Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spring is in the Air.

Well haven’t we had ourselves some glorious weather this last couple of weeks? This weekend we had a rare free day so I suggested going for a walk. I thought a wander to a nearby village with a drink or two in the pub then a wander home would be just the ticket. Himself once persuaded of the idea had other plans, no mere 7 mile round trip for him oh no.

Kitted out with map, water and cookies we did indeed end up at a village pub sitting in the half shade of their garden I could have stayed there (drinking) all day, but soon enough we were on the move again and rather than back the way we came we were walking a slightly longer route back. Himself then confessing he wouldn’t be happy if we did less than 10 miles…..right.    
I should add here Himself has never been to Wittenham Clumps, the lovely group of trees on the hill you see in the distance in this picture.

The Clumps are a group of 3 hills and were an Iron Age fortification and burial mound, they are now a popular destination for hikers, dog walkers, kite flyers, picnickers etc. Well as Himself had never been there and as we were so close by *cough* he decided we should detour for a visit, at this point I was holding out pretty well so we did. 
I must admit it was gorgeous taking in the panoramic views and sun-burning my nose whilst watching some blokes crash land their model plane.

However The walk back home started to feel endless, trudging through field after field. According to the map we had to cross a road and walk behind a farm to find the footpath back so we entered the gate at the end of the farm driveway noting signs along the way that said ‘Caution Dogs Running Free’. There was no obvious footpath, the driveway ended and short of walking right up to the house we were a bit stumped. We backed up a bit and went into the filed alongside the house, maybe this was it? There was a small orchard with a gate at the end but also with barbed wire running across said gate so clearly no through route there! 
We decided to walk the boundary of the field to see if there was a gap anywhere, as we were doing this Himself said “looks like we’ve been spotted” and sure enough a dog the size of a small pony had galloped round the side of the house and was heading towards us like an exocet missile.

Now is a good time to explain I am not exactly a fan of big dogs, especially those moving at the speed this one was having been knocked off my feet and bitten by an Alsatian as a small child, I froze in sheer panic, visions of being torn to shreds filing my head. Even Himself, who is a dog fan was showing concern/alarm, when the dog skidded to a halt a few feet away from us and started to do that on the spot boundy thing excited, but thankfully friendly, dogs do. He ended up followed us all the way round the field stopping until you were a ways away from him them charging straight at you in frankly unnerving manner given his size. 
Thankfully once we had established there was no way out of the filed than through the main gate he was perfectly happy for us to shut that on him even though he could have jumped over it in a single bound!

Having given up on locating the footpath we ended up walking down the main road which did give us the opportunity to call in at Sainsbury’s for some wine & beer on the way home. Checking online later it would seem the elusive footpath no longer exists, our map is a few year’s old now. Turns out we did 13 miles, so much for my gentle and alcoholic afternoon perambulation.

Last week I was up and off early on Saturday to catch up with friend’s at The Living Rainforest near Newbury.
It’s a small but fascinating centre made up of a couple of greenhouses full of exotic flora and fauna. Where else would you get to see little fishies that swim as you would expect (obviously just to lull you into thinking they are ordinary little brown fish) then casually hop out of the water and walk about on their tails!?!
Or where else indeed would you peer up through the lush green canopy and see a sloth’s bum? It was too early for the butterflies to be out but I would definitely go back and not just to have those beautiful jewel like creatures flapping about your head as you walk.
I was fascinated by the fact that a lot of the mammoth jungle plants are ones that we grow as house plants in this country, clearly in their native environment they are giants.
I have both of these at home in wee flower pots of course. The café was good too, so I would definitely recommend dropping by if you are nearby. Just don’t ask about the bird eating spider.

Monday I went to see Feeder with my brother and sister in law. I had completely forgotten they were due to play and that I had asked my brother to pick me up a ticket, so was somewhat flummoxed when he texted me “Are you going to come home or meet us at the O2?” Eh? Arrangements were made and a bloody good night was had by all.
I love Feeder and they have never done a bad gig, that I have been too anyway. We stood near the sound desk and got chatting to the lead singer’s parents who were watching. I loved the fact his Mum was singing her heart out and thoroughly into the band, why should getting old mean you shouldn’t enjoy a rock gig anymore? Alright give the mosh pit a miss but no need to stop going all together.

