Striding Out

Long time readers will remember our much loved dog Spud and his many adventures. He died on boxing day 2021, we still miss him so much.

It’s taken us a while to feel ready for another dog to join our lives, the time had to be right.

And here he is, Finn, a working cocker spaniel, we brought him home on New Years eve aged eight weeks, he’s six months old now and keeping us very busy.

A little dog on a long lead

Having a pup around without the assistance of two teenagers is hard work! I had hundreds of photos of Spud ant this age, mainly because the boys would play with him and I could snap away, this time round I’ve no spare hands for a camera!

We took him to meet our son Joe, who now lives in Cardiff, another dog owner in Bute Park, told me Finn looked lush, I have to agree! He’s a very handsome boy.

A box of eggs for Easter

Beautiful sketches from the archives of Macclesfield Silk Museum. I can’t resist a plain brown cardboard archive box, and the surprises it might hold, so I’m a History Hunter, volunteering to help find the personal stories and connections behind the artefacts and to catalogue and record them.

Delightful watercolour eggs from the sketch book of Miss Annie Sutton, of the Leek School of Embroidery,

It appears she was a prolific designer of church textiles.

I can imagine that the little girls dresses might be duck egg blue, or that very distinct shade of green, of village hall teacups from the 1940s, a utility design called Beryl Ware, and though we couldn’t pin down a date for her work but our curiosity is piqued, there is more work to be done.

Many of the designs were for Mothers Union banners,

Such banners are to be seen in just about every Church of England parish church in the UK, I’d never given their design a second thought before.+This one is for All Saint’s Church in Leek, I shall have to go on a sortie to see if it is still there.

Nine newts a swimming, seven bats a flying

Why have I never taken a torch to look in the pond at night? So many newts, to photograph them may take a little more effort on my part, but I did manage, after a fashion  to capture my first sighting of bats for 2023 skimming over the pond.

There were some ripples, not sure if they were drinking on the wing, or catching insects.
20:30 hrs 8.7c April 7th

Other sightings
Hares x 2



Ancient oaks, the setting sun.

I mentioned in a previous post that the death of Queen Elizabeth II has evoked for many people (myself included) memories of our own personal grief and loss.

Looking at this image (taken this weekend at during a lovely family gathering near The New Forest) I was reminded of a description of grief and loss that I was told many years ago, it resonated with me at the time, and has done so many times since.

That grief never leaves you. But that as time passes, the grief, like the growth ring of a tree, becomes encapsulated within you as the years pass. Hidden from view, hopefully a little easier to carry, but always there in the heartwood. Not forgotten.

So today, the day of Queens Elizabeth’s state funeral, for all who grieve, I leave you with this beautiful song. 

The last flight

We took a moment to stand in the field and watch as the Royal Airforce Plane flew over, on it’s journey south, from Edinburgh bearing the coffin of HRH Queen Elizabeth II to London

It’s a truism that no death stands in isolation, we each bring to it our other losses and grief.

Certainly, those I’ve loved and lost have been felt very keenly in the last few days.

Making Connections

VJ Day 2022

Today is the 77th Anniversary of VJ Day, time to remember the forgotten British and Commonwealth forces, who served and died in the Far East; ultimately bringing an end to the Second World War

I’ve posted here before about my fathers time serving in Burma, with the Royal Engineers, at the siege of Kohima, and thanks to that post I was contacted by someone whose grandfather had been in the same regiment as my father, he was able to give me so much more information than dad had even hinted at, and sign post us to the war diaries of his section, held in the National Archives.

I’m so grateful, like many, Dad wouldn’t say very much about his experience, it was something he found to harrowing to tell. So to know more and ensure that the knowledge is handed on is important to me.

Dad, pictured centre

Lest we forget.

Looking for a little shade

Most of the UK is experiencing a heatwave at the moment, I hope you’ve somewhere cool and comfortable to be. An old house with thick stone walls, small windows and perched on a hill, is a very fortunate place to be.

This is Chee Dale, a cool deep limestone dale in the White Pak area of the Peak district National Park.

A lovely walk

Stepping stones, to the left, tucked under the overhanging rock, keep your feet dry when water is more plentiful and look at those lovely limestone bedding planes to the right. We like a limestone landscape.

The path can be a bit of a scramble in parts, stout footwear is required, especially when wet, the limestone can be fiendishly slippery.