Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Fairytale Cottage

We often pass this cute little cottage but have never taken a picture before.

I wonder what fairytale, nursery rhyme or story it reminds you of. Hansel and Gretel for me I think.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Happy Birthday to Oliver

Cannot believe that dear Grandson Oliver is 4 years old tomorrow. We gave him his birthday present early as Granddad was being admitted to hospital. It was a real hit - a kit which gave him the choice of building 5 different vehicles. The first he assembled was this tractor and he just loved the battery operated screw driver. Today he is enjoying a 'tennis party' with his friends.

Then there was the birthday card that Grandma made depicting his current fascination V*W ca*mper vans
as on his teashirt

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Dawn of a New Day

Isn't this sunset amazing - a reminder of the greatness of our God. The sunset here this week and

a new day dawned
in more ways than one

I want to say a great big thank you to all my blogging friends that have been praying for Alan along with literally hundreds both here and around the world. They did not find anything in his bladder yesterday when looking for a 'mass'. He is home now and getting used to the joy of not having the catheter that he has needed for the last six weeks. He will be undergoing some further tests and checks in two weeks time. So Alan is looking to getting back to normal and I am hoping for some R & R and catching up with you all.

Blogger tells me that I have now reached 500 posts. My records show that it is 486. I think blogger counts the ones that were deleted when I realised that I had already begun one previously.

This week I received comments from 10th March, don't know whether this is the fault of my server who linked in with Google at that time or a blogger issue. I was glad to receive them anyhow and apologies if I did not get back to you.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Garden with a Difference

The Gibberd Garden.Four more days until Alan is admitted for further investigations and surgery. Decided last week whilst waiting, to have a trip out fairly locally and decided on this unusual garden. Not particularly pretty but interesting all the same.

Sir Frederick Gibberd prepared the master plan for Harlow New Town in 1946 then in 1957 he bought a property on the edge of town. From then on until his death in 1984 he created this unusual garden laying down much of the garden's hard landscaping himself. 

This is what he wrote about the garden: "Garden design is an art of space, like architecture and town design. The space, to be a recognisable design, must be contained and the plants and walls enclosing it then become part of the adjacent spaces. The garden has thus become a series of rooms each with it's own character, from small intimate spaces to large enclosed prospects" Into this setting some 80 items of sculpture, ceramic pots and architectural salvage were introduced. Just a few of them shown here.

The dreaded Japanese Knotweed below, that wants to take over our country!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo - the Anglo-Saxon burial ground of kings
a place of history in this south eastern corner of my country
In a field overlooking the river Deben at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge, local archaeologist Basil Brown found a 90 foot long Anglo-Saxon burial ship in 1939. This led to the discovery of the most amazing collection of treasures that had lain undisturbed within the ship for over 1300 years. The 254 acre estate was subsequently  donated to the National Trust who now manage it.

A few shots of the excavations from the exhibition hall

Original burial ship

A reconstruction of what the burial chamber in the ship would have looked like. Chambers within a ship collapsed within a century of it's burial.

Construction of the ship from the first millenium

Some interesting history before taking you on a walk around the grounds with me where we will see some of the burial mounds

Long ago in the days before written history important men and women were buried under mounds, often with all their precious goods as signs of their wealth.

At the time there were 2 ruling powers, the authority of kings and the authority of the church. In Raedwald of East Anglia's reign (about 599 - 625 AD)the growing world of Christian power spread into Kent and was ready to expand. Pope Gregory sent missionaries to the Kentish King. King Raedwald was baptised and built up power over both Pagan and Christian kingdoms. He set up alters to both Christ and the old gods and claimed descent from both Woden and Ceasar. He balanced the rule between both Christian worlds and Pagan ways of East Anglian society. Trade and Christian Franks brought wealth and East Anglia's first town, the port of Ipswich began to grow.

Many centuries later graves were explored for treasure. King Henry V111 permitted excavations. The pits that were then dug have been uncovered here.

You can tell it is May as the Bluebells are out in the woods

Overlooking the estuary as we walk

Tranmer House, formerly the main residency on the Sutton Hoo estate now used for school groups study

A stark view of what Dutch Elm disease has done to our nations Elm trees

An interesting seat to stop and rest on the walk

And finally one of the many ancient burial mounds

Saturday, 10 July 2010

This England

When I was a child we would have many 'doorstep' services but not so now except for the delivery of milk to those who prefer that to the supermarket.(Oh and I nearly forgot the ice-cream van who stops outside my window playing his noisy chimes every day - I do not buy prefering the supermarket) We do though have a knife and garden tool sharpener still visit in our district. How he manages to sit outside all day without a hat in our current temperatures I do not know.

And talking of temperatures it was 100 degrees in my garden yesterday and 88 degrees indoors. My thermometer registered 86 degrees during the night in my bedroom. Could be hotter today. With the high humidity and lack of breeze it has been difficult to sleep for the past few weeks. The only air-conditioning available would be my car but I don't want to sleep there!!

The garden is suffering with 2 inch wide cracks in parts of the lawn that are a foot deep. Here you see we have been filling them with sand. Our ground is clay which floods in the Winter and then contracts and dries out in heatwaves such as we are having.

However there has been an 'upside' this week. We had friends over for dinner and having eaten in the garden in the shade we spent most of the rest of the evening sitting at the bottom of the garden amongst the Lavender and enjoying it's colour and fragrance. These pictures do not do justice to the vibrant colour. The lawn generally has lost it's green and is turning brown after so long without rain. Newspaper today showed pictures of Hyde Park in London looking like an arid desert. Some river beds are drying out and reservoirs very low. Some rain would be appreciated.

We will put up our Gazebo today as our Grandchildren will be visiting for the day tomorrow. So excited as they have only been once this year. Don't see them so much now that Janie is back working full time.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

My Baby is 40

My baby is 40 today - Happy Birthday Janie - Forty years ago I was sitting up in bed marvelling at the sight of a tiny daughter in the cot beside me. We already had a much adored son and had never imagined that we would have a daughter to adore too. I had 4 brothers, Alan had 3 brothers, all our brothers had sons (not a girl on the horizon) so I shall never forget Alan's face when he looked back at me and said, "It's a girl"

It does not seem 5 minutes since Janie was waiting to go to university (dressed in red in photos) Where did those years go? As all Mothers know, you hold your new born child in your arms one minute and the next thing you know they are celebrating their 40th birthday. What a blessing that is, as not every child reaches that milestone, so today I will be thinking of all the highlights of those years and thanking God for every single one of them.

For those who have enquired about Alan's progress - he will be having further investigations - op/procedure on the 22nd July so we still have a while to wait. Not an easy time as I know many of you know from your own experiences. Thanks you so much for your concern and prayers - it means a lot.