Saturday, March 19, 2022

Picture This

This week has been another hectic one; the kind of week that I'm guessing John Lennon had in mind when he said: "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans."  Therefore, in similar style to the last 7 days (and my state of mind) this will be a somewhat disjointed but busy blog post, summarising disparate moments and memories. 

WILDLIFE

We have frogspawn!  Almost a year after creating our pond, we were both ridiculously excited to see that our humble little stretch of water has now truly acquired wildlife status.  I know it's primary school stuff, but I'm going to photograph the three clumps (now four) of frogspawn daily, to chart its progress.  Did you know that these little miracles are also able exert some control over their own rate of development?  Apparently, if conditions aren't favourable, tadpoles can remain in the water in arrested development for up to a year.

Here's the first batch of photos, taken on day 3, 4 and 5 (there was no discernible difference between day 1 and 3).

Day 3

Day 4 (a new clump appeared overnight, bottom left and slightly smaller)

Day 5

SPRING FLOWERS

Crocuses in the garden.

Daffodils on the Enville Estate.



GIFT OF THE GAB

Thursday marked St Patrick's Day and given that it was nearly the weekend, we embraced the occasion, listening to the Pogues and drinking Guinness - once the sun was over the yardarm.   I dug out some old photos taken on our 90s road trip around Ireland.  Amongst the under-exposed, poorly composed photos, I found this one.  

You'll have to take my word for it, but these are Gareth's legs.  Before you jump to conclusions, no he hadn't imbibed Irish moonshine or poitin (anglicised as porteen or portheen).  He was in fact kissing the Blarney Stone.  We joined millions of pilgrims climbing the steps of Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone (someone holds your legs to ensure you don't fall to your death through the gap) and have bestowed upon us the "gift of the gab" or eloquence.  Coincidentally Gareth had also found some old Irish currency and a Guinness pin badge on the same day whilst searching for a box to pack an order.

TWO CLAIRES, COFFEE AND CAKE

A cheeky Friday afternoon diversion with my Mom at Enville's small, but perfectly formed coffee shop, Archie's Attic.  A couple of years ago, I photographed the coffee shop's bunting, blowing in the breeze.  Claire, the business owner, was thrilled with the photo and left a lovely comment.  On Friday I finally got round to visiting Archie's Attic, purchasing Rooibos Tea for me and carrot cake and superfruit tea for Mom.  I was greeted warmly by the staff inside and immediately asked "Are you Winter Peach?" by a smiley lady who introduced herself as Claire.  Fame at last!  

LA LUNA

The moon has played its part beautifully this week.  Earlier in the week, we seized a couple of hours and took a walk down to "the cut" (Black Country speak for canal).  After a few experimental shots (I do love to view the world through water)... 

Reflected crow in flight (image flipped)

...we headed back via a narrow footpath flanked by fields.  In one of the fields is a beautiful pylon.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Pylons (along with wind turbines) are amongst the few bits of manmade infrastructure that I find very pleasing to the eye.

I loved the juxtaposition of Earth's natural satellite seemingly triangulated within this imposing metal structure.  

Last night's moon - in its Waxing Gibbous phase (92.85% illuminated) was a stunner with its orange glow which is apparent when it is hanging low in the sky and viewed through much more of the Earth's atmosphere.


THE STARS

What is the moon without stars?  Here I have a couple of stars of the magnolia world.  First up (on a morning visit to Ashwood to discuss work experience for the sprog), this impressive Magnolia Stellata with its fragrant, star-like blooms.  For £220.00 I think I would want shooting stars!

Also, this stunning specimen, spotted on the return leg of an afternoon walk along the River Severn.




FADED GRANDEUR, RIVERSIDE AND A HERITAGE RAILWAY

Boarded up windows and peeling paintwork in Bewdley.



More dishevelled beauty; wonderful light play at a quirky and crumbly old workshop (the very best kind) on the banks of the River Severn.  We have walked past this place on countless occasions but on this day, the doors were thrown open, affording us a glimpse inside.  Just out of shot to the left, was a wall mounted cabinet containing at least half a dozen ceramic Lurpak Butter toast racks.  The occupant must need lots of tea and buttered toast to go about his business.


The floods have wreaked havoc along the River Severn, as evidenced by this barbed wire fence, now concealed by a coat of debris swept along by the current. 


Dowles Bridge, built for the Tenbury and Bewdley line in 1864 and dismantled 101 years later.




Will it one day be resurrected I wonder?

A train departing Bewdley Station on the Severn Valley Railway!



