us and frank cat Fi | 25 May 2011
One of the funniest videos I have ever enjoyed
us and frank cat Fi | 22 May 2011
My Desert Island Discs
Barrington Pheloung – Theme from Lewis
Yes – I’ve seen all good people
Van Morrison – Into the Mystic
Spiers & Boden – Hopkinsons Jig
Chieftains – Friels Kitchen
Jon Anderson – Flight of the Moorglade
Chris Rea – Stainsby Girls
Nick Drake, Time has told me
Dave Brubeck – Take Five
Toumani Diabate – Tapha Niang
Cocteau Twins – Bluebeard
10,000 Maniacs – Hey Jack Kerouac
Book – Henning Mankell, Italian Shoes
Luxury – Lavender oil
us and frank cat Fi | 20 May 2011
Just sold my antique school desk – thats the Champers, Curry & Cake fund sorted for the Beverley Festival!
us and frank cat Fi | 19 May 2011
Yesterday was Mum’s 80th Birthday and a few of us in the family arranged to meet up near Keswick andtake her for an early dinner. He big surprise was that we had invited her Sister, my Auntie Diana and her husband, our Uncle David over from East Yorkshire. Sadly Hector couldn’t be there as he was in London – or rather on his way back after 3 days in London. We had a nice meal and a good time. Everything went well which is a relief after Jane and I worried about how Mum would cope with the surprise. Even the drive down there was lovely…. there was a lot of cloud and intermittent sun so the fells looked amazing. This is my favourite photo of the view in St Johns in the Vale. I couldn’t not stop to capture this could I?
us and frank cat Fi | 16 May 2011
Monty Don’s ‘Italian Gardens’ has been pure delight. Just seen the last one. To describe a garden as a “Classic high Baroque; drama – everything slightly ‘hysterical….’ (not in the funny ha-ha sense) is fabulous.
The fabulous Baroque music lifts the mood too. Heart-soaringly pleasurable.
I’ve smiled and sighed my way through the whole series (and NOT just coz its Monty dishy Don!) My new wish is to see all the gardens myself.
Monty Don begins his grand tour around Italy’s magnificent gardens from the lavish hideaways of the romantic South to the luxurious retreats of the moneyed North. He’s in and around Rome, powerbase of emperors and popes to explore gardens that are among some of the most extravagant and flamboyant ever created in history.
Monty’s visiting gardens in Florence and around the sun scorched Tuscan countryside. Monty discovers how like a piece of sculpture, renaissance gardens were created as works of art and how a group of Edwardian ex-pats mistakenly reinforced the idea that formal Italian gardens were flowerless.
Monty continues his grand garden tour, this week in Naples to visit some of the most sublime, romantic retreats in Southern Italy. After all the formality of the green gardens around Rome and Florence, Monty seeks out idyllic horticultural gems set against the dramatic scenery of the Amalfi Coast, to discover why in the South, gardens are informal and above all filled with flowers.
Monty concludes his garden tour of Italy in the wealthy North where in the Veneto and Lucca, extravagant pleasure gardens were created for flirtation and fun. Further north in the Lakes, Monty meets up with the garden society, the Grandi Giardini Italiani, to peer over the fence of luxurious creations of the rich and famous. The journey ends on Lake Maggiore to see the most theatrical horticultural gem of Italy.
us and frank cat Fi | 15 May 2011
So far this year I hadn’t walked in a bluebell wood.
I had read in the Guardian Eco pages about Wreay Woods being a great Bluebell Wood, so knowing Hector was on call this weekend and confined to the office and house, asked Sally if she wanted to come along. None of us had been there before though I pass the start of the walk most days as I drive to an fro to work. I often think how wonderful the walk looks along the river. Jules came too, as of course did Roxy dog. We had our cameras and were lucky with the weather. WHAT a gorgeous day.
We dawdled and dallied and hardly saw another soul once well beyond the fields.
