Friday, 31 July 2015

Five on Friday - London

Hello again!

Many thanks for your kind messages, so nice to hear from you.

Amy is allowing us one more Five on Friday before the summer hols so do dash over to her blog to see what else is going on.

Off we go then!  To London for a quick touristy look.

1. The Lord Mayor's Coach - The Museum of London

Ordered in 1757 by a banker who knew he would be the next Lord Mayor, this coach is used in the annual Lord Mayor's Show. A new Lord Mayor is elected in the City every year and the coach is used to convey him from Guildhall to the Courts of Justice where he swears allegiance to the Crown. It has undergone lots of restoration since then and is covered in over 100 layers of paint!

2. View over the Thames to the London Eye

Apparantly the London Eye can carry 800 people at a time, you can see 40km in each direction and it travels at twice the speed of a sprinting tortoise.

3. St Pauls Cathedral and Millennium Bridge

The photo was taken from the Tate Gallery during a thunderstorm.   Famous for being a bit wobbly, when the bridge was opened an extra £5 million had to be spent fitting 91 dampers to stop the oscillations on the bridge.

4. The O2 Arena and the Emirates Air Line

Should you feel the need, you can climb up The O2 and there is a wonderful view. You are not supposed to bounce along the walkway as there is a ripple effect which can unsettle others following!  The Emirates Air Line also adds as air of excitement.

5. View from Waterloo Bridge towards St. Pauls and the Gherkin

It's always a joy to cross the bridge with new buildings popping up all the time to add to the skyline.

Have a good holiday Five on Fridayers, see you in September.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 30 July 2015



I'm really struggling to find anything new to show you in the garden this week as the temperatures have really dropped and the poor old plants are looking distinctly chilly.

Talking of chillies(!) here are the little horrors, some of which are starting to change colour.

Michael's Magic



Fairylight flower more purply than other chillies


Enormous red peppers

Firecracker grown from seeds from a Sainsbury plant



Golden cayenne

Chocolate habenaro flower

It comes to something when the fruit growing on the potatoes above seem to be more advanced than the tomatoes below, although the latter are catching up.

A few green beans

The Eucomis continues to develop

Come back sun, we need you!

Thanks for calling in.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

So and sew


I've been sewing this week.

My cupboard yielded some fabric which has been sitting there for donkey's years and I set to work to turn it into tops and dresses for those that would find them useful. You can find patterns on the internet to turn a pillow case into a dress for a child in  Africa - littledressesforafrica or dressagirlaroundtheworld.

Last week I popped on a photo of a blanket in progress, here it is again in glorious colour.  It's magic isn't it!  Just like that the colour is back - the wonders of colour photography!


See you soon!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mother Shipton's Cave

Hello, thanks for dropping by.

I recently mentioned Knaresborough's windows in a post and it reminded me of our visit to Mother Shipton's Cave which is also in the town.

We went along, we were tourists after all, to see what it was all about.

Once inside the attraction, a rainy walk by the River Nidd led to Mother Shipton's cave.  Who was Mother Shipton?  Well, have a look at this!  You will see that she was a prophetess who lived during the reign of Henry VIII. Legend has it she was born in 1488 during a violent thunderstorm in the cave near the mysterious Petrifying Well. Petrified yet?  She is said to have predicted the Great Fire of London, iron ships, the defeat of the Spanish Armada and even the end of the world. You can find her prophecies on the internet if you are keen to find out what else she came up with.

The park itself is very pleasant giving nice views of the town.  Here's Knaresbourough's famous viaduct, not taken from the park, which was pronounced as an eyesore when it was built.

The cave has a model of Mother Shipton (spooky!) with details of the story, there's a museum/shop at the end which is all very touristy but the Petrifying Well is quite interesting!

The water in that area has a high mineral content with the rocks being tufa and travertine. 3,200 litres of water flow over the well every hour and items placed in its way are turned to stone!  You can see the various pots, teddies, shoes etc. hanging down on strings.  It takes between three and five months to petrify a teddy bear.

It's been a really popular destination for visitors since 1538 and even celebrities have donated various items to be hung in the Well to be turned to stone.

According to the website:

'Historia Museum

The petrified items donated by celebrities and TV programmes over the years can be viewed in the museum at the far end of the park. Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Blue Peter have all made contributions. There is also a hat worn by John Wayne, and Agatha Christie’s handbag. Probably the most historic and valuable item is a shoe left by Queen Mary when she visited in 1923. The museum also contains a life size figure of Mother Shipton.'

Ha Ha! What do you think of that!  You do have to pay to get in though.

Bye for now!

Monday, 27 July 2015


Hello again!

Many thanks for all your kind messages, it's great to hear from you.

Here's a few butterflies for you. Needless to say they kept fluttering about while I tried to focus on them and some only opened up their wings when the camera batteries went flat!

I'm not a butterfly expert but I think this one is a speckled wood

How about a gatekeeper?

A comma

and a holly blue

With a damselfly to finish off with.

How lucky we are to have all these varied insects flying about around us!


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Strolling by the River on a Sunday Afternoon


Sun's out today, yay!

Time for a mooch.

The river path meanders along through the woodland. The brambles are a hive of activity with insects and butterflies busying about, there's a hum in the air. Nettles stretch up to shoulder height along the bank. No sign of any kingfishers today, pity, I'd love to see one and in fact did catch a glimpse of some bright blue tail feathers when I was here before.

Look at this enormous bud just opening up. I wonder what's inside?

Seeds are forming everywhere, it's so warm, the grasshoppers are creaking all over.

The path brings me to an activity lake, boats and boards piled up waiting their turn.

There aren't many people in the water today. Having only heard about fly boarding the other day from Cathy, here's a chap having a lesson. What a coincidence!

I've got a few butterflies to show you next time.

Bye for now!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Vyne


I had an unexpected trip this week to The Vyne, a National Trust property.  We had intended to pop into West Green gardens but it was closed and it just seemed such a waste of a beautiful afternoon if we didn't go somewhere.

The Vyne was built in the 16th Century as a huge Tudor palace for King Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain, Lord Sandys.  In fact Henry VIII actually visited three times, with Catherine of Arragon and Anne Boleyn though not both together!

It has a fabulous chapel with important 16th Century Flemish majolica floor tiles and some wonderful stained glass windows which feature Henry and Catherine in them.

In 1653 the house was sold to Chaloner Chute and was passed down through the Chute family.

Horace Walpole, the son of Prime Minister Robert Walpole, was a friend of John Chute who inherited The Vyne and together they worked on the building of Walpole's gothic style house, Strawberry Hill and they even copied one of the ceilings at the Vyne. Here's a link to my visit to Strawberry Hill.

Apart from all the history, it's got a beautiful garden by a lake, surrounded by woodland.

Here's a few shots.

Sadly the photos of the Chapel windows came out all fuzzy, so I will have to get some more next time!

Behind the chairs are a row of truncheons which were made in the 19th Century due to the unrest caused by the steep rise in prices following the implementation of the Corn Laws. 300-400 poor labourers marched on The Vyne but were fortunately stopped before they reached it.

Ebony seat

Really old tiles from Antwerp

Ice cream parlour in ice cream colours

The little summerhouse surrounded by flowers

Nice isn't it!

Thanks for visiting.