I was trying out some new aluminium earplugs from Himself which I really liked once I got used to them, my hearing is so bad from going to far too many very loud gigs in my youth that usually if I put ear plugs in I can’t actually hear anything at all! These weren’t cheap but I will definitely invest in a pair for myself until it gets to the point where I have to go around with an ear trumpet bellowing at everyone.

Himself and I also went to see Beauty and the Beast on that Friday, I really wasn’t sure but as it goes I really enjoyed it, except the ending which was just way too saccharin & schmaltzy for me. Bleurgh.
When I go to work on the Monday I had an email from someone called Gemma (who works for the university too, I had to Google her to figure out who she was! I had met her before.) asking me if I could pick up some flowers that had been delivered for her and she would meet me at the train station to collect them and give me a lift home. Not only did I not know who she was I was a little freaked that she knew I caught the train and where I lived. Anyway I realised she had sent me the email on the Friday and had meant that day but I had actually finished early, so I replied and explained why I hadn't responded on the Friday and said if the flowers were still there I was happy to pick them up for her.

Turns out she had collected them over the weekend but then in her reply she also said “didn’t I see you at the cinema on Friday, you were watching Beauty and the Beast” WTF??  I’m hoping this is the closest I get to having a stalker because it was a bit unnerving having someone know me but me not know them.

I seem to have had a bit of a lucky run with handbags of late, especially those of the classic British variety.

Two from Boots, one of which was unused and still had it's care card inside,
 and one Clarks no less.

I think it’s about time I had a sort through of the collection as space is not limitless and who knows what space I will have in the future. I might have some beauties looking for a new home very soon……

I’ll finish with another lucky Ebay score. I was looking at this Hell Bunny dress on their website as I had a discount code but they didn’t have my size and indeed haven’t for about 6 weeks though even though they assured me 5 weeks ago they were ‘restocking that week’ hmm
I was going to go for it in the blue check but then I spotted this one on Ebay and snagged it for £16 including postage and it’s only been worn once = result.

 I’m fully expecting a total desert lack of lovely things after all this good fortune.


  1. That's one hell of a walk, you'll be joining Veronica on one of her epic trails soon!
    The friendly dog looks like a sweetie but I can understand why you were nervous, he's massive.
    Grant from Feeder always used to be on Radio One back in the day, he seemed a nice chap.
    I bet that dress looks lovely on. The bags are all fabulous. I love finding Boots bags. xxx

  2. Blimey that was a hike not a walk! I haven't done that many miles in years.

    Those handbags are fabulous! Great finds x

  3. Great handbag haul, they would have come home with me too! We have walked to the Wittenham Clumps from Dorchester years ago, and I took the same photograph of that wonderful view towards the river and locks. And wouldn't you know it: we got lost too, if only because we lost the walk's instructions before we even started! xxx

  4. That's quite a long walk, but in a beautiful place. I like dogs, but my son is terrified of them. It does make going to parks difficult as people don't always leash their pets according to the law.

    Good score on the dress and those bags are beautiful. From here the Clarks bag looks green. I've yet to find a good quality green leather bag.

  5. Stalker sounds immensely scary. Then again, because I struggle to recognise people easily, those who do always freak me out a bit.

    You sound as though you've done your walking for the rest of the year! We've got to start doing a bit; his nibs' blood pressure is too high so it's time to do more exercise. At least the weather's nice at this time of year.

    You do find fabulous bags. You can always offload them on Etsy/Ebay!

  6. I am so impressed at your 13 mile walk. I have never walked that far. My max is 10 miles. Our Tuesday walks are between 10 and 13 miles and I'm trying to psyche my self up to do one. Apparently, the pace is fast and that's what puts me off.

    What a busy time you've had and I love your bags and dresses. Sometimes it goes like that - good things coming in left, right and centre and you think oh this can't last - and it doesn't usually!