31 Mar 2016

Scavenger Hunt for March 2016

It's the end of the month and time for another collection of photos for the Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge hosted by Greenthumb of Made With Love Blog.  Thank you Greenthumb.  You can find the list of this month's participants here.

The list for March: local, city, stripes, crisp, street art, tiles, rocks stairs, hair, measure, large, for one, landscape

LOCAL    a local park

CITY    Fargate, Sheffield City Centre.  There is always something going on in the main pedestrianised areas of the city. One Saturday there was a group of flautists playing for the Marie Curie fund raising Daffodil Appeal

STRIPES    Fargate, the Continental Market

CRISP     These traditional sweet, crisp pastries are eaten during Carnevale, the Thursday before Lent, in some European countries, including Italy.  The thin strips of dough are shaped into bows or other shapes. When shallow fried the dough puffs up giving them a light, flaky texture.  Powdered sugar is sprinkled on top before serving them.  Each region of Italy has its own name for them and in Rome they are called frappe.

STREET ART      Owlerton (usually pronounced Oh-lerton), is an area of Sheffield that is thought to have originally been named because many alder trees grew there (alder-ton).  Fine art students from the nearby college supported by a local artist have spray painted murals on the walls and fences showing industries, businesses, historical events and characters associated with the local area.  

TILES      Floor tiles in the Grand Entrance Hall, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

ROCKS STAIRS (steps?)     I wasn't sure what this prompt meant so I've submitted several options. Above are (1)  rocks that could be used as steps at The Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Shop, Holmfirth, Yorkshire. There is official access by way of a shallow gravel slope and the rocks are part of a wind break as the site is on the side of a hill (2) flagstone steps in the village of Holmfirth and (3) the carpeted stone Grand Staircase, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

HAIR     A carving on a building in Sheffield City Centre, probably a Green Man, because of the naturalistic-looking hair.

MEASURE     a sundial set in the paving stones of the courtyard of the Upper Chapel, Sheffield - the shadow-casting object, probably a metal triangular blade, (gnomon) is missing.

LARGE     Large and small items were on sale when the Continental Market was set up in the city centre.

FOR ONE   When we go out for afternoon tea my husband prefers to drink coffee whilst I enjoy a pot of tea and a piece of home made cake such as this delicious carrot cake.

LANDSCAPE    View of the snow capped moors, the dales and hills around Holmfirth, Yorkshire from Holmfirth Vineyards which we visited on Easter Tuesday.

March has been a busy month, although there have been quiet times too. This post for Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge has reminded me of some of what I did and saw during the month. Blogging has had to give way to other activities and family times and this will continue at least for the next month as I shall be taking a break.

18 Mar 2016

Five on Friday

With the better weather I've been able to get out for some walks as well as going to my different courses in the city.  On Sunday afternoon we went to the Upper Derwent Valley, crossed the Yorkshire Bridge by Ladybower Reservoir and walked along by the river before coming back over the moors to Lower Bradfield village where we stopped for refreshments.
Everywhere, whether it's in the villages or town parks, the Spring flowers are at their best.  I'm so grateful that they've been planted in public places for everyone to enjoy and it certainly lifts the spirits as they pop into bloom at this time of the year.  My favourites are those that have been planted at the edge of woodland areas and along country lanes.  The plants look so natural there. Below are photos taken that afternoon - sorry, there are quite a few photos!  I'm joining Amy's Five on Friday. Thank you Amy for organising the link up.

the woods and river 

The woods near the River Derwent and Ladybower Reservoir.  A footpath leads over into the Hope Valley.

country lanes and interesting landscape views

(photo taken from a television programme)
Further along the lane there are views of Bamford Edge, a gritstone overhang escarpment that continues as Stanage Edge, a popular area for rock climbers.

 a pretty village

Then we went back to Low Bradfield village and walked by the stream called Agden Beck. 

time for tea!

By then it was teatime.  It was good to be able to sit outside in the courtyard of the Schoolrooms cafe, once the village school, enjoying the last hour of sunshine before driving back over the moors through Bradfield Dale to get back home.  Inside there's a farmshop and deli whilst upstairs is the cafe.  It's bright and modern with original paintings on the walls and that afternoon it had been set up for a children's party.

the moors and farms around Bradfield Dale and village

I hope you've enjoyed the tour, part walk and part drive!  Do go over to Amy's Five on Friday link to see what everyone else has posted this week.

