Monday, August 21, 2017


I had two weeks off work at the beginning of August.  For various reasons I wasn't able to go away but I was determined to have a proper break and took lots of days out over the fortnight. Looking through the photos I took the common theme seems to be clouds.

There were clouds over Brightlingsea,

and clouds over the sculptures in the walled garden at Marks Hall.

There were clouds over the warmup track at the Athletics World Championships in the Olympic Park in London,


and clouds over Orford as seen from RSPB Havergate Island.

There were clouds reflected in the river Alde on the walk from Snape to Iken,

and clouds over the beach at Walton on the Naze.

Fortunately, apart from on one day, they didn't produce much rain!

I'll finish with a picture of clouds taken through the meadow of corepsis and cornflowers at Marks Hall.

If you're interested,  and want to see pictures of more than just clouds, I posted photos of my holiday everyday on my instagram feed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It's only taken 9 years ......

When I moved here (9 years ago) I took one look at the glass door between my lobby and living room and said 'that will have to go!'

Now there was nothing particularly wrong with it, it was just wrong for the house - all the other doors are four panelled victorian wooden ones, stripped pine downstairs and painted upstairs.

And it was like sitting in a room with a very long window - in the winter it had to have a heavy curtain over it, and I hated it.

So this year I bought a new one.  Well a new to me, old one.  And new handles and a new rim lock.

And today the lovely Graham fitted it for me.

It needs a coat of wax - but it looks so much better.  And even better still, it's a door, not a window pretending to be a door!

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Quiet Bank Holiday

It's been a quiet few days here - mainly because I have almost totally lost my voice so am unable to speak!  However, the weather has been lovely so I've managed to get a lot done in the garden, which I think is looking rather lovely.

On the first patio rosa Fighting Temeraire is flowering and has clematis Ville De Lyon scrambling through it.

The oriental poppies are also in flower - this is Patty's Plum.

Going further down the garden there are more Patty's Plum in bloom,

alongside rosa Felicia.

The potato vine is flowering its little socks off

and there are more oriental poppies too - this one is Ruffled Patty.

But it's not all been about flowers, I've managed to plant most of the veggies out too.  On the this side the runner beans, broad beans and courgettes are planted with an edging nasturtiums and calendula so I can have some edible flowers in salad.

I finally planted the tomatoes out in the greenhouse too.

It's that time of year when everything looks lush, even the self sown 'weeds' amongst the paving!

So even though I have no voice, I've had a lovely few days :-)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Days Off Amongst the Tulips

I love time off work at Easter, it always feels like a proper break.  This year I was able to spend most of my days outdoors.  I weeded all the paths (there are a lot!), and all the beds, and generally had a lovely time, mainly amongst the tulips.

These ones are at the very end of my garden, past the greenhouse and are mainly ones that have appeared by themselves.

These however, are ones that I've planted over the years:

Doll's Minuet

Charming Lady

Various Parrot types

Can't remember what this one is

Black Parrot

The greenhouse is full to bursting, but everything will need to stay in there for a while longer as we have some frosty nights forecast.

And the paths are mainly weed free, so I can sit and have a cuppa whenever I want to.

 I'm hoping for many more sunny days to sit and enjoy the garden :-)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Just an old book?

A few weeks ago a cousin of my Dad's said to me 'I've left a few old bits from Aunty Elsie for you with you Dad - chuck them if you don't want them.'

I was intrigued.  Aunty Elsie was my Grandma's sister, I never knew my Grandma but I was very close to Great Aunty Elsie, (I've blogged about her before).

The next weekend Dad gave me the bits which included this book:

It doesn't look very exciting does it.

But, on opening it, I discovered it was meticulously kept accounts from Dec 1954 to March 1964, all recorded my her husband, Uncle Cyril (I know it was him who wrote it and not her as there are many entries referring to 'wife's wages').

Most of their income was from the sale of the fruit and flowers that they grew, on quite a large scale, and from selling eggs - all seasonal of course, rhubarb featuring in May.

Today, whilst I was reading more of it, I found an entry showing that they'd paid my Grandma, Mrs Harris, for casual fruit labour work, in July 1957.

 He also bought a new summer suit in August 1959 from Joshua Taylor for  £17 and 8 shillings.

Joshua Taylor's was a shop in Cambridge that I remember from my childhood, I think it was on the corner where Monsoon is now.

Why did it stop in March 1964?  Because they retired - the last entry of income is the first payment of their pensions in February 1964

It's a truly fascinating piece of my family's history; I can see where they went on holiday, when they built their new house (and who built it and for how much), and the fact that they had an insurance claim for some damage to some gates.

This is them, Aunty Elsie and Uncle Cyril, the man who hand wrote every single entry in the book.  It was taken in the 1930s and is from a book called 'Cottenham in Focus'. They are with their 'Clara Butt' tulips.

One day, I will try and find out some of the answers to the questions that I have about the entries - for example, who or what is 'Soar' - it seems to be a company they sold to but I've never heard them mentioned before.  But for now I'll just enjoy as it reveals more insights into their lives.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Snowdrops and Lace

I had a few days off this week so I decided to go for a walk amongst the snowdrops.  I headed over to Marks Hall.  First of all I walked by the lake

and along the millennium path where the winter scents are beautiful.

Soon I was at Robin's Grove which is carpeted with snowdrops.

Beautiful, and a sure sign that spring is on the way.

I also wore my newly finished lacy shawl earlier this week - it has tiny beads hooked into it (which are actually more visible in real life as they twinkle slightly).

I can't really wear many hand knitted things for work, but I can get away with nice scarves and shawls - this one will be worn a lot I'm sure.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Winter Colour

Yesterday wasn't a brilliant day weather wise but I decided to risk the forecast rain and head up to Anglesey Abbey for a spot of winter colour.

First of all I walked up to the water mill,

then through into the Winter Garden.  The birches were almost glowing.

Round the corner come the dogwoods - many different species and colours

The snowdrops were just starting to appear

The grass heads work well with the red dogwood stems.

And I just love this hedge of dogwood!

The garden isn't just about colour though, it also champions winter scent.

It's a place that's worth visiting at any time of the year, but especially on a winter day.