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Sunday, 20 January 2013

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Since I last updated we’ve had floods, frosts, autumn, Christmas, a new year and winter snow...



In November the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Thames burst their banks here in Reading. My lunchtime walks were cut short. I worried about the people on the boats.



I enjoyed the beautiful autumn leaves. And I collected five sacks full of them to make into leaf mould for my allotment.



As usual, I took lots of photographs of dried flower stems. They are all different, even though it often feels like I just take the same pictures over and over again!



We had some lovely frosts in mid-December.



I made a festive wreath for our front door from willow and greenery which I collected in the local area. I plan to keep it and add more to it next year. It’ll be interesting to see how the leaves and flowers dry and change over time.



We’ve done a lot of walking lately, because Matt has hurt his hands and can’t ride a bike. We’ve been following routes from an old book “Rambling for Pleasure around Reading”, which I got from a charity shop. Whilst most of the footpaths are unchanged since the book was published in the early 90s, the surrounding landscape seems to have altered a fair bit - all too often the quaint isolated cottages mentioned in the text are now enveloped by housing estates. We explored this dark conifer forest on Ramble 7.



One of my new year’s resolutions is to doodle more. This has led to a fun new project with my friend Claire (the conservatrix and magpie) - a blog on tumblr called scribblescribes. Each of our entries is “inspired by the day” and contains lettering. So I’ve been doodling and scribbling and practicing my design skills. This is my entry from 17 Jan. As you can see. Hopefully.



On Friday afternoon the college where I work was closed due to snow. I couldn’t find anyone to have a snowball fight with so I took my camera and my cat outside in search of some pictures. Photographing a snowflake is one of those must-do things in life.

I'll try not to leave it so long before I update again!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

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This afternoon we took a walk in the woods...







We found jelly ears to eat.





And lots of other fungi, some very tiny and delicate.





And some that looked a bit like intestines!



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

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This morning, the sun was bright red for just a few moments as it rose over the horizon. Even the bathroom looked pretty.



This evening, an allotment frog let me take its picture. I swear it actually smiled at me :)



The nights are drawing in. I'm quite enjoying the chill in the air.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Saturday, 15 September 2012

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Spiderwebs and seedpods in the lovely glow of a sunny September evening...





Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Siblings' adventure 2012


Instead of buying each other birthday gifts, my brothers and I decided to take quality time-out together instead. Last weekend the three of us camped near Swanage on the south coast.

Here are a few pics...





Swanage itself is nothing special, but it does have the most amazing off-licence with lots of local beer, interesting wine and cider by the barrel! I keep some (very poor) cider-tasting notes. Mark helped me out this time - he described the above, Dorset Cider Company 'Smoke Oak', as "Dry with a throaty twang, hint of autumn crabapples with wasps on them".

The next two pics are by Mark.





We spent our only full day walking, climbing, swimming, and sitting along the coast path. We saw lots of wildlife including butterflies we remember only from childhood, beetles, bugs and a slow worm. Oh and I made them both taste random plants...









We visited the Square and Compass pub at Langton Matravers for more cider. I enjoyed a half of 'Eve's Idea' (home pressed), but Mark said it was not waspy enough for him. It's a great pub, deserving of its fame. It even boasts a little museum (of very random objects)...



After packing away our little camp we drove home via Durdle Door which is very beautiful, as is that whole stretch of coastline.



There are a few more photos on my Flickr.

The siblings' adventure was great! Happy belated birthday Mark and Chris! :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

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A few photos from July (so far)...

At the beginning of the month Matt and I camped at Symonds Yat (near the Forest of Dean). It's such a beautiful place! He has written a lovely blog post about it, so I will say no more.





A week later, adventuring in Brighton, we discovered a hidden wildflower meadow right next to one of our favourite pubs. It's actually a cleared but unused building site, completely enclosed by corrugated iron fencing, but there are a few holes big enough to poke a lens through...





Last weekend we had an allotment barbeque to celebrate the end of all that rain. Whilst waiting for my meal I rediscovered the joy of plaiting with plants (I remember making corn dollies as a child).





And lastly, I was given this amazing box of fruit! Always a good idea to be helpful to greengrocers (it's a long story)!