Thursday, May 29, 2014

Moody May and bad eyesight

We've had all weathers this month - fog, wind, rain, thunder, freezing temperatures and a mini heat wave.  I stand at the wardrobe every morning and gaze bemused in to the black hole wondering what to wear.

During May I have been mostly:-

- filling a 4 yard skip with hardcore and junk.  Very satisfying, especially if wearing dungarees.
- trying to concentrate on my dinner now the farm animals are in a romantic mood.  Rude.
- enjoying my petrol mower and strimmer.  It is a constant battle when your garden is in a field.
- listening to the tawny owl at night.
- looking at interesting shapes that I find on my walks.
- watching the swallows in the lane and seeing a song thrush on the fence.
- singing in Russian and perfecting my accent thanks to my Russian colleague.
- cultivating my 1980's perm like hairdo.
- buying lots of summer clothes on-line and then sending them all back.

Big Dog waiting for me at the bottom of the hill, one foggy morn.

The hedgerows and footpaths are bursting with cow parsley and Big Dog loves the grass now it is shoulder height. Unfortunately, so do the ticks.

I like to go on tip toes and have a good sniff of the lilac as I walk past this lady's cottage.


See - an interesting shape.  This metal looks almost plant-like.

I took my fellow Bungalow girl on my (previously foggy) walk to the next village.  I'd forgotten how far it was! But I got to see the view this time.

I'd love one of these little huts in my garden.

This church is sadly not used any more, although they do have an annual service.

I hadn't realised that you could actually go in and have a look around.

It's me that is wonky, not the church.

It was very peaceful.  We signed the visitors' book.

We left the church and started climbing the very long hill, pausing at the top for a picnic.  

The last time I attempted this walk I could see on the map that there was a memorial but I never found it, not helped by the fog!  

This time, I told Sarah that yes, I could see it, that was definitely it!  After striding across the large open field and avoiding eye contact with a herd of suspicious cows, we discovered it was in fact only a wooden post - oops. Although, turning around to retrace our steps the memorial was revealed!  It was tucked down out of sight of the path.

Memorial dedicated to a local Viscount and Viscountess who died in the 1980's.

There are some very handsome houses on this walk.

One weekend, I had the idea of trying a local nature reserve that people had recommended, particularly for the blue bells.  Garston Wood nature reserve consists of 84 acres of ancient woodland.   However, the car park was tiny and full, Sarah said 'Hi Ron' to a man who was not Ron but vaguely looked like him (she has new glasses now) and there were too many people and too many signs saying 'DOGS ON LEADS'.  Agh! I should know by now.  I will stay closer to home next time.

Garston Wood - blue bells

Big Dog completely missed the fallow deer bounding across a field!  We should get her some specs too.

Wild garlic

At home I have enjoyed trying to spot wild flowers as I walk Big Dog.

This walk is called 'up the hill' and is my early morning 'don't talk to me, I am still asleep' walk.


Apparently, Herb Robert was used by herbalists to treat toothache and nosebleeds and if rubbed on the body is supposed to keep mosquito's away.  If the freshly picked leaves are rubbed it has a smell similar to that of burning tyres, nice.  In the state of Washington it is called 'Stinky Bob'!

Herb Robert

This walk is called 'the circuit' and can only be completed if one has at least an hour and twenty minutes to spare (allow extra time for mucking about in the bushes with the camera).

My gorgeous beech trees.

The valley we live in is so wide - I really must get myself a trusty steed and a lasso.

Cow parsley near the deserted farm buildings.

The Iris that my mum gave us has suddenly decided to flower after ages of looking very uninspiring.  Now it looks very grand and rather out of place in our scruffy garden!  I do like large, sculptural plants though and it smells heavenly.

It likes chalk and full sun.

'Iris Magnifica' - very Georgia O'Keeffe.

Purple iris

Perennial cornflower

Lavender in my herb garden.

Fox gloves and allium

Whilst weeding I found this tiny little glass bottle.  It is now pride of place on the nature display.  I should get out more.

Speedwell, buttercups, daisy, cow parsley and herb robert collected on a walk.

I disturbed this warty little man whilst moving a load of bricks.


We have had even more escaped farm animals.  This time in the road outside the bungalow!  

I don't think we've got room in our garden for these two.

This walk is called 'straight on' and is my 'post work/de-stress/and breathe walk'

I like to admire the five trees that line the drove.  My memory (as well as eyesight) is so bad these days that I had to make up a line to remember them!  'Bloomin' heck Frank, haven't you got cold feet'.

- Beech
- Horse Chestnut
- Field Maple
- Horse Chestnut
- Copper Beech
- Field Maple

White campion - the male and female flowers are on separate plants.

Comfrey - an excellent organic fertiliser.

Big Dog's favourite walk is called 'down by the mill'.

The cows and horses have enjoyed eating our white lilac.

The vegetable grower is frantically hard at work - good, can't wait to eat the results!

Bungalow bake off - we have competition! 

Ez practised making 'Mille Feuille' for her GCSE cookery exam. I can't even pronounce it, let alone make puff pastry.

It was disgusting.....

Our neighbour, 'Welsh Bill' is having a clear out and kindly gave me two large cacti!

We have been so lucky to receive so many plants for the garden, a wheelbarrow, cold frame, logs etc from friends and family over the last few years.

I have found a good place for my lovely picture that my friend Hayley bought me in a charity shop.

£5 - a bargain!

I don't understand how people can decorate a house and then go out and buy co-ordinated pictures, throws, covers, furniture etc.  Surely these things have no emotional attachment?  I have a huge blank wall by the telephone that is crying out to be filled by a picture but one will turn up eventually.  I have a feeling that this bungalow project will never be completed!

Anyway, it is now Salisbury Arts Festival fortnight so am busy wafting in linen darling.... 

I am VERY excited as this year the Arts Festival has a Nordic/Scandinavian feel.  We have already seen two very unusual (!) films, one Icelandic and the other Swedish.  So no time for cooking, cleaning or blogging.

Off I go....

Waft, waft.....

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