Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Round-up Part 5

Here we are at the end of another year and taking a last look at what has gone before. We have reached October and our memorable trip to Croatia. We spent a wonderful week in Plat, near Dubrovnik and had some lovely weather...
some lovely food and wine...
and plenty of 'culture'.
The old city of Dubrovnik itself, was stunning. Architecturally and historically, it ticked all the boxes from the towering seafront...
to the red-tiled roof-tops.
We had a good time in the beautiful town of Cavtat too.
The sea was clear and blue..
the wildlife was exotic, exciting and in many cases, 'new' to me.
All too soon, the sun set on our holiday and we returned to an autumnal Britain.
Back home and the trees reminded us that Autumn was well advanced by now.
It was a particularly good year for autumn colour.
November saw us taking off again for a few nights away, this time in Llandudno. It was windy and chilly, but thankfully, not as wet as the forecast had promised. We fought our way around the Great Orme with the wind occasionally stopping us in our tracks.
The shadows were lengthening as the year drew to its close.
Then the first frosts of the winter nipped the extremities.
Malcolm's birthday heralded the end of November and by December, we were preparing for the new kitchen. We said our goodbye's to the old one and waited for all the dust, noise and mayhem which was about to come as the new one slowly took shape. The results have been worth it.
So, there we are! It only remains for me to wish a Happy New Year to all who deserve it and 'see you on the other side.'

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 Round-up Part 4

In July, Malcolm and I took ourselves off for a few days stay in Portsmouth. We had a great time exploring the city...
and the sea-front...
and we had a high time up the Spinaker Tower.
While in Portsmouth, we paid a visit to Brian and Mary and spent a a very pleasant evening with them. Mary cooked a delicious meal for us and it was nice - after many years - to catch up with their son, my second cousin, Simon. It was Simon who suggested we should take a look at the delightful village of Bosham and this turned out to be sound advice. It is a beautiful village.
Back home again and high summer meant that our local countryside was blooming with late colour.
August saw a second (and in some cases a third) flush of ducklings swimming about on the lakes of Straw's Bridge.
The fields were still blooming, but the grasses were ripening in the sunshine as the late summer flowers hung on to their colour.
On 16th, our friend Jayne accompanied us on a walk and,we found a very strange object growing on a tree trunk. It turned out to be a Chicken-of-the-Woods fungus - a new 'tick' for my list.
My 49th birthday also brought some much warmer weather and the surprising sight of no fewer than eight Buzzards circling in the clear blue sky.
Things had started to slow down by September and the first signs of Autumn were beginning to appear. Rowan berries are always the first to show.
Then came the first Daddy-long-legs or Crane Flies.
Yew trees were also fruiting colourfully on Shipley Hill...
but, by the end of the month, the leaves were starting to turn and Autumn couldn't be put off any longer.
Tomorrow will see the the end of this rapid round-up. So stay tuned..!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 Round-up Part 3

May came around and gave us more Bluebells.
We saw a beautiful Rat at Straw's Bridge...
and a spectacular Mandarin at Mapperley Reservoir.
By mid May, the Cherry blossom was out...
and the Rhododendrons were not far behind them, adding their over-the-top style to the woodland on Shipley Hill.

Towards the end of May, we were off once again to Switzerland and stayed in the wonderful little village of Spiez. From our hotel we had a great view of Niesen.
The views from the top of Niesen, were even better with the Eiger, Mönch and the Jungfrau dominating the scene.
Lake Thun was stunning...
and Interlaken gave us an even more spectacular view of the Jungfrau.
The city of Thun provided some historical culture.
Back home again and the Summer started off with a blaze of floral colour with Yellow Flag Iris...
Bee Orchids...
and drifts of Southern Marsh Orchids.
The Azaleas didn't want to be left out either.
The bugs were out too and our walks were once again blighted by the biting of Cleg Flies. Nasty little things, but what beautiful eyes they have!
Lots more to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 Round-up Part 2

March started chilly but the sunshine was till nice - to begin with and the Gorse was out in flower.
Fog became an issue...
and there was evidence of the stormy weather we'd had during the winter.
By the middle of the month, the sun was out once more and on Shipley Hill, the daffodils were bright and beautiful.
On 22nd of March, Malcolm and I celebrated ten years since our civil partnership with a glass or two of bubbles and fish-and-chips for lunch. The Blackthorn blossom was celebratory too...
We ended the month with an ornithological first for this area. A Little Egret was found roosting in a tree at Pewit Carr.
By April, Spring was in full swing and the Willows were starting to bloom in the sunshine.
Lambs were gambolling in the fields...
and Malcolm was enjoying the weather at Mapperley Reservoir.
By this time, the Bluebells were showing their hand too.
At the end of the month, we took a trip to Cornwall and enjoyed some lovely walks around Newquay.
By coincidence, my cousin (once removed), Brian and Mary were also staying in Newquay at the same time, it being Brian's birthday. It was wonderful to see them and we had a lovely dinner together at their hotel, to celebrate Brian's birthday. We then joined them on a trip around the area taking in Padstow...
and Polzeath...
Ending up at the delightful village of Boscastle.
More to come tomorrow.