us and frank cat Fi | 29 May 2012
Some time off and perfect weather for it! So warm and sunny.
On Monday morning I got up early and was at the river by 6.30. I was the only person there and it was wonderful. Rosie trotted along as we tiptoed through the long dewy grass in the meadow. My trousers and trainers were soaked and it felt great! Wild flowers are strung out along the river bank and the newly ploughed and wildflower seeded area was full of rabbits nibbling the new shoots. The river was quite low so we could get down onto the shingly riverbed.
us and frank cat Fi | 29 May 2012
The thermometer said 30 degrees in the garden on Sunday afternoon! Perfect weather for a Village Garden Walk which was raising money for church funds. Some exquisite gardens that you wouldn’t know were there. Then tea and cake at the Old Rectory (one cake was SO spectacular we have to learn how to make it. Shortcrust base, lemon curdy like lemon meringue pie, with fresh raspberries in it!)
The gardens gave me a lot of inspiration and I have to admit admiration of such diverse dedicated gardening talent.
us and frank cat Fi | 26 May 2012
First full day off and after a quick shop at Morrisons we’ve spent the whole day on the terrace. So warm and wonderful.
We had dinner out there and just come in now to NOT swatch Eurovision. Though I have already watched a YouTube film Engelburt doing his bit for UK first. Best Eurovision song for years. Subtle and nice and melodic. Showing my age now I expect.
My piccie of the day for yesterday….
us and frank cat Fi | 26 May 2012
Its a wonderful heatwave to start some leave from work. YAY!
First thing was a new short haircut! The mobile hairdresser Stacey is great. Radical I know but I love it… She generally does Sally before me so Sal and I share our revamp plans!
Hector nipped out to get fish and chips and we had our first meal outdoors on the terrace. Wonderful.
Later we went to the pub. I read the local paper and nearly fell off my bar stool. Weird weird weird weird weird…. last week (its true; its in the paper with pccies!) BARRY MANILOW stopped off in Penrith at the Agriculture Hotel (The Agi as its known) for a lunch time meal. The Agi? Manilow at the Agi of all places. Apparently it had been recommended to him by a friend in L.A. REALLY? Its such an ordinary pub! Then he spent 20 minutes in Castle Park – which must be looking simply FAB after mindless oiks burned down the pavilion. (Planet weird.)
And later, the snooker player Dennis Taylor arrived (he was staying the night) and joined us (me and H, Ray and Jeanie) for a drink. What a nice guy. His gags were delivered like Frank Carson and made as laugh as much. I’m not a snooker fan though would have known who he was.
us and frank cat Fi | 26 May 2012
Last weekend Hector was away having a boys weekend with Ross and Sis came to stay with me. We had a lovely walk at the river, splashed out on a meal at the pub and generally relaxed. Event the sun came out a bit and on Sunday morning we went for a wander so Sis could meet the new foals recently born near the village.
The weather has really warmed up – 24degrees most of the week and wall-to-wall sunshine. Wonderful.
Sunday: Noticed that one of the ‘unopenable’ triangle half windows at the back of my soft top car had slipped down into the bodywork leaving a wide gap. Damn. It just wouldn’t budge so I knew I’d have to book it into the garage.
This morning: Soft top down and had another go at shifting it back into place. No joy. So, I thought, check the car manual for how to open up the casings to get into the workings and save the garage costs.
BUT – imagine my amusement when I read about where some buttons were for the ELECTRIC REAR windows! I had NO IDEA I had openable rear half windows…. and I’ve had the car 4 years! I laughed to myself most of the way to work…..
On Thursday… after work 33 degrees when I got into my car! What joy opening ALL the windows on the car this time….. Hah. didn’t know what I was missing.
I came across groups of people in the countryside by the Settle – Carlisle line waiting for a steam train. Apparently it was late. I drove a bit further – found myself a lonely bridge over it on a little road and waited… and waited… and baked…. and waited…. and started to go scarlet…. and waited and listened to the birds….and waited. After one and half hours I gave up and came home.
In my last week at work before 12 days leave there was a lot to get finished up. It went ok and by Friday afternoon it was ok so it felt good leaving the office on a hot sunny day.
us and frank cat Fi | 14 May 2012
The weather has been garbage for May. Cold, wet and windy and the river has broken its banks. I was worried for the nesting river birds, especially the Kingfishers.
Work – hectic. Diet – failed!
But, Friday evening Frank and Kate came over for drinks and a game or two of cards. Hector won fair and square. As ever we had a great time. Kate brought me some lovely flowers and a sweet drapey scarf. Bless her.
On Saturday morning some much needed sunshine and we headed down the M6 to visit Helene and Martin. We took Rosie and she was quite happy on the back seat in her harness attached to the seat belt clip. We were there by lunch time and in no time at all Rosie and their dog Monty were quite happy together.
