journal, national trust, weekend walk

Once a month Mark and I take his cousin out for the day. As we are all National Trust members it’s a great way of getting our money’s worth out of our membership.

My part of Somerset seems to have more than it’s fair share of old houses. In one hours’ travelling time we have at least four large houses and a castle.

So it was a cold, windy day but the sky was occasionally blue but in the most part a uniform grey.

First Stop –  Lytes Cary a manor house it has parts dating back to the 14th century and the chapel predates that ! The unusual name derives from the Lyte family who lived in the house for four centuries and the River Cary which flows nearby.

I found the house very oppressive it has the typical low ceilings of the period. The gardens are set out in a series of ‘rooms’. I found some beautiful Snake’s Head Fritillary in the orchard but other than that it was pretty empty of Spring flowers.

It was time for an early lunch so off to Montacute House for cheese scones, pickle and a cup of tea.
We often visit Montacute House it is one of my favourite places to visit. It houses a wonderful collection of Tudor portraits from the National Gallery. They are kept in rooms darkened by heavy blinds just off the beautiful Long Gallery, where the occupants of the day took exercise on cold days. But today it was just a stroll around the gardens to walk off lunch.

Finally the last stop of the day, Barrington Court, another Tudor manor house. Begun around 1538 and finished in the late 1550’s. This poor house has been sold and passed onto many families and has suffered as a result . Fire almost destroyed it in the 19th Century and it was finally acquired by the National Trust in 1907. It was leased to Colonel Lyle of the sugar company Tate and Lyle and he restored the house out of his own pocket. As you can imagine it was a costly business . The house has no furniture inside but it does show off the oak panelling that fills the walls.  In Summer the gardens are full of flowers and the kitchen garden supplies the tea room and restaurant with home grown produce.

Certainly without furniture it feels very atmospheric almost if the house is waiting for something to happen caught in time.

Hope you enjoyed my guided tour….

Linking up with my good friend Helen for her weekend walk, why not join up too ?


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digital, holidays, journal, Polperro, sea, weekend walk
                                        “If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
                                        Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
                                        Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
                                        Watch the wall my darling while the Gentleman go by”.
                                                                       ~ Rudyard Kipling A Smuggler’s Song

A week or so ago Mark and I were invited to stay a few days with friends who had rented a house in Polperro in Cornwall. Polperro is a harbour town in the far south west of England.  It is a tourist trap in the Summer, full of holiday makers and unfortunately many of the houses and cottages are holiday homes, very few locals live by the water a sign of the times in this part of the world where unemployment is high and very seasonal.

Polperro has a long history – it dates back to the 13th century and certainly smuggling took place in the 18th century when duty on many goods were increased due to war with Britain’s neighbours.

In 1798 a Polperro boat called the Lottery was involved in an incident in which a Customs Officer was killed. One of the crew, Tom Potter, was later tried for murder at the Old Bailey and executed. As a result, the smuggling trade that had once thrived in Polperro began to diminish as Revenue officials determined to put a stop to it.

The houses are tightly packed and visitors are no longer permitted to take cars into the village and have to leave them in the main car park to the north of the village and walk the half mile length of the village to the harbour. I can speak from experience that the streets are so steep and narrow that we had to pull our wing mirrors in to drive down to the house.

Commercial fishing still takes place with twelve boats regularly operating looking to catch scallops, crabs and so on.
I had great fun walking along the harbour to get some shots of a working harbour.

The noise from the gulls was deafening !

From the house we could look down on the harbour – a very privileged position.


Of course there was plenty of this when the weather wasn’t good !

It was a photographer’s dream.   I loved it there and next time maybe we will stay somewhere else –  I would love St.Ives…

Joining up with Helen on her Weekend Walk.

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digital, journal, link ups, weekend walk

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside

I do like to be beside the sea!

I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!

Where the brass bands play:


So just let me be beside the seaside

I’ll be beside myself with glee

And there’s lots of girls beside,

I should like to be beside

Beside the seaside!

Beside the sea!
There is something special about the seaside in Winter. I like desolation and cold breezy walks along the prom. Weston – Super-Mare is a traditional British seaside resort and it really is deserted. We have had such a wet Winter so far complete with flooding and downed trees that to manage to avoid the rain is quite a feat.  This is North Somerset and is quite well known for it’s high tidal range which gives a sandy beach but also mudflats that can be dangerous.  But in the Summer it is full of holiday makers with donkey rides, candy floss and slot machines.

Weston became popular during the Victorian period when the Bank Holiday was introduced to give workers a 3 day weekend  and a pier was built to help to entertain them .  The Pavilion at the end of the pier burnt down in 2008 and was completely destroyed but a new pier was built and reopened in 2012.

We walked along the boardwalk to the end of the pier .
We were almost the only people ….
There are only a few remnants of an earlier time.
I hope you enjoyed my weekend walk, linking with Helen today at The Inspiration Pavilion

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digital, digital scrapping, friday finds, kim klassen, random 5, weekend walk

Notes from the Desktop

Friday, the end of the week for many, are you planning something special or, digging in due to extreme weather ?
We are all different we come from different cultures,  different customs and all have different views on how to spend our leisure time. 

