Saturday, 28 March 2015

Walking to the Party

Hello Lovelies,
a few weeks ago I got home to find a little square envelope had dropped through my letterbox. I opened in with happy anticipation.....a party.....how lovely.

One of the Mums I met when my twins were born had kindly invited me to a lunchtime get together at her house.....it sounded lovely, and a great chance to chat with the group of friends I only see a few times a year.......


Reading the invite I expected it to be on a work day, happily it was on a Thursday. I hesitated. Oh, my lovely group walking day. Then I felt guilty....of course I could miss a week.

In fact, I could actually combine the party and a walk as she lives in a village about two hours walk from me....and surely somebody would give me a lift home afterwards.

On the gloriously sunny and springlike day that was Wednesday I bought  a flowery card and seasonal flowers, and on Thursday morning I carefully placed them in my rucksack............


And headed out along familiar footpaths........


It wasn't sunny and at this time of year the landscape of bare trees soon looks wintry on a cloudy day..........


But happily I still had plenty of reason to smile. A friend who I met at the walking group had decided that they only wanted a short local walk too.....so we arranged to walk together for the first half of the route.

We are both a bit crazy about taking photos. Even on a dull day we were happily snapping away at promising views........


This cottage always catches my eye..........


But I had never noticed this glimpse of the church through the trees......


Having company also made me brave enough to go inside this church that I have simply walked past on many occasions.

I would never have opened the door without a bit of encouragement....scared of disturbing somebodies prayer, or something.

But of course there was nobody there and the beauty of the architecture made me catch my breath............


All the amazing skill that went into creating the building and the carvings and the stained glass......



What a stunning sight in a small village church.........


The colours in the stained glass windows really shone out.........


But I also loved the simpler patterned windows. This one reminded me of a crazy patchwork........


And all the delicate flowers here were so pretty...........



Oh, the colour and pattern.......wonderful...........


The whole church was beautiful and it was so lovely to be able to quietly explore it.........


 The sun even came out momentarily and I took one last photo before we went outside........


One of the many things I've learned from the walking group is that  church porches are perfect to take a coffee stop. So, as it was looking like I would get to the party too early,  we sat and chatted a while, before my walking buddy headed home.

I do enjoy walking alone, you lovelies know that.....but the second half of my walk did feel slightly lonely after having such pleasant company.


And there was a chilly wind up on the ridge.


I was glad to descend again and wander through the shelter of woodland, alive with cheerful birdsong......


The cloud was building as I walked the final stretch along the roadside........


and I was happy to reach the village without getting rained on........


The party was a relaxed affair, a house full of happy chatter.

Despite the lack of sunshine my day turned out better than I had anticipated.
 Full of old friends and new , walking and yummy food...........


.........and a lift home.Wonderful.
Jacquie x

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Here Comes the Sun

Hello Lovelies,
Now the days are longer than the nights it really feels like winter is over. I can ( and did ) find things to love about winter... as I can about all the seasons..... but I can't deny I'm more than ready for some warmer weather now.

Yesterday morning I had an appointment at the dentists mid morning, but it was such a beautiful day I couldn't resist a quick walk before I headed into town.

I passed the cows, who were enjoying the sunshine...........


and wandered along the lane, where the bright day made everything look so cheerful............


I loved the suns rays streaming through the clouds and illuminating a patch of field here......


I decided to walk to the quiet little church that I love so much.....past the dignified war memorial I felt a touch of sadness........such tragic headlines in the news right now..........


But this is my happy space really. My spirits were instantly lifted when I see there are Primroses nestled under the hedge...........


There is nobody about and I spend some time photographing these spring delights........
 

They are dripping with  melted frost............


Their fresh green leaves and delicate cream flowers, with a perfect yellow centre, are so cheerful..........


By the time I walk through the church gate I'm singing happily to myself......a SONG that always magically comes to my lips at this time of year.......


Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here.

Here comes the sun, and I say,
 it's all right.


It's a bit of an odd place to be singing happy songs maybe. A graveyard. I don't dwell on the headstones, just enjoy the peace.

One headstone that I do like looking at is this one for a lady who lived almost one hundred years..........

 what a lovely inscription.


 Still humming I leave the graveyard and walk though the patch of woodland here, where the wild garlic is sprouting EVERYWHERE...........