TO READ


Thanks to Polyester Princess for recommending The Moonflower Vine.  Jenny Packham's Memoir, How to Make a Dress, has been on my list for a while.  I'm a big fan of her brother, Chris, and can't wait to dive into Jenny's world for a true insight into the fashion industry.

SECOND HAND FINDS


Just when I thought the week would be fruitless in terms of bargain buys, I spotted this Devon Pottery vase for less than £3.00 in a very brief dash-and-grab style charity shop visit.  

Tonight, a date with Villanelle (Killing Eve) and maybe I'll crack open a red from last week's ill gotten gains!

See you soon! 




9 comments:

  1. i´m already exhausted by looking at all the gorgeous pics of that week :-)
    love that you have now a frog kindergarten! and all the flowers of cause - esp. as we here need another few weeks for such beauty.....
    had to google Lurpak Butter toast racks - they´r cute - and collectible it seems!
    the moon on fryday was a stunner - first i thought there was a giant paper lantern hangin in the trees :-D
    you can always make me happy with bricks and railroad-related things!
    would spent whole days in that café!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks Beate. We all need some cheer at the moment. The Lurpack Butter toast racks are collectible. We have one…but 6 or more? That’s a lot of toast! You would love the Severn Valley (assuming you haven’t been). The carrot cake was delicious but didn’t hang around long enough for me to capture it! xxx

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  2. I hope this week is a lot less stressful and kinder to you and yours, Claire.
    After you'd mentioned your frogsapwn and went out and checked ours, we have it, too. How exciting!
    Love the moon as seen through the pylon, the preeling paintwork at Bewdley, the reflection in the water and that marvellously delapidated workshop. What on earth were all those toast racks about? Did they come free with empty butter wrappers?
    I had no idea Jenny Packham and Chris were related. I remember thinking The Monflower Vine sounded good when Ann mentioned it.
    That vase is lovely, its got a West German Fat Lava thing going on. xxx

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    1. Thanks Vix. Yay! You have frogspawn too! It’s weird how they all seem to spawn in unison. I have no idea what the deal was with the toast racks - I’m guessing the owner is a true eccentric! When I’ve read The Moonflower Vine, I will send it to you. I thought the same about the vase. It’s full of daffodils now. xxx

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  3. I'm with you on hectic weeks, Claire, although mine was mostly spent in the office. Fabulous photos, as always, by the way.
    Frogspawn has alas never made it to our tiny pond, so lucky you!
    I'm a fan of pylons and wind turbines too, and that photo of the moon through the pylon is one of my favourites, closely followed by the debris coated barbed wire fence. Also loving the remnants of Dowles bridge and the peeling paintwork in Bewdley.
    The Devon Pottery vase is a stunner, and I do hope you enjoyed the unique atmosphere of The Moonflower Vine as much as I did. Oh, and I do have one of those Lurpak toast racks! xxx

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    1. Thanks Ann. I am way too excited about the frogspawn but slightly panicked at the possible impact of the overnight frosts forecast. I have never understood why some people hate wind turbines. I think they are majestic! We have a Lurpack toast rack too, but one is enough for me! :-D I haven’t started The Moonflower Vine yet but I’m looking forward to it. xxx

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  4. That is one beautiful pylon Claire! And that looks like a proper workshop, with tea and toast racks. Frogspawn may have a primary schoolness about it, but it is mesmerising. A friend was telling me yesterday she rescued some from a drain :0 A 90s Irish Road trip sounds brilliant. I have been thinking a lot about Ireland lately and how I'd like to go again - maybe over to the West side this time (have previously visited Belfast, Dublin and the County Wicklow Mountains). It is good to know that people know you by your correct and proper stage name - Winter Peach. Good job on the chazza dash & grab. Lulu xXx

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    1. Thanks Lulu. A drain?!! I wonder if someone cleared their pond out and threw it away..? I've heard of people complaining about having frogspawn in their ponds - probably members of the Sunday car cleaning and drive sweeping brigade. :-D We're hoping to return to Ireland at some point this year. The west is well worth a visit - Doolin is a wild and windswept place with a moonscape approach. I'd like to see Schull in County Cork and also Belfast, so it's looking like another epic trip. Winter Peach came about because my name is so common, I couldn't get a domain name or social media accounts anywhere close to my own. Anyway, I'm stuck with it now. xxx

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    2. Thank you for the Ireland tips Claire - Doolin - will check it out. I do fancy Cork & Galway plus I have long lost relatives in Donegal x

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