Monday, September 28, 2009

Two hearts that saw the light of day
As seven happy days passed away
Four people held in aloft in flight
A special joy through autumnal night
The days ran fast but are never forgot
For time spent together we lose them not

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friday 25th Sept 2009

On the road back home but we’ve had a great holiday. Have hundreds of flowers to post (courtesy of Jane and Nick)
Thursday 24th Sept 2009

Nyman’s house and gardens...simply the best check out the photos.

Wednesday 22nd Sept 2009

Scotney Castle

Great house and garden but not sure what to make of a family that destroyed the original castle by the lake to make for themselves a folly.

Monday 21st Sept 2009

Woke up at 5am which sounds early but you must remember we are in bed at 9am. So if you came you would have found us sat under the stars drinking tea, smoking and listening to the owls in the distance. Fox came by and I snapped a couple of photos. He tried to snap a rabbit but it was too fast for him.

The girls got up around 7.30 and we had breakfast of raisin toast and crumpets spread with Normandy butter (it is a very salty butter with large sea salt crystals...delicious!) we had a lazy morning before heading off to Brighton in the afternoon. Brighton is the San Francisco of the UK and is a very cosmopolitan place. Clean and tidy with huge white seafront houses that run to the coast in a sequence of squares. I could live there.

We had dinner at an Italian restaurant ...especially enjoyed the ‘Bagna Cauda’ which is basically an anchovy sauce you dip things in...garlic bread is especially nice. Then went to meet up with an old pal of Nick’s which was entertaining as he regaled us with stories from Nick’s past. We didn’t get to bed till 11.30pm...shocking! Slept well but still woke up at 5.30am must be an inbuilt clock or something.

Tuesday 22nd Sept 2009

Went to the village of Battle (site of Norman / Saxon battle in 1066) and then onto Rye (via a picnic stop at Winchelsea.) Rye was a fishing village on the coast a few hundred years ago but due to silt deposits has now ended up a couple of miles inland. Picturesque type of place.
In the evening a large hornet came into the kitchen but we managed to capture it in a glass and let it outside. Save or slay vote was close but as I caught it I chose to save.

Today (Sunday) we went to Standen which was the family home of the Beale family and has some connection with William Morris the celebrated tea towel painter. Being serious though it is a nice house and garden. Came home and a roast dinner with all the trimmings ...thanks Nick. Washed it all down with several large glasses of Californian Zinfandel and collapsed in bed shortly after 9pm.

Sun 20th Sept 2009

In west Sussex in a cottage called Dill One Hundred which is situated near the village of Horam. The house is set in a remote rural location and is surprisingly large consisting of a central one storey building flanked on either side by two storey wings. Nick and I are in the south wing and the ladies are in the north wing.

We arrived here on Friday late in the afternoon so Saturday was our first full day. To say we are only 250 miles from Lancashire the increase in warmth (and sunshine) means we can sit in the garden and look out over the broad green fields undulating into the distance. We’ve got cows on one side and sheep on the other. The average temperature is 21 degrees so you can imagine it is very pleasant.

We visited Bodiam castle Saturday which is a very ‘King Arthur and the Round Table,’ type of place. Almost magical in a way. Shame how a lot of castles fell into disrepair because the y must have been quite spectacular. After Bodiam we took a drive to Hastings (a bit dilapidated) and then went on to Eastbourne (which was markedly cleaner and more upmarket.) Caesar salad for tea and in bed by 9pm. Then we were both up again at 3.30 watching the stars set in the blackest sky I have seen for some time while being serenaded by ‘Alfie’ the asthmatic sheep. Yes we did go back to bed for a few more hours though. But I suspect sleeping in the country may not be the easiest thing. The highlight of the morning was seeing a fox stroll across the field at 7am...bold as you like and with a great bushy tail tipped in white. I shall have the camera ready tomorrow but I don’t expect we’ll see him again. But blow me if another didn’t come along at 9am...why they’re like buses here!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It’s a beautiful morning here but not as good as yesterday. Weather girl on TV says we are going to have a good week and another glorious weekend…I shall hope it is so anyway. Some good weather on the holiday would be nice. Funny thought now though is I also want some rain for the bog garden as it is looking a little dry even after a few days of dry weather. I made a few mercy trips with the bucket tonight just to keep everything nice and moist.

The owl woke me up this morning but I stayed in bed and drifted off back to sleep again till 5am. This morning the sky is blue hung with clouds that change from purest white to grey along their breadth. The birds are in full song later now at 7am and I can make out the chaffinch song coming from the holly bush. Soon the autumn will take away the music of dawns bathed in watery light piercing heavy mists, so I shall enjoy the world today all the more.
It is so hard to describe the world at this time of the year. It is still a rapture of greens tinged brown and water and paling skies that hang low in the sky and the feeling is one of not walking but floating through a vista into paradise. Other countries may have the deep fall colours. But is there anywhere in the world that has sweeter autumns? I doubt it.

I almost hate to say it but one good moment last night was a large brown rat which ran across the sloping flowerbed in front of the seat into next doors garden and under their shed. I saw it in the corner of my eye and watched it a while. I even took a fuzzy photo (see below,) I thought it was a bird at first. It has made my night. Funny how they move and I figure it is harder for them to be caught if they never move in a straight line. I certainly wouldn’t want a rat anywhere near the house (the garden is some hundred feet away,) but out here in the wild grass where they belong they are just amazing to watch. I thought of all the things one could see I spy a rat, but the truth is out there and like the poor, the rats are always with us. I shan’t tell the others though. Experience teaches that others don’t always share the same point of view. Always remember that “A singular moment often shapes a lifetime going forward from it.”