So here are my random five on favourite ways to spend a weekend.

Breakfast at Bill’s in Exeter mmm french toast with berries and maple syrup.

Family tea on a Sunday with Mark Jo  and Tom they lead busy lives and to see them together is a treat.

Hiring a DVD and watching with friends.  Our local library has a good selection and many an argument discussion has taken place there on the best film to get.

A good walk at Hestercombe stopping on the way to take photos of anything that catches the eye, followed by a cup of tea and a browse in the garden shop.

Playing on the laptop whilst Mark is on the family MAC reading out snippets from the web, it can be music or film reviews sometimes a piece of news.

So let me know, what is your favourite way to spend a weekend or a day off I would love to hear ?

My Friday Find

 This week is finding that I love abstracts. This week on a trip to the seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare I found inspiration on the pier (more to follow on Sunday with the Weekend Walk). I had plenty of time to compose and play with focus and aperture. I created a layout processing in Lightroom and then Photoshop.

Supplies by Anna Aspnes, Cottage Arts and Kitty Designs. 

Have a great weekend…..

Linking with Nancy and Kim .

Kim Klassen dot Com


digital scrapping, Taunton, weekend walk
Well I didn’t have an outing planned for this week so I decided to walk from our house in Trull into Taunton. Usually this takes about 30 minutes but It took me an hour ! It was one go those lovely crisp morning with the most beautiful light.

I so love the reflections in the window of this old building
Moving on I caught lots of little closeups, my favourite type of photographs
Did you see the bug ? I didn’t ……
The walk took me along the main road then off on to a side road. So many wonderful photo opportunities.
Through the churchyard and into the park I just caught the light. I was so lucky.
It is true that when you look at something familiar through new eyes you see beauty all around you.
Linking with Helen at Inspiration Pavilion


journal, weekend walk, yorkshire holiday
So the finale of the road trip 
We broke our journey at Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire.  What a sight, as you round the corner the house is revealed.
The angles are almost unbelievable
Over the moat
The Courtyard
The earliest part of the house was constructed during the Tudor period with the earliest house begun in around 1504 – 1508 and the latest addition being completed in 1610. The Moreton family were wealthy landowners in the area and built the house as a symbol of their prosperity.  
Unfortunately it was so dark inside it was impossible to take a photograph of the Long Gallery which was so wonky it felt like a fairground ride.
National Trust properties are known for their wonderful food and lunch was no exception the best cheese scones and all made on the premises.
Although Little Moreton Hall was given to the Trust the land surrounding this wonderful house is still owned and worked by the Moreton family and access is restricted but the knot garden was accessible.
The National Trust is a charity and  has no funding from Government. It is the members who pay a yearly or life membership that make it possible for everyone to enjoy and marvel at these remarkable buildings.  The National Trust also manages large parts of the coastline and the moors that make up such a rich heritage.
Schools visit many of the properties where volunteers dress in period costume.
I hope you have enjoyed a stroll around Little Moreton Hall..
Linking with Helen at The Inspiration Pavilion.
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digital scrapping, holidays, kim klassen, texture, texture tuesday, tuesday muse, weekend walk

I had the opportunity to meet my groupie friend Barbara last week. We met in Bristol down at the harbour where much regeneration has happened over the last ten years. People moor their boats, live on their houseboats, eat, meet and explore.  We had been planning this for sometime but the weather wouldn’t play ball so this was probably the last opportunity for some time.

Photo taken by Mark 

I took a few photos a lot of which were of a texture type to use in my Photoshop Artistry course.  But as the day went on I found myself taking candid people shots.  So here are a few.

Textured with Kim’s CanvasBack texture
The MShed
MShed using Anna Aspnes Textured Frames No 1
MShed using Anna Aspnes Textured Frames No 1
We walked from the harbour towards Millennium Square where we found a lovely stall selling gorgeous food.
Bristol Harbourside using Anna Aspnes TextureFrames No1
Look at this sweet couple I couldn’t resist.
Millennium Steps using Anna Aspnes TextureFrames No1
Now a muse 
Have a great week

Linking with Helen at The Inspiration and her weekend walk, Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday and Nancy for Tuesday Muse…..

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digital scrapping, weekend walk, yorkshire holiday
I’m splitting the last day up into two posts otherwise it will be photo overload !
After saying goodbye to our lovely Holiday Inn Express outside York we set off home . We had planned on two stops the first one being Saltaire near Bradford a model village and World Heritage Site devised and designed by Titus Groan in the nineteenth century an age where forward thinking and philanthropy went hand in hand. The wealthy and often Quaker families poured their ingenuity into making life better for the working class. Some of Britain’s largest institutions were founded on Quaker principles. Elizabeth Fry ( English prison reformer),  George Cadbury (chocolate maker), Cyrus Clark ( Clark’s shoes), Joseph Rowntree (chocolate maker) and so on.
We didn’t have much time and the weather was not kind so we settled just taking a few shots and having a cup of coffee in Salts Mill and visiting probably one of the best books shops I have ever visited and with great use of original artefacts  , I could have made a serious dent in the credit card. Salts Mill has been beautifully restored and also houses a wonderful collection of David Hockney paintings.
Next week will be the last instalment,  thanks Helen for hosting this link up
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digital scrapping, weekend walk, yorkshire holiday

Today was Mark’s treat a visit to The Yorkshire Air Museum near York, it is the largest independent air museum in Britain.

