Thursday, 23 October 2014

Autumnal day trip to Derbyshire

Hello again everyone.  I finally managed to pack away my work for the rest of this half-term week and yesterday took off with DD to Derbyshire for a girls day out.

We set off bright and early from home, and, before we knew it, arrived at Darley Dale at this lovely little shop...


don't you just love the yarn-bombed bicycle?  Not sure if this one had had a guest appearance at Yarndale or if it was used as part of the Tour de France Grande Depart celebrations but we both thought it was a lot of fun!  Inside the store is a fantastic array of all things embroidery, and the young girl who served us was so friendly and helpful.  We love coming here to buy supplies. 

Next up we went to Rowsley to visit another favourite stopping-off place for us, Cauldwell's Mill.  We love to mooch around the old out buildings...



Quite a bit of autumn colour in evidence...



On a distant hill, a farmer was sorting out a tree that had probably been blown down the day before when we had a lot of high winds and stormy weather...


Back at the mill is a lovely gift shop...


...this little fellow was waiting patiently for his owner..


The sky was absolutely stunning...


We then jumped back in the car and drove another ten minutes up the A6 to the beautiful town of Bakewell, where we had a good rummage around the charity shops and found some super bargains, including a brand new handbag for me and a brand new hat for DD.  We went in some other shops and bought a few gifts for Christmas, but these will have to remain a secret for now!

It then started to spot with rain, and, as our tummies were rumbling we went to the Thorntons Coffee shop for a lovely lunch...



The service and the food in this little café is second to none, do try it if you are ever in Bakewell.  The cakes looked very tempting, so we decided on these two, we cut them up and had half each...



It was such a treat to be sitting having a lovely chat with DD, we have spent a lot of time together this week which has been absolutely fantastic.  We both have very similar tastes, we are both heavily into the Scandinavian vibe at the moment!  She also shares my love of autumn, and is doing an autumnal themed project for her Art Textiles A Level at the moment.  As we sat chatting I couldn't resist taking a photo through the café window as we watched the world go by...


 With our tummies full, we had another wander around the town and came upon this superb display at the little greengrocers shop...
 


This is probably the nearest we will get to a pumpkin patch (DD and I would LOVE to go to a proper pumpkin patch in New England...)  and we loved this funny little face...


DD took a lot of time to pick an ideal pumpkin for us.  Hopefully I will be able to do it justice on the 31st!!

On the way home we popped in to see my Darling Mum, whose health is still very up and down, but it was lovely to have a chat with her and tell her what we had been up to.  Three girls together!!  I can't wait for her to be up and about again so that she can come to my house for dinner, we always have such a good time.

Back home, we found that the vegetable soup I had put on in the slow cooker before going out had cooked nicely.  After dinner, by means of a "thank you" DD made me a lovely hot chocolate...


can you spot the little gingerbread men she made? 

Hope you are all having a lovely week, thanks again so much for all your recent kind comments, very much appreciated.

Helenxx

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Treats and Tricks!

Hello everyone, hope that this stormy weather isn't having any adverse effects for you. Very blustery and heavy showers here with spells of bright sunshine - but could be a lot worse.

Thank you so, so much for all your kind comments about my Darling Mum, she seems quite a bit improved today when I visited her earlier so hopefully that will continue as the days go by.

I have spent today (even though it is half term) working on reports and referrals, but now I can say that I am officially on holiday as I have ticked off all the items on my to-do list!!  Hip-hip-hooray!! I firmly believe in that old trick of a to-do list, keeps me on track and I find it so, so satisfying when I eventually tick everything off!

Yesterday I worked in the morning, then took my DD out and about to our local villages on a tea and gift shop tour.  We love to do this when we can, there are so many lovely places and little shops, all so different from the usual High Street fare.  First of all we visited a little tea shop and treated ourselves to a very yummy hot chocolate...after all, it had been a long, hard morning of work...


I love the idea of popping a mini-gingerbread man in amongst the cream and chocolate flake, but a close up made it look quite creepy and Halloween-like, almost like a mummy emerging from its tomb...would be a great drink to serve up on the 31st...


After investigating more local village shops, including a newsagent that sells everything and 2 gift shops we went to the local garden centre, always a treat at any time of year, but they had really gone to town with the Halloween theme...




