, , , , , , , , , , ,

This weekend marked the start of my break from driving every day to Norwich.  Hooray!!  Elinor finished her exams on Friday and we are so pleased with her and, I suspect, she is very pleased with herself.

IMG_4802Traffic island Halesworth (640x480)

I thought this might be a good opportunity to show you a beautiful traffic island on a roundabout on the outskirts of Halesworth. The Parks Department have been creating wonderful floral displays all over the district. This island looks like a cottage garden.

The previous weekend was very pleasant as Alice came to visit for a few days.  We went to see Elinor’s college artwork on display at a gallery in Norwich on Friday 5th June and then had a very enjoyable Italian meal before returning home.  The day had started with thunderstorms and heavy rain but the sun came out in the afternoon and we then had some gorgeous warm weather for the rest of the day.  We haven’t had much warm weather and it didn’t last.

IMG_4780Sunset (640x480)

A beautiful sunset I saw a few days ago.

We went out for another meal that Sunday for lunch to celebrate Alice gaining her PhD.  My mother came with us too – I had taken her to church that morning and we all met at the Fox and Goose restaurant in Fressingfield.  We returned home and were relaxing with some tea and coffee when my brother arrived.  He had gone over to Mum’s house expecting her to be there as he wanted to try out his new lawn-mower on her grass.  He did a little mowing and then came over to our house hoping she was with us.  She wished she had been there while he mowed, as he cut down her cowslips and bluebells that she had been carefully mowing around while they set seed and died down.  She can’t say anything to him about it as he had been so kind but she has spoken a lot on the subject to me.  If bluebell leaves are cut before they die down the bulb isn’t fed and the plant may not survive.  She quoted a part of ‘A Shropshire Lad’ to me and said she also may not have many more bluebell springs and it would be sad if hers had gone for ever.  (I will have to replace her plants if they don’t grow next year!).  My brother has recently moved into his new home in Saxmundham, not far from us.  He seems to be settling in very well.  He got a job transfer from Surrey where he used to live to Suffolk and is getting on splendidly here.  He teaches in open prisons and has already been able to put some of the men in for exams which they have passed.  It has been very nice for me to see Andrew more regularly.  There is only a year and 9 days difference in our ages and we were very close when we were young.  He left home at 17 to become a police cadet and then married at 21.  We then didn’t seem to have much in common any more and only saw each other about once a year.

IMG_4818Male Azure Damselfly (640x480)

A male Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) I saw in my garden yesterday.

The past week was very busy with Elinor’s exams, two shopping trips for Mum and a visit to the eye clinic at Norfolk and Norwich hospital with her for a check-up and of course, my usual chores.

IMG_4815Scarlet Pimpernel (640x480)

A Scarlet Pimpernel flower (Anagallis arvensis ssp. arvensis) in my garden yesterday.

Richard has been taking Fridays off recently, cutting his working week down to four days in preparation for his retirement at the end of August.  He came with Elinor and me when I took her in for her final exam on Friday morning and while she was in college we did a little shopping.  It was a lovely bright day and not too cold for a change.  When Elinor met us we took her to buy some converse trainers she wanted and then went to a coffee shop for a drink and a sandwich.  The afternoon was dry so I managed to get some gardening done at home.

IMG_4791Pakenham Water Mill (480x640)

Pakenham Water Mill with Richard walking up the lane.

Saturday was mainly rainy and cool.  Richard and I decided to go out and buy some more good flour from Pakenham Water Mill.  We have had two tours of the mill already and it was much too wet to walk in the gardens, so we settled for a cup of tea/coffee and some cake in the tea room.  The lady who runs the tea shop wasn’t expecting many people to turn up because of the foul weather, so hadn’t made any of her wonderful scones.   There were plenty of other cakes to chose from and the tea and coffee is good there.  We bought two 5kg bags of flour from the shop and took them to the car.  Before returning home we had a look at the outside of the mill and at the river on the opposite side of the lane.

IMG_4792Pakenham Water Mill (640x470)

A wider view of the mill showing the millers house where the tea shop is situated.

IMG_4786Pakenham (640x480)

This is the river on the opposite side of the lane to the mill. You see the water that has just been through the mill powering the wheel, flowing into the river.

IMG_4789 (640x480)Watercress

I think this may be Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum). I haven’t been this close to Watercress that’s still growing before so I may be mistaken. I used to see it quite often when we lived in Somerset but I couldn’t get this close to it. This is wild Watercress and not cultivated.

IMG_4790 (640x480)Watercress

This is a close-up of the flowers.

IMG_4787Spider (640x480)

We saw this monstrous beauty in the field on the other side of the river.

IMG_4794Topiary crocodiles (640x480)

Topiary crocodiles. We discovered that a business specialising in topiary had created all sorts of creatures and put them along the river bank.

IMG_4795Topiary (640x480)

More topiary.

IMG_4796Topiary (640x480)

And more. This is the Pied Piper of Hamelin .

IMG_4797Chaffinch (480x640)

A wet Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) singing from the top of an electricity pole.

IMG_4799Guinea Fowl (640x480)

A pair of Guinea Fowl walking quickly through the field.

IMG_4800White Campion (640x480)

A wet White Campion (Silene latifolia) next to the gate.

These were the things we saw before we went back home.

Sunday morning was a very gloomy and chilly one.  We went to Morning Prayer at St James’ church.  We had rain at midday but the afternoon gradually became dryer until at last, the sun came out at tea time.

IMG_4801Green lane at St James (640x480)

This is an un-tarmacked lane that goes past St James church.

Thank-you for visiting!