We split up as Mark is far more interested in military aircraft than I am I wandered around finding lots of grunge to interest me then I found the NAAFI and had a cup of tea and processed some photos on the iPad.  It was cold and wet so I was pleased to sit in a cosy hut…

All the time we were there nostalgic music played through speakers,  you could almost imagine the ghosts of airmen looking on smiling just before the klaxon sounded and they raced across the grass to climb aboard their planes.  It is hard to imagine what it must have been like,  most of the young men were younger than my 24 year old son.

This is taken from the website of the Yorkshire Air Museum
‘In 1944 Elvington became host to two French Squadrons operating within No.4 Group: No. 346 (Guyenne) and No.347 (Tunisie). Both squadrons played a major part in the bomber offensive against Germany. Whilst at Elvington, 77 Squadron lost 82 aircraft and 450 aircrew (comprising of Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders as well as British) and this comprised more than half their fatalities during the whole war. 77 Squadron lost a total of 883 airman.
On the night of 3rd March 1945, German night-fighters launched Operation Gisela against the 450 heavy bombers of 4, 5 & 6 Groups RAF Bomber Command returning from a raid on the synthetic oil plants at Kamen, in the Ruhr and the Dortmund Canal. At around midnight 100 Junkers 88’s crossed the English coast from the Thames to Yorkshire and infiltrated the returning bomber streams. Two hours later at least 24 bombers had been shot down and a further 20 damaged.
Having shot down two Halifax bombers of 158 Squadron returning to RAF Lissett near Bridlington, Hauptman Johann Dreher of 13 Nachtjagdeschwader Gruppen (Night fighter destroyer group), in his Junkers 88G turned to attack the French Air Force Halifax’s landing at Elvington. The runway lights were switched off and all aircraft ordered (in French) to divert to other airfields. It was 1:50am and as the alarms sounded, Capitaine Notelle’s Halifax pulled sharply up and, narrowly escaping, headed north towards RAF Croft. He was stalked by another German night fighter and was hit 3 times before crash landing near Darlington. All the crew survived. Meanwhile, Dreher’s Junkers 88 continued to attack RAF Elvington, strafing the road and a passing taxi. Circling round for another attack, it clipped a tree and crashed into Dunnington Lodge farmhouse, killing all 5 crew; the farmer, Richard Moll; his wife and mother. A black cross can be seen by the roadside in front of the farmhouse near the Museum on the road back to York. The war ended just 9 weeks later and this is probably the scene of the very last Luftwaffe aircraft crash on British soil.’

If you want to listen to one of the songs played over the speakers click HERE and you will hear Dame Vera Lynn who was known as The Forces Sweetheart sing one of the most popular songs of the Second World War
And HERE if you want to hear some audio clips from the BBC schools programme.
Linking up with Helen for her Weekend Walk 
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digital scrapping, weekend walk, yorkshire holiday
Our first stop was Ripon and Ripon Cathedral once again too low light defeated my camera but I did get some shots that I hope give the essence of another wonderful building.

I know that sounds dramatic but it’s photographic frustration, I love architecture and I so admire photographers who seem to get that ‘just right’ shot. So imagine my frustration on, when looking at my shots of Fountains Abbey I was not happy. It’s that age old dilemma, that photography can catch a moment a fleeting nano second but sometimes it can’t quite get the essence the wow as the eyes take in a miraculous sight.

So Fountains Abbey near Ripon. When we told people that we were going to Yorkshire nearly everyone said ‘you must go to Fountains Abbey ‘ and it was on our to do list.  I must admit it was a dark and dank day so conditions were not perfect and I wasn’t feeling too brilliant and had I felt a bit better we would have explored more, but just to walk amongst the ruins if this beautiful place was enough.

So a bit of history

 ‘Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It is located approximately three miles south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, near to the village of Aldfield. Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for over 400 years, until 1539, when Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries‘. 
Henry VIII was responsible for the destruction of many beautiful monastic buildings and what he didn’t destroy Oliver Cromwell had a good go at polishing off the rest !

I’m quoting here from Wiki ‘ 

In 1986 the parkland in which the abbey is situated and the abbey was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was recognised for fulfilling the criteria of being a masterpiece of human creative genius, and an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history.

That sums it up really, the abbey is in a valley and as you walk down you get tantalising glimpses and as you round the corner the abbey is strung out in front of you and my, amazing.

I had to put the shot of the Pheasant, they were everywhere and the way they run so funny. 

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Linking up today with Helen at A Weekend Walk