Saturday, 21 January 2017

The P by the S


Thanks for visiting.

Here's a few  photos of my walk at the Park this week with frost on the ground and sun in the sky.  

A number of trees had been felled due to disease.  This notice says that they had to be disposed of on the site to stop the spread of the disease.  You can see a fire behind the fence panels.

The new exhibitions should be up and ready next time I go.


Friday, 20 January 2017

Five on Friday -Henley and Bits and Bobs


Thanks for visiting, it's always great to see you!

Many thanks to Amy for the Five on Friday link-up which you will find here on her Love Made My Home blog.  My five this week are  a bit of a mixture, hopefully you will enjoy them.

One - Winter Wreath

Here's my Winter Wreath finished and on display with a big fat robin sitting on it!  Now I have three wreaths including the Christmas and Easter ones.  They are quite quick to make, use up scraps of wool from other projects and are such fun to make.  I can't recommend Lucy at Attic24's blog highly enough for colourful, exciting projects for the beginner, all so well explained.  If you are looking for something new to learn and don't want to spend a fortune on classes, this is the place to go to teach yourself.

Two - Cafe

There's been a bit of a reorganisation of our local Craft Centre recently, the shops within it have changed hands quite a lot, it's taking a while to settle down.  The cafe has recently been taken over by the owner of the Chocolate Cafe in Henley and although already open, over the next couple of months it will be refurbished.  In the meantime, I thought a field trip to Henley was in order to have a look to see what's on the way.

The fare was delicious so I think we'll be OK!  What was especially nice was you could watch the chef making the cakes through the window at the back of the cafe.

Three - Wind in the Willows

While in Henley, I couldn't resist a trip to the River and Rowing Museum.  There is a delightful 3D version of the Wind in the Willows story for children (and adults!) to wander round and enjoy.  The Author Kenneth Grahame lived just down the Thames in Pangbourne.  The illustrator of the book published in 1931 was E. H.Shepard, also known for his Winnie the Pooh illustrations and there is an interesting account of their work on the book.

Four - Henley Iron Age Coin Hoard

These 32 gold coins, also in the Museum, are over 2,000 years old and believed to have belonged to the Atrebates tribe.  They were probably made in Silchester in Hampshire and are blank on one side and have a horse with a triple tail over a wheel on the other.

Five - Rowers

The Museum has much of interest to rowers of course. This  photo brought back some excellent memories of the London 2012 Olympics.

I'll show you a few more Henley photos during the week.


Thursday, 19 January 2017



Thanks for calling in.

My walk around Reading highlighted some buildings from the past which are now used for a different purpose.

The Screen House and Turbine House of the Blakes Lock Museum were former Victorian pumping station buildings.  So many pretty details are included in the outside of the buildings, considering these were just functional buildings, it's nice to see the extra care they took when they were built.

Talking of pumping stations, in Abbeywood in London, a Victorian pumping station has recently been restored and is now a tourist attraction.  Have a look at this article, the photos are incredible.

Right next door in a former biscuit factory, the Bel & Dragon restaurant has been refurbished for its modern day use.  The Majestic Bel boardwalk and dining riverboat, the Bel part of the restaurant, has a perfect setting on the River Kennet. It was built in Reading over 100 years ago and was in service until 1969 but now it has a retractable roof and windows for fun, summer dining.

In the town, the old Post Office has also been converted into a pub.  The Neo Georgian building was built in 1922 and was lucky to survive Reading's only WW2 bomb which hit buildings on the other side of the street.

It's nice to think these otherwise redundant buildings have found another use and carried their history into the future.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Rivers Round Reading


Thanks for visiting.

When in Reading, it is much quicker to follow the rivers to get from here to there as they weave through the town and pop up when you least expect them.  It's much prettier too and there's always something to spot even if it's just a duck or two hoping for a snack.

