Monday, 31 December 2012

Walking Out of 2012 Into 2013

These artificial-looking primulas are growing in a fairly sheltered spot - spotted while out with Bella this morning.
These grasses have a lot of structure left even though they are long dead. 
Su brought in this beautiful poppy skeleton from the garden. 
Su also pointed out the display of raindrops on this plant support down in the back garden.
We walked down into Bath through some definite rain to bounce on sofas in a few shops - not sure that furniture is as high a priority as holidays, mind you! Going through Hedgemead Park we admired the extensive root system of this big old tree. 
Coming down to Walcot Street, we decided that this sign did not refer to the sale notice in the window below, but was a legacy of protest from earlier this year and had in fact slipped so that the word "Riot" was no longer visible - at least I hope that's the case!
I've seen tea cosies before, but never a jam jar cosy…
We had a nice lunch in Same Same But Different and were served by one of my former students, who is now studying for an MSc in Creative Music Technology at Bath Spa University - nice to see he is doing well. Fuelled by our lunch, we walked back up the hill. We debated whether this establishment on Lansdown is authentically Tudor or not - no firm conclusion reached.
Opposite was a fresh collection of flowers, one with a card in memory of a beloved son.
We walked back through Hedgemead Park and were captivated by this most unusual tangled tree.
A well decorated window. 
 An impressive display of dogwood.
After getting home, while out with Bella on her afternoon walk I was taken by the number of raindrops on the tips of these hedgerow branches.
Looking back out over the city centre, with the Abbey lit up to the right. 
This time last year, Bella was really enjoying playing with her new toy - a Christmas present from Richard and Barbara. It can be hard to see on some backgrounds...
Also this time last year, I thanked our readers for making December 2012 the second highest read month of the blog to date. A year later, we have already seen more than double that month's number of pageviews, and the blog has passed 50,000 total pageviews. Thanks once again to all our readers, and we look forward to sharing more of our exploits in 2013 - Happy New Year!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Getting Better

A lovely start to the day with a rainbow right across the Charlcombe valley. One unexpected bonus of moving our bedroom to the back of the house has been these morning rainbows.
The other end of the rainbow at the head of the valley. We both thankfully feel better today - Su took Bella out for her morning stroll not long after this.
That was the end of the sunshine and the rain came back for a while. I went off to Morrisons to get some supplies, and after lunch ventured out with Bella for her afternoon walk. The skies had brightened up again, and the rain stopped.
A little flowerpot blown here by recent winds.
The mystery painter has resumed their nautical theme - this one is quite jolly.
Up at Lansdown Heights, this modern house has faux bricked-up windows (a window tax allusion, perhaps to suggest that the building is older?) 
A discarded umbrella frame, minus the covering, tucked behind this road sign (along with discarded tissue in the upright). 
The umbrella covering lay in the gutter. 
In the other upright of the road sign, a discarded sweet packet.  This seems to be a local habit - I suppose it's marginally less littering than just dropping the rubbish on the ground.
We went through St Stephens allotments, a well-organised site. 
The alotments have a few twee touches, like the adornments on this picnic table. 
A notice-board with potential… 
A hebe in flower at the exit. 
A seasonal door mat - hope the residents aren't still waiting!
A long stretch of railings on Mount Beacon. 
The path up from Perfect View to Summerfield Road was blocked off. Couldn't see any reason why from the bottom …
… so I went round to the top by another route. Looking down the hill, there was again no obvious reason for it to be blocked off, This is the hillside that saw the land slip recently, so maybe there are some concerns with all the rain that has fallen recently (and is predicted to start again tonight).
A slice of capsicum on the pavement. 
I hope that Santa stopped here! Having seen the happy children that live here, I'm sure he did.
Back home, Su is acting out her pagan fantasies with a mini WoodHenge on the stove (really drying out some logs for when the one burning away has finished).
One of my Christmas presents in its new home - being musically inclined, it helps me keep time! 
This day a year ago, we went on a jaunt down to Shepton Mallet - initially to look at furniture in Haskins, and then had an enjoyable wander round the town.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Under The Weather

Out with Bella this morning into the rain, which had arrived with the winds last night.
The skies were heavy. 
Raindrops on every branch. 
Bella wearing her new waxed cotton coat - it certainly keeps the rain off her baxck very effectively.
This day a year ago, I took down the last of the curtains from the van and found this very sleepy bee in the process.
As well as literally being under the clouds and rain, Su is still struggling with her cold and cough while I have been fighting a headache all day - hope it's not Cold Mark 2 for me as well…

Friday, 28 December 2012

MidWinter Pursuits

An overcast start to the day, but not the deluge that last night's weather forecast had led me to expect.
We had a slow morning leading into a leisurely lunch before heading off to investigate the supposed floods on the River Chew, stopping first at Chew Valley Lake. It was full but not yet overflowing.
The wind started to come up. Su (still afflicted by the tail end of Cold Mark 2) wisely went back to the van before the rain followed.
I stayed out with Bella, having my attention drawn by Su as she headed off to this neatly arranged pair of small person's boots on the noticeboard .
I noticed that this parking notice threatened a penalty, but did not specify exactly what form it might take - a severe telling off, perhaps? Not sure how they might enforce their "penalties". Still not an issue until 1st April...
The reeds are still looking good. 
Bella had brought her ball with her. Here she is waiting for me to kick it for her to chase. Notice the ever-wagging tail. 
A lost button on the path - every abandoned item has a story behind how it came to be there - some no doubt mundane, some possibly bizarre. How can we know which story goes with each item? More on this in later blogs…
On the way home, having discovered that Chew Magna was not under threat of flood just yet, we saw the most unusual sky - just one patch of it being reddened but no sign of any sun whatsoever. 
This day a year ago, the weather was glorious, lighting up the hills around.
Just had a roast dinner followed by profiteroles and wine. Time to go upstairs and try to stay awake through Part 2 of "Restless"!