Monday, 18 June 2018

Portsmouth Seaside


Thanks for popping in.

Portsmouth is within easy reach by train and perfect for a day out.  There are two stations, one in the City centre and another at the Harbour, which is ideal for a trip round the Historic Dockyard to see The Victory or Mary Rose and all the Naval Museums or you could visit the Spinnaker Tower and the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre or, like us, it's a good way to pick up the coast for a stroll next to the sea towards Southsea.

On the way, you'll pass the Ferry Terminals full of passengers heading to the Isle of Wight and just after the razzamatazz of Clarence Pier, you can watch the Hovercrafts puff up and scoot over to the Isle in only 10 minutes.  There is so much to watch with boats going this way and that, you could just sit on one of the many benches for hours and be happily entertained.  That wouldn't really improve the step count though!

Walking along, past King Henry VIII's Castle, the South Parade Pier and the Pyramid Centre, past the rock and rose gardens, you reach Eastney Beach, there's the Coffee Cup café for a spot of refreshment where you can sit outside and take in the view.  It is here that the shingle is covered in plants, quite different from the beach you have already walked along.  It's a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

Helpfully, there's an information board.

It was looking particularly splendid on this visit, covered in red valerian flowers and cabbage like plants - sea kale, wild radish, common mallow plus loads of others - so pretty.  Have a look here for a complete list.

Eventually it's time to head back to the station.

The view from South Parade Pier - you can just make out King VIII's Castle. 

There's a bit of a diversion along the path as there are some repair works going on.  We have to go through this tunnel to cross the moat.

There's just time to stop at the Aspex Gallery for an almond croissant and some camomille tea.

An art lesson was in full swing at the Aspex Gallery as we enjoyed our tea.

Interestingly, our outing was another 25,000 steps, similar to our visit to the Festival!

By the way, we couldn't resist the Rose Garden, which I'll show you next time.


Friday, 15 June 2018



Thanks for popping in.

As a break from the decorating, we hopped off to Reading to spend some time by the River Thames.  Heading for our favourite coffee spot, Caversham Court Gardens didn't disappoint, homemade cakes reasonably priced with all proceeds given to charity - Sue Ryder, this time.  It's certainly a beautiful spot.

Tulip tree
Heading into town, crossing Caversham Bridge, the River was bustling with boats and wildlife.

I was glad to drop off some of my blankets for use by the hospital while we were in the area.

Back to the decorating, can't put it off any longer!


Wednesday, 13 June 2018



Thanks for popping in.

It's that time of year again!  The pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm is back open again.  Hooray!

At the moment there's strawberries (of course 😊) rhubarb and broad beans but it won't be long before the farm shop is overflowing with goodness again.

Fortunately, there are at least two more years of picking before the place is ploughed up and turned into some sort of leisure centre. Boo! I imagine the future courts and gyms will be full of ghostly fruit pickers ringing their hands.


Monday, 11 June 2018



Thanks for visiting.

Last year Mr CK made me a couple of boxes where I could grow some wildflowers which duly grew and flowered and even though the whole thing didn't look as dense as I'd hoped, I enjoyed the different flowers coming out one at a time.

This year, they've started flowering again, a few different varieties have emerged so I've taken a few photos to record what's come up.

Our potatoes are flowering like they've never flowered before.

I couldn't resist these stocks from Lidls, so pretty and full of scent.

To finish off, a tasty salad with homegrown radish as well as broad beans and strawberries picked at the farm.  I love this time of year.

Aren't they beautiful.


Friday, 8 June 2018

Garden Rhodies


Thanks for popping in.

Aren't we lucky with the weather!  Of course, having scheduled this in advance, no doubt the day you read it will be the day it's pouring with rain!

I couldn't resist sharing our garden rhododendrens as they look magnificent this year.

The bees seem to be enjoying them too.


Wednesday, 6 June 2018



Thanks for calling in.

You may have noticed my recent post about the Festival of Music and Food at the Park.  Fearing that the car park would be overflowing, we decided to walk there and back, a mere 25,000 steps filled with stunning views and fresh air.

Navigating by the sun and quick GPS checks, as one forest path looks much like another, we sauntered through the countryside.  The wild rhododendrens looked a picture amid the green.

I don't think we took the straightest route, the problem being, having to negotiate the roads by finding an underpass, a needle in a haystack.

Needless to say, we were ready to get home for a cup of tea with about 10 minutes still to go.  The sign of a good walk.

What was encouraging was that lots of cyclists and people with their dogs were out and about enjoying the amazing space but I'm sure many just drive by without knowing it's even there.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Festival at the Park


Thanks for popping in.

No sooner are we back from the Park, than we are returning for their Festival of Food and Music, a weekend event full of bands and tempting tasty treats.  Usually I show you the Park in all its serenity, nature or art to the fore but today you'll see how it provides a wonderful community magnet.  This was a free entry event where picnics were discouraged in support of the food stalls.  What a lovely sunny day it was too.

There were a few craft stalls including one selling these colourful balloons.  Sadly the giraffe broke free from its owner and sailed blissfully up into the clouds, drifting over the trees towards the supermarket, no doubt giving someone quite a start.

The music tent had a series of bands during the weekend.  We enjoyed the 16 piece Supertonics Big Band as they played Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington type music.  The local Operatic Society, EBOS, singing tunes from Guys and Dolls to advertise their forthcoming Show and Honk! with their happy 'music to make you smile'.

Foodwise, there was much to choose from.

To top it off, £2 would give you the opportunity to hold a bird of prey.  Which one would you choose?

Great fun for all.