Perfect afternoon!

The last two days we have been enjoying the nicest weather we’ve had since about May – blue skies, fluffy clouds, just the right strength of sun, cool breeze … perfect!

So L and I took advantage of it this afternoon and went walking!

We walked down through town to The Quay.

You can hire canoes to go up the river, or bikes to take on the tow-path … or you can walk up the paths, like we did. But first we stopped at a little place called The Jolly Roger’s Tea Room to but some scrummy ice creams which we munched on as we walked! πŸ™‚ I had maple, pecan and fudge in a waffle cone – you should try it sometime, it’s yummy! πŸ˜›

The river is beautiful, especially in this weather and I love having a piece of countryside so close to town!

Doubles Locks is a locally famous pub which is very popular as a walking and cycling destination. We sat under the magnificent cedar trees outside and enjoyed a chilled pint of beer/cider – ah!

There were lots of people there, enjoying the sun, the space and the good food and drink – it was nice and cheerful!

We had some fun messing around for a bit before starting off on the walk home …

We were quite tired by then and had sore feet by the time we got home again, but it was so worth it!! I haven’t enjoyed a Saturday afternoon so much in too long, and I got to spend it all with my lovely hubby! πŸ˜€

Bluebell woods

Last weekend L and I were visiting his parents.

We had a lovely, relaxed weekend being looked after, fed delicious food, poured tasty wine and getting to go for some glorious drives and walks through some beautiful English countryside!

Sounds like a pretty good weekend to me! πŸ™‚

On Sunday afternoon, when we had an unexpected burst of clear sky and sunshine, L, my Mum-in-law and myself went in search ofΒ  some bluebell woods …

… and we found them! So beautiful!!

After a few weeks of heavy rain, massive puddles on the pavements, grey views from the windows, wet socks after grocery shopping and that heavy feeling that comes with a constant half-light, it was so freeing to be out in the country, with blue, lightly cloudy skies, warm sunshine, fresh air, birds singing, grass and wildlife sounds all around.

Ahh …

A wood full of bluebells – for me, the photos say it all!

Contentment.

I went to Scotland!!!

I’ve been kinda silent for a week or so …but with good reason!

The hubby and I have been to Edinburgh!

I have long wanted to visit Scotland (although not as much as my lovely sister N, who adores Scotland, Scottish history and has a calender of Scottish countryside every year – sorry you couldn’t come too 😦 ) and have read about Edinburgh (the capital city of Scotland), Arthur’s Seat and The Royal Mile in books.

L is workingΒ  a few hours a week as his PhD supervisor’s research assistant and very much wants to get into full-time academic research/medical research. He submitted the findings from his PhD (on Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to the Ninth World Brain Injury Congress and was accepted to present them – in Edinburgh! In academic circles being published, seen presenting at conferences and being introduced to influential people is pretty important in getting jobs and moving on in your career, so for L, this was pretty important.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here before (forgive me if I’m being super-boring and repeating myself! πŸ˜‰ ) that my husband is partially sighted. He is registered as blind, but has 10% of normal vision and is so capable that you’d have to study him for a long while to realise he can’t see just as much as the rest of us can. New places are a bit of a curve-ball though, as he can’t read the signs, doesn’t know the area and can’t see enough to get around without a lot of stress.

Enter stage left … er, right:

Dr L’s assistant!

And yes, I do look pretty exhausted! Let’s just say that getting anxious about the trip for a week in advance, followed by flying, map-reading, hours of sitting through nearly incomprehensible lectures (Thank God for a kind friend who lent me her Kindle!!), hours of standing around at a drink’s-reception-come-meet-inportant-people, loads of walking each day, disturbed sleep, meeting and charming (of course! πŸ˜‰ ) so many new people … you get the picture!! πŸ™‚

We stayed in a lovely B&B (Bed and Breakfast) just 10 minutes walk from the conference centre, but far enough removed from the centre of the city that it was wonderful quiet and peaceful – we actually heard more birds than we do here at home!

We were on the other side of the road from this stately place called Donaldson’s College. It’s up for sale and I think we should buy it, don’t you?! πŸ˜‰ Oh, think of all those stairs to vacuum … um, maybe not! πŸ˜›

L has been really ill with a cold/flu since we got back and I’m starting to go down with it too, so I’m going to end this post for now and update you with Part 2 tomorrow! You see, I thought I’d been really good and not taken too many photos while we were away … it turns out I took 90 photos in 4 days … πŸ˜›

Ah, holidays!

