Monday, 10 February 2014

Water way to go...

The weather has been the big deal these last few weeks. Even with our own water meadows being flooded out, we've only had the merest inkling of how dreadful it must be in the south west of the country. Unlike in Somerset, Dorset and the rest, the only disruption here has been to dog-walking or Sunday strolling activities.

Even the path over the meadows, which is higher than the surrounding fields, was under water last weekend, with only odd tufts of grass sticking up where the path should be. Nevertheless, the sun came out, and we managed a lovely walk across the old rail track, awash with mud but too high to be under water. Celandine, Wordsworth's favourite flower, was starting to show itself along the track - but not in our garden yet, where it will take over every corner when it finally appears.

The water and blue skies conspired to make the town look very lovely from a distance - easy to say when there is no danger of damage to homes and businesses.

Of course, lots of rain combined with sunshine has brought us quite a few rainbows, and dramatic skies, always threatening (and delivering) yet more rain...

We also spotted another kind of rainbow the other day, on a flag outside the police station, to celebrate LGBT month - brilliant! Well done, chaps and chap-esses!

There was also time for lunch with some lovely ladies this weekend, where we sat and put the world to rights, and bemoaned the difficulty of dealing with self-righteous, establishment bullies. The newspapers are awash with tales of Lords and M.P.s, representatives of the 'great and good', who refuse to apologise for things they have said or done, or if they ever actually do it's often one of those, "I'm sorry, but...(it wasn't my fault)" kinds of things, where they blame circumstance, the other person's misunderstanding or someone else entirely. Heavy sigh. Never mind, with our own small-scale, local nonsense we have decided that it's now simply time to move on... In the meantime, and until we decide what to do next, a delicious lunch and champagne (cheap and cheerful stuff - but very good!) helped restore our faith in human nature.

Lunch was held in one of those houses that has me wandering round sighing with envy - relaxed, comfortable and homely, but with that artistic and quirky edge that makes me think I could move in right now. Just leave it exactly as it is! Art on the walls, a stack of mismatched dishes easily to hand on shelves, a scrubbed table top, the ubiquitous soppy dog, light flooding in through huge windows, and a wonderful, natural, green space beyond. Just beautiful. I was given a quick tour round the garden afterwards, where the quirk continues... with an old folly in the corner, complete with 'green man', and a casual homemade sculpture on one wall. Sigh!

Walking back home afterwards, I passed the meadows which were flooded more than I've seen them - some locals said that they'd never seen it like this. There were so many folk out taking photographs - at least it will all be well documented!

This is the same area - the top image taken in July from a higher viewpoint. At the weekend there was no distinction between the pond and the meadows... I wonder if the fish were left floundering in the middle of the fields once the water receded?

...and someone tied knots in the willow tree...

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Goodbye to all that...

I'm reading Robert Graves autobiography, Goodbye To All That, having just finished The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. The latter was recommended by Helen, so I reserved it at the library, picked it up a few days later and finished it a few days after that. Rather lovely - I've returned it to the library already, tho' I wish I'd held on to it for a few more days just to reread some passages.

Goodbye to January - which has felt like the most drookit month ever. Nevertheless, photographic evidence suggests otherwise! On Tuesday I went for a walk with the local tree warden (who notifies the authorities of damaged trees, and asked if I'd help her make a photographic record of trees that might need a tree protection order put on them) and the sky was clearly blue.

Home again, where the light bounced off the onions in a green basin in the kitchen, and it was such a lovely afternoon I was even inspired to make a cake to use up the bananas which had been festering in a bowl for weeks...! I'll draw a veil over the numerous cobwebs suddenly highlighted by the sun slanting through the (absolutely filthy!) windows...

Later, as the light faded, I took some pictures of the apples on the wooden table - soft, muted colour.

Then there was the most amazing evening sky next day - like something by Maxfield Parrish!

On Friday, the week - and the month - drew to a close with a visit to the farmers' market for more colour in the shape of fresh vegetables, and to have lunch there with a couple of friends - always lovely! They were going away for the weekend and, with too much brie in the house, asked if I'd be interested....? Oh, yes! Even if it did make my bag and the fridge very stinky. Mr Drookit gave me quite the suspicious look when I opened the fridge, before I reminded him of what was in there...!