Sunday, 7 April 2019

‘‘Tis the season

She is out!! It wasn’t as warm as the met office suggested but we got out and about this weekend. With lots of conversation over the winter where we should go, we decided we wanted to go everywhere we had never been. Our destination was Rutland, the smallest county. I knew there would be water there but it is so much more. The villages have stone cottages with thatched robes not unlike the Cotswolds. So many colourful Spring gardens here. Rolling hills and lots of sheep.

This is the OH’s new satnav. Instead of the usual monotone voice, he has downloaded John Cleese, the instructions are very direct and at times very funny.

The cycle route around Rutland Water is lots of miles so we decided to take walks at various points around it. There were lots of walkers and cyclists but it  was still peaceful and lovely to hear the lapping water. There is something so relaxing about walking by water.

We heading further out into Leicestershire and stopped by Melton Mowbray. It has a wonderful cathedralesque church.

The guide in the church told us that it was often said that it is only one window short of a cathedral. The OH stopped by the pie shop to buy a authentic Melton Mowbray pork pie. Not my sort of thing. It actually made his weekend. 
The caravan park was called Rutland caravan park and it did the job nicely. It was just outside the village of Greetham. The facilities were warm and spotlessly clean. In the Ladies there were lovely home from home touches.

There was underfloor heating and piped music . The park was neat and tidy. There was a small shop and a cafe called Tealightful Teas. We didn’t use it, but it was open for light bites well into the evening. I would score this site a 9/10 . I wouldn’t give it a 10 just because I could hear the hum of the A1 road a few fields away. 
On the way home to took a detour to see the Harringworth viaduct. The weather was a bit foggy so we could hardly see the end of it. A good first weekend out but hopefully the next will be a bit warmer.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Royal Berkshire.

we fancied a stroll by some water today. I looked at the forecast and it seemed a bit windy with a wind chill if we went westward. We decided to go Eastwards where the Thames gets wider. The OH looked at the National Trust Website and we decided on Runnymede in Old Windsor. I think we got into Surrey and Bucks as the sat nav took us up the M25. My nerves were shot to pieces as I try to avoid motorways. The OH doesn’t care and is a an excellent driver so I don’t understand why I get anxious. When we got there, the river was wide and racing along towards London.
It was far from a peaceful walk. The main road to Windsor runs alongside the riverside path. Above
there were planes ascending one after another from Heathrow. It made me wonder how polluted the
air was around this pretty riverside place. The Magna Carta was signed here by King John in 1215. There is a timeline and statue of her majesty by the river.

We decided to have our picnic in the car as there were a few hailstones flying around and the traffic noise was annoying. I’m glad I went as I have never been there before. We decided to go back the scenic route which was lovely. Through Windsor, Wargrave, Henley upon Thames and back into Oxfordshire, Dorchester upon Thames, Abingdon and home. The willows were  budding and there were beautiful magnolia and blossom trees. Daffodils and narcissi. Against the bright blue skies it made everything stand out. There were dark storm clouds too. We saw lightning and a rainbow. It made a nice change to go out after the wet and windy stuff that has been relentlessly hitting us. We left Vera the van at home today. The car had an outing. I have been busy washing the utensils and wiping out the cupboards so she wasn’t quite ready for an outing today. 

Thursday, 14 March 2019

spiders and worms

One of the grandchildren showed me her new toy on Skype,  paid for by her birthday money. It was a plastic egg with a soft toy inside. I tried not to look horrified when she told me it cost 25 pounds!! She looked very pleased with it but I wondered how long it would be before it found itself at the bottom of the toy box, forgotten.
At pre school this week our theme for learning is nursery rhymes. This week it is Incy Wincy Spider. As funds are low for resources, this is what I came up with.
This was three packs of spaghetti, 20p per packet, some plastic spiders from the bug play box and a sprinkle of glitter. This provided a whole day of sensory fun for pennies. I suppose the food waste is sad but after 28 sets of little fingers all day, the best place for it was the bin.
This is my home made Incy Wincy play board. It is my old dishwasher cupboard door, a bit of waste pipe and brackets from the OH’s useful hoard in the shed. Two holes in the pipe,I drilled top and bottom. With some string threaded and tied, Incy Wincy can be moved up and down the pipe. Incy Wincy is an old pram toy out of my toy box at home.  Two offcuts of wood screwed to the bottom to make it stable. Made in moments and will provide lots of lasting fun.
Providing entertainment for pennies gives me great job satisfaction. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

