Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Richard Jefferies Museum

I can’t begin to explain just how excited I was to discover a little local museum was finally open post Lockdown. My favourite museums by far are small, local ones. Richard Jefferies was a Victorian Nature writer , born and brought up in a small Wiltshire village now subsumed by the borough of Swindon. More info on him is here-https://www.richardjefferies.org/the-author

This idyillic cottage hides behind a wall – a dual carriageway runs from the hospital into town and the nearest neighbour is a pub and a petrol service station. Yet it is not hard to imagine what life was like when it was a farmhouse set amongst rolling countryside with a small stream close by.

Bust of the great man. He suffered ill health and moved first to Surrey and then to Brighton, but is buried in a cemetery in Worthing- I feel a road trip coming on , one day..

He had an attic bedroom, shared with the families supply of

I can’t imagine what that must have smelt like at night.

His writing desk.

The families kitchen table which was sold onto others before being gifted to the museum. Yes that is a canon ball, don’t all homes have one?

Outside is utterly charming. The museum is run by volunteers. They sell cream teas on a Sunday in the garden.

Loved the wagons

There’s definetly more to Swindon than the Magic Roundabout for which it is most famed-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_(Swindon)

I wonder if others have hidden gems or even not so nice claims to fame in their neck of the woods?

Still playing with my scraps of yarn.

Twenty Five little hats for Age UK- fundraising through Innocent Smoothies.

And still most of the jar of small balls remaining. So onto the next appeal from a local care home for fish to put into an aquarium, who can resist?

Not me for sure!

Joining with Kate and others for Scrap Happy Day. Added bonus, Mr E putting in the runner beans. Did you spot him?

Damselfly Paradise

Several bloggers have written about the damselflies they have spotted this month in England as they get out and about again. I’m pleased to say that I too have noticed them even though I now live in rather a big town. We enjoyed a very pleasant walk to Moulden Hill Lake last week.

Canadian Geese in Motion!

One would never guess you were in a town.

I think these are called Flag Irises. They were certainly popular with the damselflies.

Not sure if this is merely a good place for them or if the weather has been just right for them. They are pretty for sure.

It was a weekday so no fishing today.

We crossed over this bridge and finished our walk with a stroll through the woods. Hope you enjoyed my wander, have you noticed that any particular insect is “doing well” this year?

Buckland

I have been driving to Oxford quite frequently this year, taking Mr E for hospital appointments , and noticing a signpost to Buckland and Tadpole Bridge. Place names that sound like somewhere straight from Lord of the Rings. I needed to explore, which we did on Saturday. A bit of internet research revealed that Buckland was a village built to house the workers on a nearby Manor House. Need the staff nearby! The village was indeed very pretty, but I doubt that many could afford to live there now.

The roses on the cottage to the right had a wonderful heady perfume. The church at the end of the lane was amazing.

We sat a while on the bench and soaked up the sunshine before venturing inside for a quiet moment, and an explore. Oh my , this was not your average musty fusty smelling village church. State of the art alarm system on the roof apparently to deter lead theives. And…well have a look.

Note the size of the screen for zoom services. My local church use the vicar’s mobile phone.

The ceiling was blue with stars. My photo was too fuzzy to share. I think you can agree not your average village church. My favourite find was this Crusader’s Chest circa the 1200s.

We slowly walked back to the car which we’d left in the carpark by the village/ memorial hall. Joy of joy there was a phone box now used as a book exchange and a plant stall with honesty box. Not a Tupperware one but a metal job in the bus shelter firmly fixed to the wall. There is serious money in this bit of Middle Earth.

I bought the mint plant, and Mr E, not me, bought two books.

So glad we went. Drove then to the aforementioned Tadpole Bridge which crosses the Thames. Sadly the only place to stop was the pub the Trout, for which of course one needs to pre-book at the moment. Duly noted for another day.

I had packed a picnic. Where to go? I drove to the White Horse.

I find it hard to get a decent photo, but you can just about see it. We were very lucky to get the one and only picnic bench, and the views were wonderful.

I hope you enjoyed our little exploration. I wonder has anyone else visited somewhere just because they liked the place name?

We did No Mow May for the bees, well I did!

Buttercups and daisies mostly, but some little purple flowers too, you can’t really see them.

I cut the grass this week, but you can’t keep a daisy down and I left some of the poppies.

Lurking amongst dock in the shelter of rhubarb.
Not quite sure what these are.An
Obligatory dandelion clock.
Remember the tiny twig I uncovered in last years forlorn patch and I identified as honeysuckle ? Isn’t it doing well?
Snap dragon, loved by bees.
Mr E has got the runner beans in.