I shall have a lovely holiday down south even though I may be ‘far too northern’ for them and take lots of photos and hope you have a great week too. I’ll try to post as I go but that may not be possible.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We had some great weather over the weekend. It brought the butterflies out and i took a picture of the Yucca which collapsed due to a rotted stem. It has (all being well) now sprouted 6 new plants from the ground around the stem.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It has been a beautiful few days with lots of sunshine and although cool it has been very welcome and pleasant. The air is very clear which is an added bonus…so much so that I can see from the garden the Yorkshire hills and right out in the distance the hills of the Lake District. In the garden, I am conscious of the leaves now mottling to yellow. It begins around the circumference of the leaf and moves inward as the tree takes back the remaining vitality before ultimately throwing the leaf to the ground as a withered sliver. It is quite sad to mark in the seasons, but necessary and the land below benefits, as do we.

Work has been long, hard going this week so I am glad to see the last of it. 3 assessments and not without some problems but I shall be finished by the coming Thursday night. I can’t wait for the rest days to get here. I still haven’t managed to look up where we are going but it will be great whatever. Of that I am sure.

Hope you have a great weekend. I shall potter around the garden I think after I have filled out my passport application…boy 10 years has gone by quickly and stamped all over my face in the process…see the photo. (on second thoughts took it off. It’s like a ‘most wanted’…What a moustache…eeks! Enjoy the sunset (last night) and the robin on the willow.

Ps the visitor counter has gone nuts for some reason?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The shadows lengthen as the sun sinks ever groundward toward the majestic autumn. The shorter days bring a memory of what is, was and may perhaps be. We do not understand and yet, feel the call as our bodies slow and still in readiness for the days ahead that we shall spend within. Trammeled inside away from the clean summer air that invades lungs and the sun that strengthens countenances.

All the new born creatures of the wild see the same signs, but yet do not know the inhospitable world that is to come. We of advancing years know only too well and this season shall send some flying after their parents and kin across the world, while others seek shelter within the comfort of such dry places that they can find, to while away the long nights of the coming winter. Perhaps like me they will ponder the great questions in the cold nights and realise that it was never the answer that was important, just the ability to pose the question was.

The morning remarkably was clear and golden hung from a blue sky but the rain came and washed away the memory of summer late in the afternoon. It shall return briefly for perhaps a few weeks more, but the cold now hugs the land like a winter mist and within our hearts we know it is time to say farewell to summer. All I ask is that you walk through this autumn with me a while for I have need of your warmth and love always.

Ps posted the wedding pics below

Saturday, September 05, 2009

5th Sept 2009

I’m not saying it has been wet but on Thursday I had a stream running down the hillside in the garden from an overflowing culvert at the top of the slope. It was quite a torrent as it pushed piles of leaves into large mounds creating a little water course. Working in the pouring rain and a spade has hopefully cured the problem for now. But boy is it miserable...hope the holiday in Sussex shortly will be a bit warmer. I wonder if we’ll get a spell of dry, sunny weather before winter sets in. I took this photo from the kitchen window and it says it all. Also one of the deck area, which can hardly be seen now...but what a great tangle of growth. (Shame about the Geraniums though.)

Got a busy week at work with 3 assessments...sorry haven’t posted much lately. Hope you’re well and have a great weekend.

How’s Britain this week? Well, still wet and pretty violent if you are following the news. It’s not very encouraging and sometimes it seems we are fast becoming lawless and probably pretty much bankrupt into the bargain almost like a third world country. I wasn’t going to post this as it’s depressing, but it’s such an awful story. Thankfully they rescued the guys but you can bet they are going to have issues for some time to come. A daylight kidnapping in England...words fail me and the sorriest thing is we are probably going to get more of this type of thing coming along.

Six men have been found guilty of kidnapping and falsely imprisoning two shop workers in handcuffs for over a week while demanding a ransom of £75,000. The two shop assistants, one of them a friend of pop star Lily Allen, were approached by the gang of hooded men as they cashed up at the end of the day's business last summer. "They were beaten up, dragged into the cellar store room, tied up and handcuffed while members of this gang ransacked the shop and filled a lot of big laundry bags with stolen goods," said Brunt.
"But that wasn't the end of their ordeal because, in a rather bizarre twist, the gang then frogmarched their two victims out of the shop in broad daylight into cars and took them away." The hostages, two men aged 18 and 25, were taken to one of the gang’s home where they were kept handcuffed and blindfolded with duct tape at all times. They were kicked and punched, continuously threatened with torture and serious violence and told they would be killed.

Officers, who were watching the flat, intervened in the early hours of August 9 last year when the victims, still wearing handcuffs and black plastic bags with hoods on their heads, were taken from the flats to two parked cars. Brunt said: "The victims had been showered and stripped, they were wearing black bin liners and they were put into the boot of a car.”At that stage the police were convinced that the gang were about to kill the hostages so they moved in, arrested the gang and rescued the hostages."

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A summer of rain slips towards autumn and takes with it the hours of summer evenings. Night close and lessen the dusky living outdoors, till soon, we shall be ensnared inside to be fed more TV mayhem and rhetoric.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Ha! You can see I’ve been quiet over the Bank holiday weekend as I went to a wedding in Essex with Nick over the weekend. It was between Nick’s cousin Spencer and his lovely fiancĂ©e Paula. Had a nice time and even danced quite a fair bit. (Figure....what a few glasses of wine does.) Got to meet some more of the Thomas clan and they were all jolly nice, as were all the people from Essex. It was a to term a phrase, “a jolly good knees-up” but the cockney accent doesn’t quite come across in the written word. Nick has the photos so when I get them I’ll put a few on. You’ll see a blank post below where I shall place the photographs. Weather was pretty good but overall it is poor to dismal as it has been all through August