After a cuppa we headed out on the track through the fields to the canal where lots of narrowboats were chugging along or moored up. I especially love the ones that people live on – storing logs on their roof and with pots of flowers here and there. Makes me long for some time slowly bumbling along the canals in a little boat. (sigh)
Our detonation was Shugborough and after walking over Essex Bridge. If you stand on the Essex Bridge, you can see where the river Sow meets the river Trent.
Lying on the River Trent one hundred yards downstream of the junction with the River Sow, it was built in 1550 by the then Earl of Essex for Queen Elizabeth I so that when she visited the estate she could go hunting in the woodland around the local village. It is now the longest remaining packhorse bridge in England with 14 of its original 40 span arches left.
The bridge carries the long distance footpath The Staffordshire Way over the River Trent, linking the Trent and Mersey Canal tow-path with the bridal way over the Shugborough estate to Cannock Chase.
Helene and I at Shugborough. While this picture was taken I put my camera bag down (containing binoculars, camera lens and battery) and some time later when we stopped at the cafe for a drink realised i had left it there. Hector dashed back and thankfully someone had handed it in.
The grounds at Shugborough are lovely. Later we all went out for an Indian in Satfford. The lovely Charlotte their second daughter came too. Three giggling girls in the back of Martins new (dashboard straight from the Starship Enterprise) sleek Jaguar. The giggling continued over dinner and chat was lively, full of laughter and didn’t falter. LOVED IT!
On Sunday morning I took a short walk with the two dogs who were quite happy walking on leads side by side. A skylark kept us company trilling in the blue sky above us.
After breakfast Helene and I took a spin in her BMW soft-top and broke the speed limit by 140% when she floored it and I was thrust back into my seat. A real Thelma and Louise moment. We joined the boys at a pub before heading back for a full Sunday roast – all done by Martin. I have to say I have NEVER had such wonderful Yorkshire pudding. Prize winning stuff I feel sure.
us and frank cat Fi | 07 May 2012
We had one evening at the new Steppingstones Festival in Brampton. Its the brainchild of Maddy Prior and was a success. We were there 5 hours and the highlights for us were The Carnival Band and, as ever for me especially!, Spiers & Boden. Plenty singalongy fun. I sometimes forget just how good for the soul live music is if its something you really really love.
Singalongafolkyness finale at Steppingstones
On Bank Holiday Monday I relaxed with an edition of Columbo I hadn’t seen before and later Hector wanted to go to a pub, have a pint and read a paper, so like we’ve done before he dropped me off a few miles from home and I walked back with Rosie. It was a tad cool and breezy and rainy, but not too bad.
I reported to the RSPCA some dumped battery looking chickens who were amongst some fly tipping in a woodland. A disgrace!
us and frank cat Fi | 05 May 2012
After work on Friday I met Sally and her dog Roxy at the river to have walk. We watched the many many swallows skimming over the water, and Sally saw her first Kingfisher. Little flocks of Siskins we darting around in the meadow on the river bank.
Friday evening and we walked round to Frank and Kate’s for a drink or two and a game of cards. I’m the novice and WON one. Crikey. Everyone surprised. A lovely bright full moon to walk home with at 1.am.
Today – Saturday – Hector suggested a walk around the block so we did our usual favourite – 3 miles through the fields and towards the river and back via the old trackway up the hill and back.
In 24 hours I had a few good walks and I think have walked around 8 miles – maybe. Not too bad – though my wonky hip got stiff and a bit sore this afternoon.
us and frank cat Fi | 04 May 2012
Last week not only did we have a wonderful meal in York (Italian is my favourite!) but on the Wednesday we had an unexpected evening out with local friends and some friends of theirs (and ours) from Michigan. Lovely to see everyone again and the food was great.
The weekend was a full one. The weather was November-ish on Saturday – blowin a hoolie it was. The poor blossom trees! Hector has been enjoying footie on TV. Though it goes over my head I do know that the games were important.
AND! The Swallows are back! Hurrah.
On Sunday it was a long planned lunch out with Frank and Kate to celebrate their birthdays and being together for 30 years. We ate well and had a wonderful time. I was charged with taking some portrait photos of the event and our gift to them is a frames picture each.
The week at work for both of us has been a bit fraught. For Hector it was a week of upheaval. For me it has been full-on with more work to do than I can do. I enjoy it, but don’t think all the tasks that need doing can now be done in the time-scale.
Work at home Wednesday was a bit difficult and I had to escape for a walk at the river at lunch time, where happened upon Kate who was there too. A nice surprise.
On Thursday it was warm, balmy and calm so I went to the river again and sat on the bank about a mile along the walk for a while and luxuriated in the atmosphere.
Thankfully its a long weekend coming up, including an evening of live music at a little local festival. Hopefully there’ll be some fine weather so I can sit on our (still) new terrace with a cuppa and have a lovely long walk with Rosie.