Monday, 30 April 2012

Living dangerously?!

Now I am out of 'quarantine' I am catching up on things missed....

3 trips to the cinema in as many days.

I who have never watched breakfast telly went to a 10.30 a.m. showing of the '...exotic Marigold Hotel'- we both really, really enjoyed it- such one-liners especially from Dame Maggie Smith.
'Salmon fishing in the Yemen' was an easy to watch rom-com; the Tyneside Cinema - and as always the food in the coffeerooms- is well worth a visit
Then a gang of us went to the burger restaurant in the Metro Centre followed by the Avengers- typical wham, bam, khazam!
Tonight I have done a 3 mile walk round Byker organised by a 10 yr old for a breast cancer charity. The rain held off and the children were so well behaved- it could have been because they were keen to get to MacDonalds where they were given a treat! Kind of Morrisons to treat them to biscuits & drinks too.
H1 is scoffing his tea as he had to dash out before it was ready. Then we shall catch up on 'Homeland'?
and I need to get back to my book.... 'Dragonfly in amber'

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Alnwick Gardens

The rain it raineth every day- grey skies for what seems like weeks- but when April showers, they come your way....they bring the flowers .. that bloom in May.....

Last week H1 and I went to Alnwick Gardens- oops I missed the n out of 'went' and typed 'wet ' which was quite appropriate- it poured from the heavens just as we were descending from the top bloopy pool garden (I am sure it has a more official name) through the rose garden.

I tried very hard to catch the Grand Cascade in full display for you but with a bank of computers below to control it, the cascade alters to different fountain sprays regularly. At the heightof summer the shrieks of children fill this part of the garden as they try to fathom which areas to avoid only to get caught by a spray they did not suspect was going to fire off. Child-size 'diggers' on the bottom level mean kids can collect water coming over the bottom wall of the cascade. At the top of the Cascade is the gated entry to the top garden.

This garden has espaliered crab appletrees in squares around dovecotes and beds containing all sorts of promise- all labelled so visitors can ascertain what the foliage is which is on its way to summer.

Tulips adorn outer borders; the Duchess has had an outer hill planted with thousands of pink tulips but they are not in flower yet.

We have finished our year's pass for Hawick Hall & heard there was an offer on at Alnwick Castle &/or Gardens to go for one visit and be able to visit again for a year.  Since the Duchess of Northumberland planned her Gardens to have something to see in every season we decided to investigate the offer. (I heard the same offer was on at Beamish - a fantastic living Museum- so we might do some research on that too).

A guide took us round the Poison Garden- a giggle- but heck! I have most of these plants in my own garden- so beware!

We spent quite a lot of time leisurely awaiting for sprays to blow via a drier view from the cafe. This visit we did not go to the treehouse- which is reputed to be the biggest in the world- I always find it amazing that in the middle of  a treehouse there is a fire blazing to warm customers to the restaurant.

The window is spattered with raindrops; drops move slowly down the pane joining as they trickle; snail trails on the glass; crystal against the blur of smoky, wistful sky behind.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Too much to do!

My apologies- too much to do... too many places to go.... too many people to see!
I am almost out of quarantine so life is starting to widen again.

I have been so busy recently I do not know which way to go next.

Yes we have been back to Hawick Hall again; the gardens are ablaze with blossom

primroses scattered below trees

narcissi of all sorts.

The tulip lawn is almost ready for viewing.

More rhododendrons are opening their speckled throats to sunlight streaming through overhead branches.

We also went with friends to North Yorkshire to stay for a second time in a B&B in a beautiful village.

Methinks this time we got the Anne Boleyn bedroom.

Good night, good knight.Tomorrow is another day- I really will try to blog you up to date tomorrow......zzzzzzzz.....

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Easter 2012

Last week after strong winds, driving sleet and snow on Tuesday, Ly drove us to the beach- the Long Sands. The tumbling waves pounded on the shore; the song of the surf was mesmerising; the kitesurfers were skimmimg along the line of waves then were lifted so high up above the whipped up, white foam.

The garden is full of spring flowers; it has certainly been a good year for tulips.

The daffodils and narcissi have been dashed low and have not resurrected the way the tulips have.

Pink begemia heads are winking from among the daffodil spears.

Grape hyacinth have lifted back up again too after the storms.

On Maundy Thursday I needed to knead! I made hot cross buns by hand, kneading a mound of spicey dough for at least 10minutes.

The results were worth it & kept us in breakfasts all weekend when 'the gang' arrived!

D3 made an Easter bonnet, I decorated a pace egg (which won!) but I confess Ch. was cheated as her egg had SO much work in it.

H1, C and M put up a garden shed while we went to visit D & D at 10th Avenue Cakes in Seaton Delaval- go and check out the cupcakes & have a look at the Harry Potter cake which has won so many prizes; everything (except Ron's car) is edible- Hogwart's, Kings Cross, dementors, owls, Voldemort, Hagrid.......

I boiled eggs for jarping thus we have had 'seaside' sandwiches (egg & tomato) several lunches this week.

The Easter celebrations seemed to go well.

I set up things-

then we hung pegs on the trees & church stonework, put out tables, got prizes & wine -
then my brilliant family & P. ran everything for me. H1 as always - ran the egg jarping to find the King Jarper....which people always seem to have a laugh over- I cannot resist showing you some of the jarpers- folk who always support the carry-on!

Meanwhile..... I dripped drops into an eye infection?- or was it a reaction to all the flowers I had received?!!The doctors couldn't identify it but I blame myself for cutting the stamens off the stargazer lilies which were in one of the bouquets! I am a daft scone!

So after the Crucifixion comes the Resurrection- thus the Christian belief in the symbols of the cross which has been beaten by goodness and the possibility of life with God rises again.