Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Kew Palace

We’ve been to London, not see the Queen, but to see family, and whilst we were there we did two things, we went to the National Archives, to take a look at the war diaries of the time my father spent in Burma, during WWII  with the 864 ME  Coy Royal Engineers.  It was an emotional experience.  And deserves a blog post of its own. I need a little time to bring my thoughts together first though. 

Afterwards, to decompress, we went to Kew Botanical Gardens, a favourite place.

We’d not been to Kew Palace before (which stands within the gardens) its a gem of building. Imbued with history, its been a home to the Royal family as far back as 1729.

Kew Palace

But what we liked about its that for the best part of two centuries it stood empty,  which meant many things were left unchanged, it escaped the passing fashions of the time.

I thought the soft light and the colour of the clerks of the kitchen’s office rather special. 

Kew Palace blue_

The dinning room  is set for the first meal King George was allowed to eat with a knife, as he recuperated from a period ‘of madness’ at Kew

In 1788 the whole nation was thrown into turmoil as the King was declared ‘mad’ after the onset of a mysterious illness, probably porphyria. This is a hereditary blood disorder that can cause temporary mental derangement.

Roast rabbit was on the menu, I think you might wish to take a knife to it!

Roast rabbit_

They were not the only delicacies…

Kew Palace dinner

The top floor of the building is unrestored,  we liked seeing the way the building was put together,

Kew Palace door

I’m always drawn to a little sparkle though

Kew Palace_

The room guides were as imbued with the history as the building itself.  We’d have missed the detail and craftsmanship of this  original window, were it not for the guide

Kew Palace window

And who knew the Royal Palaces have a sash window expert that maintain these troublesome devices so they can be lifted with a finger.


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More Memory Please

Here I am.  Mr Uphilldowndale has set my computer free from its festering mire of  data, and uncovered the truth, that my new Samsung phone really doesn’t like ‘sharing best pictures’  with Lightroom, it was nothing personal.  To get things moving again I’ve even had more memory installed, sigh, I wish that was personal. Especially if it was short term memory, it’s something I’m always a bit short on.

I’ve had a lovely time this weekend, I took myself off to a  mixed media workshop, by the fabulous Mrs Bertimus. Look at her lovely work.

Mrs B 11

So much to aspire to,  so much fun to be had,

Mrs B 1

so much care and preparation given to  the making of our day, we couldn’t have asked for more.

We were at the studios of Hope and Elvis,

Mrs B 9

I not the sort of girl, that would fancy a ‘spa day’ but the kind of hospitality  received at Hope and Elvis, is the creative equivalent to a spa day, a warm welcome all the materials you could ever need delicious food and very importantly as much tea as you can drink. I can’t believe I’ve got this far through the post and not mentioned the cakes

Mrs B cake_

The eating of cakes was a serious matter, there were even written instructions. You can’t argue with that.

Mrs B 8

I’m off to my girl shed to have some fun

Mrs B 5


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Where the wind blows

We are still awaiting the return of of our telephone connection, storm Doris seems such a long time ago now.  We’ve all been juggling with our mobile data quota, I have a long to-do list on my desk.  Mr Uphilldowndale has spent a lot of time listening to the  ‘music’ whilst awaiting a conversation with Plusnet. Their service isn’t what it once was.

We left it all behind and went to south Wales to see Joe, and spent a couple of nights on the Gower, we’ve been there before.

Looks like they get proper windy weather, all the time.

Where the wind blows_

We had a lovely walk along the coast path to Rhossili 

Coast path Rhossili

and enjoyed a welcome beer over looking the bay. I thought it might be a bit cool sat outside with Spud the dog, but the wind dropped and the sun broke through warming our backs. It was delightful.

beer_


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Turning water into snow

We zipped over to Bangor in Wales to visit Tom yesterday. Spud  the dog came too, of course. 

Tom is the epitome of the hungry student, so we took him for a suitably large fry-up at Pete’s Eats in Llanberis, before  a stroll by the lake it was a damper day than the weather forecast would have us believe.

Tom told us the autumn colours have been very vibrant, and even after a spell of stormy weather, there are leaves still to be found, there is a bit of of a chocolate lime vibe going on here.  .

Wet wales_

Of course you can’t get such lush moss without a water laden climate

Wet wales 2

Or reflections without pools

Wet wales 3

So we don’t mind the rain too much, that said it was less fun on the M56 on the way home during the rush hour.

Today the temperature has dropped like a stone, it has been so wet and gloomy the chickens retreated to their run by about two thirty.  Tonight we expect the first snowflakes of the season. Watch this space.


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The Up’Ards and the Down’Ards

I don’t think I’ve ever brought you post about Ashbourne, I  really should, it has some very interesting buildings and history, that deserve a closer look than a cursory glance as I drive through (The A515 is not my favourite road, we have history, that road and I).

The nearest neighbour I’ve blogged about, is probably the lovely snowdrops at Hopton Hall which will be looking splendid, right now I guess.

 

IMG_2718

or  the rather eerie Magpie Mine.

Ashbourne has a very famous shrovetide football event, played by the Up’Ards and Down’Ards; it is not for the faint hearted. It laughs in the face of health and safety assessments.  Here is the history, and here is a contemporary account, from BBC RadioDerby.  I’ll stick to snowdrops.


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Riverside Walk

After our visit to the Tower, we walked along the Thames embankment

We came across this party of school children, painting pictures of Tower Bridge*

children painting tower bridge 2

Each child had their shoes and water bottles neatly set beside them, and were totally absorbed in their task.

children painting tower bridge

 

They completely ignored the slack jawed British tourists who openly expressed their amazement at the children’s exemplary behaviour,

children painting tower bridge 3

we reckoned there must have been 60 or more children, and as far as we could see, only two adults overseeing them. I don’t think you’d get that ratio past a school trip risk assessment in the UK.

We had tea and cake at the Tate Modern, where we were privileged to watch peregrine falcons, perched on the roof, through telescopes provided by the RSPB

 

Mr Uphilldowndale succumbed to  a little green tractor envy

little green tractor envy 

 

we had fun trying to photograph St Pauls Cathedral and London busses.

St pauls_ 

It is a very long time since I’ve played ‘tourist’ in London, back in my day, you needed an A-Z,  it seems they are things of the past; how do we get home?

No A-Z

 

(have you heard about the new glass walkway at Tower Bridge? Not for the faint hearted).


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Round Up of Norfolk

A final  photo selection from our foray into Norfolk

In Blakeney narrow  streets, from an era when boats ruled the world not motorcars,

cottages_

And when catching the tide was more important than catching the bus.

cottages 2

 

A rather fetching wall plaque, with a meandering hollyhock, it has a art deco vibe, do you think?

 

ship plaque art deco-

The admirable 14th century craftsmanship of the ribbed brick vaulting in  Blakeney Guildhall

Blakeney

Some very pretty little costal flowers,can anyone tell me what they are?

costal flowers_

The RNLI station at Wells Wells lifeboat station

Then off down the coast to Cromer

Cromer lifeguard_

Cromer Pier

Cromer pier_

The sort of seaside vista, familiar from my childhood*

Cromer 2

Although it was always the west coast, Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood for my family, but never Blackpool, considered too vulgar… even in the 1960’s

Cromer pier 2

 

Time for home.

 

*Although I always hankered for a seaside holiday with rock pools, so I could complete my I Spy the Seashore book.