Friday, 22 May 2015

A mishmash post

First of all I would like to say hello to Sue in Suffolk who has just discovered my blog, welcome Sue.

This post is a bit of a mishmash, lots of random things have filled my life this week so hope you won't be bored reading about my day to day activities. On Monday I baked some cakes which I have to say did not last very long! Three menfolk in the house means they get consumed very quickly!

One was a tangy lemon cake and the other a dark Jamaican ginger cake, both of these moist sticky cakes are proving to be firm favourites. Of course as I am following the Slimming World program not one piece was consumed by me - feeling virtuous! 

Talking of Slimming World, I am still in the zone, another 1.5 lbs lost this week so in total that makes 1 st 5.5 lbs, hoping for another 1.5 lbs next week to get my 1.5 stone award - keep your fingers crossed for me.

In between being at work for two days I have managed some crocheting. I have started making a baby blanket for a work colleague who is expecting a little boy and have continued with my Cottage Squares. I have printed of the pattern for part 4 of the Lilypond blanket but haven't made a start yet, will attempt to start that over the weekend.

There are so many crochet ideas in my head at the moment, just need more time to sit down and put them into practice. I am a bit of a serial starter and tend to have far too many projects on the go at once! I am also taking part in Winwick Mum's sock along but am falling behind with that one, I am at the point where I need to pick up stitches and I hate that part so am finding any excuse to put off doing it. Hopefully I will get back to it next week as it is half term so should have more time to get back on schedule.

I joined my friends from the Knitty Natter group that I attend to go and see an amateur musical production of Pride and Prejudice last evening, one of our members was in the cast playing Charlotte Lucas, a fun evening and a brilliant production.

I haven't been able to do so much walking this week as I have had a painful foot but have managed a couple of gentle strolls at Rooksbury Mill. Sorry if I am boring you with photos from this location but we cannot keep away, it changes almost day on day and we always see something of interest, here are a selection of images from this week. We were lucky to see two water voles, they can be somewhat elusive so it is always a treat when we spot them. Lots of babies in evidence this week as well, ducklings cygnets, moorhen chicks and one lone coot chick.

I hope you have enjoyed my mishmash post, will be back soon with more ramblings.

Friday, 15 May 2015

A big thank you and nature at its best!

First of all some lovely news, Cathy at The House With The Blue Door has nominated my blog in the Two Good Reads tag. Thank you so much Cathy, it came as a big surprise as I haven't been blogging very long and to say I am chuffed is an understatement. I am so pleased that you are enjoying my ramblings. 

In turn, I have to nominate two blogs, I have found this incredibly difficult as there are so many blogs that I enjoy reading. 

However I have to choose Jacquie at (Bunny Mummy) as this was the blog that inspired me to start up my own blog and also take up walking again (not that I can manage anything like the distances that Jacquie walks these days but I am so enjoying spending the time outdoors). I love reading about her walking adventures and days out and about, viewing her photos of the beautiful countryside around where she lives and admire her crochet and art work. 

The other blog I am going to nominate is Irene at Life By The Sea. I found Irene's blog when I first started blogging after she left a reply on my very first post. Irene takes the most stunning photographs of the beautiful coastline where she lives and also has a crafting blog where she shows her card making skills and her crochet.

To participate you just need to display the logo, link back to my blog and make two of your own recommendations.


On Tuesday afternoon we made another visit to Rooksbury Mill, our local nature reserve. There was lots of bird activity going on and it was great to see that the swan that has been nesting for a few weeks has hatched her cygnets, there were eight of them in total but it proved difficult trying to get photos of them as most of them were tucked up tight under Mum.

Here are some photographs that I took on our visit:-

A yellow flag iris

Three of the cygnets make an appearance from under Mum's wing

The bold one on the left was trying to get on his feet but was struggling

Another one has emerged!

This was Pa Swan, he appeared to be taking a shower, splashing himself with water, think he had probably had his turn sitting on the nest and was cooling down afterwards

It looks as if he was about to take off but was just enjoying cleaning himself and stretching his wings

A grey wagtail

We spent ages watching him/her sweeping over the lake catching insects

A chaffinch with a mouthful of food to feed his young

This one needs no introduction

Again, busy catching insects, must have young nearby

This pair only seemed to have the one lone duckling

A moorhen with her chicks

Little black fluff balls with bald heads but still cute!

A red campion

I am still hankering after a longer lens for my camera for taking better bird shots but they are so expensive - one day perhaps!

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my photos. See you all soon.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Windmill, a Canal and Bluebell Woods

Today dawned bright and sunny so we decided to drive to Wilton to see the windmill and go for a walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal. However when we arrived the sun had gone in and it was rather grey, not that it stopped us enjoying our day. 

The windmill only opens its doors on Bank Holiday weekends when they put the windmill to work but you are allowed to walk right up to it at other times. I would love to go back again when it is working, it must be quite dramatic to see the sails turn especially if it is as blustery as it was today.

We then drove a short distance to Crofton where we walked on the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath up as far as Little Bedwyn and back again - a distance of almost four miles. I am going for my Silver body magic award at Slimming World this week so it is good for me to rack up the miles.

Our route (from far left to far right on above map)

There were a couple of boats working through the locks on the canal today

How's this for a high-tech boat - solar panels and sky dish!

This boat had just about everything on its roof including the washing line!

This one is a long way from home!

We met a lady walking her dog along the towpath and she told us about a lovely pub in the village of Froxfield so as it was lunchtime by the time we arrived back at the car we decided to go and investigate. We really enjoyed our meals but I am glad I had burnt so many calories on our walk as it was quite difficult choosing something that wasn't full of syns. We took a bit of a round about route to get to Froxfield as we didn't have a map with us but on the way we passed some magnificent bluebell woods so after our meal we decided to drive back the same way and have a walk and take some photographs.  What a magnificent sight, bluebells as far as you could see - what a lovely time of the year this is. The sun had reappeared by this time making it even more special.

Sorry, got a bit carried away with the number of photos again, I find it so difficult to decide which ones to leave out. If you have made it this far thank you so much for visiting my blog, I am so enjoying writing this as a record of my activities since taking semi-retirement.