Onto another village, where my kids have attended school (and DD still attends there). I also attended school there "back in the day".  I loved the autumn colours on this tree.  The old building in the background was a fully-operational mill in my young day, but is now converted into upmarket apartments...


It was so lovely to spend time with DD, we share so many interests, we didn't stop chatting the whole time we were out!

Hope you have a lovely and cosy evening, Helenxx

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Colourful October

This week has been quite trying.  My Darling Mum has been poorly, which has been a big worry, but thankfully she is slowly improving.  Usual stresses at work.  But trying to find little glimmers of colour along the way - after all, this is quite possibly my favourite month of the year.

A couple of weeks ago I finished this crochet cushion in October Oranges -




I always associate October with these shades of orange.  Here is the completed article lounging on my armchair...


it is so squishy and comfy!  Just the thing to cosy up to on these darker evenings.  I am almost finished making another Autumnal cushion, same yarn but different shades - this time rusty reds.  All to be revealed soon I hope!

On with the October Orange theme, I have decorated my mantel with lots of suitable candle holders. 


Cue a few close-ups of my collection...




Rocking the pumpkin loveliness!!

And just to show that there are sometimes colours other than orange in October, here is a sunset from last week...


The whole neighbourhood was lit up with pink for about 5 minutes, then it was gone. 

Hope you have a lovely, and colour-filled Sunday!

Helenxx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fungi Foray

Since being a young child I have been fascinated by fungi.  We used to go walking in the local woods, looking at all the extraordinary examples of fungi and then have a go at identifying them with a Collins Little Gem book. 

These days I love to take photos of the fleeting beauty of fungi - many species are here today - gone tomorrow.  So, with long-suffering DH in tow I visited our local Outwoods and started snapping away, often crawling on the floor to get the best shots.  Love that macro setting :)

So, here are some of the shots I managed to get - sit back and enjoy!

Love the green of the moss in this photo...


peeking from amongst the fallen leaves...


Parasol mushroom, can almost imagine fairies sheltering beneath it...


bracket fungi on a fallen birch log...


Small cluster of toadstools, these really were quite tiny...


Beefsteak fungi, this was blood red in reality...


I love the way that fungi makes the most of dead wood, true recycling at its best...

spotted these just at the edge of the path amongst a cluster of hazel trees...




Underside of bracket fungi, I love the patterning.  I can just imagine how Marimekko use natural inspiration for their designs when I see this picture. 


A fun afternoon, even DH got into the act in the end, pointing out examples I had missed.  However, I will need to go back to the woods soon as I did not, on this occasion, see any examples of the red and white spotted Fly Agaric.  Any excuse really to visit the woods, especially in the Autumn, is fine by me!

Helenxx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Season of mists...

...and mellow fruitfulness.  And this morning is certainly misty and mellow.  Last night was very clear, with the moon and stars shining brightly.  DH and I went out for a night-time walk, I love walking later on in the evening, walking down the so-familiar streets that seem somehow much less familiar when it is dark.  I love walking past the houses, with the lamps shining through the windows, makes me feel cosy somehow!

This morning however, the mist has fallen and everything looks different yet again.  So, jacket on and outside with the camera, to capture the moment before the mist disappears as silently as it arrived.

Trees, shrouded by mists, but autumn colour still visible...





 
 
Everything silent in the early morning...
 


Fruitfulness...with spiders busy at their work...


Quite chilly out this morning at 7.30 when these photos were taken, so when I came back inside, the kettle was switched on for a coffee.  And I noticed that there were still some of the delicious spiced cookies left from my DD's cooking session yesterday...


She has made a new recipe, this includes all the usual spices but includes a spoonful of pumpkin puree - and the difference this makes is extraordinary!  Perhaps I should put her forward for Great British Bake Off next year!  Bless her, she wouldn't  like to be on TV.  Did you watch the final this week?  I don't think the standard was quite as good as in previous weeks, but to be fair the pressure really was on.  My DD and I watched each episode avidly each week, and we are now feeling quite lost as it was the only bit of TV we watched that didn't involve sport or the news!  Hopefully they will do a Christmas special or something like that.

Well, the rest of the family are beginning to stir so had better away and get on with a few jobs.  Have a lovely Sunday!

Helenxx