Thursday, 5 August 2021

The joys of country living


When I want to go for a country walk, all I have to do is to walk out of our yard and keep walking!  If I turn right and then left by the stream, I climb steadily upwards through woodland, cross a field and through woodland again and then I am out on the hill, with views in all directions.  This is looking up the slope - and is the view I can see from the garden if I sit on the swinging bench at the back of the garden.  This is just what I did yesterday.

Looking back along the slope.

The little lane from our place up to the farm and beyond.

This old farmhouse is the friendly light in the night in winter.

Breathtaking views in all directions.

The wee church which has held this community together for hundreds of years and where, I believe, Wesley leapt on a fallen gravestone to preach to his faithful following.

My next walk (if it's dry enough over the weekend).

Codlins and Cream (Greater Willowherb).

Hardhead, aka Rampion.

Even wasps have to eat!  This little Toadflax type flower grows all over the Bank, having self-seeded.  It supports a large insect community here. In their turn, the insects support a huge bird community.  We have about 20 Swifts flying overhead all day long, hawking for insects.  Today counted about 25 Swallows sat on the wire across the lane.  Two broods and parents accounted for some, but I don't think they had THAT many offspring, so some probably been raised in the old stables in the field across the lane.  Another brood of House Martins has fledged and an old broken nest has been repaired - whether as a nest site or somewhere to cwtch overnight, I'm not sure, but it was an absolute joy to look out of the bathroom window and see them swooping past and up to add mud to the nest.

Well, a quiet weekend is planned.  Tam and her boyfriend are off camping near Narberth.  I hope it doesn't rain too much, but I'm sure they'll enjoy themselves anyway.

I have torn myself away from the Manx family history research - having now gotten back to 1750 - and I spent some time this afternoon cutting and pinning the lining for the 2nd curtain for the Library, abandoned a couple of weeks back.  I'll finish and hang it tomorrow. With the chance of rain preventing much in the way of walking or gardening, I shall be cracking on with decorating here.  I've just ordered the wallpaper for Tam's bedroom - a sensibly-priced one too, but just what she wanted.  Her original choice was out of stock.  I need to do some more painting in our bedroom, and start stripping off the paper in the main bathroom, plus I think it's time we bought some white emulsion and started de-pinking the Hot Pink Bedroom!  So, plenty to do.  

The plumber (who should have been here fitting the bathroom now, having told us 6 weeks waiting time) is now no longer answering my calls, so I have got in touch with another plumber and he is booked to come out next Friday to give a quote for the job.  He is a LOT more organized, and has a work diary and comes well-recommended on-line.  

The carpenter, having quoted for the windows and said cheerfully he might be able to fit us in last week, had now also fallen off the radar . . .  Imagine rolling of eyes here . . .

Bumble bees happily plundering the Lavender.  We had a visit from a rareish butterfly yesterday - a White Letter Hairstreak (haven't seen Hairstreaks since living in Dorset).  This one paid a flying visit - settled briefly on a rosebud and then departed, looking for bramble flowers, before I had a chance to get my camera.


  1. Breath taking views indeed. As I say, at the bottom of my drive I'd rather turn left into First Class country lanes than turn right into Second Class into the hustle and bustle of the village. Hope Tam and boyfriend aren't getting the wind and rain we've got slightly further north west of Narberth.

  2. Our little town is so much busier now that it is the main holiday season/summer holidays. People who don't carry even a pound coin to park with and have to use their card - the queue to pay by card can be 50 yds long in Hay car park! Us with cash are in and out in a minute.

    Tam and boyfriend are in a woodland setting, so hopefully sheltered from the worst of the weather. They're both tough and sensible and will enjoy themselves anyway.

  3. Wonderful views. Amazing how the changing light (e.g. sunny, cloudy, partly cloudy, rain, etc.) seems to almost literally change the views. Not to mention how the changing of the seasons does the same.

    Sorry to hear about the trade 'woes.' I've been fortunate that the same construction company has coordinated all the work on my house--from new bathrooms, new interior and exterior doors, replacing drywall, electrical work and painting the main areas. They aren't a big outfit (about 15 or so workers), but all of them seem to have mad skills. Even better, all of them have been great to work with...pleasant and helpful. Show up when they say they will. The more I read about other people's reno experiences, the luckier I feel. Almost completed now. Only another few days. Hope your work gets sorted soon.

  4. You're right - the sun comes out (or goes in) and everything is SO different. I absolutely L.O.V.E. it here. It's like it was tailor-made for me.

    You are fortunate in having such a reliable workforce. Here everyone is chasing there tails because of Lockdown (which has caused a 4 month backlog of work). Now I understand that - but don't tell me 6 weeks and then disappear off the face of the earth!

  5. Wonderful views and walks - you are so fortunate in your choice of new home :) Lovely too to see the Hairstreak. OH has been chasing a new bathroom light for our caravan for weeks now. Its completely conked out and he seems to be getting nowhere despite constantly chasing the company from where the caravan came and its still under warranty! At least we have finally had the boiler serviced there although the gas engineer turned up unannounced early one morning - he was lucky we just happened to be there!!!

    1. Ah, the joys of country living and tradesmen! I hope you get your new caravan bathroom light soon. "Our" electrician cheerfully announced "that light will have to go" when he saw our bathroom light. It is a pendant one and apparently the steam can run down into the fitting, so they have to be close-to-the-ceiling ones.

      Aren't we lucky with the walks and views? Not enough days in the week to do all we want to do!

  6. Gorgeous views and you don't even have to drive to find them.

    Rain does give us the opportunity to get things accomplished inside.

    God bless.

    1. Indeed. The views are stupendous. I am currently stripping off bathroom wallpaper and watching House Martins swoop up to a mended nest above the bathroom window.

  7. You live in a beautiful place.

    1. Don't we just? Wherever we go there are amazing views and fabulous scenery.