Wednesday, 26 August 2015

holiday photographs, Bergen (2)

A few more photographs from our stay in Bergen. These are from Mount Floyen. There are numerous footpaths up to this hill or there is a funicular railway, the station is very central near the harbour and fish market, which takes you up to 320 metres above sea level. We chose to take train up and walk down and enjoy the gentle walks through the woods at the top. The paths were very well maintained and there were plenty of signs to keep us on the right track.

Then there was this sign which didn't offer much practical help but made me smile.

It was a very quiet day, no sun or wind but just very soft gentle light which made the place seem quite magical.

The area around Bergen has high rainfall (luckily for us, not while we were there) giving rise to lush growth and many shades of green,

lots of orchids

and these very pretty flowers which I didn't recognise and haven't been able to identify yet.

Our destination was Brushytten, a small hut and cafe in the middle of the woods.

 We took our coffee outside and sat on rocks enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

It was a wonderful place to sit quietly for a while. The Japanese have a phrase  Shinrin Yoku (video) which can be translated as forest bathing.  There is increasing evidence that walking in woodland has many health benefits and in a place like this it was easy to see why.

After coffee, a walk back down, past more orchids

more ponds

until we reached the streets with glimpses of Bergen through the trees.

Finally a photograph looking up at the summit of the funicular railway taken from the bustling harbour. Such a contrast, two completely different places just a few minutes apart on the train

Friday, 21 August 2015

holiday photographs, Bergen, Norway

We have just come back from our holiday in Norway. It is a place I have wanted to visit for years, since I was a small child. The north in particular has always sounded magical, no sun for a few weeks in winter and then endless daylight in the summer. I've waited a long time and hoped that when I finally got there I wouldn't be disappointed. I needn't have worried, Norway was every bit as beautiful as I had imagined it.

We started our holiday with two days in Bergen. We wandered around the city exploring the tourist spots, the colourful wooden buildings above and the famous fish market.

The city centre was very compact and walkable.

The weather was warm enough to wander and then have a picnic in the park.

Bergen is a very popular tourist destination with many cruise ships calling but I found that I didn't have to walk that far to be able to explore the narrow cobbled streets with their wooden houses in relative quiet.


The place was full of flowers

and there were florist shops with imaginative window displays.

 A wonderful start to our holiday.

Friday, 14 August 2015

first blackberries

As I was driving into town this week I noticed many ripe blackberries in the hedges. They looked too good to miss so I bought a small container and stopped on my way home.

I picked these on Greenham Common. Although remembered for the RAF base, nuclear warheads and associated peace protest, it is now a beautiful open space for everyone to enjoy.

A picture of the water lilies on the pond because they looked perfect this week. A lovely place to spend a few minutes  - and blackberries too!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


Back from holiday, a wonderful break from the overwhelm I was feeling before we went. Hope the sense of calm will last for a while.

There is already a feeling of late summer here although school summer holidays go on for another three weeks. School holidays have been part of life for so long that even without children to consider it tends to be the way I mentally divide up the year.

As I took this picture of the first blackberries and the ones below of ripe wheat, maize, and the stubble remaining after harvest, I realised I take similar pictures each year. Most of my blog posts now record the changing of the seasons and the countryside throughout the year. If I look back at posts from a few years ago, my life was full with the boys and their school and after school activities. Now they are grown and life is less hectic, I have time to walk and to notice the details and changes happening throughout the year.

Late summer has a slow feel to it, the growth and flowering of spring gives way to a gentler pace, fewer flowers now as seeds are forming ready to complete the cycle for another year. 

As I get back into my home routine and the worries and concerns resurface, I must find time for my restorative walks and remember that seasons change throughout the year and throughout life. I need to remember that after busy energetic periods, all living things needs slower, quieter times.