Saturday, 30 June 2012

Less is More?

A day of mixed weather - one minute blue skies and sunny, the next grey and threatening rain. Not really very good light for many photographs most of the day, hence this is a shorter blog post than of late. We didn't actually get rain until this evening when we've had some definite showers - again nothing like further north have experienced this week. This morning out with Bella, I thought this stand of nettles in flower was most impressive.
Spent most of the morning fiddling about with curtain fittings to finish off the van's internal decor - all up together now! A suburbivan?
Took Bella out this afternoon into a fresh and breezy walk.  The skies could not make up their minds - but that made for a shining Solsbury Hill against a brooding landscape.
Grasses finally coming to the end of their lives while others flourish still.
This stream has been damed - not by beavers methinks. Didn't notice at first - until some water came over the top of my walking boot:-). Bella enjoyed the depth and happily paddled about.
This day a year ago, we had a day happily exploring Volterra and enjoying the lovely vista of the misty Tuscan hills. It was our last full day in Italy, and the trip whetted our appetite to see more of the country - maybe next Spring in the van?

Friday, 29 June 2012

A Fresher (and Greyer) Day

After a good long sleep (which dispelled the worst of yesterday's sinus headache), a domestic day today. which saw me ironing the curtains for the van. They had been washed some months ago, but with an impending camping trip coming up it was time to get them back up at the windows. Before I got properly stuck in, Su brought me a bowl of spicy parsnip soup for lunch - yummy!
Then it was time to start working out the fabric jigsaw - 9 curtains and 9 straps to sort out, as well as various fittings to disassemble to fit them.
At one stage I thought it was turning out a bit like a Christo installation!
Then there was the small matter of fiddly fittings, easily dropped and lost - so far nothing vital has disappeared!
As I was absorbed in this, up the pavement the drain to the road was being repaired.
Bella had patiently sat in the van, on the pavement and finally back in the house while I cursed fixed most of the curtains up - a couple left for tomorrow. When I finally took her out for a walk, saw this unseasonal primula in a newly created flower bed.
An attractive log pile - quite tempting for those of us with wood-burning stoves :-)!
In the fields, this umbellifer was at eye level - some were taller.
The grasses keep on going.
An unusual view of behind umbellifer flowers.
Saw these old boxes on the back of a truck. 
Not a scene from a Tarantino movie, but shop dummies on the back of the same truck, along with other ephemera, probably from house clearances.
Elderflowers still blooming.
One for our Canadian readers - purple loosestrife (relative of yellow loosestrife, scourge of the prairies).
Pretty and prolific at the moment - bindweed flowers.
A record for the bike conglomerate - six bikes and one wheel-less frame secured with one chain. Maybe this is the stock for a business?
This day a year ago, we visited Sienna and had a great time wandering around. Could not post any pictures because the internet connection to Volterra was out of action, so I posted a short (and expensive) blog report via 3G on my phone.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Warm and Humid Day

Some sunshine this morning, after evidence of overnight rain. It was warm and the sun broke through  clouds on a regular basis. After breakfast, we went over to Prior Park Garden Centre for some more dog food and other shopping. Passed the Holburne Museum on the way, with its poster advertising its current sculpture exhibition with Ron Mueck's hyper realistic "Mask II".
As well as shopping, we briefly looked at the flowers in the garden centre - these don't seem real somehow…
The warmth and humidity made for a slow day. Eventually I took Bella out for a languid walk up to Charlcombe church again. Discarded toy spotted on the way.
The view over the valley across to Bathford and Box.
Bella was happy paddling around in the Holy Well - Holy Pond more like it!
The source of the spring has this stone to mark it.
New leaves shining as they reveal themselves.
More flowers coming out.
Again, somthing not quite real about these flowers - but impressive in numbers.
This day a year ago, we were in Volterra in the Tuscan hills. We had had an adventure getting there the day before, as our coach had broken down - luckily in a very convenient place. Most impressively, a replacement coach was with us within half an hour. Su went off to look at St Gimigliano, while I took advantage of the hotel's infinity swimming pool and hung out for the day in the sunshine.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Almost Like Summer

A brighter day forecast, but it didn't start like that. Still, taking Bella out offered more opportunities to admire fallen petals…
… as well as the still flourishing flowers above them.
These dog roses are also doing very well.
This plumbing arrangement looks a bit Greek to me.
Bella checked out the tree surgeons' sign (the graphic does not suggest tree cutting to me at all…).
Went shopping and then footled about with computer-y stuff. After lunch, the sun actually came out, so Bella and I took off for a long walk up the hill towards the MoD. Came through the kissing gate on Charlcombe Lane - it's a lot easier than the old stile that used to be there, so many thanks to Bath Rambling Club!
The grass glinted in the sunshine.
Came back down the hill to Charlcombe churchyard, where Bella went for a drink/dip in the Holy Well. This tree next to it has really red lichen on it.
Walking back up the lane, saw this BMW with a Jaws-like fin! I'm sure it's meant to be aerodynamic… 
I didn't even know there was an Armed Forces Day or who called it, but this flag suggests that it is today.
This day a year ago, it was our last day in Florence before we took off to be based in Volterra in the Tuscan hills. Su posted this picture of the mummified St Vita in St Frediano's church.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

On the Sand at Brean

Not the expected sunshine this morning, but still pretty flowers to see.
This snail caught my eye
Spent the morning researching stuff on the internet, and sorting the van out to go to the beach. It had been forecast to be a nice day, and to stay dry. This is probably why we drove through quite a bit of rain on the Mendips on the way to Brean! It wasn't raining when we got there and had our lunch. Then it was time to accede to Bella's pleading gaze and take her down on the beach for some play time. Found this elegant construction there.
 The ferocious beast attacking a stick washed up by the recent storms! Su's hand and foot making a guest appearance.
Su's hair making a guest appearance as well.
Artfully placed seaweed was strewn all over the beach.
The posts of the groynes are covered with weed as well.
It could be worm casts, or could be a message from outer space…
More weed
And more weed…
Bella had great fun chasing a stick in and out of pools left by the tide. This shows her elegant turn in anticipation of Su throwing the stick.
The cliff face looms over the end of the beach.
On the way home, poppies at the side of the beach road.
Waiting for a small herd of cows to cross the road near Burrington Combe.
Stopped at the Spar in Blagdon. I wonder if they will get prosecuted for daring to display the olympic symbol? Might I get sued for daring to show this photograph? The branding fiasco has gone too far!
This day a year ago, we continued our Tuscan trip, visiting Lucca (which we loved). We sat and had a lunchtime picnic here.
We also visited Pisa, which was over-run by tourists (like us) and stalls selling souvenirs and other stuff. Had to photograph people photographing the famous tower.