Saturday, September 27, 2008

Marsh Gentians

On our walk today we found some Marsh Gentians. These beautiful little flowers are not very common and it is several yeas since I have seen any.It was worth getting soggy knees to get the photos

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Staunton Country Park

Finally Summer seems to have arrived in England We have had a few days of beautiful Sunshine. Yesterday we went to Staunton country park. I took the new camera and practiced with it. It is taking a bit of getting use to, but I am slowly getting to know it. The Country Park has a wide variety of animals and a walled garden with hothouses. Plenty to photograph and it was a very pleasant trip.

Staunnton Country Park

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Historical Buildings in Southampton

Reading Quacky Pete's Blog I learned that English heritage were holding open days and went to check to see if there was anything happening near by.
The Tudor House in Southampton has been closed for a couple of years as it is undergoing major restoration, however it was open to the public for the weekend. It is not expected to be fully open until 2011 as there is still a lot of work to be done. So far they have been spending a lot of time and money simply to keep the building from collapsing. We spent an hour touring the building with a local architect who has been involved in the work. The building was rebuilt in the 15th century on the foundations of four medieval buildings. it has seen many changes and by the 1900s it was in a bad state of repair. It was restored at this time and became a museum. but some of the work weaken the timbers and this has had to be repaired. At the moment you can see the concrete and steel reinforcements , but this will eventually be hidden from view as they work on repairing the plasterwork.
Opposite the House is the Church of St Michaesl which is said to be the oldest building still in regular use in Southampton. Although you can see the original Norman Structure, it has a very modern feel with recent stained glass.
Our final building was the Medieval Merchants House which was originally built in 1290
The Tudor House in Southamton

The medieval merchants House
Stained Glass from St Michaels Southampton

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All This Rain is Good for Something!

Our wet summer has produced a bumper apple crop! A friend asked us to help pick the apples today and we came home with 5 big bags from just two of her trees. I am going to be doing a lot of cooking this week. I do like baked apples, stuffed with golden syrup and stem ginger , a little sugar and smothered in custard. So many people seem to just leave the apple to rot on the trees, it's such a shame.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dorset Heavy Horse Centre

This is Henry one of the Heavy Horses at the Dorset Heavy Horse Centre. We spent a few hours here today dodging the heavy showers. The centre is quite small but has a variety of animals besides the heavy horses . Many of the horses have been rescued and all are well cared for. We had a short wagon ride and then wandered around the various pens making friends with the animals. In the afternoon they gave a short talk about the horses and also a little bit about the Gypsy Vardos (Caravans) that they restore here. We left just before it starte to rain yet again.
It was good to get out and take the camera. Summer has still not arrived in the UK and it really has been a wet and dismal season.