Saturday Stroll

I am trying my best to try and get a bit fitter this year after a scary health screen which made me really think about what I was eating etc so I have taken to taking short walks when I can. This morning, we woke up to winter sunshine rather than rain so I nipped out and took a brief walk before the rain comes in an hour or so. It was gorgeously beautiful albeit chilly but I acquired a cozy new winter coat that is just perfect for this weather. You’ll see from the photos that we have had some serious flooding of the Nailbourne river but all the same it was a lovely walk.

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Prettiness on a cold Friday

We’ve had some amazing warm lovely weather all week until today. It is so cold we have actually turned the heating on. So whilst we’re waiting for our chocolate marmalade cake to finish cooking to give us something warm to eat, here are some pretties to keep my mind off the chill.

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I spotted this beautiful rose earlier this week.

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I can’t believe only a couple of days ago we were sitting by the duck pond shaded from the hot sun by these lovely trees.

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Toffee apple pudding I made a little while ago. The golden glowiness of the pudding makes me smile.

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But, for me, there is nothing as nice as a pair of happy pussy cats.

More from Wickhambreaux


Here is the pub of the enormous fish and chips fame!


After we came out of the pub, it had brightened up considerably and I spotted this lovely bench and tree in blossom.


This house featured in the film A Canterbury Tale which was mentioned by David last week. I’ll definitely have to look out for that film as it features Fordwich which is very near here as well.


Can you imagine living in a house this big?


I’ve always admired this castle-like house.


From the outside, the church window doesn’t look like much.


But inside – wow :)


I was thinking of the earth palette for Project Spectrum in April and May when I saw these tiles


and this amazing floor tile. I recognise the stork symbol pelican from the cathedral. I don’t know what it means but it would be interesting to know more about. Maybe rebirth?
(Updated: thank you to Alotherium for explaining in the comments, it is helpful to understand what the symbolism means)


I really liked the church ceiling :)


and this angel


and these paintings.


Another brown object for Project Spectrum.


Finally, an oast house.

A wander to Wickhambreaux

Yesterday’s snow excitement has melted away so it is time to share some photos from the rest of the weekend. We managed to have a short walk after work 3 out of 4 days last week so we’d built ourselves up enough for a longer walk on Saturday so we went to Wickhambreaux which is about a mile and a half-ish away.


We’d been told that there was a proper footpath and found that it led out from the back of the church


into some lovely fields.


We were soon by the river.


We were wondering if we had to be midgets to go down this path but decided to crouch under than try to limbo (we’re trying to be dignified).


It wasn’t too long before Wickhambreaux church was in sight.


We heard good reports about their home cured ham but I didn’t really fancy chips today as I wouldn’t haven’t been able to walk home again. I did have lasagne and salad but it didn’t compare in quantity


to what pao ordered! They do some rather nice ice cream – I think it might have been Movenpick but I can tell you that the white peach and raspberry and rhubarb ice creams were very nice.

We stopped in and looked round Wickhambreaux church (photos another day as there are lots and I need to sort them out) and then marched home. My feet were quite sore and I was very sleepy but I don’t think we did badly for our first proper walk this year.

Ramble before the storm

I’ve upgraded my version of Firefox so we’ll try that uploading thing again today.
(and it works – yippee)


We found the source of the crowing we occasionally hear :)


Here are the first primroses I’ve seen this year.


I think the sky is an indication of the weather we’re about to have. It was a balmy 14C this afternoon. As there is building work going on across the road from my building, I can’t open my windows at the moment because of the dust so I had my office fan on for the first time this year. We are told this weather won’t last and we’re going to get showery snow on Sunday. All the cold stuff but no snowmen.


We passed one of the pubs but didn’t have time to pop in


as we were on our way to the woodland path


to spot the first of the bluebells this year. In a few weeks time, this whole woodland area will be filled with bluebells.


Someone has a sense of humour.


A relative of Jolly Roger’s?


We passed the hen house on the way home.


The village are carefully preparing their cricket green for the new season.


Here is a touch more green. I think it is very calming! Particularly since I was woken up by cats fighting last night but I went back to sleep thinking all the cats were inside. It was only when I got up that I realized that Perdita was the one who fighting with another cat.

I spent several evenings reading the two books for my seminar today. When I got there, there was just me and another student. It’s the last week of term so I think it’s unlikely we’re going to get another slot. I could have used that reading time for working on my essay so I feel like I’ve wasted my time a bit.

Old and new friend

I tried uploading a photo at work today so it might be my machine which is making the gallery act funny but we’ll see what happens today. We managed a second day where we had a short walk round the village after work.

Okay, it’s an issue with Firefox on my Mac at home. No idea why it just freezes all strange like with a blank screen whilst it tries to generate the code but at least I’ve now figured out where my saved posts are hiding.

Aha but it seems to work a treat using Safari. How odd. Now where was I?

(The one bright spot about this new WordPress install is that you can now click on my photos and see bigger ones. Happy clicking)


I love the leaves of this plant. We have one in our garden and it always fills me with joy to look at it.


