Tuesday, 20 August 2013


I like this time of year, when summer is slowly starting to give way to the oncoming autumn and the blackberries are ripening in the last of the glorious summer days. If I ever see blackberries I think of Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney, a wonderful poem. My favourite lines are below, I always look at blackberries that way, a glossy purple clot.  

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.

Monday, 19 August 2013


The week before last when we were visiting the allotment there was a lot of butterfly activity and luckily I was able to get a few good shots out of the dozens I took.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Puppy update

I can't believe the boys are pretty much twenty weeks old already! They've grown so much as you would expect, I still remember the first time we saw Rex before we collected Ralphy and how tiny the pair of them were. I took these last week, I would have taken more this week but it was raining and they aren't the greatest fans of the rain. They are so naughty when I try and take photos of them, they won't stay still for more than a second or two but they did very well at puppy class and have a little certificate and rosette for their proud parents to display at home. I look forward to spending more time with them once we move.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Osterley Park and House

Being keen National Trust members we decided to visit Osterley Park during our trip to London. Osterley is one of the last surviving country house estates in the capital. Once described by Horace Walpole as 'the palace of palaces', Osterley was designed in the late 18th century by architect Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends. The house is presented as it would have been in 1780 and certainly does impress, the interior in places is still in excellent condition and has been well preserved but other parts are undergoing restoration which is also interesting to see. Although Osterley is only a tube ride away we did have to battle our way across London and we were keen to visit Kew on the same day so we didn't really get the chance to properly explore the garden but I think it's somewhere we will visit again.

Friday, 16 August 2013


Brighton was somewhere I have always wanted to visit. When I was studying eighteenth-century Britain in university I read about Brighton Pavilion, one of my course mates had previously worked there doing archiving work and I remember him telling me all about it before adding it onto my list of places to one day see. When we decided to spend a few days in London I made sure a day trip to the coast was in order to see what it was all about. On arriving I was a little bit disappointed the sunshine hadn't followed us, it wasn't too busy which was probably a good thing as I'm not overly fond of crowds in hot weather. Our first port of call was the iconic pier, we had a wander down taking in all those lovely seaside smells of fish and chips and candyfloss.

After being dragged off the pier we headed up to the Pavilion. Unfortunately you aren't allowed to take photographs inside, which I completely understand, but it was absolutely stunning inside, the colours of the decorations are still so bright and vivid in places. The dining room and music room were both so beautiful and would definitely recommend a visit if you're ever in Brighton.

I must admit the shops in Brighton were fantastic. I think my favourite would have to be Tiger which I hadn't heard of before, it reminded of a stationary and quirky things version of Ikea, just the way you were directed to walk around the shop had all the Ikea hallmarks. They aren't from Sweden but are Danish so it does make sense. The only drawback is all the stores are currently located in the South East and London and you can't buy anything off their website but hopefully they might open more shops across the country, the temptation to buy lots of little trinkets was quite high!

After the shops started closing we went back for another walk along the front and the lights had come on just before we headed up town to catch the train back to London, a thoroughly good day out and hopefully we'll visit again soon.