Sunday, 25 November 2012

Mistletoe and Holly

All in all, it's been a bit of a day today. But not as bad as the folks down south have had.We must have had quite a storm during the night. The muddy torrent was torrenting down the road past our house this morning and I wanted to go out.  I zipped up the track to where a certain person's drain had blocked yet again and poked it free with a stick. Then freed the rest of the drains down the lane except one. Couldn't free that one - a gaggle of unenthusiastic road repairing council workers had recently tarmacked over the grid and the water was gliding effortlessly over the top. Ah well! Anyway I did manage to get out which was OK.

Mistletoe on an apple tree at the Mill
A few years ago O/H was at a farm sale with the intention of buying a rotovater. He missed the final bid but got talking to the person standing next to him, who was also hoping to buy one. His own had packed up and had no idea how to fix it. The conversation culminated in an invitation for us to visit.

Honestly, I have never seen such a fantastic garden. This dear, generous old man was well in his eighties and his eyes lit up as he showed us round. He lived at a place called Stiperstones. His little terraced house was built at the foot of 'Peggy's Hill'. I thought it was steep where we lived, but nothing like this. He'd got a little grove of hawthorn bushes with masses and masses of mistletoe on them. At Christmas time he sold it to eke out his pension. He also had 500 little fir saplings which he also sold as they grew bigger. He insisted that we take an armful of vegetables and a bundle of mistletoe. He said to make a small insertion in the bark of a tree and gently rub the white berry into it.  It was such a thrill today to see that some of it had actually started to grow. Apparently it takes quite a few years to grow a sizeable amount. I don't know whether he's even still alive now. I hope he's still enjoying his garden.

Holly tree growing at the back of the garage.
Another nice thing today. We used to go for walks around the single track roads. O/H is not too well now and can't walk too far like he could then. Sometimes we'd take little  holly cuttings from hedges along the fields. We stuck the stem in the ground planted one of them at the back of the garage. This year it's loaded with berries and is beautiful. Apparently you have to have both male and female plants for the female to produce berries so we must have hit it right somewhere along the line.

A fair sized chunk of a broken oak branch came floating down on the rush of water. More logs for the Rayburn.
Thank you God.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Icy roads and nothing to say

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

 I love this poem by Robert Frost. I travelled this road today. The ice and the frost (oops! sorry Robert) were about with a vengeance this morning, but later on when the sun came out it was just breath taking.

It's my hundredth post today.

Happy day

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Silence of the Night

It's over a year ago since we had a power cut. A storm brought the power lines down for practically the whole weekend.

We're better prepared now  (I think) than we were then. If you can ever be?

Got the survival gear in hand.

It's not 'if' but 'when'
And it certainly gives you a different perspective on how to entertain yourself.
Thank you God for electricity.

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 Let there be light.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bridgemere Pool

You know, when sometimes you feel you want to go somewhere. Anywhere will do. We had a week  of damp and cold and rain, slothering through the mud. Then a friend rang up and asked us if we would like to go on a day trip she was organising to Bridgemere  Garden Centre in Cheshire. Why not. Though the last thing I'm feeling like doing at this moment in time is gardening as much as I'm enthralled with it in the spring and summer months.

We arrived at Bridgemere in just over an hour. True to expectations, the garden centre was massive, heaving with all sorts of plants, shrubs and Christmas trees as well as a collage of clothing, shoe, furniture, aquatic, gadget shops all sporting Christmas lights, the jingle-jangle and all the trimmings - but not for me.
We ate an expensive lunch in the Garden Restaurant and then wondered what to do with ourselves for the rest of the day.

I noticed  a sign which just said 'Gardens' and we followed a narrow forsaken woodland path. And this is what we found -

Whooshes of leaves which swept across more narrow stone paths and an empty wooden seat.

A deserted green wooden trelliced shelter. We did actually meet one other couple wandering about the same as we were. Probably thinking the same thoughts that we were.  I would think that this place would be heaving with folks in the summer months.

A little bit further on up the track, a rocky waterway with  shoals of fallen leaves caught up along a miniature stone waterfall.

And there it was, Bridgemere Pool

How fantastic is that?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday in Mid Wales (On Saturday)

We called in at the Coed y Dinas stores and Garden Centre yesterday. There was a 'Farmer's Market' with stalls outside the Garden Centre entrance. Well actually there were only three stalls and the stallholders who braved the cold, looked perished.  It was raining and blustery.  Like us, most people were walking straight past, diving into the warmth of the store.  Then the sun  came out throwing shadows across the cars and the parking spaces. Why is it that you always feel like buying more when the sun shines?

The sort of day where the wind and the sun, battle for supremacy.

A day for loving the view when the sun was winning

and soaking it all up

Shadow Shot Sunday 2
Happy Shadow Shot Sunday