Tuesday, 30 June 2015

These long summer days.....

One of the things that Larry has found hard to get used to over here in England is the difference in the length of days and nights. Just now, in June we have very long, light days. It doesn't get dark until 10.30 p.m. and it's light again at about 3 a.m. That makes for a very short night!

Of course in the winter it's a different story.  The days are very short. It gets dark at 4 p.m. and doesn't get light again until 7.15 a.m.

We are far north, further north than any of America or Canada and if it wasn't for the Gulf Stream, we would all freeze 'to death' in the winter. The Gulf Stream keeps us relatively warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Today it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Larry came over nearly two years ago now, he brought his telescope with him. That was the mystery object he had in his shed that I mentioned some time ago and never came back to for obvious reasons. However, there are limited times that he can use it because right now he has to wait so long for it to get dark, that he gets tired and wants to go to bed. Then in the winter when it gets dark very early, it is so cold outside that he can't face it!

For someone who grew up in Texas and lived in South Carolina for a long time, he has done really well with his adjustments but this daylight time is hard for him. He has been getting up at 5 a.m. because he just can't sleep longer so by the time I get up, he's been up for a couple of hours already.

How have you been coping with the long days?

Monday, 29 June 2015

My English Garden on 28th June 2015

The garden is looking lovely just now. It's at its best. I love to see it in the morning when the poppies have just opened and the bees are collecting pollen. I tried to catch a bee doing just that, but I wasn't quick enough this morning.

The rose bush, following, is very old and I can't remember the name of it, but every year it gives of its best and this year is no exception. It's a good year for roses over here in England. I'm reliably informed it's because of the warm days and cool nights. That is about to change. We are expecting a heatwave, starting tomorrow or Wednesday so I was glad that it rained yesterday and gave the trees and shrubs a soaking.

The next plant is called feverfew and it is said that the leaves are good for easing migraine. I don't think I would go to the trouble of crushing them myself and eating them. I would prefer to take it in tablet form. I do suffer with migraine although this year has been a bit better for me. No-one seems to know what causes it and it is such a scourge. Migraine is debilitating. It stops you doing things that other people would do easily. For example, I think twice before I plan a day out in bright sunlight because that seems to set one off in my case. Instead of just donning a sunhat and sun-glasses, I think twice. Have I had a migraine recently? If not then one may be due and that will spoil the day. I worry about driving because if a migraine starts, I just have to stop the car and wait until it goes away because during the aura stage, I can't see anything. It's like looking down a kaleidoscope!

Enough of that. Let's enjoy the flowers:


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Dylan Update

Sometimes a little boy is so tired, all he wants to do is go to sleep on his daddy's shoulder!

My little grandson Dylan is nearly five years old and will soon be going to school. It doesn't seem possible that these years have nearly gone by already!

Happy Sunday everyone.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

My English Garden on June 7th 2015

It is such a lovely day today that I couldn't resist going out into the garden and taking some photos. First I tried out my new hosepipe. It's one of those that doesn't kink and it's true, it doesn't. It's fantastic. I just fixed it to the tap outside and started watering - none of that going along the length of it to take out the twists first! I recommend them.

First picture is our mint, which seems to be doing really well this year. I keep it in a tub so it doesn't go rampant all over the garden.

The climbing rose bush is just flowering and looks delicious. The bees like it too, which is a bonus.

Large red poppies:

Alchemilla Mollis, which does a great job of hiding the edges of the pond.

Snails on a pond plant:

A new gnome to grace the garden. Looks content, doesn't he!


Larry hiding behind the lilac!

The inside of my shed. I don't have the chickens yet. Jim is growing beans again so I'd have to keep them fence in.

My trusty broom.

Have a great Sunday:


Friday, 29 May 2015

Happy Birthday Sammy

My little grandson Sammy turned two years old this week. Here he is playing with one of his presents. He's such a cheeky little chap and we all love him to bits. He is very active and has learned recently how to say 'No' whenever he doesn't want to do something. He's a typical two year old!

Here he is again playing with his cousins Thomas and Cora and their new scooters:

Spring is a little late this year and the bluebells are only just over in my woods nearby. Here are some pictures to delight you:

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A Visit to Pevensey Castle

I’ve just got back from a trip to Eastbourne in Sussex with Larry. Eastbourne is  a delightful seaside town with a lot to offer especially for older people and those with disabilities.

The best day weatherwise was Wednesday so we decided to go to Pevensey and look at the castle there.  We caught the no. 99 bus from the pier, which took us all the way or so I thought.  I asked the driver to let us know where to get off for the castle, but he looked so vague, I didn’t think he knew what I was talking about so we decided to guess for ourselves. 

  I didn’t realise there were two Pevenseys, Pevensey Bay and Pevensey village and we got off the bus at the wrong one. The lady in the hotel had advised us beforehand to get off in the High Street, which would be near the castle so when I saw a High Street, I thought that would be it, but it wasn’t. It was the wrong High Street.

