Friday, 31 May 2019

Five near Pangbourne


Thanks for popping in.

What a beautiful couple of weeks we've had weatherwise!  My Five this week are from a trip to Pangbourne in Berkshire and Whitchurch-on-Thames in Oxfordshire which are separated by the River Thames and connected by a toll bridge .

1.  Whitchurch-on-Thames is a small village in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is also a Conservation area.

2.  The Toll Bridge was completely renovated in 2014 using the 1902 bridge which was the third on the site, the first was built in 1792.  Luckily there's no charge for pedestrians to cross the River.

3.   St Mary's Church, Whitchurch-on-Thames is a picture, inside and out.

4. Around the pretty village

5.  The shop Cheese Etc. is back over the toll bridge in Pangbourne in the middle of the village.  It was voted Cheese Counter of the Year 2017-18 at the World Cheese Awards and we certainly found them very knowledgeable.

I'm sure I'll be back again soon.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, 30 May 2019

Amish Puzzle Ball


Thanks for calling in.

Here's a great pattern combining the desire to make a woolly ball for a little person with a love of making crochet flowers and adding a soupçon of devilish puzzlement!  It's an Amish Puzzle Ball which I found on the Look What I Made Blog here.  The instructions are really easy to follow and you can use up lots of your leftover wool.  Fantastic!

First off you make 12 flowers . . .

. . . next you make 12 plain sections . . .

. . .  then you join a flower and a plain section together, adding stuffing, join them together into 3 rings of 4 flowercones and finally wiggle them into place!  A bit tricky!

Very effective, such a brilliant idea.  A great hit with our little cutie and very versatile.  I think I'll make another one.


Wednesday, 29 May 2019



Thanks for visiting.

On a bright sunny day, Guildford has a lot to offer with the colourful Castle grounds always looking beautifully manicured and the River Wey Navigations giving everyone a peaceful place to sit or stroll.

On my last visit the gardeners at the Castle had pulled out all the Spring bedding - the tulips and forget-me-notes - and the beds had been spruced up ready for the Summer.  The gardeners themselves were discussing the arrival of the new plants, were they on their way?  The wildflowers near the Castle walls themselves looked stunning.

Walking along the towpath, the National Trust's Dapdune Wharf looked good over the water as I headed off to find a new cafe selling gelato for a lunch time cup of tea.  It's part of the large furniture store called Barker and Stonehouse and has a good selection of tasty, a bit different, cakes and snacks.


Tuesday, 28 May 2019

In the Wild


Thanks for popping in.

Let's take a walk through the meadow which is looking so beautiful at this time of year.

You don't really need to go to Chelsea Flower Show!


Monday, 27 May 2019



Thanks for popping in.

We are urged to think carefully about our impact on climate change, conservation and the use of plastic before it is too late.  

This art installation outside St Albans Cathedral shows how much water on average a family of four uses over two weeks.  As the ice melts, it illustrates that within no time at all, the water has disappeared, with this contrasted against the Cathedral that has been there for 1,000 years.

If we all try hard enough, we can make a difference.


Friday, 24 May 2019

Five Mosaics Around St Albans City


Thanks for popping in.

When visiting St Albans, I'd recommend picking up one of their excellent Map and Trail leaflets which guides you round the interesting features of the City.  To follow on from my other St Albans posts, here's five more spots to see.

1.  Pubs and pretty buildings - ha! What a place to start! So many pretty pubs to choose from including Ye Olde Fighting Cocks which claims to be the oldest in Britain, has an award for the best pub, is in a great spot but is quite pricy.  The Cafe Rouge building at the bottom used to be an exhibition hall for Ryder's Seeds.  Samuel Ryder went on to found the prestigious Ryder Cup golf tournament.

2.  St  Peter's Church - an ancient gateway church serving St Albans' people for over 1,000 years.

3.  Almshouses - there are two sets of almshouses - Pemberton, whose founder Roger Pemberton, - his sad story is mentioned on the plaque on the door - as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire he accidentally shot a widow with a bow and arrow and decided to set up the almshouses, there's an arrowhead on top of the gate.  Marlborough Almshouses were a gift from Sarah, 1st Duchess of Marlborough, friend of Queen Anne.  Around the streets are memorials to those from that street who died during WW1.

4. Village Arcade - such a pretty arcade near the Clock tower.  The tiles from a Lyons Corner House are on the wall.  Abigail's is a pretty cafe at the Abbey end of the Arcade where you can enjoy a cup of tea in a leafy location.  The large tree is known as The Verdun Tree as it was planted from a conker collected from the only tree to survive the tragic WW1 battle of Verdun. 

5.  Charter Market - held on Wednesdays and Saturdays on St Peter's Street, it was established over 1,000 years ago.  It's really extensive and full of all sorts of goodies.

To finish off my St Albans posts,  here's a bit more information on St Albans and a mosaic celebrating its history.

Thank you St Albans for a very interesting couple of days. . .

. . . and thank you for coming along too!


Thursday, 23 May 2019

St Albans Clocktower


Thanks for visiting.

There's a wonderful view from the top of the Clock tower - it's not too high, no wobbly bits, it's very safe although the 93 steps up are really narrow.  There's room for a breather on the way up as the Clock and bells are on display.  Built by 1412, its bell has survived for 600 years, ringing out to give the alarm during the first battle of St Albans during the War of the Roses, it rang out for Queen Victoria's funeral and the Curfew in 1863.

From the top you can see the lovely countryside.  Even the market is on with its stripy yellow and blue canopies.

Only open at weekends, £1 entry.