Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Last month we headed off to the Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury, for the first time in ages as we'd been disappointed the last few times we'd been and much preferred the wares on offer at the Vintage Bazaar in Devizes.
Well again, it wasn't as good as it used to be, I got a few bits and we enjoyed going to the other vintage offering in the local church but if we're going to drive all that way it needs to be worth it. Well this time we were prepared as we'd planned to take the kids and squeeze in a visit and picnic at Westonbirt Arboretum on the way back. This was the best part of the day, the weather was stunning, the rhododendrons were blooming and it was actually quite quiet.

Again, with a new camera, I was a little snap-happy! But the colours were stunning, especially against the very blue sky.

I took my iPhone and have been trying to get to grips with Instagram, as I've been dying to get on it. A link to my profile is at the top of the page.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Port Meadow

Being 'lucky' to work in Oxford(!) It does sometime mean that there are nice places to have a lunch-time stroll when the weather is fine.

Being close to the canal and having a new camera mixed well with the good weather.

So we strolled along the two path and carried onto Port Meadow, a very tranquil ancient grazing meadow to the West of Oxford, popular with walkers.


One day we will rent a canal boat!

Time to sit and think.

Watching the herd canter along so close was a real sight.

All too soon it's time to go and get back to the office.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Cotswold Falconry Centre

Last month we had a long overdue family day out, it seems like we don't go to new places much at the moment, I put that mainly down to finances. This time we also had more impetus as we had good friends visiting and they wanted to explore, so we headed out to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and all along the drive I wondered why we didn't go out this way more often, as it's a nice drive.
The destination was the Cotswold Falconry Centre which looks unassuming on arrival but we all really enjoyed the day. It seems quite small but it opens out around the back with lots of enclosures for all their different birds and owls.

But the real jewels of the day are the flying displays, there are several in one day and I recommend you see as many as you can as they are all different and all very entertaining and informative, not knowing anything about birds of prey the handlers were really knowledgeable and I now know that owls, such as the snowy owl above aren't particular clever or 'wise'!

Seeing all the different birds in flight is really beautiful, the big surprise of the day were the vultures, who were all full of character and to see such big birds take off and fly overhead was a real unusual treat. The eldest managed to have an eagle landed on her but another big tip is to have a good camera with you! My compact couldn't really cope with the speed of the flights and I would have loved to have got some closer shots too, it looked popular with keen photographers who had all the gear.
The days entry fee enables you to come and go as you please, so as they don't have much of a cafe we popped next door to the Batsford Arboretum, who have a garden centre and cafe, so we could get some tea and cakes. If we'd had more time I would have loved to go around the arboretum as I can get free entry with my Westonbirt membership and I've always wanted to see their Japanese garden. That will be next time!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Going by in a blur

Life moves pretty fast.. 
(ten points if you get the movie quote!)
What have we been up to? The usual but we've had birthdays, a Cub camp, a Scout camp, a school residential, not to mention unemployment, days out, a new camera, a new iPhone and days dreaming of a holiday!

The eldest attained her Silver award from Cubs and was invited to attend an awards day, where as well as receiving a commemorative woggle and certificate, there were also activities to enjoy, she loves a good zip wire but this one was so high I wasn't sure if her fear of heights would kick in, several Beavers cried at the top and couldn't do it, I'm not sure I could!

But I should have known she'd be fine!

She's now become a Scout and suddenly from being an elder Cub Sixer she's now one of the youngest newbies. It's a real big change as the age range is 10 1/2 to 14, so some of them look much older! She's already been on her first Scout camp though and lived to tell the tale, she enjoyed having a go at archery and doing fire lighting and knife skills. 

We had the annual St. George's Day parade in March where I very proudly watched both my girls take part. It's great to see how many people are involved and enjoy the movement.

The eldest also turned Eleven last month! It's a cliche but I'm not sure how that happened, she's also turned into a fully fledged phone addict, as she'd happily stay plugged into Minecraft YouTube videos all day if we let her, it's even taken over her book reading habit, which I'm very sad about. I keep hoping the novelty will wear off soon, how many videos can StampyCat have made?!
With her Minecraft addiction, it meant that of course deciding on a birthday cake theme would be easy!

I think I preferred it when they were small and had no expectations on my decorating skills!

It was also my Birthday and the eldest did me a fab painting of my favourite thing - a cuppa!
I managed to use my Birthday money to finally join the rest of the world in having a smartphone, hurrah! So I've been mostly using the camera and getting to grips with Instagram.
After going a long time without a compact camera, I now have two! My iPhone and I also purchased an Olympus Pen EP-1 on Ebay, it's a Micro 4/3rds camera, so it's a bit like a hybrid between an SLR and a compact and I love it! 

We had a lovely family Bank Holiday visit to Cogges for the Festival of the Fleece

and we all had a go at paper plate weaving, which even the littlest enjoyed.

So busy I've not even done anything crafty, I'm thinking I might treat myself to a day off work to remedy that ;)