Saturday, 29 December 2012

More Floods

The wind was fairly rattling through the rafters during the night. Rain hurtling against the window panes. As if we needed any more. Being Saturday, we didn't have to go out today except for stocking up on milk and bread and that was looking less and less like an option. A lone builder drove up the single track road early morning to put a few finishing touches to the barn conversion next door (and looked like he might be stopping the night) Less than an hour and the water was swirling and raging so you could hardly distinguish brook from road.

But with a little bit of help from his friends and a bit of a poke at the drains, it went down just enough for him to creep his vehicle through the middle of the road. I was holding my breath in case the car conked out half way through and he got stuck right in the centre. He was only wearing a light top, jogging bottoms and trainers. The joys of country living :(

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Heavy Rain

The weather forecast is not too good for tomorrow and Thursday - black exclamation mark in the middle of a little yellow triangle and all that. We have to go out. Nine down and twenty eight to go. We yanked a dozen or so branches and bits of trees out of the brook on Sunday to try to stop them getting jammed in the tunnels of the bridge - the water was just about level with the road we have to travel. Fingers crossed it won't be flooded tomorrow and Thursday. Whoever you are that's doing that rain dance, please can you stop now, we've had enough. Love Molly xx

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

On This Day, 12th of the 12th of the 12th

Just got back and been starting to catch up with my fav blog posts Delores over at 'Feathered Nest' mentioned today's date. Actually I did read a bit about it in today's paper and took a few pictures of my day today starting at 12 minutes past 12 and through the day.  Everything was white over this morning. By 12 o clock the freezing fog was just starting to lift. so this is how my day was :-

This pic was taken at 12 minutes past 12

And this one

The trees and the hedges along the main road were all covered in hoar frost. In the half light they looked really beautiful.

Spider's Web on the holly tree 12 minutes past 12 on 12th December 2012

The floral display at the entrance of the Outpatients
Because one of the scanners in the Radiotherapy Dept was being serviced, the appointments for this afternoon had been moved to the evening. This meant O/H's appointment was put back until 6.35pm. We started out at 3.30pm in order to travel in the light. Fog and ice are not a good combination although it had started to lift quite a bit  by then.

Knit one

Purl one

And then, tucked in the corner of L2 waiting room, someone had knitted a nativity scene. These crafty people are so clever in what they can do. Meeting up with the other patients being treated too was good. You do seem to form a camaraderie between you as you meet up each day  sitting around in the waiting room. The support from each other is amazing.
When we came out, ice was glistening on the pavements but the fog had completely gone. Yes, for me, it is starting to feel like Christmas after all.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

One Sad Christmas

Scotch on the Rocks

One Christmas when we lived at our other house at Bayston Hill, Other Half walked all the way down to the pub. Walked all the way back with a bottle of whisky. Got to our front door and then dropped it.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Learning As I Go

In August 2011 I posted my first video on You Tube.  I was outside in the garden, when I noticed a minute little snail climbing up an aquilegia leaf. For those of us with too much time on our hands, I grabbed my camera and just watched him go. He was amazing. The wind blew, but he kept going. One strong gust and he fell off. Well let's face it, not everyone lives happily ever after do they?
I have been playing around tonight, doing a bit of editing and putting it to music. I fell off a few times, but it's getting there. Not only that, I've done a bit of online shopping and SORNED (Statutory Off Road Notification) the old banger parked up the yard without having to move out of my comfortable chair.
Loving all this technology. It's good here ...... I want to learn more.

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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Little Things

It's been tipping down for most of day here. That sort of windy, grey, wet, gets in your bones kind of a day.We have a solid fuel Rayburn which we hadn't lit for the last four years. That was in the good old days when central heating oil was relatively cheap and sawing up logs wasn't worth the myther. But I lit it today. Believe me, there is nothing as nice as a log fire on a wet day.  I've had the whistling kettle on the hob all day,  (tea on demand) and cooked a chicken in the oven.

When the brook at the end of the road  flooded in September, the torrents brought drift wood and  bits of branches from upstream. When the water subsided we managed to hook a few bits out of the brook and saw them up.

We stored them in wheel barrows in the polytunnel to help them to dry out.

