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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Wood Pile

We have accumulated quite a wood pile over the winter from work done thinning out some of the woodland.



There are a variety fascinating patterns to be seen.




The wood however will soon be put to good use. We have plans to install a biomass wood boiler that will provide heating and hot water to both houses. This is the type we have in mind but ours will be slightly smaller.


The water will be stored in a tank not quite as large as this one.


This type of heating is considered Renewable Energy so the added bonus will be a payment tariff for all the heat produced. What does concern me is who will be left to fill it with wood each day??







Friday, 30 May 2014

Walking the Old Canal

We set out on our Walk and Talk from Midford and soon came to Tucking Mill. There is a reservoir here reconstructed in 1979 and is set up for disabled fishing with platforms for wheelchairs. The water is a bright green blue colour. 



We then passed through the Horsecombe Vale which is very familiar from my childhood.


We eventually dropped back down through Southstoke to the old course of the Somerset Coal Canal. There is evidence of old locks and the bed of the canal which passes close to the river.


There are however several bridges left which have little use now other than agricultural access.


There is also what must have been an aqueduct over the river now used mainly by cattle.


It is still quite an impressive bridge.


Quite a lot of this part of the walk is along a bank between the old canal and a very pretty meadow.


We were suprised to find a large tree that has fallen since our visit 2 weeks ago.









Thursday, 29 May 2014

Garden birds

The birds have been very busy on the feeders and bird table. A lot of them have young and spend all day flying back and forth. They are very keen on the fat balls.


Some of the youngsters are now turning up at the feeders.




A regular visitor is a pair of bullfinches. He is easily recognisable from the house with his flamboyant colours.


Between them all they are emptying 2 sunflower feeders a day!


I was unsure what this one was but general consensus seems to be that it is a Great Tit.



It certainly didn't hold back when it came to getting some sunflowers!










Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Plants everywhere

There are still a lot of plants that I have grown waiting in the conservatory to be planted out.


The sunflowers that I planted a week or so ago are coming on. The weather has done them good and up till now the slugs and snails have left them alone.


Despite the wet weather I managed to get some more gardening done today. This however is going to need some serious attention before it lands on the car.






Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Book Club

It was my turn to host Book Club this month. We have been reading "The Storyteller" by Jodi Picoult


Although in fact I had cheated slightly by listening to it on Audio Book


We usually provide nibbles so I themed mine around bread as one of the main characters is a baker.
We had focaccia and breadsticks with dips



Followed by Cinnamon and Raisin swirls


The chosen book for next month is to be "The Mayor of Casterbridge". That will take me back to my school days.









Monday, 26 May 2014

Cyclists

Some unexpected friends called in for coffee this morning whilst out cycling. They were in the middle of a 50 mile cycle trip to practice for their forthcoming cycle ride from Lands End to John O' Groats in aid of Cancer Research. I was happy to provide them with refreshment before sending them on their way.



In the afternoon I became taxi to our girls to deliver them to Cheddar for them to cycle along The Strawberry Line.



The Strawberry Line Cycle Path runs from Cheddar to Yatton following the old railway line that ran from Clevedon to Cranmore and was so named because it transported fresh strawberries from Cheddar to the big cities.







Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Lunch and more



The range of fresh vegetables from the garden is already increasing. Today we had our first pick of broad beans plus a good bunch of rhubarb.


And one of my favourites, asparagus 



We thought it was going to be a quiet afternoon after our roast beef but alas no. The cattle had got out of their field so it was all hands on board to get them back.



They were soon back in the field enjoying a bit of barley


That the sheep were keen to share


After giving the calves a quick talking to we returned to our quiet afternoon.








Saturday, 24 May 2014

Farm Sale

We very rarely visit farm sales but we did go today to the sale of the deceased estate of a local farmer who was also a relative. The weather was very wet and consequently there was a sea of mud.
There quite a few farm bygones to be viewed.
In need of a new car?




Or maybe a tractor. A project for an enthusiast.


There were some older farm implements.



Some of which had seen better days.


We came home empty handed the only thing we had gained was a large amount of mud!






Friday, 23 May 2014

More from the Chelsea Flower Show

One of the main themes running through the show was the 1st World War. This was depicted in several ways 


However War Horse was a recurring feature



There were quite a lot of garden ornaments that caught our eye.





Unfortunately most of them would not fit on the coach to take home and my favourite which was a bird bath complete with swallows was beyond my price range ........ But if you are thinking about Christmas ....


The range of talent in design was quite diverse from floral dresses


To the exotic 


To the floral tableau



To the cottage garden


To even a shell dinosaur 


We were generally lucky with the weather and only had to shelter from one thunder storm which rapidly cleared the crowds.