These two lovely fairy pictures were bought during a family trip to Dawlish over twenty five years ago. Having decided to post them on my blog I sparked a long discussion between my Mum and brother Mick as to how old we were when we actually bought them. I think it was Michael who first got me interested in mythology and fantasy books. Not surprisingly, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien comes top of my all time favorite reads.
The flower that's climbing round the drain pipe and the daisy were snaps from the Raithwaite estate in Sandsend. The lovely white and yellow climber could be Solanum jasminoides 'Album' but i'm no expert on these matters.The evergreen Viburnum is planted just outside my front door and was a propagation success from my dad who seems to have the knack when it comes to getting new plants for free. The large showy mophead Hydrangea was spotted whilst taking a stroll through the local cemetery, I've not seen many of the white flowered variety in the surrounding area, mostly the colours tend to be blue, red, pink and purple. I think I've read somewhere that the colour depends on the PH of the soil.
Today I tried my hand at making nut taffy, the recipe comes from Jan Orchard's "The Hedgerow Harvest". Although a quick and easy recipe I managed to overboil the syrup leaving the toffee with a slightly burnt though not unpleasant aftertaste. I think the colour of the toffee would have looked more golden had I done the job properly. To be more thrifty I wanted to forage the hazel nuts but learnt too late that the optimal period for picking was around September14th. Consequently the early squirrel had beat me to the hazel nuts so mine were shop bought which made the cost more expensive than I would have liked. Not to be put off I'm going to try another of Jan's recipes from natures storehouse, fingers crossed the elderberry wine will be a success come christmas time. Watch this space.
Here we have a distant shot of Whitby Abbey from Sandsend. It took 199 steps to view the abbey up close in the mist. Master Mariner William Mead's gravestone is only one of a few legible gravestones as many have been eroded by weather and time.
Picture provided by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Cotton Town digitalisation project. Over the years Blackburn has steadily been losing its wealth of architectural heritage. According to my mum one of the biggest crimes committed was the demolition of the old clock tower and market hall. Sadly a sympathetic redevelopment was not to be, literally a case of out with the old and in with the new modern purpose built shopping centre. Once again Blackburn council are currently undertaking a multi million pound facelift which includes, yes you’ve guessed it a new clock tower. No tears this time when the bulldozers move in as the past design which made strong use of ‘white tiling’ was derogatively likened to that of a Victorian lavatory. See you can't please everyone, even Diarist John O Neil back in 1856, thought it the "poorest looking place of a large town" that he had ever seen, (Timmins, 1993 a pictorial history). Although the new tower is still in its skeleton state I don’t think it will get the seal of approval from mum. As an employee of boots chemist which was a situated in the old market hall mum clearly has a deep sentimental attachment to those old buildings. What are your thoughts?
We had a lot of fun taking pictures of this wacky shadow. We couldn't stop laughing as we stumbled about trying to get a shot from several different angles. "It's bunnies." "Is it?" "Get a pic from behind it." "Oh no the sun is going in." "It's back!" "Quick take the pic." "Did it take." "It's that cartoon character." "Which one?" "The one with Road Runner." "The coyote?" "Yeah. What's his name?" "Wile E. Coyote." "Yeah him." Then it got even sillier with Dad getting into the act, waggling his fingers behind it to create several creatures of absurd and animated aspect.