11 Mar 2016

Five on Friday

I'm joining in the Five on Friday hosted by Amy at Love Made My Home. Once again thank you Amy for organising the link-up. The link is here.

This week I received a card, letter and some special breakfast tea from Tracy of Sunny Corner Farm blog who also participates in Five on Friday. Tracy lives on a smallholding in rural New South Wales, Australia where it has been very hot indeed with no rain for weeks. Thankfully it's beginning to get a little cooler as the season changes to Autumn. Tracy enjoys letter writing, gardening and crafting so do drop in on Tracy and say "hello" if you haven't already met her through Five on Friday.   

It was another interesting couple of hours on the Lent course this week thinking about being mindful of the present moment, taking time for quiet reflection, finding ways to live differently from the ways of the world, simplicity of living. We looked at some pictures of paintings by artists whose work demonstrates this in some way e.g. still life compositions, a solitary figure sitting down in an interior setting. Afterwards I met our granddaughter as she was also in town taking her theory driving test which she passed. Now she can take the practical test when she finishes her course of driving lessons.

gilded angels decorate the wooden roof vaulting

Yesterday was another dull, damp and misty day so instead of going out for the day we went and had a browse around our two local nurseries.  There were plenty of plants to make up displays in planters or pots and hanging baskets. I bought two varieties of primulas (below) then drove uphill and along the top lanes to get back home.

Primula Gold Lace, (left), Primula Marmalade (right), mimosa (bottom left)

My friend who helped me with my crocheting spotted a learn-to-crochet book in a charity shop and got it for me.  It's a Dorling Kindersley publication so the illustrations are very clear. I've been making at least two granny squares in an evening using the red wool I had left over from making a scarf and a new ball of purple.  (The purple is not as bright as in the photo in the collage). I've also bought some cotton yarn - white, lemon and lime -  for when I'm ready to start another project.

I'm looking forward to my painting and photography half day course tomorrow and as the International Women's Day workshops are taking place nearby I hope to go to one or two of them.

Wishing you a good weekend.

8 Mar 2016

This and That

A gift of flowers for Mother's Day and a family meal was enjoyed this week.

Our chef grandson came 4th in the finals of this year's Young Chef of the Year competition organised by The International Association of Gastronomy (la Chaine des Rotisseurs). Yesterday he flew to Valencia, Spain to do some training at the Michelin restaurant RiFF owned by the chef Bernd Knoller.

We've had some more odd weather again with more snow and then sunshine.  All the seedlings except for the new garlic sets are kept indoors as the covered yard is not heated.  Even in the house the temperature drops during the night and the flower and vegetable seedlings are taken off the window sills. A lovely sight is to see the peach tree in the covered yard in blossom. Perhaps we'll get some peaches again this year?

This time last year we were in Italy, but we're looking forward to going next month and have just organised our travel arrangements.  We need to do a lot more work on house maintenance, especially on replacing some wooden support beams in the roof. My husband did a few of these last year, but it's heavy and dusty work.  Before he could start a hornets' nest had to be removed. I hope they haven't returned as these insects give a powerful sting and are dangerous for anyone allergic as is the case in my family. The nest seemed to be empty, but we did find the odd hornet flying around so even though I took photos I was very careful doing it.

Getting up into the roof space is complicated as the access is through a hatch located in the upper floor family bathroom.  It was difficult to carry the beam up the ladder and then some of the roof tiles had to be removed and some smaller wooden supports repaired before nailing in the new beam.  I held the ladder when my husband climbed up into the roof just in case it slipped on the marble floor.  He also had to climb out of the hole he had made and up onto the roof in order to replace the tiles that he'd stacked there. In March the weather is as unpredictable as our own in the UK so it was important to get the work done as it looked as if it was going to rain.

Today, 8th March, is International Women's Day when we express our solidarity with other girls and women around the world. In Italy we give one another bunches of mimosa which is the Italian flower associated with the day.  Mimosa is blooming in March and can be gathered without having to go to the expense of buying flowers.  Places are decorated with branches of mimosa and there are meetings highlighting the human rights and the plight of women and girls around the world who live in oppressive conditions. On Saturday our city university will be hosting  a day of workshops and talks.