Wednesday 30 September 2020

The final cut - Summertime Photo Hunt

 That's it then, summer is officially over and with it comes the conclusion of Marie-Lou's photo hunt.  It's such a fun project and I love hunting down those elusive prompts.  This year was more challenging due to lockdown restrictions etc but I got there in the end!  Are you ready for the final photos?  Here they are:

A favourite piece of jewellery - 
my wedding ring, and two rings that used to belong to my mum

Something in a knot

Something in the colours of my country flag 
(the stripes of Max's jacket and the stars from his blanket look very American, but it's also the colours of my flag - the Union Jack)

Something I have more than one of

Something in the shape of a triangle

A toy I play with 

Something that displays a rule

A leaf longer than my hand

Something that starts with the initial of my name (Dog Knees!)

Something smaller than a paper clip

Something I needed to throw away

Something that holds my favourite beverage

A rubber band in use

Something with wheels

Something inherited

Something with a rough texture

Something naturally round

Something that can go in the water

A stone/rock/pebble with some colour in it

Something with the number 7 in it

So that's a wrap!  Thank you so much, Mary-Lou, for organising the hunt, it was such good fun to find things to fit the prompts.  Please head over to her blog to see who else has participated this year.

And please also pop back here tomorrow for news of another little challenge in which I'm taking part!  

Monday 28 September 2020

Hello Autumn

Carrying on from my last post, I have to admit that I only lasted another 24 hours before putting the heating on for a couple of hours in the evening and a couple of hours first thing in the morning!

It was so windy on our Sunday morning dog walk that I resorted to wearing a fleece lined knitted head band, quilted jacket and gloves!

But at least it meant I wasn't complaining all the way round that I was 'freezing'!

To those who asked, this is Paul's sketch of the autumnal berries and nuts

Although he isn't happy with it!  I am someone who has trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler so I would be thrilled to be able to do something like that.  I wonder what this week's theme will be?

Work has started in the garden today, and we now have a raised bed for plants and the frame work for the new decking/patio area.  I shall reveal photos at the end of the week!

I've been busy sorting out the final photos for the Summer Photo Hunt today, and working on my 'ta dah' list for the month because somehow or the other, September has almost come to an end.  How did that happen?  

Friday 25 September 2020

How soon is 'too soon'?

 What's the earliest acceptable date for turning on your central heating?

There's part of me that is reluctant to turn the heating back on in September but the other part is saying 'it doesn't matter what the date is, do you feel cold?' and boy did I feel chilly last night.

Paul was out playing badminton, it was just me and Coco here and the temptation was great but I resorted to snuggling under a quilt, Coco thought that looked comfortable so she came and laid on my lap too and within a short while I didn't feel chilly any more.

Today we woke to torrential rain, which has now stopped, but we now have very blustery wind which makes me think that there will be a fair few trees around with not many leaves by tomorrow.

Paul belongs to an art class which is being conducted via a WhatsApp group.  He went to the class when it was an adult evening class at a local school but ... well you know what happened to things like that back in March.  So it has resumed 'virtually' and he's enjoying getting back in the swing of being given assignments and having a valid reason to sit quietly in the afternoons with his paints and pencils.  This week's assignment is to draw a collage of things found in the natural world and he's been collecting bits and pieces on dog walks.  I thought I'd take a photo of what he's going to be drawing.  This is a good roundup of autumn in our area of the UK.  Conkers and acorns, teasels and sycamore seeds, leaves and fir cones.

Leo loves being outside finding 'treasures' and it's something we always encourage, but this time of year, a dog walk can take a very long time as he cannot resist picking up every conker that he finds.  On Tuesday we came home with 43 - now what is he going to do with all of those?  We tried to explain to him that when we were little we would make a hole in the middle, thread string through and then have conker battles but thought we shouldn't make too much of that as this could easily become a way of inflicting pain on everyone he challenged!

So today, we have switched the summer weight duvet for an autumn one, I will be in warmer pyjamas tonight and I've moved my winter shoes in from the garage to the cloakroom.  Have you started thinking about preparing for cooler temperatures yet?  And most importantly, when will you put your heating on?  (asking for a friend 😉)

Saturday 19 September 2020

Spoilt for choice

 Part of the enjoyment of going away in the summer is definitely being on the lookout for Scavenger Hunt photos and that was definitely the case this year, bearing in mind that most of the ones that I had found already were from very close to home.

I need to whittle down my choices ready for the final link up but let me just share a few I found last weekend.

18 Something that can go in the water

There's nothing as waterproof as a seagull is there?

