a long time to do a few miles.
The owners of the cottage at Pen y Fedw were great – so friendly and warm.

Rosie gets very excited when we pack up the car and can””t wait to set off!
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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

New Rope String Band

Sally and I went to see the New Rope String Band in Lazonby They are disbanding after this year so it will be my last time seeing this genius, funny, slapstick, bonkers, musical, clowning trio of guys. Many happy memories seeing them over the last 20 years or so at various festivals.

The were more risqué this time… braver if that were possible.

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Us, Rosie Posie Poodle and Frank Cat Fi | 17 May 2015

Bonfire!!!

I have been burning a big pile of leaves in a borrowed brazier for an unoccupied building. An excuse for a bonfire!

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