Monday, 19 September 2016

around Chagford

More holiday photographs.

This is the cottage we stayed in in Chagford right the centre of the village. Its not obvious from the picture but it is built on a hill. It was a small cottage, only four rooms plus entrance but none of those rooms were on the same level, four or five steps between each one.

It was attached to the owners house at the back and we could use their garden. It was a long thin garden and when we walked the length of it, the furthest part through the arch, was just for us. This suited us because with my husband still not walking far after breaking his leg and ankle in the spring we spent more time at the holiday cottage than we would normally do. It was nice to be able to relax in the garden without intruding on the owners space.

There are two hills above Chagford and while my husband relaxed in the garden I was able to walk up both (on separate days). Meldon hill was the highest at  390m  and was a steep climb up through the bracken. It was worth it for the view of the village from the top.

I sat for a while on these granite rocks near the top. The path was steep and slippery with loose gravel so I made my way down very slowly grabbing hold of the bracken to stop myself sliding. Realising how much damage you can do after a simple fall ( my husband had two breaks in his leg and fractures in his ankle and after six months is still not able to walk far or to drive) has made me a lot more cautious especially when like this I am out on my own. On this day I didn't see anyone while walking up and down the hill. However if I didn't walk out on my own I wouldn't have seen these wonderful views and I do enjoy being out in nature. Its a difficult balance between being "sensible", not taking risks yet not being over cautious.

Another day I walked up Nattadon hill. This time I could walk up by the road. The next photograph is looking across to Meldon Hill and you can see the path winding up through the gravel on the right of the picture.

A slightly different view of the town.

I love the patchwork of small fields bounded by hedges in this part of Devon.

Just a few miles from Chagford was the National Trust property, Castle Drogo. As you can see from the photograph there is a huge restoration project on at the moment and the house wasn't open.

There were guided tours of the renovation work, so my husband went on one of those while I followed a circular walk nearby.

I walked down through the woods to the river in the valley, then along a shady path beside it

before climbing back up to the castle. It was a hot day but a lot of the walk was shaded by trees.

We met up in the castle gardens and enjoyed the sunshine before heading back to our little garden at the cottage.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


These days, September and October are my favourite months. I've always preferred spring with its freshness and promise but, perhaps something to do with getting older, now the slower days of autumn appeal more.

This year we have the autumnal cobwebs, berries and early mornings but in the middle of the day, a real indian summer with temperatures in the 20ºs. It is a perfect combination.

There is a stillness about autumn, the crops have gone and the weeds and wildflowers grow before the ground is ploughed. The fields are full of birds feasting on any grains left behind. Pigeons mainly.

We walked around a local lake on Sunday, very calm and quiet.

The leaves are beginning to fall.

The skies at sunrise have been amazing, this has been my morning view this week.

Autumn has come to the garden too. This is our little front garden, the cyclamen get better each year as new self seeded plants appear.

Saturday, 10 September 2016


I have now been back from my holidays for two weeks so its time I sorted out my photographs. As always I took very many pictures, plenty of memories.

In mid August we spent a few days in Chagford, a small town on Dartmoor. It was a good place from which explore the area.

On my list was the RHS garden, Rosemoor. This was my second visit, the first being many years ago when the children were small, I was able to spend a bit more time looking at the plants this time.

In mid August the Hot Garden was at its peak. The colours were amazing

and the garden was filled with butterflies.

There was softer planting in the spiral garden

and then so many different shades of green beside the lake.

Beautiful reflections in the still water.

With so many visitors to the garden, the birds were used to people and seemed happy to pose for photos.

It was a good day out. I'll leave you with this handsome chap I spotted in the woods.

Monday, 5 September 2016

A misty walk

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, a beautiful morning and I decided to drive a little way to a hill with good views for my walk. As it was such a nice day I packed a flask of coffee in my rucksack.

As I got nearer I drove into the mist and by the time I had parked the car it was quite dense. Power lines faded into the distance

and trees became visible only as I walked towards them.

It felt quite eerie.

The cobwebs on the wheat were pretty.

The shapes of the trees were silhouetted against grey nothingness.

I stopped for my coffee but there was no view.

It was a bit chilly too, first time for mitts this autumn.

Then, as I walked back to the car, slowly the mist  lifted.

It was magical as more and more of the countryside came into view.

By the time I reached the car it was clear.

I have been feeling a bit foggy myself lately. August has been good, I have some holiday photos to post, but underlying worries about ageing parents and their deteriorating health are never far from my mind. Living at a  distance from family members is not easy and I hope we can sort out some solutions to the situation. I must remind myself that this time will pass and we will get something in place in the same way that the mist clears away on a foggy day.