Tuesday, 21 June 2011

An Anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary.
Fifteen years.
For both of us,
it's our second marriage.

The plan is to go out somewhere to celebrate.
Maybe a trip out somewhere different with the hounds.
A long walk somewhere new.
Maybe a meal out in the evening.
Or maybe just the two of us
out for a couple of hours for
coffee and cake,
somewhere local.

But as I write this on Sunday,
(I know how bad I am at posting at the moment),
the weather forecast is not looking very good.
So it might be a stay at home day.
The best sort when the weather is wet and windy.
Just have to make some nice cake
to enjoy at home
while we keep dry.

I enjoy baking.

The photo shows the flowers and card Mike gave me last year.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Gardener's World, or Spot the Presenter

Watching Gardener's World Friday evening on the TV, I was reminded that I had some photos from last year that I have not shared with you. (In fact I have quite a number of photos that have not made it to this blog)!
Gardener's World is a long running BBC programme. During the summer Gardener's World and BBC Good Food programmes combine to present an exhibition at Birmingham's NEC Centre. Last year I won two VIP ticket's for it. So my sister and I went along. We had a fabulous time. The VIP tickets gave us access to a lounge where we could sit and rest our feet, and drink endless cups of tea, any time we felt in need. We had a wonderful time. I really should have told you all about it when I got back- sorry.
Well the show has been taking place these last few days, so I got my photos out from last year. A nice reminder of a wonderful day out last year. So I'll share them with you now.

With so much to see, and so many people, I was eager to make a start. We began with the show gardens. The textiles caught my eye in these first two photos.

A garden for football fans.

A garden for wildlife.

A garden for sitting in and enjoying the plants close up.

In the pink.

The next garden shows a neat way to keep your vegetable garden tidy. It was used by the BBC for the presenters to meet the public and answer questions about gardening.

Above you can see Joe Swift being presented, and below Carol Klein.

I was particularly interested to see the Good Food Halls.

 Above, Andi Peters, below, James Martin.

With the VIP tickets, I got two tickets (on the front row) for Masterchef.

Above John Torode and below, Gregg Wallace.

I've included a second photo of Joe Swift, just because I like it.

Despite being so keen to see eveything to do with food, and incidentally winning the tickets through Good Food, the plants were the stars of the show for me.
Below is a garden based on Alice in Wonderland.

But the best bit was the plant hall. After seeing everything, that is where we spent most time.
Can you blame us?...

My sister bought some lovely rose bushes. I had to content myself with some Lily corms. That's all I could get in my case. They're due to flower soon.

Passing the Lake District on the way back to my sister's, there was the most fabulous, memorable sunset.
But guess what, my camera was in the boot of the car, and we were on a motorway, so no stopping.
What a beautiful end to a great day out.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

In the Vineyards

It's taken several goes to get these photos up.
I'm not sure whether the computer or Blogger was at fault.
In the end I haven't included all the ones I had chosen.
Never mind.
I thought you might like an update on how the vineyards are looking.
As you can see they are in full leaf now.

I enjoy walking amongst them.
I've been doing a lot of that this last week
with the hounds
while Mike has been away.

I've noticed quite a few workers in the vineyards.
I think many of them come from other countries,
Poland and other East European countries.

By the time I reached these workers
they were having a breather on the track
before continuing down the next row.
They parted to let me and the hounds through.
I suppose we were an unexpected sight,
four greyhounds being walked amongst the vineyards.

I'm not sure what the workers were doing,
probably tying the vines in.
They have grown quite rapidly
while I've been away.

Here are the beginnings of a bunch of grapes.

The area I tend to favour for walking the hounds is rich in wildlife.
Can you see the deer in this last photo?
It's got it's back to us
but has turned it's head around,
most likely to keep an eye on the hounds.
Click on the photo for a larger view.
It's in the centre.

I wish I had had the camera with me the other morning.
But walking with 4 greyhounds
and a camera isn't always that easy.
Especially when Jewel frightens any wildlife away
before I can get the camera focused.
Fortunately she didn't see the hare
hopping past us in the field,
to our left,
or the deer in the courgette field
to our right,
bounding away.
In fact none of the hounds saw them
I think they were hidden from view
with wild rose bushes and grasses.
But it was the best view I've had so far of a hare,
so close.

I haven't forgotten,
I'll be back to report on my UK trip soon.
But before that,
tomorrow in fact,
I'll have something different.