Wednesday 28 October 2020

Autumn's Splendour

If you have been a follower of WFVM for some time you already know that I love the fine Beech woodland that grows tall and stately along the steep sides of the Cotswold escarpment just below where I live. 

I do miss travelling, and all the excitement it affords of new sights and places to explore, but this familiar little haven of nature always makes for a delightful visit. Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, this area of woodland offers peace of mind and helps to put the world's problems in perspective.

Newly unfurling beech leaves in the Spring are a rich luminous shade of chartreuse which have a fluffy downy edging to them.

An oasis of calm and tranquility on a hot Summer's day.

Currently the woodland is decked out in Autumn's golden splendour. Shuffling through the fallen leaves recalls memories of childhood days.
But during winter it's the trees elegant silhouettes with their lofty trunks and branches that hold centre stage.

Another place of refuge is our garden, and at the moment the trees are showing a riot of colourful leaves which resemble fiery beacons in the bright Autumn sunlight. 

Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower
Albert Camus

Wednesday 21 October 2020


has been slow to show her face this year, but now she is turning golden. 

I want autumn colour from the food cupboard too, so what could be better than a bowl of golden soup? 

2½ pints of vegetable stock
1 large butternut squash
2 large red onions
crushed garlic
3/4 carrots
2 sweet potatoes,
Cumin, turmeric, coriander, chilli flakes & natural sea salt, season to your own taste.
2 tbspns Tahini & 
a tin of Coconut Milk
Cut the butternut squash in half, deseed, and roast until soft. The flesh is then easily scooped out of the skin for the soup.
Par boil the chopped sweet potatoes & carrots.
Cook the onions & garlic in your preferred oil until it begins to turn brown.
Add the veg stock to the onions, then the par boiled root veg, finally add the squash, along with seasonings and the tahini. I put my mine in the Slow Cooker and leave it for several hours, but it will take about 30mins on top of the cooker. If you have a stick blender, blend smooth when finished, and then add the tin of creamy coconut milk at the very end.

A bowl of steaming golden soup, topped with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
Thank you for the lovely comments on my previous post - they cheered me up. I am pleased to say that my wrist & hand are now slowly making progress. I always read & appreciate every message received from you all. 

Wednesday 14 October 2020

Taking a break

I have hurt my wrist - it is painful, and using the computer is not easy.

and take care.

Tuesday 6 October 2020


Where the coast and the moors meet.
We've travelled up from Porlock Weir onto Exmoor

our only company being the wild Exmoor ponies. 
Extract from The Salt Path by Raynor Winn 
"The South West Coast Path is said to have been established by the coastguards who needed to view into each and everyone of the endless coves and bays as they patrolled for smugglers. But the many sites of ancient history described in every guidebook or tourist pamphlet suggest that the path has been trodden by man for as long as he has walked over the land".

Gazing out across the Bristol Channel we can just make out the Welsh coast on the horizon, but the wind is starting to gather around us, so we decide that it is time to collect the car and travel to somewhere more sheltered. 

We find a road that heads down from the top of the moors, but it soon becomes extremely narrow, and steep. There are trees, ferns and mossy boulders to our offside, and a rather frightening vertiginous drop down into the valley on our nearside. 

We hope we wont meet another vehicle travelling up the road, all of which keeps us on tender hooks, that is, until we finally arrive in the valley safe and sound.

Doone Valley, is a valley immortalised by R D Blackmore's book, Lorna Doone, published in 1869. Lorna Doone is the tale of a young boy, John Ridd, whose father is killed by Scottish outlaws - the Doones. The Doones were exiled from Scotland in 1616 to this remote corner of Exmoor where they robbed travellers and local farmers. Living amongst them is Lorna, whom the Doone family had kidnapped as a young child. John wants revenge for the death of his father, but falls in love with Lorna. It is a story of romance, intrigue, and mystery. Facts are mixed up with fiction, legends using names that have links to local families having been used, but is the story true or is it fiction? It is a story that leaves the reader to decide for themselves.
At Malmsmead a humpbacked packhorse bridge crosses Badgworthy Water, and rather like the road taken earlier, this too, was not built for cars. It is extremely narrow but can be crossed with care.

 However, it is far easier just to drive through Badgworthy Water to get to the  other side.

 Fortunately we discovered a much better road to take us out of the valley which followed the twists and turns in the river, and arrive back at our hotel in time for a freshly brewed cup of tea.

Thursday 1 October 2020

The Pandemic in the UK

The latest Sunday Times showed a graphic illustration of the Covid-19 situation in the UK. Unfortunately it was spread across two large pages making it impossible to photograph. I have cut it up and made it into my own amateur visualisation, but, I do believe it gives the current UK situation more perspective. 

One dot represents 10,000 People

People under household restrictions

Confirmed Cases

Admitted to hospital

Covid deaths (white background used - black dots don't show clearly on my brown background)

Rest of the population who are free of the virus

Total UK population 66.8m