We decided to ask in the Estate Agent’s shop (realtor) for directions to the castle only I couldn’t resist telling her that we were interested in buying a castle before asking directions. She laughed and then gave us two options to get there. One way was to follow the path at the side of the main road. The other was to walk back through the village and pick up a country walk through the fields, leading directly to the castle walls. We opted for the field walk, which was about a mile, or so she said, but I had to explain to Larry that in England country miles can be a bit longer than town miles.

We walked back through the village until we saw the start of the country walk. We crossed the busy road and walked through the first stile. We could see the castle in the distance rising up like the fortress it used to be when it was first built in AD291! 

The walk was gorgeous, all green and quiet, but a bit bumpy because it wasn’t a proper path, more a country path worn through by walkers over many years.  A river ran beside the path and we could hear the water birds talking to each other and their babies and see the beautiful water lilies in their natural setting. 

You can see the castle in the distance. Click pictures to enlarge.

Soon we came to a little bridge over the river.  I stopped on it to take some photos. 

 When I came down the small, wooden steps, one of them gave way and shot me forward, a bit like when you miscount the stairs on the way down and it really jerks the spine, doesn’t it. Larry was worried that I had sprained my ankle and that he would have to carry me back but I was ok and carried on regardless. We could see the castle getting slightly closer, but I could also see a small herd of cows looking at us.  I wondered if the cows were on our side of the river or the other side?  It soon became apparent from the number of cow pats we encountered that the cows were on our side! I just hoped there was no bull with them.  We decided not to look the cows in the eye, beautiful though they were and followed the trail across another field. The path was anything but straight. It followed the side of the river so I’m sure it was much longer than the one mile we were told it would be.

We clambered over two stiles. I was not dressed for a country walk. I had on a long, flowing skirt, but there was nothing for it but to press on and hope we made it in one piece.

A jogger came running across towards us from the left across a field full of rabbit droppings and cow pats. That was encouraging.  She must have got through from somewhere.  Then we saw a lady with a dog and I felt we must be nearly there. A train went by in front of us about 500 yards away and I realised that we would have to cross the railway lines.  There were two sets of lines and the sign said ‘Do not step on the live wire’! There were no overhead electricity lines so Larry surmised that the trains must be diesel, but when we got back yesterday and asked Jim, he said that many lines south of London had the same system as the underground trains, i.e. the live line is on the ground.

I was not at all keen to cross the lines, but we had no choice so I gathered up my long skirts and went for it, after checking for trains first of course.  Trouble is, the trains are so quiet, you have to rely on your eyes and they move so fast. Yipes, I’m not used to this! We crossed carefully but my heart was beating double quick, I can tell you and I made sure I stepped between the rails and not on them. Yesterday I also discovered that the live bit is deactivated over the crossing but I didn’t know that last Wednesday. I had wondered about the dogs. They can’t read, can they? It would be easy for them to tred on the live wire, with all their four legs.

Look closely at the next picture.  Can you see the bridge that leads to the castle? It's the only way in.

Just to prove I woz there!

Once safely over the railway lines, we were close to the castle. Only one more small field to cross.  We skirted around the castle walls, looking for the entrance to the outer keep.  Finding a small car-park we sat down on a wooden bench for a well earned rest.

While we were sitting there, a local man came up to us and asked if we were there for the walk/ ‘No,’ I replied, ‘we’ve just had a walk.’ He had organised a local heritage walk and he was collecting customers to go with him only sadly, there wasn’t anybody only us and we were too tired for another hour’s hike.  I felt sorry for him but he seemed to think that trade would pick up in the summer. It is early days over here weatherwise yet. He then asked us if we had seen the pig on our walk. When I told him no, he explained that someone in the village had a pig, only it was a boar! And it could be aggressive.  Apparently it like to chase people on the walk we had just completed. I didn’t know whether to believe him or not, but visions of Larry running away from a big boar made me smile.

After our rest, we went inside the outer keep to look at the castle and take some photos.  I was surprised how big it all was and how much of it was left, considering it was built in AD291.  There was a large moat, which went all around and a bridge across the moat into the inner keep.  One of the reasons we went to the castle was for Larry to take some photos with his lovely camera, but unfortunately when it came to it, the bridge was the only way in and Larry couldn’t bring himself to go across it.  He said it was vertigo, but I think he has a phobia about bridges because there have been lots of incidents involving bridges when he has been unable to cross.  In any case, I went in and took some pictures with my phone. Unfortunately it doesn’t zoom. Larry got some better pictures of the outside.

It's a great place for children, with a cannon to climb on and ladders to ascend. There are lots of nooks and crannies to hide it, but you have to be careful because it is very old and some of it looks a bit dangerous.

Click on the next picture to see the pile of cannon balls.

Look closely at the next picture and you can see the outer wall of the castle in the distance on the left hand side. The castle is enormous when you are standing next to it or in it!

This is the moat from the bridge. It was a long way down. 

This picture shows a better view of the outer wall.

We had a pub lunch, which was very welcome and then walked back through the village to catch the bus back to Eastbourne.

It was a very interesting day out, one which I will remember for a long time.