Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve Bloggification

Out and about last week in Larkhall, we stopped on Dafford Street, where we had a long chat with Miranda, whose front garden is an advert for her gardening business.
Spotted this unusual design of garden gate .
And the prize for most imaginative Christmas wreath goes to this Brussels sprout adorned item. 
Imaginative use of a large brush rather than tinsel. 
Down at the Victoria Art Gallery in town after seeing the slow-moving film, "The Homesman" with Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones, we enjoyed seeing the Grayson Perry "Map of Days".
Looking up, we were delighted to see a gold leaf-decorated zodiac above our heads. 
The rather less glamorous side of Pulteney Bridge… 
On another foray into Larkhall, Su spotted this decorated bicycle bell on the school fence. 
A Wallace Christmas wreath… 
In Langbridge's hardware shop, what else would you decorate a fan with but fluffy snowmen? 
Guess it will get you there… 
… especially with a meerkat on the bonnet! 
A Rudolph wreath. 
Again in Larkhall, we guessed that this pub's clientele do their best to comply with this instruction :-) 
 Fetching harlequin pattern on the pub's corner.
The festively decorated hardware store at dusk. 
 Evidence of some frolics the previous night?
On Monday Ben, Lena and Isobel came down for an early, and delicious, vegetarian Christmas lunch. Isobel held court in her corner.
The night before we'd been down to the Little Theatre to see the most excellent film, "The Imitation Game"  - highly recommended.
This day a year ago, I was down in sunny Bath doing the last bit of Christmas shopping and enjoying the relative quiet of the city centre.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Another Week and More Photographs

Seasonal jollity is breaking out all around - including the pub down the road.
After Pilates last Monday, I was taken by the light through the window of the local Methodist Chapel.
Took the van up to Marshfield on Tuesday (for something that ended up not needing fixing - which is always nice to hear!) where we spotted this sign.
Some lovely sunrises this last week… 
On Thursday, I was down in town collecting for Dorothy House Hospice as part of our friend Carol's fund raising to walk a big section of the Great Wall of China to raise even more funds for them. In between (not) rattling the bucket and dodging the rain, I followed the advice of a website about dusk being the best light balance for photographing Christmas lights.
Looking down Union Street
Seen on the pavement - an abandoned courgette.
Met up with friends on Friday for a meal at the Green Rocket Cafe - very tasty indeed. This was Bernie's Malay coconut soup.
This was my vegan thali - yummy! 
Yesterday saw us taking advantage of the gloriously clear sunny day by jumping in the van and heading off to Clevedon. Miraculously, the tide was in, and the pier looked great.
It was clear all the way across the Bristol Channel to Wales 
A souvenir of our walk up the pier!
Another great sunrise this morning.
Interesting furled appearance on these clouds - just for a few minutes
This day a year ago, we were up at Westonbirt appreciating the examples of large fungi on display

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Two Weeks of Catching Up

A couple of weeks since the last posting - I plead being overtaken by a shed load of marking from UWE I have been preoccupied with. But now it's gone, I have finally downloaded photographs of some of the other things that caught my attention in that time - starting with this picture of a happy Vietnamese couple having their wedding reception at our favourite Chinese restaurant in Bristol
The weather has become progressively more wintry, affording some rather lovely skies and other sights - this was what greeted us one morning.
Despite the frost on the cars, our clematis flowers survive into late November.
So pretty, especially now that the slugs and snails have stopped nibbling them. 
There have even been some very late blooms!
Our salvia also has some amazing persistence - the cold weather seems to have perked it up rather than finishing it off!
Out for an evening walk. 
Our cherry at the front of the house continues to delight - as it sheds its leaves, more blossom appears. 
The pub down the road has a new manager, who doesn't seem to like the previous restaurant name - but not enough to get new signs painted yet.
Another for the abandoned items collection - my first sighting of discarded chocolate!
As well as stunning skies, we have had some gloriously misty aspects - this one of the morning in Charlcombe Valley
We had some real fogginess for a couple of days. 
Lat weekend, we went over to Holt on a clear and gloriously sunny day.
Went to the Glove Factory for lunch to check out the new cafe run by Sam's Kitchen (also on Walcot Street in Bath) - delicious and well worth the trip. Enjoyed these sculptural forms in the garden area.
Wandered around the old glove factory site and found these gigantic old drums, which we speculated were something to do with leather tanning.
Su had a conversation with this handsome cat.
 He was very friendly and accompanied us for a while.
Further up the road, we came across this  monument around a spring with hand pump, complete with a quote from Virgil ("scire potestates aquarum usumque bibendi", which my schoolboy Latin - and Google Translate - renders as "to know the powers and use of drinking water").
Yet another personalised numberplate, possibly giving a clue to the owner's gender? 
After walking round Holt we dropped in at Merkin's Farm cafe for coffee and a mince pie and walked down to visit the cows happily grazing in the afternoon sunshine.
That evening saw Stephen Allan on cajon (at his first ever public performance) and me playing our first open mic night together at The Ram in Widcombe. Su filmed some videos which can be seen on my Youtube uploads at
Christmas display outside the church hall where I do my Pilates class on a Monday evening. 
Another wonderful sunrise.
At UWE this week, saw this poster and wondered if this is all a university education is worth these days… Aimed at Maths graduates?
Our clematis flowers are still going strong - even as late as 5th December! 
Spotted on the London Road, this shop is accurately named.
Walked into town yesterday afternoon and admired the stone work over this front door on Belgrave Terrace.
Went to see the new Bill Murray film, "St Vincent" at the Little Theatre. Most enjoyable. 
 The Bath Christmas market is in full swing, and mobbed by loads of visitors to the city for the experience.
The roundabout is again installed outside the Pump Rooms 
This morning was really frosty, as shown by the sun glinting on the van's windscreen. 
We took off into another lovely sunny day to Gloucestershire, and found ourselves in Uley, which has these notices sprayed on the pavements…
An unusual pair of gateposts to a house - apparently they were working (and red) until quite recently. 
We found our way to the Prema Art Cafe where we had a delicious lunch sitting on/in a very comfortable sofa.
I don't believe that this was meant to be an exhibit outside the cafe - certainly a reminder of days gone by…
This was more artistic - with lovely rich, resonant tones.
The arts centre is a former Baptist Chapel, complete with gravestones still in what is now the garden 

A yarnbombed tree. 
Decorations along the wall leading in 
 The building itself.
Walked down to the edge of the village and enjoyed the views before coming back to Bath by an unexpectedly round about but most enjoyable route.
This day a year ago, it was also a lovely day from dawn to dusk, starting with this lovely sunrise.