Even the path is covered in little green shoots..............


I love the woods in spring....when it's flooded with sunlight and carpeted in green...........


A little further on this pretty garden caught my eye..........


And then I realised it was nearly time to leave for the dentists. I hurried along the street. But despite my rush I just had to stop and take a quick picture of these stunning orange blooms.....I have no idea what they are............


In town the trees are pink..........


And the dental hygienist was happy with teeth,  Phew.


Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces.
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here.
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say,

it's all right.



These days music doesn't feature so much in my days. I'm happy with quiet, or birdsong....but somehow, yesterday was a musical sort of day.

Jacquie x

Monday, 23 March 2015

Along the Footpaths

Hello Lovelies,
thank you so much for all your kind comments on my previous, nostalgic post....you are such a thoughtful lot. I feel blessed to have this sharing space to record these times in my life.

And now, surprise, surprise I'm back to walking....I am sorry about the lack of craft around here at the moment.....I'm sure my crafty mojo will return soon. You can't force these things can you.

Yesterday was glorious, so sunny and warn, it was a joy to be outdoors. In the afternoon the family were all busy with various commitments, so I headed out for a walk alone. 
  
Just along much walked and much loved local footpaths..........


where the sun felt really warn in the still afternoon air............



Over the first stile of the day, with it's bridge that crosses the tiny stream..........


and through the sunlit woodland....that now has a carpet of the freshest green...........


And, Oh look at the weeping willow.........isn't it the most beautiful colour..........


The stream, that flows under the metal bridge here, was sparkling in the sunshine.............


and I was happy to stand quietly for a moment and watch the birds hopping around in the bare branches............


Then it's across the road and over another stile..........


into the field where a new crop is growing well. I love the view back towards the road here, with the cottages nestled in the dip............


then the path heads down these steps, where the Hawthorn hedge is turning green............


The most perfect FRESH green..............

 Hurray


Along the roadside there are delicate little Celandines under the trees..........


and lambs in the fields.............


Their ears glowing pink as they take an afternoon rest in the warm sunshine..............


Here the cheery Daffodils are at their best..............


And there's a spring in my step ( no pun intended) as I head off along the next footpath....climbing another stile, I glance back towards the village...........


It was such a happy sight, with the warm terracotta coloured  roofs looking extra pretty against the blue sky.............



Then it's through the tunnel in the railway embankment, and out into open fields once more.........



 I'm walking uphill now, back towards home. The hedgerow and the trees are brown here....but the grass is gloriously green............

Did I mention it was warm?   :0)

I cross another footbridge and follow the path along the shady side of the coppice.............


Then its a brisk, climb up the hill. I can feel my heart pounding and I'm listening to the sound of my deep breaths.
 Climbing hills makes me happy. The effort makes the reward of the far reaching views extra sweet..............
 

Looking to the left I can see the village I've just walked from....the red roofs still clearly visible, though it's maybe not so clear on my photo...............


Let me zoom in......There's the Church and the houses and the railway tunnel I walked through....can you see it?

 I do love this landscape and I adore having easy access to the countryside.

Nearly back on the pavements now. The final part of the footpath is along this jitty, between garden fences and the security fencing.

There's a nest in the tree and I can hear birdsong............


I stop and spot a Robin on the fence...............


But it's the sweet song of the Dunnock I can hear....I'm hearing it a lot at the moment...........


Maybe there are more of these birds that usual....but I'm fairly certain they are around every year.....it's just I'm finally listening.

They are such drab birds, in one way your typical "Little Brown Job"  , but I find them charming..............


Back home I consult my Observer book again.....where they are called hedge sparrows......that's a nicer name than Dunnock I think..................


I love this beautiful illustration in the book..........



and the observation that their song is sweet, high and clear..........

I wonder if the Dunnock I saw is sitting on " 4 or 5 bright turquoise-blue" eggs yet?


The last half a mile of my walk was filled with smiling people. Lots of folk were out gardening, and walking. Some I knew and some I didn't, but almost all had a cheery hello.

I'm really looking forward looking forward to more warm days now the daylight is longer than the night, but with cold weather forecast to return soon, I'm just happy that I got chance to get out and enjoy this  brief warm treat.

Jacquie x