I could lie and say this is a photo of me kite surfing, but no one would believe me would they?  This was so fascinating to watch, and the speeds they reached were amazing.

I think it may have been awhile since this anchor was last used out at sea!

Or how about this coracle?  Apparently they offer Coracle making weekends at the Weald and Downland museum!

16 Something with a rough texture

There's something about a thatched roof isn't there?  My friend's husband used to be a thatcher, so I know how skilled you have to be to thatch a roof - it's not an easy job!

This is a close up of the flint front of the local houses in Chichester, and take my word, those little clippings are very rough to touch.

According to the app on Paul's phone, this is some kind of Ash tree, but it had the weirdest bark.

14 Something with wheels

Saw this little wicker dolls pram outside a secondhand shop, good job I took the photo when I saw it as an hour later we were walking through the town and I saw a lady with it under her arm so it had obviously been sold!

Some kind of invalid chair that we saw in Arundel Castle.

Spoilt for choice with things with wheels at the Weald and Downland Museum, all that vintage farm equipment!

2 Something in a knot

This tree had obviously been damaged in some way many years ago, because look how the trunk has split up and wrapped itself round and round.

7 Something that displays a rule

Good advice when near a rather large horse!

And possibly my favourite

Thursday 17 September 2020

Mr Blue Sky

 The weather was absolutely glorious for our last full day on the South coast and fortunately that was the day that we had planned to visit a beach.  

We had booked a late Sunday lunch at a pub that was recommended by the owner of the house we were staying in so knew we had until 4pm to explore.  We started the day by walking around Chichester itself, but our timing wasn't great as there was a service going on in the Cathedral so we had to content ourselves with just viewing it from the outside.

I always smile when I see gargoyles on old buildings, I don't think this one is an original from when the cathedral was built in 1075 because he looks a little bit like a minion 😂

We then drove down to Chichester Marina which ended up being so much bigger than we were expecting - so many boats!  It can berth up to 1000 boats and it looked pretty full on Sunday.  It's a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it was easy to spend time there, watching the boats go through the lock on onwards out to sea and then walking around a wooded area.

But the beach was calling and we headed off to The Witterings.  We had been told by someone we met at the windmill that everyone heads for West Wittering and even though you have to pre book parking before you go to restrict numbers, there can be a build up of traffic on sunny weekends.  So he recommended going to East Wittering, then walking along the beach.  It was a good plan!  It was so nice on the beach, it wasn't crowded at all and we enjoyed watching people kite surfing - boy I bet that is difficult to do!

By now all the sea air had given us an appetite and we headed back up the coast to Dell Quay for our Sunday lunch booking.  

It was so delicious, (I had grilled sea bass on a bed of sea vegetables {mostly samphire which I love} with roasted new potatoes in garlic with a lemon and pepper butter) we absolutely cleared our plates!  We had a table by the window looking across the bay, and it was the perfect end to a lovely holiday.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Going back in time

 Have you ever seen the TV programme 'The Repair Shop'?  It's such a lovely programme where people take treasured possessions that are in need of repair or restoration.  There's always an emotional story behind the things that are taken in and it is fascinating to watch the specialists bring items back to their former glory.  You can only watch in awe as they skilfully use their knowledge and talents to repair items that are clearly priceless in family history. 

It is filmed at the Weald and Downland Living Museum  which was very close to where we were staying.  Paul had visited there 40 years ago as part of his studying to become a chartered building surveyor but it appears that 20 year old Paul was not as fascinated by the history of the buildings as 62 year old Paul was!  Either that, or the site has grown significantly since his last visit so it isn't that he didn't remember things, maybe they weren't there when he went originally.

They rescue historic buildings from around the country and move them, brick by brick, to their 40 acre site and then rebuild them as they would have been built originally.  Such a mammoth task and it really does take you back in time.  Some are nestled in the countryside, and others grouped together in a village setting.

That picture shows me in front of the buildings used in The Repair Shop, that's as close as you can get!

After our visit there we drop up to an area called The Trundle, which has amazing views over the South Downs and across to Goodwood Racecourse.

From there we drove to Halnaker where we parked up and then walked along the Tree Tunnel up to the windmill.  

Imagine how beautiful this must look later on in Autumn when the foliage is golden brown.  The trail became pretty steep after this area of flat, but then I guess the only place to find a windmill is at the top of a hill where the wind will catch the sails!

19,541 steps today - I may have been heard to say 'are we nearly there yet' as we trekked up the steep hill to the windmill!