Saturday, 23 August 2014

Summer days

A boat waits to go into Goring-on-Thames Lock.

When we were down in Berkshire in July we met up with my husband's sister and her husband (over from Italy) and took them to Streatley and Goring-on-Thames before having lunch with our grandson no 3 as he had the afternoon off from work.  This area was another favourite one where I would go with my parents and spend some time watching the boats go through Goring Lock. My husband and I would take our own children for a walk up Streatley Hill overlooking the river and have a picnic.  It's also the route we would often take to Oxford and it's a pleasant one where the road north of Reading follows the wooded hills by the river.

Goring and Streatley Bridge.  Down river is Pangbourne and Reading.

Goring-on-Thames village in on the Oxfordshire bank of the Thames and the village of Streatley is on the Berkshire side of the river. (Streatley Hill lies just beyond the woods in the above photo).

One of the quiet back waters in Goring

The old Goring Mill

From Goring we retraced our steps across the bridge and went back to Pangbourne village for lunch. Last time we were there it was just before we had flooding in some of the villages by the Thames.  July's weather was very different from the continuous rain that was experienced earlier in the year.

Pangbourne means 'Paega's People's Stream' and was home to a Saxon chief and his followers.
The sign also shows a pictorial reference to 'The Wind in the Willows' as the author, Kenneth Grahame, lived in the village.

Lunch in the garden of The Elephant Hotel......

....followed by a stroll and a sit down by the river.

It was good that we could all meet up for a relaxing day by the river. (Our  trainee chef grandson 3 had to get back to work later in the afternoon).  My sister-in-law and her husband were pleased to be back in Berkshire with their family, of course, and this time we all enjoyed seeing their daughter get married. Now she and her husband are back in Italy and two of their children and partners and some of their grandchildren are also there for the rest of the Summer holidays.

The happy couple's wedding cake

Here are some other 'Summer days' in our household........most of the time we've been staying home and going out for a morning or afternoon when the opportunity arises with daughter no 2. This weekend we have some more family gatherings before our local daughter moves to her new house next week which is very exciting as it's in an area new to us all.

We passed by Stonehenge on our way back from our grandson no 2's garden party in Wiltshire.

Back home in S. Yorkshire we celebrated my husband's birthday this week
with a family bar-b-q, a delicious Pavlova topped with Summer fruits made by daughter no 1
and Prosecco wine.  The day before we went to an Italian restaurant.

I hope you've also had a good week. Speak to you soon.
Linda :)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The garden mid July to mid August

We planted the apple tree in the lawn after letting it rest in a pot over the Summer.  There are vines climbing up an old washing line post, a couple of plum and peach saplings, an orange tree and, of course the fig tree.

There are not so many pears this year as last year, but plenty of French beans coming on.

We had a few basketfuls of peas and broad beans.  Now we're harvesting French beans.

The pots of lavender and pink pelargoniums are still looking good.

A new climbing rose has now been planted by the other old washing line post.  The yellow rose (Arthur Bell) was grown from a cutting off the original.

Climbing rose 'White Star'

black/purple figs

Cucumbers and plum tomatoes by the kitchen door. Different varieties of tomatoes have been grown in the covered way, the veg. plot and in the flower borders!  End-of-season garden centre sale dahlias and standard rose with small pink flowers (bought for the bargain price garden containers). I also bought some more Welsh slate pieces for the sitting out area under the fig tree. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A visit to Wiltshire in July

In July we went to Wiltshire to see our grandson 2 before he went to live in Australia and to send him off with a leaving party.  He has now arrived in Melbourne after a stop-over for a few days in Los Angeles and is settling in well and is very happy. He trained as a chef and then had the opportunity to specialise in baking, making chocolates and working in a friend's chocolate shop and cafe in Salisbury. In Melbourne he's hoping to do a course in horticulture and beekeeping, which sounds very interesting. Meanwhile he's being interviewed for work in the catering industry as a chef and we've spoken to him on the phone as his mother is with us at the moment as part of her Summer holiday break.
Before we drove into the countryside to join family and friends for the party we met up in Salisbury so that we could visit the cathedral and see where he had been working in the chocolate shop.

                                               An old stone arch and well in the Cathedral Close

The 'new' city of Salisbury was founded in 1220 when the old hill top settlement of Old Sarum was abandoned because of its exposed, windswept and arid location.  A new site in meadows where three rivers met was chosen and developed. Local Purbeck marble and Chilmark stone was used in the construction of Salisbury Cathedral over a period of some 38 years.  The spire - the tallest in England- was a further addition (1280-1310). The beautiful setting of the cathedral with its landmark spire which can be see for miles around has inspired artists including Turner and Constable and the Close is surrounded by many interesting and elegant old buildings; clergy houses, schools and alms-houses.

Matron's College built in 1682 was a home for widows and unmarried daughters of the clergy. 

The Cathedral taken before and after our visit inside.  (There was an amazing sky at one point).
There are several contemporary sculptures in the Close. The above sculpture is by Dame Elizabeth Frink.

The West Front of the Cathedral is decorated with many symbolic figures and saints in niches. A Salvation Army band was playing hymns.

                                                   The nave looking back to West Door.

The font installed in 2008 is the work of William Pye - the flow of the water represents Christ's Living Water.

                                              The choir stalls looking towards the Trinity Chapel.

There was a grouping of 33 terra cotta figures in the Trinity Chapel representing the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles at Pentecost as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles.  Each figure had a halo of beaten metal with a circular opening through which an oil lamp produced a flame and a light.  It was a temporary arrangement and the figures were made by Nicholas Pope.

The East windows of  coloured stained glass in the Trinity Chapel (Lady Chapel) are from the Loire Studio, Chartres, and were created by Gabriel Lore in 1980. It is also called the Prisoner of Conscience Window and the chapel is set aside for prayer.

                                                      Madonna and Child, Trinity/Lady Chapel

The clock, c. 1386 is the oldest working clock in Europe.

                                                   The Mompesson Tomb. The Mompessons
                                                    had a town house in the Cathedral Close.

                                                                                     The cloisters

An attractive-looking house on the north walk of the Cathedral Close.

We went back through one of the old gated entrances to the Cathedral Close into Salisbury city centre
to visit the chocolate shop.

An old print of Salisbury on market day.

The area around Salisbury was well known for the wool and cloth trade.

                                                      Our grandson in the chocolate shop.

Finally, the garden party in the countryside. Grandson no 3, the trainee chef, was already at the friend's house organising the party, preparing the food, which included the above cakes.

Thank you everyone for leaving so many kind comments on my last blog post. They were all greatly appreciated.I hope you're all having a good week. I will try and catch up with all your news very soon.