I have been hibernating from Blogland. I have been just getting on with what I can manage. I feel Spring is on the way. I have been in the motorhome cleaning and preparing for new adventures. It has been a long grey winter. The sunshine we had some weeks ago was missed as I was in bed with a virus for most of it. Back to full health and looking forward.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Old Father Thames

Down in the flat Thames valley,  just a few miles away is Chimney Nature Reserve.  It is a series of paths and bridleways around the Thames. It is a great place to walk away from traffic and roads. It is on the flight path to RAF Brize Norton so a bit of whining aircraft noise above. 

 There were splashes of colour in the bare winter hedgerows.

A row of pylons that seem to go on forever to the horizon. 

  A rickety wooden bridge that reminded me of the story Billy Goats Gruff. It really was rickety and in places rotten when I stood on it.

 A dark and cold Thames on its way to London and out to sea. Not so wide here but boats do come up as far as Lechlade. I didn’t see any today. We weren’t far from where the river Windrush joins the Thames to give it a bit of a boost. This is a relatively straight bit of river but it meanders with the odd ox bow lake. I remember learning about these terms in Geography lessons in th 1970’s  A great example of an old river. Slow and steady, always brown. 
As per normal my phone ran out of battery but I saw catkins and snowdrops. The birds were singing and the sky had blue bits in it. It certainly wouldn’t have been so pleasant yesterday in the drizzle.    The air had a chill in it and I was glad of my hat.

 A satisfying Sunday stroll.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Light of the day.

It has been dark and dull today. I have had to have a light on to see what I was doing. At the end of the day there were  shafts of sunlight and a beautiful sunset. Red sky at night , Shepherds delight. Hopefully tomorrow we can have some sunshine as I need to get on with some garden tasks.  
My plan this year is to grow as much as I can manage. This won’t cost me anything, only time. I have seeds and my own compost and plenty of pots. I need to get on with it.
I have been hibernating watching YouTube. On holiday last year we stayed near the home of Hannah Hauxwell. I read the book Daughter of the Dales while I was there. On YouTube I saw footage of interviews with her. She was a serene unspoiled human. Amazing woman who got on with things and was content with what she had. Her face reminded me of my Great Granny. She used to say to me “Blessed are they who expected not, for they shall never be disappointed.” When I was little I never understood what that meant. I certainly do now.
My Steve loved a sunset and when I see a spectacular one like today,  it makes me smile.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

De clutter

This lettering has been put on the wall of my sons new home office. It looks great and wise words indeed. As for the decluttering, I really am not half way there. I have been sorting the cupboard in the spare room. So far there is a bag of items to sell, a bag for the charity shop and some items for free cycle. I am quite cross with myself for being such a hoarder. It will be lovely when I have finished to have a cupboard where I can store the hoover and steam mop. I keep them in the back porch but as most of my visitors come in at random through the back door, I thought I had better spruce it up a bit.I was browsing YouTube yesterday and came across a young mum called Emily Norris who has a post about storage solutions that she got mostly from Poundland. She is a very organised young mum and I was impressed at her low spend ideas. There is a Poundland in Witney, my nearest big town. It is 10 miles away so I can’t just jump in the car and go unless I need to go to the bank/other errands. 20 miles here and there add up very quickly. I am trying to use our car more wisely this year. I certainly won’t deny myself getting out and about, but will try to make the journeys worth it. Definitely more walking needs to be done.
Yesterday was the day to send a monthly gas and electric reading to my energy provider. I put in the numbers for the gas and a note had come up that I have used more gas than normal. Oops! Over Christmas I have used the underfloor heating in the sunroom (there was no or little sun) for the little visitors. I have to go steady now. It has got cold indoors quickly today. I have a warm fleece on and the heating will come on again at 4pm for a spell. When it is warm is I will override it and I will light the log burner. I feel so fortunate that I am not in fuel poverty. A cold home isn’t really homely. Some families have to choose food or heat.
I’m pleased to say that when I gave the kitchen cupboards a sort and wipe yesterday I found this and put it to one side.
 I think I have earned it today. Work tomorrow so I will have to leave my grand declutter to resume later.