Friday 25 January 2013

Are we nearly there yet?

Himself had his seventy-first birthday this week so we took the Red Funnel ferry across to the Isle of Wight to celebrate. In his childhood he had spent happy summer holidays in a flat above a boathouse on the beach of Seagrove Bay. A trip down memory lane was on the cards! I had never been to the island but I'd heard about his holidays; the flat with its big bay window facing the sea, the hours spent exploring the rock pools or pootling about in a rowing boat.
In this cold, inhospitable month we took the precaution of booking a hotel that had a pool, a sauna, steam room and hot tub, and we made good use of them all!
The weather was unkind. Where looks more desolate than the English seaside in winter?

On the plus side we had no problem parking and the single track road winding down the hill, past the pretty houses of Bonchurch, was easy to negotiate. In summer it must be well nigh impossible.

It took a bit of searching to find our way to Seagrove Bay, Himself was unable to recognize anywhere. Eventually we arrived, but just a little too late. Oh, dear! Scaffolding and a pile of stones stood on the site of the fabled boathouse.

We drove on to Ventnor and consoled ourselves with a good cup of coffee and lunch. From our comfy window seat we had the pleasure of watching nothing at all happen on the seafront promenade.

Unfortunately Osborne House, Queen Victoria's home in East Cowes, was closed for the winter, but all about the island there are delightful examples of  Victorian architectural styles.

The sites of many old houses appear to have been taken over by much larger, modern, multi-occupation dwellings.
Slap bang next to a charming little seashore delight on Seagrove Bay
a huge modern monster has been built.
We wonder what is going to rise from the rubble of the old boathouse that had held so many happy memories.
 In Ryde I spotted this collapsable tray table. Everything in the shop had a nautical theme.
And when we crossed the estuary on the chain ferry to Cowes
it was still all about boats.

When we got back to the mainland the sun  was shining on a dusting of snow
and it was an easy journey home.

Monday 21 January 2013


There has been a thaw today, which made our morning walk through the woods exciting, which of us would be clobbered with a load of snow falling from the fir trees!

I've knocked the caps of snow off most of the shrubs and bushes in the garden to avoid broken branches.
Some vegetables are much easier than others to harvest in this weather.
Sprouts are supposed to taste better for a bit of a frosting, but the parsnips are in hiding and are off the menu for now!
It always surprises me how tough (and perverse) some flowers can be.Why is a rose trying to bloom in January?

More snow is forecast for tomorrow.

Friday 18 January 2013

What a difference

What a difference a day makes, as the song goes! We woke to snow this morning, the light,drifting stuff that climbs up the window frames, coats the bushes and transforms the garden.
The sky remained leaden, threatening more snow to come.
We live in a small hamlet, most of us surrounded by a decent sized garden. We can be as sociable or unsociable as we please, barely seeing a neighbour for weeks and then, if there is a special occasion, all of us just about fitting into one large room.
The council doesn't clear the road that runs through our hamlet but they have supplied us with gritting salt for bad weather, which is kept across the road at the stables. They also gave the village a couple of fluorescent jackets printed on the back with 'snow warden' for the village snow team, of which Himself is one! Yesterday he was called out on salting work.
It didn't do much good, only one four x four has made it up the hill today!
So we went for a walk.

It was magical.