Pair a Ducks

February 1, 2013

We have this road …

road photo

I took this photo to show the curious optical illusion whereby it appears to have a big puddle half way up the side of the hill, but the puddle didn’t really come out very clearly on the picture. Oh well, it’s a nice shot anyway, and I know you lot like pictures of roads.

does this puddle look like it's half way up the hill to you? No? Just me then...

does this puddle look like it’s half way up the hill to you? No? Just me then…

For those who like illusions, here’s the puddle circled. I don’t think my career lies in taking clever paradoxical pictures, do you?

I know it’s only evolution…

January 30, 2013


But it still feels like a tiny annual miracle every time it happens.

Only slightly tempered by the fact that the ground elder is also beginning to poke its head above the soil as well. Time to get going in the garden again

Thaw Point

January 26, 2013

snowy road

I suppose it had to happen – we woke up to discover a beautiful morning, and more snow, now rapidly thawing in the sun. I needed to run some errands in town and set off happily on my bike to discover that half-compacted melting slush does not make for happy cycling, magical spiky tyres or no magical spiky tyres. Of course it doesn’t make for particularly happy driving either; I had to help push the neighbour’s van out of the driveway. I decided the errands could wait and took the camera for a walk instead


Time to enjoy the snow (and sunshine) while it lasts …



Won’t be long…

I Suppose it was Inevitable…

January 22, 2013
snowy hills

snowy hills

…after the last post that we should wake up to this sort of thing this morning

snow_2 snow_3

Still, it gave me a chance to further road test the tyres and they coped magnificently – although I should in the interests of accuracy point out that coming to a complete stop when travelling downhill on a mixture of ice, slush and snow is still … interesting.

Fortunately, for most of the ride, I was only stopping to take photos, so I could take my time

Afterwards, we went out for a walk – cut short half way up the local 1-in-5 hill when things got a little slithery underfoot. Time to invest in spiked shoes as well as spiked tyres? Or leave the hillsides to the sheep until spring…


Unmistakable Signs…

March 13, 2012

… that spring is well underway:

ickle lambs …

… the first blossom …

… a flush of astoundingly badly mended potholes along the road …
… and, in a field gate beside their badly mended potholes, two council workers parked up in their council truck, all tuckered out from the year-end-spend roadmending frenzy, both sleeping like babies

(I considered taking a photo of that too, but as they were probably on their lunch break, I decided it was a little unfair)

Winter Returns

January 16, 2012

Those snowdrops must be regretting their imprudence because the frost is back with a bang; we’re not complaining though because it’s dry and sparkly and sunny as well as bitterly cold. Well, maybe we’re complaining a little bit…

I don't think much of this episode of Sherlock

Either way, it’s just the sort of weather for snuggling up on the sofa with a warm cat but our days of doing that are over: the neighbour has returned to reclaim his cat, and there’s an enormous (though marginally smaller since the diet kicked in) furry cat-shaped hole in our life. We get visiting rights but it just isn’t the same…

And Breathe…

December 15, 2011

There are days when the wind drops, the rain stops and the sun comes out, however briefly.

And suddenly the garden seems like a reasonable place to be again.

Won’t last, mind you…


November 26, 2010

The disappearance of the summer’s leaves reveals some interesting things

Like this snug little nest in the climber on the vegetable plot wall.

I hope you like it, because I froze my fingers off taking that photo…


Here’s how it looked this morning. I hope it’s as snug as it looks, if it is being used as a winter roost


November 20, 2009


There was a moment yesterday when I thought we really were going to be underwater. The waves were lapping at the entrance to the other half’s chief shed, and already creeping up the garage floor. With the bikes and other vulnerable stuff moved to higher ground, we had to drive to Notso Bigtown, wondering what we would be coming back to. Coming back, through driving rain we saw the jewelled glint of eyes in the hedgerow – a dozen miserable sheep, huddled in what little shelter there was.


But fortunately, the waters had begun to recede before we went to bed last night and this morning the yard was clear, the sun was out and the wind was drying up the worst of it. I even cycled down to get the paper, although I came back soaked from the knees down, having had to negotiate more floods than I had ever seen before. The ground is completely and utterly saturated now, and every dip and hollow is an impromptu lake, every ditch and stream is overflowing. Parts of Bigtown are still underwater, and there’s more rain to come, although not on the scale we’ve seen this week.

But never mind all that, I hear you cry, what news of the ford? Well, such is our dedication to the blog that yesterday morning, before all the drama began, we headed out in the rain to check the level. And I think you’ll agree that this time we have a new high score.


(You’ll note that this is not photographed from the traditional angle. But that would have meant crossing the bridge and you know what? I didn’t fancy it…)

While the Sun Shines

October 28, 2009


The weather’s been fairly grim these last few days – blustery, cool, raining and endlessly grey. Today looked like it was going to be no better but as the morning wore on we noticed a strange light in the sky and then – my God – enough sunshine to cast a shadow. The forecasts suggested we should get out and make the most of it while it lasted, and so we did. ‘Fancy a bike ride?’ I asked the other half, and curiously enough, he did.

There’s no other option on a day like this: the reservoir loop. I never get tired of this ride, although I do frequently get tired on this ride as, curiously, no bike lift has yet to be installed. But that’s what cameras are for: an excuse to stop and rest while pretending to take photographs of my favourite breed of cow:


We were nearly at the top when we saw this:


(and if you’re wondering, that impressive looking junction with the give way sign is actually the entrance to a farm track). Recklessly, we pressed on, pausing only to, once more, fail to capture the view from the top:


Twenty minutes of descending later and we found the roadworks, but the long delays were on their lunchbreak so we whizzed past without stopping (they were fixing the parapet on a bridge).

Then a quick stop at the waterfall to give the bikes a rest, and home for our own lunch break.

Rain forecast again tomorrow… oh well.