More greenery but this tulip is about to burst into colour.


pao knows how much I am fond of Jolly Roger so we walked round to the church where we first met him and found him sitting in the driveway of what we know now is his old house.


But who is this young imposter? I have christened him Wriggler and he now lives in what was Jolly Roger’s former home. He’s pretty cute and awfully friendly. We watched him trying to get at some birds in a holly tree. He can’t be that old yet but he has the most beautiful coat.

We witnessed an accident on our walk today. A small terrier dog was chasing a black cat across the road. The dog just ran straight into the path of a car and bounced off its wheel. I was amazed to see the dog running straight over to its owner who was coming out of a wooded copse as if nothing had happened. If we hadn’t witnessed it and the car owner hadn’t stopped she mightn’t have known something had happened to her little dog. I really thought that little dog would have died on impact or been limping but it just shook itself and ran off. Are dogs more resilient to injury?

April Fool?

By criminy, someone (pao) has upgraded my WordPress installation and it is *different*! I can’t seem to convince the new improved gallery feature to actually put my photos on the screen so for the moment you’ll just have to imagine the stroll pao and I after we got home tonight. Unsurprisingly, I felt rather unfit – we’d only popped out for half an hour and I was pooped so we have plans to walk a bit each evening after work then go for a longer walk to a pub in the next village at the weekend. We shall see how that plan goes :)

Ha! You wicked WordPress gallery will not stop me from posting photos – I will code it by hand (because I have to)!

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These fields are only about five minutes away from our house. We often drive down this road on the way to places but haven’t walked it before.

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This is a little track to some farmland. I don’t know if there is a public footpath through there or not maybe we’ll have to investigate.

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It is now the start of the earth group of colours in Project Spectrum: green, brown, metallics. I love green and have been looking forward to starting on this palette. I have some lovely brown Java coloured yarn that I’ve been saving for this pair of months. I was getting a bit tired of reds and pinks.

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It is just as well that brown is one of the colours as pao has started work on my spinning wheel and it is the formerly rather stinky brown sheep’s fleece which will be first up.

Fingers crossed that this new-fangled thing will actually let me publish with my photos in tact! I am hoping (lamely) that this is an April Fool but I fear it might be here to stay.

Hello, 2008

Happy New Year to one and all!

Wishing you love, peace, happiness and health in 2008!

I managed a very short walk round the village today and now I’m home ready for more napping.

(click on tiny pictures for larger versions)

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The village green was empty apart from a boy and his day playing with a remote control car.

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It looks like someone has cut back the trees in Turner’s Orchard for winter.

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There is someone who has a miniature train track at the bottom of their garden. It would seem that the train isn’t running today.

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It was nice to find the church open so I could stop for a sit down before we came home again.

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We even met a new friend. I called him Jolly Roger because he marched up to us and meowed loudly demanding to be stroked and when I sat on the bench, he climbed up and sat on my shoulder like a parrot. pao has some photos of us – if he puts them up, concentrate on the cat; I look and feel dreadful. In many ways, he reminded me of Lucy because he had similar soft thick fur and demanded our affection like she did. Thankfully she’d never wanted to climb up onto our shoulders though.

Have a wonderful 2008!

A Cordial Taste of Summertime

I have found that May has gone by so quickly that June is almost upon us! One of the sure signs that summer is on its way are the appearance of elderflower heads in the hedgerows.
There is a soft fragrance which fills the air as you walk past them and they make the most excellent cordial.

As pao had to do some studying a couple of Saturdays ago, I took myself off for a walk round the village to gather some elderflower heads and to explore a bit.

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The cricketers were out on the green as usual during the afternoon. We can see them quite clearly from our dining room window.

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I walked up The List and turned right towards the fields and found a few bushes in the hedgerows but it was still early so there weren’t many
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elderflower heads yet.

I found a great number of elderflower heads on Court Hill where the contraversial new doctor’s surgery is going to be and

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found myself at the barn where I’d been for art exhibitions which our friend Gillian had invited us to.

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I found a gate through to the church yard and

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picked a few more in there.

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I headed down Nargate Street and stopped a moment by the watermill to look at the Nailbourne.

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I looped back onto the High Street via a leafy footpath.

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Detouring briefly to admire the oast conversions. I have always liked oasts with their big rounded rooms at the tops. These are a little close to the river for my liking but they are lovely though.

I finish back where I started on the village green collecting elderflower heads from the three enormous bushes there with the unasked for but appreciated help of a surly village girl who demanded to know what I was doing.

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I carefully washed the elderflower heads as I was determined not to end up with a cordial full of bugs as I had a couple of years ago.

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Then I boiled the sugar and water together.

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Then I sliced the fruit and mixed them all together in two large jugs.

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24 hours later, I was sieving cordial into bottles. Elderflower cordial is supposed to be a yellowy green colour but mine is pink. I can only put it down to my use of blood oranges instead of ordinary oranges. It still tastes nice though.