Sunday, 28 October 2012


There's an autmum spectacle that I've really longed to see for years and yesterday we managed it at long last. 
I love wild geese but we only see a few where we live and only the very occassional pink foot or a whooper swan, so yesterday we travelled north to the reserve at Martinmere to see these lovely birds coming home for winter in their thousands.
It was truly brilliant. Just as we arrived an enormous cloud of honking, swirling pink foots circled the mere and came down to feed. Absolutely magical. The noise is tremendous and fills your entire head for ages.
Our boys were really taken by the whole spectacle and there was the bonus of ticking off some real rarities in the I Spy Birds book.
The hides along the lake shore are great, really simple but with stools just the right height, helpful field guides on the walls and some very knowledgeable wardens on hand too. On Friday night as dusk fell, apparently more than 20,000 pink foots had come in to roost! 
This amazing double heights hide looks just like a goose in flight.
As well as the geese there are huge array of all sorts of wildfowl from across the world and otters and beavers too. These serene looking Bewick swans were definitely one of my favourites.
We had a fantastic time walking around the reserve which was really accessible for families and twitchers alike. The whole site is flat and ideal for pushchairs and wheelchairs too and a rather fabulous adventure playground appealed to our boys when the lure of the geese wore off.
Magical. Thank you Martinmere for a very special day.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Walled Wonder

There's a magic about walled gardens I find endlessly fascinating. I imagine the lives of all the gardeners gone before and the house and family they worked hard for through wind and sun, frost and rain.
We spent Sunday inside the warm, red bricked walls of a garden being lovingly brought back to life.
Although this summer had been a trial with many more failures than success they said, one thing was a run away success; a magical, peaceful, reflective atmosphere.

Espaliered apple and cherry trees cloaked the walls and the veg beds were lined with deep herbaceous borders full of flowers for cutting.
Tucked against the south wall next to one of several greenhouses, was a smashing little cafe and seeing your salad picked in front of you makes for a very delicious lunch.
We ate squash & chilli soup and paninis on the little terrace and watched the boys enjoy the run of the garden on a crisp autumn afternoon. Pretty perfect I'd say.
A very special place x

Saturday, 13 October 2012

An Autumn Blessing

A few weeks ago down in deepest Dorset, my lovely friend Lucy married her chap Nick so today was a chance for all us Peak Districtish types to wish them well. Their village means an awful lot to this smashing pair and this afternoon we all gathered at All Saints to celebrate with them.
The church was full of beautiful asters and after some thoughtful prayers and rousing hymns we ate a village-made wedding cake and drank pink fizz in the aisles.
Outside russet leaves carpeted the churchyard like the most glorious confetti,
despite a little rain.
Lucy has been the president of the village WI for a few years so a guard of honour of ribboned wooden spoons was pretty apt.
By now they should be off on their journey to the land of maple leaves. Thanks for a lovely afternoon, all our love and have fun!