Have you wondered where I’ve been for the last ten days?! Well, just incase you were starting to think I had finally dropped off of the edge of this old planet of ours … or even if you hadn’t noticed at all πŸ˜‰ … let me put your mind at rest … I haven’t … not yet, anyway!! πŸ˜›

Yesterday L and I got home after a blissful week’s holiday! *Ahh* Its was such a lovely break, one that was much-needed and although we were ready to come back to our own home by the end of it, there’s always that part of you that regrets the end of a vacation, isn’t there?!

Realising with a pang how neglectful I’ve been of my poor blog and my long-suffering readers, I meant to write a whole collection of posts which would be dated to appear at regular intervals throughout the past week … need I say that I didn’t get round to it?! πŸ˜‰ The week before the holiday was possibly the hardest week of the past year and there were other things that elbowed into taking a higher priority than blog posts …

But here, at last, here I am, back from vacation and smiling, armed with (far too many) photos and some fun stories … are you ready to join me for the next adventure?!? πŸ˜€

Then let’s head for the winding lanes, the fresh air, the superb cider, the breathtaking seas and the awe-inspiring rocks of Cornwall …

More photos to follow soon!! πŸ™‚

Ten beautiful things

Yesterday I was having a very sad day – I’ll imagine various sympathetic expressions!! πŸ˜‰ When I decided I was going for a long walk, my usual answer, L gave me a task … he challenged me to take ten photos of beautiful things and then I’d have to show him the proof when I got back … what?! How was I meant to find anything beautiful, let alone ten, in that mood?!!

My hubby knows me well! I found ten beautiful things to take a photo of … in fact, I ended up finding more than tenΒ  … what a surprise for this camera-loving girl, right?! πŸ˜‰

How could I have avoided this first one, sitting, as these flowers were, right in my path outside the green grocers round the corner?!

Laugh if you like, but I just had to include this in my beautiful-things-line-up!! I think that the sight of rows and rows of books is a truly beautiful sight!!! Is that very sad of me?! πŸ˜›

This used book stall, which is much bigger than this picture suggests, is set up nearly every day of the week on the street just 2 minutes from my front door … let’s just say that the friendly man who runs it recognizes my face and is always glad to see me back … !!! πŸ˜‰

What could be more beautiful than a tree dripping with red dots?!? πŸ˜›

There’s something so beautiful and graceful about trees and their spreading branches!

These leaves looked almost like scattered petals on the grass where I found them!

I love reflections! Beautiful!! πŸ™‚

This is one of the first of many, many photos of autumn-coloured leaves that you will definitely be seeing over the next three or so months … I love autumn, I love autumn colours and guess what?! I love taking photos!! πŸ˜› Bet you couldn’t have guessed that one!! πŸ˜‰

This one speaks for its self really, doesn’t it?!

Have I ever mentioned the words predictable, compulsive or adictive in connection with myself, trees, the sun and my camera?!! πŸ˜‰

The wind was gusting these willow branches around, the sun casting beautiful shadows and patterns!! A moment of perfection!

I took this photo late last night, when after a day of sun, muggy heat and gathering black clouds, it poured down with rain. I caught the rain in the light of the street lamp outside my living room window … I love the beautiful, glowing golden-orange light!

What are three beautiful things that you’ve seen so far this weekend?

A family weekend of fun – take 2!

On Saturday my Mum-in-Law, L, KY and I went for a walk and a picnic … we drove down country lanes … we parked on the side of the road … we walked down mud and grass tracks … we explored inside the woodland … we sat and ate yummy food in the sunshine … we had fun! πŸ™‚

And I got to indulge one of my passions …

… and take lots …

… and lots …

… of photos!! πŸ˜€ I was a happy bunny! πŸ˜›

There were hundreds of these bright red, cheerful poppies lining the edges of the fields – don’t they just make you want to smile?!? πŸ™‚

Then there were the trees …

… the breath-taking views …

… beautiful butterflies (yes, I do have a bit of a thing about butterflies! πŸ˜‰ ) …

… oh yes, and the lovely people I was with!! KY was slightly aghast that I was snapping her with her mouth full :P, and L was pointing out how dower the lady on the front of the crisp packet looked … yup, I have a family full of character and originality!! πŸ˜‰

KY went delving through the bushes into the seemingly impenetrable trees and, after a while of hearing her crashing around in the undergrowth, we launches in to the adventure from another spot … and found this little clearing!

There was lots of spreading bracken … some of which came up as high as my ribs! Just imagine what a giant plant that must seem to a little kid!! πŸ˜›

The light filtered and shone through the trees, leave, branches above my head …

It was a lovely, peaceful afternoon …

… full of fun and silliness …

… family and food …

… and the amazingΒ  and awe-inspiring beauty of our surroundings! πŸ™‚

What are some of the beautiful things you have seen this week?