And we now have food from the garden previously known as the forlorn patch. Not only rhubarb which we inherited but also herbs and drum roll

Broad beans.

If you have never eaten Broad beans in their pods then try them, in a vegetable stew. – onions, garlic, herbs , carrots, potatoes, tin of tomatoes, courgette and celery if you have them, peppers etc. Grated cheese to serve yum yum yum.

This was just a taster, I have since picked more. They need to be this small. Later on you can let the pods grow and have the beans from inside.

How is everyone’s garden growing at the moment?

Friday Finish

I am on a bit of a roll with knitting at the moment. Loving it though.

Pretty in pink!
And here are the buttons!

Doing quite well with the next piece of knitting, and there maybe more ready in time for the next Scrap Happy day.

Love to know what everyone is near to completing at the moment.

May books-2021

Another month of Good books, thank goodness as May in the UK has been very wet indeed. Here’s what I have devoured.

John le Carre- The Constant Gardener. I was going to borrow another book by this author from the library-Tinker, Taylor, Soldier , Spy. It was on the Channel 5 last of the 30 best British novels. But I spotted The Constant Gardener. I hadn’t known it was a book, just a film I thought, and a film I had never managed to watch the whole way through. So I borrowed it. In case you don’t know the book/film, it’s a thriller set mostly in Africa and is to do with the murder of two people determined to investigate a drugs company who have been using the locals as Guinea pigs. A bit over long, but a good read. Would their findings of cover ups been dismissed as Fake News in 2021 I wonder?

Emma Curtis- One Little Mistake -A very good psychological thriller. What happens when Vicky makes a mistake and enlists the help of her best friend. An enjoyable read.

Sarah Maine- Beyond the Wild River_ historical novel set in Scotland and Canada in 1893. Evelyn joins her father and others on a trip to Canada ostensibly to go fishing. On arrival they are surprised that one of the guides is a former employee who fled Scotland when suspected of murder. In due course everything is sorted out, and all’s well. An enjoyable read that was about fifty pages too long. Less trekking and fishing would have given it more pace and drama.

Kate Ellis – A Painted Doom- as in medieval church art, a painting depicting heaven and hell, is discovered in an old barn. This book is a murder mystery with archaeology, a dig and old documents thrown in. Lots of clues, well constructed, and I still guessed wrong! A Good read.

Anthony Horowitz- Magpie Murders- Two tales intertwined – a murder mystery inside another murder mystery. Very well plotted and written from the screen play writer of Midsomer Murders. And I didn’t see the ends!

Have you read any of these, what did you think? Any Good books to recommend ?

A week ago I actually got to pick some books from the library shelves for myself. It was wonderful to be in the library again.

Scrap Happy- May 2021

Rather a lot of Scrappy projects this month. First of all the scrappy single bed size crochet blanket was finished and delivered to the care home. Apparently the residents liked it.

Dining table understudying for single bed.
Folded and ready to go.

However there were a few crochet blocks left over.

Winging their way now to a group who make blankets for the homeless.

The blanket wasn’t made solely from scraps as I ran out of yarn and had to purchase more, which of course left me a bit leftover.

Quite a lot leftover.

So I decided to knit a hat for the Age U K Innocent hat project . Only it quickly became obvious that one hat doesn’t take much yarn, so why not use instead my jar (actually I have two jars) of small balls of leftover yarn instead.

So I am.

There’s a Facebook group for this, naturally. Some people knit the hats by the 100. I am aiming for 25, so watch this space.

And now for something completely different.

Found this strange thing Mr E had made on his 3D printer, any ideas?

Well it makes these

Scrap paper plant pots.

Do pop over to Kate’s to see all the scrap happy makers and their projects, herehttps://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/2021/05/15/scraphappy-may-4/

Friday Finish.

I think I have made one of my best things ever, and she is so sweet.

I just love her.

I will never be on the Great British Sewing Bee, but I am slowly improving.

Really pleased with seam join, and her underneath is just the same.
She just needs a name.

And here is a better shot of the cardigan I posted before, with flowers visible this time.

There they are.

Back tomorrow for Scrap Happy Day. Has anyone else finished a project this week? Love to hear about it.

Badbury Bluebells

Just over the county border lies Badbury Copse, near Farringdon, Oxfordshire. The site-once an iron age hill Fort -is managed by the National Trust, and there grows what can only be called a carpet of bluebells.

Utterly gorgeous .

The views from the wood are just as lovely, with the oil seed rape in full bloom.

It’s good to be out again.

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