South Leigh Walk – July 2014

Yesterday, the Boy and I went for a walk to South Leigh. The walk is mostly over fields rather than roads.

The church at South Leigh, St James the Great, dates from the 12th century.

I loved these carved stone heads.

I wonder if they are portraits….

or just archetypes.

The faces are very expressive.

There are swallows roosting in the porch.

The great Doom painting, and the other wall paintings date from the 15th century…

…but was heavily restored in Victorian times.

The hell mouth is very impressive.

I loved this little door.

On the way home we spotted this lovely donkey.

Oxfordshire may not have rolling hills and mountains, but it has its own gentle beauty.

Shropshire 2014

It’s February…so it must be Shrophire!

Having had a lovely break there this time two years ago, it was great to join my friends Dr. Bones and Revd. A (not forgetting Boots the Canine-in-Chief) for a few days at Henley Cottage.

It was the location for the BBC television programme, ‘The Victorian Farm’, and has been left as the film makers left it, i.e. with no electricity or running water (although there is a flush toilet and swanky shower unit in the shed at the bottom of the garden).

The three humans in the party are avid readers, and as paraffin lamps and candles are very hard on the eye we all cheated. Revd. A read by the light of a head torch….

Dr B and I had our trusty eReaders.

‘Barbarous pursuits’ (thank you Mr. Christopher Stockdale) included buying pheasants in the feather…

…and some wet and muddy walks. This one, up to ‘Flounder’s Folly’ was made even worse by the small JCB that had churned up the path.

It’s an interesting little tower….

….and the views are lovely.

We also had a trip to Much Wenlock, which was closed, due to half-day closing on a Wednesday. I’m rather cheered when I find somewhere in the UK (it’s usually the outer reaches of Scotland) that still observes half-day closing. Hurrah for the 1911 Shops Act!

The church was open, and we came across this rabbit in vestments.

I wonder if he or she (this being CofE) has a full set to match the liturgical calendar?

It was all far too strenuous, and poor Dr. B retired hurt…

…Boots stole most of the bed.

Bewl Water

It was lovely to have to chance to go for a walk with my Pa around (a bit) of Bewl Water on Monday morning.

The reservoir was completed in 1975, and is a lovely spot, although created at a great cost to the people who were moved, and their farms flooded.

We used to go there for walks quite a lot when we were kids…

…and it was quite lovely to spend time there, with my Pa (and Desmond the hound) once more.

Fresh Air by the Fishponds

Last night I had that telltale tickle in my throat, and I woke up this morning with a VILE cold. Although we now have lovely fire, I decided to go for walk this afternoon, to brush away from of the cobwebs. I had a wander round one of Eynsham’s treasures – the Abbey Fishponds.

Eynsham had an abbey until naughty old Henry VIII fell for Anne Boleyn, and the church’s money. The Anglican church, St. Leonard’s (on the right), and the Roman Catholic church, St. Peter’s (on the left), are both on the site.

I was a bit late for the autumn colour…

…but there was still plenty to see.

I was also able to enjoy one of my favourite of life’s small pleasures – kicking through piles of fallen leaves.

Cors Caron

Here is somewhere I’d like to go again – Cors Caron.

There’s a boardwalk across the peat bog – you leave your bikes here, on these rather nifty bike racks.
Stop to admire the carvings on the gateway…
…then plunge into the bog.

Sadly, I wasn’t feeling very well, so we had to truncate our walk.

Never mind…it’ll wait.

The Sound of Islay

On our second day, we went up to Port Askaig. From there we had a great view across the Sound of Islay to Jura.

Dad wasn’t too keen on the anchorage here…
…and the tide race looked quite ‘interesting’.
No wonder they keep the life boat here.

It’s not far from there up to Bunnahabhain, which is lovely, but the edge of nowhere.

A lovely, lovely spot in fact…
…with a hill that screams out “climb me”!

Spring in Eynsham

Last Saturday, Adam and I made the most of the first decent bit of sunshine, and went for a walk round by the fishponds. This view of St Peter’s made me try and picture what it must have looked like when the abbey was there.

The rain has encouraged some very, furry moss to grow.

I hadn’t realised that Eynsham had a gibbet, but hey this village has everything…:-).

Valley of the Winds

Another day, another walk. Still in the Uluru National Park, in the Valley of the Winds.

We started walking at 7.30 in the morning, but it soon became very hot Sue’s rear included for scale :-)…).

As it was Spring, there were a few flowers…

…and the odd birdie.

If I’m honest, the walk was a bit too strenuous for me, as I sarted to suffer from heat stroke, and only finished through will power, and Adam’s encouragement.

I’m glad I did it through. To be amongst such beauty is awe inspiring.

The landscape is quite incredibly old and weathered.

Having spend millennia under the hot sun.

[I realise that a lot of pics are over exposed, but our cameras just couldn’t cope with the amazing light]

Cotswold Mini Tour – Bibury

William Morris called Bibury ‘the prettiest village in England’. These cottages, Arlington Row, are now owned by the National Trust.

My Pa was intrigued by this little lane, and so we went for a little explore…

…and in passing saw this amazing roof. I guess that’s what happens when you build on a slope!

It brings you out above the village, with loads of footpaths to choose from.

We took a wander through the woods…

…past from ancient trees…

…and came out round the back of Arlington Row.

Now…this is what I CALL an outhouse!

Dave’s Visit

Last year, Dave Witherspoon (who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina) walked the Thames Path, and discovered The Queen’s Head.

He’s in England again at the moment, and popped into to see us again.

It was great to see him again, and as you can see, Maisie made him very welcome!