Friday, 4 November 2016

Autumnal Belton

Earlier this week we took heed of the weather forecast which was casting doom and gloom about the temperatures for the next few days and took advantage of the beautiful sunshine to visit our local National Trust property Belton House.  We thought the children would have been back at school after half-term but evidently they had an inset day so it was pretty busy but the beauty of Belton is that it's large enough for everyone.

The colours in the gardens were wonderful so I'll let the photos do the talking.



 The lake with a party of swans looked wonderful and was very peaceful without its usual company of geese.  Presumably they are still on their way.


 The walls of the Orangery were covered in ladybirds, or more accurately ladybeetles that originated in Asia.  Apparently these bugs are becoming a nuisance in America so it seems it might be our turn now.

 One of the offending lady beetles.


 These are the fruits on a Spindle Tree.  I thought they looked a bit like butterflies.  You would think that they were flowers but, no, they are the fruits.



 This fungus was on a trees tump down by the lake.  The fungus ran in a line along the track of the roots too.


Friday, 14 October 2016

Autumnal Easton

The sunshine this morning drew us out to a local garden for some autumn colour and lunch out.  Easton Walled Garden is just off the A1 about 8 miles south of Grantham and has been a work in progress  2001 and every visit brings something new.

Today the gardens were very quiet and the staff outnumbered the visitors which made it all the more pleasant to wander around with unhindered views.

 This lovely Virginia Creeper greeted us as we entered the gardens.

 I didn't know they flowered but I suppose logically they must!


We had lunch outside as it was quite warm and the light was catching trees in the distance.


 By the time we'd eaten the clouds had built up and veiled the sun.

 This border still looks very elegant as it slips delicately into Autumn.

 This espalier (pear?) had a magical quality to it.


 Looking back to where we had lunch.

 I'm sure the children will enjoy this display when the gardens open again on Sunday.  They'll also enjoy gathering lots of conkers in the carpark, they were falling everywhere.


 Not sure who this guy was, paparazzi no doubt 😜

 Beautiful mosses atop a low wall.

Just to taunt us the sun popped out again just as we made our way out.  Starting on 19th and running till the end of the month there's going to be a pumpkin rolling event to coincide with half-term.  I'm hoping we'll find time to pop out there again as it's bound to be a good photo opportunity.  I think they have 200 pumpkins for the children to roll.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Brittany

Have I really not blogged since July?  That'll be because I've been struggling with my poorly foot and I've stayed fairly close to home during that time.   I finally got to see a podiatrist who set me on the road to recovery so we were able to go on a planned holiday a couple of weeks ago.

Many years ago when I was a mere schoolgirl I had a French pen-friend who lived in Brittany and I spent 3 weeks enjoying all the beautiful country and culture that Brittany had to offer.  This month we went back courtesy of our local coach company and were able to visit Concarneau, Quimper, Benodet  and Pont Aven.  En route to our hotel at Concarneau we visited Mont St Michel, the sister to St Michael's Mount in Cornwall.


The last time I was here you could walk across to the Mont but recently a footbridge has been built across the sands and access is by foot, push-me-pull-you bus or horse drawn cart.

Looking back from the Mont to the mainland the footbridge feeds thousands of people across the sands.  The tide here moves at an alarming rate when it comes in and you wouldn't outrun it if caught out.  I heard that it comes under the sand and saturates it to the point where it breaks the surface and rushes on.

After a security check by police we had a bit of a wander.  We didn't get far because of my gammy foot but enjoyed this amazing structure.

I have my DH to thank for this photo of the beautiful turrets atop the abbey and the following ones too.


You can't see from this photo but the streets go up very steeply.


 We gave up trying to walk on cobbles and took to the walls for a short walk.



Our base for the week was the Hotel de l'Océan at Concarneau.  It is placed right on the bay and we were lucky to have a sea view.



We were treated to some lovely sunsets


Our first day was spent in Concarneau and we rode a little road train to get to the old town.



Behind the town walls are beautiful gardens, cobbled streets, town walls to walk round and interesting back yards.







Going back on the little train (let down by my foot again for a longer visit) I took a chance pic of the beautiful flower beds in the centre of the road,


My pen-friend came from Quimper and we paid a visit here the next day.  Blustery showers took us into the cathedral which had some amazing stained glass, some of it from the 20th century.




This window was designed and made in 1993 by Hungarian Anna Stein and recalls the life of Santik Du (The little black saint) or Jean Discalceat a local Franciscan who looked after the poor and plague-ridden residents in the 14th century and died of plague himself.  

 This building above is the Cafe Des Cariatides with its beautiful stone carvings.



The Anna Stein window in full above and below a part of a window by Hubert de Sainte-Marie which is dedicated to the life of the Breton missionary Maunoir. (Dates from the 1950's I think).  I really like the style of this window.  The figures have a primitive look to them.


I'll have to come back and add links for the glass artists. (now added).

It was lovely to be in Quimper again and the area around the cathedral certainly brought back memories.  It was lovely to be able to speak some French for a while too and mostly I was understood and understood what was said to me.  I'll be back with the rest of the trip in a few days.