Wednesday 23 May 2018


Thank you for all your useful comments and advice regarding my computer problems. With help from my computer man and blogging friend Jim, who mentioned that he sometimes uses a different browser for blogger, I remain hopeful that the solution may have been found, and that I can continue to be present here.
A journey along blossoming Cotswold country lanes brought us to Sezincote house and gardens. The house is an extraordinary mixture of both Mughal and classical architecture, together with gardens reminding us of our recent trip to Kashmir. All of this makes it quite unlike any other house and garden to be found in Britain, and it is in fact considered to be the finest example of its kind in the West.

Sezincote was designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in a Neo-Mughal style and built in 1805. Curiously Cockerell had never visited India, and his only encounters with Indian architecture was through the medium of old engravings and drawings.
The poet John Betjeman used to visit whilst a student at Oxford, and captured Sezincote's charm in Summoned by Bells:
"Down the drive,
Under the early yellow leaves of oaks....
the bridge, the waterfall, the Temple Pool
and there they burst on us, the onion domes."

When the Prince Regent visited Sezincote in 1807, he was so impressed with the Neo-Mughal architecture seen, that he immediately changed his existing plans for the Royal Pavilion in Brighton to that of a similar design. 
The Orangery 

The Water Garden, the Indian Bridge, the Temple 
and the Pools are generally attributed to Daniell. However, the original gardens and landscape are thought to have been heavily influenced by Humphrey Repton who, while not producing one of his famous 'before' and 'after' Red Books for Sezincote, did produce a sketch of his ideas for the garden which still exists, and he mentions working at Sezincote in several of his writings.
Temple to Surya
The Indian Bridge

topped with bronze Brahmin Bull statuary along the parapet

Under the bridge are stepping stones and a seat where you can rest awhile. A small waterfall tumbles down into the Snake Pool, and a pathway leads you down to a gurgling stream and the pretty water gardens beyond.

Wednesday 16 May 2018


During this season of blossom and renewal I am reminded of the words used by A.E. Housman in A Shropshire Lad, written as a young man of twenty at a time when seventy was considered to be good.
"Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room".

These thoughts are a gentle reminder of how time is of the essence and every moment so precious.
The weather has been perfect, and we have been making the most of it following what felt like a very long confinement during the winter months.
A visit to Buscot Park for a stroll along the water rill designed by Harold Peto for Lord Faringdon at the beginning of the c20th was our choice of destination. There was plenty of welcome dappled shade beneath the canopy of fresh green growth on the trees.

Buscot is surrounded by parkland, a formal walled garden, and has many magnificent vistas.

The steps leading down to the water rill and the lake beyond always pleases and provides a source of anticipation.

Having now reached the lake, I also discovered when back at home, that it was also the end of the line as far as using the computer was concerned. I could not finish this post or export photos - was it blogger or the computer?

Previously I have solved problems sometimes with wise advice from eldest son, but I was finding things far too complicated to solve via a long distance phone call. Everything I tried led me down a different dark pathway with no light at the end. The machine was taken away, and has only just now returned. It appears that my Apple Mac is not the junior I thought it was but is really past it's retirement date. Obsolescence is built into them from the minute you bring them home. I am not sure how things stand at the moment as problems are still being encountered. I may be absent for some time during the foreseeable future.

Sunday 6 May 2018

A Promise Fulfilled

On Friday morning I saw a swallow - was that a good omen? But then I recall Aristotle said 'one swallow doth not a summer make'. 
The spring weather has been mercurial, however, there's nothing I can do to change it. I have made a promise to show some English bluebells to a blogger? one who has travelled all the way from Australia - everything should be well as long as it doesn't rain.
 The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
 That waves in summer air; 
Its blossoms have the mightiest power 
To soothe my spirit's care....Emily Brontë 
Once you know what to look for it is easy to recognise a British bluebell from the rather ubiquitous Spanish ones, which are a hug threat to our native bells.
As British bluebells mature their stems become distinctly blue and droop to one side from the top, Spanish ones stand upright and are green. Our bluebells are a rich blue, Spanish ones are a paler shade of blue. British bells have cream stamens, Spanish ones are blue. The bells on the British flowers are long and narrow and softly curl at the their ends. Spanish ones have wide open bells which do not curl. The problem arises when Spanish bells, which happen to be much more vigorous, hybridise with ours. Hybridised bell flowers contain a mixture of both bells making them difficult to identify and they are even more vigorous than the Spanish ones.
I feel passionate about protecting our bluebell woods from the Spanish threat, once they are gone, they will be lost forever.
Let's continue through the wood and see a bit more blue magic.
Bluebells are mainly found in broadleaved woodlands. The trees newly emerging leaves create the perfect dappled shade that bluebells love without preventing the sunlight from filtering through.
Bluebells are a good indicator that you are walking in ancient woodland 
That's mission accomplished without any rain. The weather is so topsy turvy - now we have a heatwave!
Here's Wendy a happy blogger. 
We spent a really lovely day together.

Thursday 3 May 2018

Friday 4th May

I made a promise for tomorrrow, but I need a good bright day in order to fulfil it. I am keeping all of my fingers crossed and will let you know the outcome within the next few days.
Today is perfect, here's hoping it continues, but in the meantime enjoy some blossom from our garden.

Lots of wild flowers growing in our garden including some pretty yellow cowslips - one of which appears to have hybridised and turned from yellow into red!