Flaming June…

Well then, another eventful week, we’re certainly living in interesting times…


Anyway, I’m all behind again and this time it’s entirely my own fault. I’ve been having a look at a different website platform, and naturally the only way to decide if it does what I want is to try to use it. And there you have it, a learning curve that’s more like a vertical cliff.

So I’ve spent an entire day attached to my computer with practically nothing to show for it (no, actually with nothing at all to show for it) and now I’m not convinced if it’s really for me, my head aches and I can’t decide if I should go back to it again tomorrow or give up now.

And Theresa May thought she was having a bad day…

But on a brighter note, it’s been a lovely week in the lane despite some really torrential rain. The poor dog roses have suffered badly, but for some reason the elderflowers appear to have thrived on the rain, I’m sure they’re looking better now than they did before. The sloes are beginning to form their tart little fruits – there will be sloe gin this year. And the bees have been my companions every day this week, I can’t help thinking they’ve been out on a bit of a binge.

I’m off to visit one of those historic houses I’d most love to move in to on Monday – so forgive the lack of history today, I’ll make up for it next week, promise.







Thank you so much to everyone who contacted me after receiving the last edition of ‘Loose Threads’ – I very much appreciate it and I hope you’ll keep giving me your feedback. If you’d like to receive a copy of the next issue just fill in the annoying little pop-up next time you’re here (you’ll only need to do that once).

Happy stitching…





Tree time: An oak through a year…

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Well, as many of you will know, back at the beginning of January 2014, on a whim, I started taking a photograph each day, of one particular oak tree that I pass while walking the Delinquent Dog.

A year and many, many pictures later (I didn’t miss out too many days in 2014), I thought I’d make a little slide show to show how the oak and the surrounding hedges changed over the course of the year. It’s also a record of some of the blue skies – and the many grey – we enjoyed during our morning walks.

I love watching the tree, but in fact it’s really the changes in light that have had me most enthralled over the months – even the enormous changes day on day we sometimes have.

What these pictures don’t show is the rain – occasionally quite a lot of it! And sadly they can’t give you the sounds to go along with them. Today, it was really noticeable how much more the birds are beginning to sing again – it might not feel too spring-like yet, but it sounds like spring already. And there have been many mornings when the wind was roaring through the branches, like a train going past!

I’ve selected quite a few here, but if you’re really interested/mad/have nothing better to do –  and want to see every day – go over to my Instagram page – click here or on the links in the sidebar – and you should be able to scroll through them all.

I was going to stop once I’d completed a whole year, but I find now that I can’t just walk past without getting the phone out for a quick snap, and anyway the dog automatically walks to our spot and waits for me, so I’ll just keep on doing it. I’ve sort of got into the habit of posting them up on Instagram, so if you want to keep following, just pop over to the side panel or follow me on Instagram.

If anyone feels a tiny bit inspired to do something similar – not necessarily a tree, there are lots of alternatives – please go ahead and tell us all about it – you’ll actually be the one who has the most fun though – I guarantee. 

A Brief Interlude…

I don’t know what the weather is doing in your part of the world, but it’s been pretty dark and dismal around here for most of January – so far…

Which is why, when I was out with the Delinquent Dog this morning, I almost cried out loud as the sun managed to break through the cloud. I was getting ready to take my daily snap of the oak, and felt compelled to photograph the lane as the sunlight caught the tree in front of me.


On the way back, with the sun still shining, I was struck by the incredible greens in the moss – enhanced no doubt by the drenching they’d received for the last 48 hours.

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But needless to say, it’s raining and dismal again now – with the possibility of snow overnight – well at least it would be a change!




Hidcote Blues…


If all had gone to plan at the weekend, this post wouldn’t be here. Instead I’d have written about a visit to Chastleton House over at Mists of TIme (I’ve only been waiting about fifteen years to go to Chastleton, it had better be worth it when I finally get there!).

But on Sunday morning, after a week of rain and grey skies, the sun came out  as we  were driving westward and we made the executive decision to ditch Chastleton and head for Hidcote instead.

Which was such a good move, because it turned out to be the most perfect English summer’s day, and really, what better way to spend it than languidly wandering around one of the most beautiful and iconic gardens in the country (rather ironically the creation of an American).

I took about a zillion photos while we were there, but in honour of the famous lavender ‘Hidcote Blue’ (which I didn’t photograph at all…), here are just a few alternative blues spotted as we meandered through the seemingly endless secret gardens.

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For me, the experience felt like walking through an Impressionist painting. The dazzling variety of textures and jewel-like points of colour seep into your soul and I’m certain it’s not only gardeners who feel inspired by its treasures.

Hidcote Manor is tucked away in the countryside close to Chipping Camden and managed by the National Trust. It’s always beautiful, but just occasionally, when the Fates decide, it’s magical.


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A Beltane Bouquet…

Well perhaps it wasn’t the best of nights for jumping over fires or other more intimate May Day rituals – I lay in bed listening to the rain pouring down outside and thought that if anyone was out there celebrating the start of summer, I hoped they’d taken their best waterproofs with them…

My rather more sedate if still fairly soggy celebration, is a little virtual bouquet made up from the flowers I saw on the lane this morning.

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Happy May Day 2014

Oh and just because it’s May Day, here’s my oak today.


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Tree time: February…

It’s nearly a month since I posted about my challenge to photograph the same oak tree every time I walk past it during 2014. so I thought today I’d show you what’s been happening since mid January.

If you want to see every picture, they’re all on my Instagram site (you can get there by pressing the little button that looks like a camera under the Instagram feed in the sidebar), but I’ve put a selection here – I think I’d have to say that on the whole grey has been the word of the month. Each picture has been taken at roughly the same time of day – between 8.30am and 10.30am, but difference that the weather makes is enormous.

Even on the rare days when the sun was shining, it mainly went on to become grey and wet – there was even one day when I got soaked about five minutes after taking a sunny picture – typical…

Waiting now for signs of spring. There are catkins in the hedgerow, a few shoots showing, and occasional mornings of rampant birdsong – will it be soon?




Patterns in stone…

We were at Raglan Castle a few weeks ago. It’s the sort of castle that forces you to look out across the landscape and up at the towers, but the floor of the Great Tower had me captivated…


Looks like a giant piece of crochet in pebbles.


If you’re interested in historic places, you can read about Raglan over at my history blog, Mists of Time.