The walk begins next the the M6 Carlisle South junction and a dismal concrete underpass under the motorway, but opens into a flat field beside the River Petteril After a while you leave the sound of the M6 behind you and once in the woods its quiet and calm and heavenly. The woods are ancient, unspoiled and a wonderful place to spend a few hours. We ambled along, being rounded up by Roxy dog, taking lots of photographs and inspecting the plants, wildlife and river and soaking up the sights, sounds, scents and companionable walk. Us three and Roxy loved it – really loved it.
Wreay Woods follows the course of the River Petteril where a deep gorge has been cut through the land exposing the underlying red sandstone. Woodland is thought to have been present here since the middle ages. While it has been modified and managed the feeling is one of ancient – trees are left after falling to rot, ferns grown all over the place, lichens and mosses are thick and the wildflowers carpet the whole wood. After the long dry spell of the early spring the river was quiet and still and trickled beside us the whole way.
We saw sandmartin nests and the dipper – fleetingly – under the bridge. We looked carefully for kingfishers but saw not sign. Jules knows about these things and was hoping to find traces of otters. We thought we might have seen traces, but thats all… I got the feeling that our senses were heightened the whole time. It was a wonderful few hours.
And Sally did a wonderfully silly little dance at the start of the walk…
us and frank cat Fi | 13 May 2011
us and frank cat Fi | 09 May 2011
A short weekend visit to Helene and Martin where we had a great time. They live in walking distance of Shugborough Hall via canal towpaths. Delightful walk. I love canals and the Hall was lovely too – nice gardens and interesting to look around Patrick Litchfields ancestral home, especially his photographic studio.
Helene and Martin made us very welcome and Martin made some really wonderful meals with superb wines. Delish!!!
The walk took up much of Saturday afternoon. We took Monty along (their little dog) and his company over the weekend made me realise how much I miss having a dog. It was nice too to see their daughter Charlotte for a while.
Sunday morning was quiet and we sat about with the papers and rose wine in a breezy but sunny garden. While in the garden I saw my first Burnet Moth too…
us and frank cat Fi | 05 May 2011
As recounted by some of my friends on Facebook….
Think I am in the wrong job !!! — Builders van in the car park at 8.30 when I arrived at work — two men sitting in it — went on visit at 10.30 two men sitting in van — returned from second visit at 14.45 — two men sitting in van!!! I did ask them if they had worked today??? They said they had, so think I will be a builder, sounds like a good plan to me, plenty of tea anyway…
Another friend replied….
I had 2 men turn up to fix my roof this week at 11 am had an hour for lunch at 12.15 pm and when i came back at 4 they were packed up and had gone.
us and frank cat Fi | 02 May 2011
So, a Prince gets married and now the Baddie man is dead, sounds like the best of Disney. So, wheres the fairy queen then? And the Ugly Sister? Well – they aren’t ugly but their dresses and hats were worthy of the role in ANY pantomime.
Bin Laden death celebrations. A great way to finish up Fridays Royal Wedding street parties and left-over sarnies, cake and pop?
us and frank cat Fi | 01 May 2011
The day got off to a poor start – but we can consign that to the rubbish bin! Suffice to say I can be such a silly girl.
However, we had a really lovely walk around Talkin Tarn. Surprisingly I’d never been there in all the years I’ve lived here.
Its a bright, very breezy sun-shiny kind of day. The tarn is set in open pasture like fields or woodland and the walk is varied. The trees were in vivd green early leaf andthe tarn had little foamy waves in the strong breeze. Perfect for a walk around the tarn, a look around a boat house jewelry studio (bought two nice things, one for me and one for someone’s birthday!) an ice cream and then a tasty lunch at the Blacksmiths Arms at Talkin village. Even the drive there and back was lovely – the short but scenic route through the edges of the Eden Valley.
Hector scaring the ducks and a couple of scenes from the Tarn. The long exposure in the trees makes the swooping gulls look like white ghosts over the water. And, a few shots from my bike ride yesterday.