Saturday, July 26, 2014

A July afternoon in the garden

I have been trying to write a post for some time now, but have been hampered by a temperamental laptop and erratic broadband. Hopefully the problems have now been sorted out. At the moment I am enjoying the good weather that we are having here in the UK and spending quite a lot of time in the garden. So I have decided to take you for a walk around our garden.

When a visitor enters our drive the first things that they see are the woodland bed and the rockery, which are both currently resting. In other words they need weeding.

The first plant that catches the eye in the front garden is this lavatera. Several years ago we bought its' ancestor from RHS Wisley and it has been propagated many times.

Next in line of sight are these daisies

and I could not resist this Nigella, which is self set so I can not take the credit for it.

On the other side of the path we have a hydrangea

and then there is  Rosa Handel  which grows by the front door.

Now round to the back garden. From the kitchen window I can see these blue violet pansies

and this dahlia which has been flowering for some time now. It is a patio dahlia with small but perfectly formed flowers.

Then around the corner by the French windows we have hollyhocks

and an agapanthus.

A short distance away on the trellis we have a clematis, which I was carefully tying up every week until we went away, when it arranged itself into a rather attractive cascade.

Hidden behind the trellis the day lilies are in full flower.

While on the other side of the garden in my white border, Hydrangea Annabelle is blooming.

Then finally towards the bottom of the garden the apple tree looks to have a bumper crop of fruit on it.

 I just wish that I could bottle the weather and share that with you too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stop the world I want to get off

Wouldn't it be great if we could press a button and stop the world from spinning.Time to step off the roundabout, slow things down and catch up with ourselves. The last few weeks seem to have been manic. This feels like the first evening that I have had to myself for weeks. I know that I should not really complain. Life is treating us fairly well at the moment by comparison with what some have to cope with.

Three weeks ago I was getting ready to go away. If only it was a matter of packing a suitcase and walking out of the door. The week before a holiday always seems to be a frantic rush of jobs that have to be done. During the run up to a holiday I often think that it would be so much easier just to stay at home and wonder is it really worth all this hassle?  Then there is the problem of which clothes to take and the right clothes always need washing. Also at this time of year there is always a mad panic to get as many plants as possible into the garden, so that the rain will water them. Whether or not you get the jobs done the end of the week comes and it is time to pack and go away. The holiday was good and my next post will be about it.

Now fast forward to the week after the holiday, which is not quite as bad as the week before the holiday, but can be nearly with yet more clothes to wash and a lot of catching up to do. On sunday we had visited three gardens in our village which were opened under the National Garden Scheme, with proceeds going to the local hospice. On tuesday and wednesday I had appointments of the hairdresser/dentist variety - both necessary. Usually I try to have only one of these sort of appointments per week. Then on wednesday evening we had tickets for a concert in Manchester, which we had booked about six months ago. We expected to be late getting home from the concert and we were.  On thursday evening we should have gone out for a meal which I had won in a competition, but we decided to turn it down as trying to do too much. Then on friday, which happened to be our wedding anniversary, I had to make a special trip into Chester to see our MP at one of his surgeries. Finally on saturday evening we went out for a meal for our wedding anniversary. And then there is Wimbledon Fortnight to watch as well.

Thankfully this week has been quieter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Growing the family tree

Living here in Chester, my husband is in his element.  He has got into researching his family tree. His mother's family were Irish and his father's family were Welsh. As you will know from my last post we live not far from the Welsh boarder and we have made several trips to Dolgellau to research his paternal family tree as well as last month's trip to Aberystwyth.We have just returned from a trip to Ireland, which for husband included a visit to the National Library of Ireland, in Dublin, for some family history research. So for those of you wondering were an earth Cheshire Wife is, I am sorry, but I have been away again. You can be forgiven for thinking that she is never here. The last twelve months have been rather like this and my blog which started out about relocation and renovation has almost morphed into a travel blog. So I was not surprised to find that my blog had had a mention on this travel blog website. Now we are home with no plans to go anywhere in the immediate future and I shall post about our trip to Ireland as there was a lot more to it than a visit to a dusty old library.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Over the border

I know, a couple of  days away and I have not posted for four weeks. When I decided  to return to blogging I had time on my hands. Since I made that decision life has taken a few unexpected  twists and turns, which I shall write about later as some of the events are still up in the air. Husband is now back working and after four and a half months at home the study looks like a bomb has hit it. The cottage needs cleaning from top to bottom and the garden is full of weeds.

For our two days away we had decided to go over the border into Wales. We live 
about two miles from the England/Wales border. There are no immigration officers or border police. You simply drive along the road past a sign which says England on one side and Wales on the other. Once in Wales all  the road sign are in both English and Welsh. We left home at lunchtime on the Friday driving south down the A483, through April showers even though it was May, via Wrexham, Oswestry and Newtown before turning off west on to the A44 to Aberystwyth.  We had decided on this route which initially weaves it's way in and out of England and Wales, as we had not driven it before. I thought that it was more attractive than our usual route west through North Wales to Dolgellau, then south to Aberystwyth. Even on a good day the latter route can look grim, as it did on the Sunday when we returned  that way as it is a slightly quicker route. The rain was pouring from a very grey sky. The black tarmac roads were awash with water and despite everything looking very green the dark grey stone cottages with their black Welsh slate roofs completed a depressing scene.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at the inn in Aberaeron, where we were staying, which allowed us time for a quick cup of tea before a stroll down to the beach where we were nearly blown away by the strong and chilly wind.

Both Aberystwyth and Aberaeron had suffered in the winter storms earlier in the year, but you would not have known. We had spent a  long weekend in a very wet Aberystwyth a couple of years ago, when we had stayed in a very nice and newly renovated country house hotel outside Aberystwyth. Since then husband had been wanting to return to the hotel and to visit the National Library of Wales for some family history research. Unfortunately the hotel that we had previously stayed in was fully booked for the nights that we wanted. So we found an inn in Aberaeron,to the south of Aberystwyth, which seemed to be suitable. It was less expensive, but I have to say that the hotel outside Aberystwyth, despite being more expensive, was better value for money.

Our plan was to go to the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth on the Saturday. The library itself is a very impressive building (pictured left) with dark wooden floors and an aroma of soap. The weather that day was cold,very wet and windy and not suitable for doing much else. At times like this I cannot help but think about all the rainy day jobs that I could be doing at home, but when I am at home it is never the right sort of rain. However, my time in the library was not wasted. Whilst husband ploughed through old records I drafted some blog posts. As well as all the myriad of records that are held there it also has a shop and a cafe where we had a sandwich for lunch. The visitors book in the reading room had comments from visitors from as far a field as USA, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Husband found some useful information and as usual when he makes one of these family history research visits he comes home with a sheaf of photocopies.

Not a very exciting weekend I know. It was a change of scene. We drove through some scenery that was new to us. Visited some places that we had not been to before. We are now both members of the National Library of Wales and husband's family tree has another twig.