Sunday, June 23, 2019

And finally - tennis at Queens

Quite a story or two - Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray won the men's doubles - Murray is looking pretty good after his hip problems.
I like the doubles format and the rules which differ from the old singles rules. It speeds the game up, and makes it more of a test of skill than a war of attrition.

Lopez played in all five of the last games on that court. Yesterday he played and won a singles semi-final, followed by a doubles quarter and then a semi. 

Today he won the singles final, and he and Murray won the doubles. Good stuff.

Greener ....

So ends my contribution to the Greener Gretton - plastic-free? stall on July 14th. Good luck to everyone!

Alas poor litter picker...

My very cheap litter picker stopped working this morning - some link between the spring-loaded handle and the claw has unlinked. Alas, that means more plastic waste!
To be fair I have used it pretty regularly for almost a year.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

And another (lined) Morsbag

Summer pinkery and a yellow.

Some kind of rose



This bush usually produces one or two flowers only - beautiful and sweet-scented.

No, no, I'm not litter picking today

I'll just take a walk down to the Welland, and maybe come back tomorrow...but the verges have been cut and there is a bit of trash! Not as much as I have seen before, and I'm really not going looking - I'm only wearing sandals, and i haven't brought my picker or a bag. So some things were definitely out of reach.

I end up with several flattened drinks cans and one or two shredded ones, a couple of flattened plastic bottles and a few crisp packets, plus one broken Budweiser bottle and one that's intact. All put in the litter bin, rather than carried home to sort.

There is a spot near the bridge where comfrey was in flower, attracting several bees. I also saw damsel flies, and a small tortoiseshell butterfly. It flew away when a car drove by, so no photo today.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Pansy/viola self set

On the gravel of the driveway, we have little oases of colour and life.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Tea room or coffee shop?

Today we patronised two of our local village cafes. Lydia's in Gretton is a popular meeting place for locals, and a pitstop for cyclists and walkers.

The Barn Tea Room in Rockingham, unfortunately not open on Mondays, serves a similar function in the next village. Very handy now so many village shops have closed.

Let kids be kids

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Litter picking and beauty 2 - a small success!

I posted a pic of the notice and the rubbish on Facebook. Within the hour someone told me the rubbish had gone. 

Well done, East Northants - although I'm sure it wasn't my post that did it this time.

I went and collected the two bags from further down the road, so all in all a good morning's work!

Litter picking and beauty

It's still dry - the outdoors beckons. Time to litter pick a local roadside!

This is a lay-by which I have reported several times over the last year. I think East Northants Council may be getting the message. I hope it is more than a token gesture!

Apart from that eyesore, I collected a carrier bag full of stuff like food wrappers, wet wipes, squashed cans, plastic bottle tops and general gunk. And another one full of stuff that can be recycled, I hope.

The inevitable escaped helium balloon!

These two bags full of garbage were further along the road.

On the positive side, the verges are full of wild flowers, the birds sing, and I heard the hoot of a distant train.

There no plastic bottles in the village pond today!
 Water lilies are beginning to bloom.

After the rain and the mow...

From unkempt to controlled wild - and, we hope insect-friendly.
The white plastic tubs, once full of fat balls for the birds are my improvised water butts for now! Last week saw an enormous amount of rainfall. The grass had grown a lot, so I did a quick mow.
The bees love the blue perennial geraniums, the pink cranesbill and the self-sown yellow Californian poppies which spring up everywhere. Aquilegia is over now. We have sown a few packs of wild-flower seed at the front of the house. I hope the birds don't eat them before they germinate.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Today's wildlife

A hare in a field of cows near Arthingworth
Swallows flying over fields
A tortoiseshell caterpillar (?) on a stile.

Yellowhammers by the road between Rockingham and Gretton
A kite over Gretton.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A good deed and exploring Leicester

Yesterday, a bat, today a bee - huddled on the windowsill looking cold and miserable - so I put out some water and honey, and within five minutes it buzzed and flew away! 

Then we decided to go to Leicester for one or two essentials, and combine it with a visit to Abbey Park. We first discovered the park at the end of April, though we walked a long way round to reach it, via the Great Central Station and cafe, the medieval Trinity Hospital, and Jewry Wall Roman Baths.

 We spent some time sitting drawing - I did a few sketches of this drake.

River Soar

We wandered over to the cafe, only to find it had just closed.

This time we took a more direct route, and reached the cafe in good time. The ice-cream was excellent, and the rain and wind that had appeared on cue as we ate a sandwich earlier stayed away.
The canal on the way to the park

The cardinal looks distinctly odd as he stands guard outside Peppercorn Cafe. 

He died in Leicester - maybe it was a better bet than facing the wrath of Henry VIII. 

Close to the cafe are two gardens, the Lavender Garden and the Cloister Garden.

Wonderful artichokes
The reconstructed wall plan of the abbey is just beyond, and the ruined gatehouse a little further still. It was an enormous place before being destroyed.

 The remains of the gatehouse are a little further on.

It's remarkable how much there is to discover in places we think we know.