Wordless Wednesday : Down House, Darwin’s home

We visited Charles Darwin’s home on Saturday which is something I’d been wanting to do for a long while. He is a very interesting character and his home was so great to visit as it had exhibits on the voyage if the Beagle as well as natural selection and some of his collection of taxidermy. He seemed to be a good father to his ten children preferring to play with them rather than bowing to social mores which indicated children should be seen and not heard. He built a wonderful slide so his children could slide down the stairs and spent a lot of tim with them. He also wrestled with his theories and how they affected his faith preferring to keep quiet for many years before he finally published them. Unfortunately, there was a no photography policy in the house but I thought you’d enjoy seeing the grounds and outside of the house.

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Ten on a Tuesday : Ten New Movies I Want to See

I think there are only two I want to see.

1. the Muppets
I loved the series which was on when I was a kid in the 70s.

2. The Artist.
I’m fascinated by the genre and the concept of a silent movie these days.

I’m not a big movie goer. I prefer DVDs at home but loved going for the Harry Potter films and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

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Besides, they wouldn’t allow the kitties to watch from their seats in movie theatres!

A Sunday Stroll

We decided to have a stroll by the river today. I’d been chatting to someone who was extolling the virtues of a lovely new path by the River Stour and pao and I thought it sounded like a good chance for a stroll. We walked about two miles although back to the car wasn’t as scenic but it was nice to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the mild weather. It has been exceptionally warm this week and I even went out without my coat on Thursday.

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This was a beautiful picnic bench we chanced upon.

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I love the detail on the table

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with the interesting shapes

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and gorgeous carvings.

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Pao is standing by what is an old railway track.

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It is great path for cycling.

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We both laughed at this funny dog.

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I tried to get a photo of him leaping in the air with all four legs in the air but he was too fast and busy playing.

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It was slightly overcast but nice to walk by the water.

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Just lovely!

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Tamyra was interested in the idea of fishing but doesn’t like getting wet.

First sock of 2012

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I’ve not made any socks for a few months and I couldn’t resist the lovely Knit Picks Felici sent by Chris and Jeanne any longer and cast on today 🙂

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As you can see Phoebe is underwhelmed. She is more patchwork than stripes!

Making Winter : A hint of the spring to come

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A brief nod to making winter this weekend. I saw these snowdrops poking up through the ground and they really made me quite cheery as they herald a new season. It has been unseasonably warm in Kent this month which is strange as it is more like April than February. I’ve even noticed the days lengthening which is wonderful. I hated it being so dark morning and evening. It is so cheery!!

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Tamyra has been helping me with a winter project to cheer a dark day. 🙂

A wander at Ashburnham

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I thought I’d share some photos of the amazing house we stayed in last weekend.

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It was most grand.

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With very grand stone guard dogs.

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There was a most beautiful lake and boat house. It was gorgeous.

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Sirius would haven’t known what to do with himself and all that wide open space.

Ten on a Tuesday : Ten Tips for Writing a Great Letter

I used to adore writing letters but i haven’t done for ages so I figure that I’m not the best authority on how to write letters but I know what I enjoy about receiving letters so I’m going to try and think up 10 things 🙂

1. Lovely stationery. One of the pleasures of receiving a letter is the paper it is on and how it looks.
2. Take time to sit and collect your thoughts. A cup of tea or good coffee can help.

3. Find some nice stamps to put on the envelope. It is one of the nicest things to receive a personally written letter and that experience starts from reading your name and address on the envelope and seeing exotic stamps from faraway places.

4. Enclosing a surprise. I love to get surprises and it could be as simple as a little card with a nice saying on or a little treat like a bookmark or postcard.

5. Use a nice pen – it makes me feel good to use a nice pen and ink when I’m writing a letter.

6. Funny stories – think of what will amuse and delight your reader.

7. Different colours or pictures in the text make things more amusing and personal. I had a letter someone had written me once where they used some stickers in place of words. It was one of the most thoughtful letters I’d received.

8. Origami shapes can be a nice surprise.

9. Share recipes or ideas that might interest your reader.

10. Send snippets from magazines or newspapers which your friend might enjoy. Even a cute photo out of a magazine can say a lot.

Wow! I actually made it to 10. I thought I’d struggle a bit but I did enjoy thinking about writing a letter. I think I’d like to write one now! Emails are great but there is nothing quite like a letter!

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Sirius would write you but he doesn’t have the thumbs for it.

Making Monday : Snowflake shawlette

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I was so in love with the yarn and the idea of a lovely Snowflake shawlette that I cast on straight away in the car on my way down to Sussex for our church weekend away. Three frogs later, I finally worked out what was wrong and I’m merrily on my way down row 6. What I’d missed was a solid line delineating the pattern repeat.

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It is rather pretty now I’ve got into the swing of it.

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The yarn was also deeply attractive to a young cat we know.

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Deeply attractive in the sense it had to be hidden.