Places that I like…..

Just back from the Lake District which has lots of places that I like….. beautiful lakes the most beautiful of which in my opinion is Derwentwater in the Borrowdale Valley.

Derwentwater on a rainy day

Where this year we met lots of sheep – including one that looked like Andrew Marr

… its the ears!!

Tea at Temporary Measure

We had tea in our favourite little tea shop, Temporary Measure in Keswick , where they are quite rightly of the opinion that ‘there is nothing in the world that can not be improved by the prescence of tea and biscuits’  Believe me this toffee cake was delicious…..

And we also visited   The Theatre by the Lake  also in Keswick –  it works on a repertory system so you can see different shows most nights of the week if you want – and depending on which ones you pick you can have the fun of seeing the same actors in different roles eg this year we saw the actor Matthew Vaughan as the frantic Director in ‘Noises Off’ by Michael Frayn, a showbizzy entertainer being set up for a media sting in ‘ Dumb Show’ by Joe Penhall and an American Hostage tortured by his own fears in ‘Soneone Who’ll Watch Over Me’ by Frank McGuinness…..

We’ve not seen a bad show yet and we’ve been going there for about 5 or 6 years….

Land of Silence and Sheep….

Back from the Lake District  – where we have been listening to the silence and talking to the sheep, who the Scotsman and I decided were all called Charlie…..or Charlene – (except for Adolf who was making plans to annexe the next field..!  Well we were on holiday……)

More tomorrow.

Sheep in the mists at the top of Lattrigg Fell in the Lake District

Sheep in the Mist on Lattrigg

A Visit to the Fernery….

Visiting my Dad last week in Southport I finally went at a time when I could get into the  Fern House at the Botanical Gardens.  Last February I pressed my nose in vain to the glass as, with snow threatening, they had the doors firmly locked…. It is a strange primeval world tamed and romatisiced by the Victorians who constructed it…..

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Shrek the Sheep is mourned

The news of the death of celebrity New Zealand Merino Sheep ‘Shrek ‘ caught my eye this week.

Shrek the Sheep in tull fleece

Shrek became a celebrity when he evaded the shearers for six year by hiding in caves.  To see a little film about him on the BBC click here.

He was finally caught by shearers and lost his giant 27kg (60lb) fleece in a televised shearing.  That would make a lot of felt!!


At the weekend I noticed that the Magnolias are out in London….seems very early this year.

Magnolia tree against a blue sky

Magnolia Tree

My love of them dates from childhood.  There was an illustration in my Children’s Treasury of Verse  with  a quote under it from William Brightly Rand’s poem ‘The First of June’…As a shy, dreamy child the melancholy verse  appealed to me.

‘Magnolia like a stranger stands stiffly all alone.

I think a word would change her into a flower of stone.’


As an adult I love their waxy delicacy and the fact that they are around for such a short time.

And so every year I go Magnolia hunting……..

Two magolias close up

A pair of Magnolia flowers