I started off at Hobbycraft and picked up the River Kennet nearby

In no time at all, you have arrived at the Oscar Wilde Walk near Reading Gaol, which is now closed again following the art installation that I visited earlier in the year.

Passing the Abbey which is undergoing refurbishment, nothing much seemed to be happening but, as they are not opening it to the public again until 2018,  there's still time to get it safe and spruced up.

Heading through the town to the Kennet riverside at the back of the Oracle, the builders were in revamping the restaurant area to provide more public space for pop-up entertainments plus a Lebanese restaurant.

This are offers another opportunity to see a kingfisher, although I can think of much nicer spots for these continually-hiding-from-me birds.

A dash through the town past the shops and under the railway, you can pick up the River Thames and cross over one of the bridges.

Barges are plodding along.

Taking the path off to the right over the small bridge leads you past View Island and over the weir and emerges at Caversham Lock where a majestic monkey puzzle tree stands out.

Following the river back in the direction you came from but on the other bank, takes you back under Reading Bridge, past the twirly staircase of Thames Water and on the way to the station.

I think it is quite in order to pop to Tutti Frutti on the station concourse for a swift chocolate and caramel cornet, just a small one, as we have covered a few miles with our walk.  A real treat to finish off a lovely walk on a bright, warm day.


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Crochet On the Go


Thanks for popping in.

Over the festive period, two exciting things happened!  I received a big bag of wool and some sparkly crochet hooks from Mr. CK and one of our visitors asked to buy my rainbow square blanket.  I was thrilled to bits on both accounts.

My Winter Wreath is coming along slowly with me unable to get the polystyrene circle needed.  I have had to compromise with a smaller one but hopefully that will save me a bit of time!  As always, Lucy at Attic24 is my inspiration.

Cracking on with a new blanket to replace the one that has flown the nest, I thought I'd make a stripy one, mixing the stitches for a different variation -  two rows each of granny, trebles, ripples and waves.  I'm not quite halfway yet but it's great to have something cosy on your knee now it's quite cold.

This pretty cup and saucer was a great present to grow parsley in.

Look how closely it matches my wool!

So, with snow on the cards, I've plenty to keep me busy and entertained at home.

Have a brilliant day.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Wallace Collection


Thanks for calling in.

The Wallace Collection, housed in Hertford House, London, is a national museum displaying art collected by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, son of the fourth Marquess and bequeathed to the Nation by Sir Richard's widow in 1897.  According to the terms of her will, the collection is closed - nothing can be taken away  or added to it.

There are works of the highest quality to be admired, from paintings by Canaletto, Reynolds, Titian, Rembrandt including The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals, to ceramics, sculpture, armour and furniture, which belonged to Marie Antoinette and the Kings of France from Versailles, all in beautiful settings.

There is no charge to visit the Collection and in the centre of the building, the courtyard has been covered by a roof to provide a spacious cafe and restaurant so it is a great place to pop in if you are near Manchester Square, not far from Oxford Street and all the hustle and bustle of the shops.

Covered courtyard with restaurant

Italian - An allegorical portrait of Asia

Sevres porcelain

Back State Room

Robert Dudley 1560-5 attrbuted to Stephen van der Meulen

Curtains and tassles

The Large Drawing Room

The Oval Drawing Room

This desk is a simpler version of one made for Kind Louis XV at Versailles.  Just one key in the lock will open the roll top which when rolled back, hits a ratchet and releases the internal and exterior drawers.  Made by Riesener in 1770.

Small Drawing Room

West Room - Painting of Nelly O'Brien by Joshua Reynolds

The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals in the Great Gallery

The Great Gallery refurbished in 2014

Hertford House from the front entrance

Sir Richard Wallace gained a Legion of Honour and was made a Baronet by Queen Victoria for his charitable works following the siege of Paris, where he lived at the time, which included installing 50 of these drinking fountains in the city.
I hope you have enjoyed a quick taster of this Museum, nothing beats looking at the real thing and admiring all the intricacies and workmanship.