Saturday 29 October 2016

A Walk around my Corner of the World

This year the tree colours are vibrant, helped by dry calm weather, and a lack of frosts
Day by day these Rowan tree leaves turn a richer, deeper, more intense red
A Japanese Acer exhibiting a myriad of different colours 
The woodland leaves have yet to turn - only the trees sitting around the periphery of the forest catching sunbeams have become golden 
It appears that the autumn season still has several weeks left to run
before Mother Nature's final flourish

Wednesday 26 October 2016

A Lovely Gift

I received an exciting parcel from Mary following her recent adventures in Kenya - do you know her lovely blog - A Breath of Fresh Air? It is filled with her own very unique and beautiful photos. She shows many different aspects of her life - travels, interiors, fashions, and all the interesting birds that visit her garden throughout the year
I love this long fashionable safari scarf that Mary purchased from the Maasai Mara Plains Camp Shop together with the sweet little carved wooden giraffe keyring.
Everything came beautifully wrapped and presented, it was a great treat to open and receive.
The parcel arrived early one chilly morning. I happened to be still dressed in my cosy leopard print housecoat, which struck me as being rather apposite.
Very many thanks dear Mary  

Sunday 23 October 2016

This week I visited Ethiopia!!!

We like to attend our local cinema for 'senior viewings', which includes a large cup of freshly brewed coffee, a small packet of luxury biscuits, and reduced price entry - this week it was the film Dare to be Wild. 
The synopsis of the film is the true story of Mary Reynolds, a young garden designer from Ireland, who became the youngest recipient of the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal in 2002. 
The film takes in the beauty of the emerald isle, and not only the colourful spectacle of the Chelsea Flower Show, but also her travels in Ethiopia. 
An important element of the film is the use of magical realism, which is shown through Mary's embrace of Celtic mysticism. The essential themes underlying the film are the basis of Mary's goals. She believes that modern man needs to understand the importance and beauty of preserving and encouraging wild nature. The film also encompasses another theme about the renewal of nature for the preservation of man. Here, Mary travels to Ethiopia, in part to encourage a young botanist, Christy, but also to help assist him in achieving his goal. He is determined to help the local people restore their barren land through his ingenious irrigation project.
I should have been travelling in Ethiopia myself at the moment, but unexpectedly, and as a result of this film, I have had a tantalising glimpse into what I may have missed. 

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Autumn Glories

Pictures taken at Stourhead, Wiltshire - for more background information see these previous posts on the garden and house 

The middle of October and the trees have yet to reach their full colour potential 
Going to Stourhead makes a delightful day out. You can walk the easy route around the lake or if you are feeling more energetic clamber up and down the steep pathways through the woods. Should you wish to visit the house as well, then an early start is necessary but try to avoid the weekends.  
Enter and admire the classical buildings - this one is based on The Pantheon
with its fine Corinthian columns characterised by acanthus leaves and scrolls
Temples of Flora
and Apollo
The Palladian bridge
View down the lake from inside the Grotto

Wednesday 12 October 2016

We Enjoyed the Anticipation!!!

Less than 24 hours before we were due to set off on our long journey to the country originally known by another name, Abyssinia - the telephone rang to say our trip to Ethiopia was cancelled due to unrest and disturbances in several of the places that we planned to visit.
So the malaria pills remain untouched in their packets, the Yellow Fever vaccination will be valid for the rest of my life should a further opportunity arise, and the US dollars I purchased have at least gone up in value!!! One must be philosophical about such things, and ultimately our safety is what is most important.
The beautiful people of the Omo Valley must remain hidden from my camera
as must the 11 medieval churches hewn out of solid rock on the high mountain tops at Lalibela
The town of Lalibela is close to the city of Axum, the oldest continuously inhabited place in Africa. Lucy the oldest pre-human hominid was found in Ethiopia.  She is estimated to be over 3 million years old.
In Axum the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, which we planned to visit, houses the biblical Ark of the Covenant. God commanded Moses to put three items into the Ark: a golden pot of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. 
Lorenzo Gilberti, Renaissance sculptor, shows the meeting of the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon on the bronze doors at the Battistero di San Giovanni, Florence. A moment considered to represent the meeting of the eastern and western churches. 
It was from Axum that the Queen of Sheba travelled to meet with King Solomon in Jerusalem. She and King Solomon are said to have had a son, Menelik, who rescued the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar ll following a seige in 587 BC. Menelik took the rescued Ark back to his mother's homeland in Abyssinia.
I apologise to all those who answered my quiz on the previous post - I had hoped to find a small gift whilst travelling in Ethiopia. However, I still intend to honour that commitment with something else.
I was impressed that seven of my 'followers' plus Rod Lutes gave the correct country - they were:-
Jenny Woolf
The seven names were all put into a hat 
H drew out the winner

Thursday 6 October 2016


Sunrise on our hilltop
When I was at school the country that we are travelling to was known by another name
Over 80 languages are spoken
It has a unique cultural heritage with spectacular mountain scenery,
and traces its Christian origins back to the 1st century AD 
This country has over 9,000 churches and monasteries 
Some of their religious buildings are totally unique - there are no other churches like them anywhere else in the world
Their calendar is completely different to ours
via wiki
A significant moment
We, personally, have not met anyone else who has visited this country
Lots of clues here - if you are a 'follower' and guess the country correctly there will be a small gift. Please name one country only per comment, but if you change your mind, come back, have another go, but still name one country only. I am switching on 'Comments Moderation' to give everyone an equal chance. Should there be several correct answers I will have a draw to establish the winner.
Good luck - back towards the end of the month