View From The Conservatory


Today I ventured out into the garden. Thought it was probably safe since the rain and the winds had subsided. The sky is still very grey but all the plants are looking very lush. So here is a sampling from the Wrantz Estate.

The first offering is one of the thousands of Aquilegia that grow in our garden. As soon as they go to seed I shake the pods all around so they pop up in the most surprising places.

The next is just a little humour. This game of chequers has been on the go for several years or perhaps they are just trying to out stare each other.

The Long Game
The Long Game

Gardens are for fun. I’m certain these two are enjoying themselves.

Let's Play Leap Frog

And last of all, for the moment, is this plant which grows in my neighbour’s garden but shares the colours, shapes and style with us by hanging over the fence. Delightful. Just one problem, I don’t know what it is. It does look a bit like Holly though.

Anyone out there know what it is ?

What Is This ?
What Is This ?

You can just see the leaf shape which is very much like a Holly Leaf. Answers on a post card……

Hastings / Bodiam


Saturday Afternoon

A weekend in Hastings to celebrate my sister’s birthday was never going to be quiet but we had a cracking time.

Saturday was not  very nice weather wise, grey and cool. It didn’t matter much since we spent some time wandering down George Street browsing the shop windows  until we met up with my sisters friends. Then we whiled away some time loafing in  Ye Olde Pump House, a pub which looks much older than it really is.

 That’s if the old gent who harangued us outside can be believed. Anyway, it’s old enough and was very popular even when I used to visit back in the late 60’s. Had a couple of pints of Early Bird, a really tasty brew from Shepherd Neame.

A pale golden beer, with floral aroma, Early Bird is full-bodied and takes its name from the Early Bird variety of East Kent Goldings hops, grown in hop gardens near the brewery.

It gets my vote and certainly seemed to live up to the brewers description which I have quoted above.

Due to much gassing with my sisters friends, time passed rapidly by and we ended up spending more time in the pub than we had intended. This is what happens when you are having a good time. We were supposed to be having a meal before going on to a show. In the end we had to by-pass the meal and  sprint to make the show.

We were going to see Chas Hodges, you can read my post on that HERE

Sunday – Wow ! What a day out !!!

For Sunday we had chosen to get together with my other sister and had arranged to meet up at Bodiam Castle. The weather was fabulous, blue cloud free skies and beautiful spring sunshine.

Bodiam Castle is in a wonderful setting, sat as it is on an island reached only by the bridge across the moat.

We meandered around the perimeter of the moat enjoying the warmth of the sun and the attentions of the many ducks. Sis decided that she would become the Birdwoman of Bodiam and broke out the butties. She was immediately surrounded.

Once they knew that she was a buttie free zone they abandoned her. Cupboard love I believe it is called.

We continued to tour the castle surrounds before heading inside. Here are a few facts that I have dredged up. Bodiam is a 14th Century construction. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge who apparently was one of Edward IIIs knights. It was intended to defend the area against those nefarious French during the Hundred Years War.

Those pesky ducks get every where, especially when they think there is food to be had. You only have to dangle your arm over the bridge railing and a collective shout of “incoming” goes up.

Of course, what goes up must eventually come down…..

Once we were across the bridge we were met by a most unusual couple. We were accused of using the devils machinery and of stealing their spirits but they were quite friendly really and welcomed us into the castle courtyard

While we were there the locals were telling of the castles history hence the unusual attire. This fellow was the main orator.

Bodiam is a “pretty” castle now and it doesn’t take much imagination to see what it would have been like when it was first built.

It is possible to get many different perspectives of the castle.

After much strolling and climbing we found ourselves to be a bit peckish. So we took ourselves across the road to the nearby pub. Strangely enough it is called the Castle Inn

We were surprised to find that there were outside tables available and sat ourselves down for a spot of lunch. Considering this was 1st April, to be sitting outside to eat was a rare treat. The food was good and we didn’t have to wait too long and it was hot when it arrived. By a happy coincidence this pub was also serving Early Bird which was a suitable lubricant for the meal.

While we were having lunch we were treated to the spectacle of a helicopter coming into land on the pub lawns.

After lunch we walked up to the railway station. All day we had been seeing the smoke and hearing the whistles of the steam trains.

When we arrived at the station we determined that the next train would be arriving within a few minutes and duly positioned ourselves across the road and the level crossing ready for the steamer we knew was coming. Imagine the big disappointment when we were presented with this…..

Yup. A diesel loco. OK it is a piece of vintage rolling stock but it wasn’t what we wanted. Never mind, as they say, there is always next time. After taking a look at some of the old goods wagons at the station we headed back to our cars.

Drove back to my sister’s house for a cup of tea and some superb lemon drizzle cake. All taken while sitting outside in the sunshine. I still have to remind myself that this was the first day of April.

A fitting close to a fantastic day. All that was left was for us to drive the 90 or so miles home. I didn’t need any rocking when I hit my pit.

View From The Conservatory


Just a brief entry today. Two flight related pictures.

Shot snatched as the whirly bird flew over this morning. Probably of dubious quality since I haven’t checked it in a darkened room on a decent display but what the hey.

The following shot was taken from my seat in front of my puter. I didn’t dare move as the crow would have flown away.

As taken from the camera, no editing and am quite pleased considering that it was taken through double glazing at an angle of 60 degrees or so. Reflections suppressed courtesy of the polarising filter.

Spring Show


Springtime has to be one of the best times of the year. Nature showing all her best bits. Have just driven past thousands, if not millions, of beautiful Pansy’s, Primula’s, Daffodils and Magnolia Tree blooms. So here is a small contribution from our front garden.

Had to snap the back view because they were just so bright. And here they are from the front, some might say from the proper side.

Obviously we are all waiting for the Cherry blossoms to begin their display. Unfortunately, I have noticed that one of our two trees looks to have finally succumbed to the disease which was causing its leaves to wilt. It had managed to give a magnificent display each year even though the leaves would die back. This morning I can find no sign any buds forming. I guess we’ll have to replace it after giving us great pleasure for thirty years or so.