Saturday, 23 March 2013

Springtime snow!

It was quite a shock to open the door to so much snow today.

The view from our house overlooking the town.

Thoughts frequently turning to a very special lady that we said goodbye to yesterday. So grateful that all of this snow didn't show itself a day earlier.

A walk in the field by our house.

F planning his next sledge run.

V enjoying rolling down the hill in the deep soft snow.

Looking into the Deer Park of neighbouring Powis Castle, the deer disappeared before I could get the camera out!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Exploring The Great Fort, Gaer Fawr


A walk in the woods last Sunday morning. Just what was needed after another long week. The sun made a rare appearance, birds singing heartily and bluebells starting to emerge through the carpet of leaf litter. 
 Gaer Fawr, the Great Fort is an old ironage fort of impressive size and the boys loved running up and down the embankments shooting their bows and arrows. 
The highlight for them was to discover a Fairy door with a cup cake left outside. This was rather tempting for littlest one who wanted to devour it there and then! It took some persuading for him to walk away leaving it for the tiny occupants. 
The mosses and lichens on the trees kept catching my eye with their pattern and colour.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Comet spotting

 Last night I took two of my boys out comet spotting. It was a lovely clear evening, the sky was the most glorious colour, the crescent moon was so crisp and sharp and there were some lovely silhouettes of the trees on the horizon. However, the hill and trees obscured our view of comet PanSTARRS, which was disappointing. It was too cloudy to see anything this evening, but hopefully we'll get another chance soon.

There's a good guide to spotting the comet at Meteorwatch

Have you managed to catch sight of it?

A weekend of trips: Part 2, Harlech



On Sunday we took our Canadian exchange student, James, to Harlech Castle. The journey to get there is so stunning, taking you through the Welsh mountains before dropping down to follow the estuary before getting to the coast. I heard gasps of 'Oh wow!' from the back of the car as the castle came into view!
The size and detail of the castle make it really interesting to explore. You can begin to imagine what it would have been like, especially with the models on display in the entrance. We all enjoyed being able to walk along the parapet, seeing the castle from a different perspective and taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Apparently there is nothing like Harlech Castle in Canada, so it was a good choice to go and visit!

After a rather disappointing lunch in a nearby pub, I insisted we all go for a walk along the beach. The sun was just beginning to break through the clouds and the light was lovely. The wind however was not! Bitterly cold and the sand whipping across the beach, it soon became too painful to continue our walk, so reluctantly, we headed home. Overall, a great day out!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A weekend of trips: Part 1




It's quite a rare treat to have a weekend of day trips, as we always have house building to be getting on with. However this weekend was special as we had a Canadian exchange student staying with us, and we wanted to show him some of the highlights of the area. The weather has not been very cooperative with grey cold skies and a bitterly cold wind, so it has been hard to plan any outdoor activities.
We started out by going to Ironbridge for a stroll around the bridge itself, and viewing the area of the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. I do love the patterning in the structure of the bridge. 
We had fish and chips for lunch and then drove on to RAF Cosford.



The RAF Museum at Cosford houses a huge display of military planes. It's impressive how they got so many in a relatively small area. Hanging them at jaunty angles is a clever idea. I liked the graphics, the reflections, and shapes of the structures. You do come away with the realisation that every little detail of a plane has to be so well considered and designed and you can't help but admire the feats of engineering that they are. I've never seen so many big and little boys so enthralled in a museum before, and I must admit I enjoyed it more than I expected too, having absolutely no interest in aeroplanes.

There was a good section of hands on activities for children to learn the physics of flying, which was a big hit with my two younger boys.
It's a great place to go and visit and rather incredibly it's free!

Part 2: Sunday's trip to follow.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

First planting of the season



My planting season always starts with shallots. The weather has been beautiful over the past few days, and this prompted me to buy some 'Golden Gourmet' shallots from the hardware shop in town. They have them outside the shop in a bucket on the pavement and I love being able to pick my own out.

My little helper, V, left playing at his sandpit to amble over and help me plant them out. Always keen to join in... lovely.

I love to grow shallots as they seem a little more exotic than the humble onion, and for some unknown reason, they seem to grow better than onions in my allotment. I also love how you plant one shallot and harvest a cluster of them. Magical.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunshine on our faces

This week has been very much one of those weeks, where many very separate things demand all of your attention, at the same time. The cold, heavy grey skies have done little to help lower my stress levels. But the weekend is here and oh joy, so is the sunshine. We have been outside soaking up the warmth on our faces, reveling in not having to wear a coat to be outside.

The garden was the place to be, tidying up last years growth to reveal this year's new shoots.

I like the contrast between last year's faded flowers and the fresh new growth.

I love hearing the boys playing along side me as I work. They had a wonderful time playing in a molehill! The simplest things...

After a good spell of gardening in the sunshine... followed by a cup of tea and some chocolate digestives and reading a couple of chapters of Little House on the Prairie (more on that to come!)... I'm beginning to feel a little more restored to face whatever next week may bring.
What restorative things do you like to do to bounce back from a tough week?