Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Newts

Hello

Thanks for visiting.

Wandering round the moor is an interesting pastime, you never know what you will find.  It's so dependent on the weather, especially the boggy bits because in the scorching heat, there's no bog at all.  However, once the rains come, it's a totally different place.

Luckily we have a wooden boardwalk amidst the trees and heather to be able to walk there whatever the weather.

We weren't the only ones to use the boardwalk!  Newts were as well.





Sadly, I'm not a newt expert although  I do know that the Great Crested Newt is a protected species.  Perhaps these are smooth newts though as I can't see any orange markings.



A great place for a walk.

Cheerio

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Reading West

Hello

Thanks for popping in.

We're always going to Reading but today we're venturing out West for a bit of a change.

Reading West station isn't that far from the main station, just a bit further up the Oxford Road.


It's easy to forget how hilly Reading is away from the rivers.  Having to climb up the roads off to the left from the station brought to mind my driving lessons and all those hill starts!  The following few photos show me looking down from the top over to the pink stages of the previous week's infamous Reading Festival. The River Thames is right down there too.




Heading off to the right at the top of the hill, eventually you'll reach Reading's largest park - Prospect Park, which contains the original Mansion House on the very top of the hill, now a restaurant.



There is a local legend about the owner of the Mansion House,  Benjamin Child and his wife Frances née Kendrick, which turns out to have really happened.

Frances was a beautiful heiress, pursued by many young men keen to marry her but she turned them all down.  When Benjamin Child met and fell in love with her, this time she reciprocated his feelings however all the rivals got together to persuade him, she was just teasing him and  didn't love him at all.  He fled and left her distraught.  How could she let him know she cared?  She challenged him to a masked dual in the Park, of course!  He turned up but she gave him the option to fight or marry her.  They married in Wargrave in St Mary's Church.  Sadly, she died at 35  in 1722 and he ordered a coffin which followed the shape of her body and created a heart shaped pond in the Park.


If we hadn't got of the train at Reading West, we could have gone to Newbury Racecourse for a wool show!




No horses today!

Cheerio

Monday, 17 September 2018

Winchester

Hello

Thanks for popping in.

We're off on our travels again, it's only one day a week but all the walking keeps us fit and there's usually something to show you.

We love visiting Winchester but haven't been for a few years. If you look under the Winchester label above you'll find quite a few posts about all the interesting things there.  Instead of repeating the same things, if you are new to the blog or would like to read more about Winchester do have a look at the old posts.

One of our traditions is to stop off at the Cathedral cafe for a snack, I can report the cheese scones are tasty, made with an emmental type cheese for a change.




At the Cathedral, there was a bustle about as the lights were being rigged up in preparation for Illumination - the impending flower show referencing the Winchester Bible.


The Cathedral Close is so photogenic, I must have taken a photo each time we visit!



Leaving the Cathedral and heading for the Water Meadows, you pass Jane Austen's last house and eventually come across Wolvesey Castle.  You wouldn't know it was there, tucked away behind the Bishop's House.  Having just been to Farnham Castle and heard all about Bishop Henry de Blois and  Bishop George Morley and his renovations, it seems he was at work at Winchester too, though sadly Wolvesley is in rather a worse state.






Current Bishop's house built by Bishop Morley in 1680


Walking back up toward the city by the crystal clear, fast-flowing River Itchen is a real treat.




We arrive at the National Trust  City Mill, water gushing everywhere.


Inside the children must have been having some summer holiday fun with their ducks!


The following three videos show the water wheel turning, the gear wheel and the whoosh of the water.






Now we're walking through the High Street past the numerous shops and galleries ...


... past King Alfred to ...


... the park, covered in flowers with the Guildhall peeping over the hedge.

This last photo was taken up at the Great Hall where the Tudor Round Table can be seen spectacularly hanging on the wall.  We didn't go in as there is now a small charge to visit but as we've seen it umpteen times for free we thought we'd give it a miss this time.  In the floor of the surrounding paved areas is a ghostly copy of the Table that we, surprisingly, seemed to have missed before.


That's a crazy 22,000 step tour of Winchester, if you haven't been, there's so much more to see.

Cheerio

Friday, 14 September 2018

Books

Hello

Thanks for visiting.

Our library has turned into a Self-Service library and things have moved round a bit.  The machines aren't fully working yet but next time I'm there I might take a couple of photos.

Luckily you can still borrow book and my latest ones are another by Salley Vickers The Other Side of You and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Salley Vickers, who is a Psychoanalyst, has written the book about Psychiatrist, David McBride .  The Author's website says 'The patient he is treating, Elizabeth Cruikshank has lost her faith in life after a love affair with a man she meets and loses and then meets again and again loses through a fatally wrong choice. Much of her story takes place in Rome and explores the paintings of Caravaggio whose great panting The Supper at Emmaus inspires the title of the book. The title comes from T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland’

I enjoyed the interaction between the characters, the touch of art and the storytelling which seemed to help them both.



Donna Tartt's My Little Friend had me curled up wanting to find out what had happened to Harriet's brother Robin who died mysteriously when she was a baby.  The characters are brilliantly filled out, the Mississippi scenery and times bring the tale to life as she tries discover the truth and punish the perpetrators.  I enjoyed the literary references too.


I have come home from the Library with another Donna Tartt - The Goldfish.  I'd better get cracking with it as it's very thick with tiny writing and I've only got three weeks to read it.

Cheerio

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Green Restored

Hello

Thanks for popping in.

It's been raining, quite a lot.  Thankfully the Park by the shops is looking back to its beautiful self and is concerned with fruit production as is the pattern for this time of year.



There's been an invasion of ducks.









Robin Hood has been sighted in the recent show.






Mainly though it's just green, green, green.

Cheerio

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Farnham A Round-up

Hello

Thanks for calling in.

As our trip to Farnham comes to an end, I couldn't resist showing you a few more photos of the town which had a great display of flowers.  They have achieved great results in the past for their Britain in Bloom entries and have already been judged for this year though I don't think the results are out yet.  





The Maltings was covered in wool last time I was there for Unravel, I did manage to find a woolly lampshade inside though.




The High Street contains loads of different shaped buildings and was decorated in bunting which always looks jolly.



The relatively modern Lion and Lamb shopping centre is full of colour and interesting shops.


Breaking with tradition, I went for a cheese straw with my coffee at Caracoli, a really colourful cafe with tempting items to buy.




There are interesting doors in the walls here and there to make your imagination run riot!







Such a lovely town, a pleasure to visit.

Cheerio