I noticed these little toadstools growing on a piece of waterlogged timber. They're pale yellow with a goldeny bit on the crown. I wouldn't eat them but they're lovely to look at. What are they?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Caught In The Shadows

Why is it that when you want to take a proper photo of a shadow, your own shadow gets in the way. Like having a picture  with your own thumbprint stuck in the corner. A  MeMe.
 It was foggy this morning. I needed to go into Shrewsbury to pick up my grand daughter for her half-term hol. By about  1pm the fog had lifted and the sun came out. The colours of the trees along the river Severn were beautiful.  I'm one of those people who hates shopping - especially on a Sunday, so to pass the time until her train arrived, I took some photos across the Frankwell Foot Bridge leading down to the municipal car park and soaked up the sunshine.

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 Happy Shadow Shot Sunday

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Keep Between The Lines

 Following on from John and Tom's recent blog posts, I'm writing another of those 'funeral' stories.  It really isn't intended to make light of someone's pain. No way! That's the last thing in the world I would want to do. The events just appealed to my wooky sense of humour. Bear with me.
It happened in Welshpool a couple of years ago when there was rumour of a tanker driver's strike.  The price of petrol and diesel was going through the roof and the petrol station was choc-a-bloc.
'No worries for him about the cost of diesel', Other Half remarked. We were quietly waiting our turn in the queue at the pumps. A sleek black hearse passed by on the main road ahead of us. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack and a wreath of white roses and lilies balanced on the top of it. The driver drove sedately over the mini roundabout and disappeared from view towards the town centre. Our turn to fill up - £1.33 per litre, cripes! (and that's nothing to what they're charging now). O/H did the necessary and joined the other queue at the till in the shop. I sat in the passenger seat idly watching the world go by. Suddenly the same hearse appeared from the opposite direction, going like a bat out of hell. Oops! Wrong venue! Oh shite!
The driver, mobile phone pressed against his ear - never-mind-the-law and one hand rolling the steering wheel. He shot over the mini roundabout, the coffin fairly bounced.  I was quite expecting his fare to sit straight up and tap him on the shoulder and tell him to slow down or end up by the side of him in the passenger seat. I never forgot it.
Another near death experience I had this week We have a green rain barrel at the top end of the poly tunnel. As I bent down to fill the watering can, I noticed something strange floating on top of the water. It was yellow and black no more than 2 “ long, with drooping exhausted wings. I picked a leaf from the apple tree and gently scooped the little insect to the relative safety of an upturned plant pot. It was a baby dragon fly. The warmth of the afternoon sun dried the tiny wings and before too long he was buzzing again with the joy of life and in the morning he was gone!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Shadows on the Wall

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 It's been such a long time since I took part in Shadow Shot Sunday so hope you don't mind if I'm catching the train to SSS2

A little glitch of sunshine was all it took for my favourite puss to warm herself near the heater outlet and soak up the sun.

 Faint shadows of  pussy willow in a vase tucked in the alcove as we mulled over a Latte in the Pinewood Cafe in Welshpool.

 Shadows in the porch when I went to the Harvest Festival at St Mary's last night.

Dark and light.
Happy  Shadow Shot Sunday

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chiselled in Stone

St John's Hill
As you go up St John's Hill in Shrewsbury, turn left through the wrought iron gate at the top. This is where St Chad's is and the church yard is at the back. There aren't any modern graves there now, most of them date back to the early 1800's. The pictures I've taken are at various times  through the seasons. 
You might think that walking around a church yard looking at grave stones is a bit morbid, but I don't think so. Death is an inevitable part of life. It is. Like they say, the only two certainties in this life are dying and paying tax. And me? I just find a sense of peace there. When I go into Shrewsbury, if there's time, I never get tired of walking the narrow stone paths. And they even provide a bench by the cobbled circle for you to sit and ponder it all as long as you want to.

St Chad's Churchyard

At the top end, nearest to the Quarry gardens is a cobbled circle. I would imagine there is something beneath it - but it doesn't say what. Been there for quite a while.
The one above is a crypt in cast iron, beautifully engraved. Indication that in those times that they were quite a well-to-do family in the watch making business, so it says a bit higher up - but look at the ages - 25 yrs, 41, 26 - how did they meet their deaths so young? Was it through illness or accident or just sheer hard work. We won't know.
Mary Eccleston
Then there was Mary Eccleston - she was only fifteen when she died in 1827 and other infant children died with her. It happened on New Year's Eve. Was there an accident, epidemic? I've never been able to find out any more about her. There's almost a book in there.

Fungi at the base of the yew tree

One of my favourite things to look at was, a winter storm a few years back had upended one of the yew trees. The tree surgeons who dealt with it, carved their names where they'd lopped the trunk across.  You'd never know now because ivy has grown all over it. But they are there, underneath it, for posterity.