Wednesday 31 August 2011

Still Biking

Yep, I keep managing to keep getting back into the saddle and discover bits of my area that I didn't know existed. Its truly amazing how you think you know an area, but when you approach it from another angle - you don't. The old disused railway line took me into old industrial area's no longer used. The sign explained..........

why the pond was bright orange.
This area is in the foothills of the Pennines and is very picturesque.
They make good use of the elements up here too.
One disadvantage of cycling is that I don't take as many photographs - but I couldn't resist this lovely display of wild flowers.
Ive added my pal Nic's Etsy site to my sidebar for you to have a nosey at. She has started sourcing vintage items for fairs etc. She's got some lovely items already and if there is something you are after - she'll keep her eye open for you. Take a look.

Monday 29 August 2011

Our first village fair- and you are invited.

I don't do much crafting in Summer - I prefer to be outdoors exploring and making the most of the longer Summer days. However, I have indulged in a little bead work - since I became obsessed after a class at my W.I. group. My lovely bloggy friend Rosie had given me a great selection of Jewellery making paraphenalia when we met up, and this set me off making earrings.

I love earrings and feel naked if I leave the house without a pair.
Ive also found some lovely beads on my travels, and used some broken jewellery that I had too.

Don't forget that it is our village fair this Saturday - 3rd September. It's the first one that we have ever held, so I hope it will be a success. I am manning the W.I "Homemade & Vintage " stall - and I can promise you some excellent goodies at bargainous prices (it will all be priced to sell as hubby wants his garage space back!!!). Ive got loads of lovely very vintage china. One of the ladies has given me her Grans tea sets to sell - the lady who gave it to me is over 70 years old herself, so the set must be over a hundred years old! I have LOADS of gorgeous new fabric - some great Winter weight baby cord in lovely autumnal colours which I will be sellling for around £1 per piece - so you could end up with several metres for a £1!!! I have also got some vintage textiles, vintage jewellery, loads of books, some great kitchenalia, beautiful antiques etc etc The fair is to be held at Thorpe Hesley Community Centre which is right next to Holy Trinity Church, Sough Hall Road, Thorpe Hesley - Just off Junction 35 of the M1 motorway, and it opens at 12.30pm. I'd love to see you if you can make it - and bloggy pals get discount! xxx

Saturday 27 August 2011

A City Walk

Hubby and I couldn't make our minds up what to do with our day. After I said that we hadn't had much rain - the day after, we got about six inches of the stuff, just as we didn't need it as the DQ was camping at Leedsfest music festival and got washed out of her tent poor love. Fortunately, she is currently renting a house in Leeds as she is transferring Uni (that's another story!), so her and her pals got a taxi back to her nice dry house.
The weather girl said we would have a better day today - but we may still have some heavy showers. So I decided a walk around the city centre would be a good idea - so that we could dart under cover if we needed to.

I thought I would show you around some of my fave places..
Devonshire Street is a lovely place to wander. It has a lot of "retro" and vintage shops as well as some lovely independant shops - sadly lacking in many towns and cities in the UK these days.

I was thrilled to find that Devonshire Green was holding one of its markets.
Every stall was lovely. Local food, crafts, vintage, wonderful cakes. And they had a disco with a DJ too.

We drooled over the Cookie Campervan.
This part of the city has had a lot of new apartments built over the last few years.
But the place I'm taking you next is very old.
The cobbled streets still remain here. Sadly, this area will be pulled down soon, so I wanted to record it. A new (probably soulless) shopping centre is going to be built here - building was due to start as the credit crunch hit - so it has been reprieved for a while.
Most of Sheffield's cutlery making and silver ware came from this area of the city.

The workshops would have been rented out to The Little Mesters who were self employed cutlery makers. Some of the workshops have been successfully converted into shops.
But others are destined to be demolished. I love these old streets. I think its a great shame that they are going to be pulled down. There are only a handful of The Little Mesters left in Sheffield now - You can learn about one of them here.
We moved on - and discovered that landlocked Sheffield has been turned into the seaside.
The Peace Gardens had a beach, and rides and the kids were having a great time.

The fountain is always a number one attraction in the sun and today was no exception.
And the weather woman thankfully got it wrong. It was lovely to wander around the city enjoying the sun and soaking up the lovely friendly atmosphere and happy spirit of our lovely city.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Do you think........

...that Mother Nature is determined not to be caught out again? She seems to have brought Autumn on a little early this year - I can't ever remember the trees wearing their Autumnal colours this early.

Autumn always used to start on cue on September 1st - (with the bonus of an Indian summer thrown in some years). This year has been exceptionally dry here. I can count the number of rainy days on one hand. The garden has really suffered.
And judging by the very large number of shiny red berries - another harshwinter may be on the cards.

But lets not think about it yet. Lets enjoy the light nights and the warmth of the sun while it lasts. xx

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Time Travel

Hubby and I had a great time at the weekend - bobbing off to various events - just the two of us. He had chosen a 4 CD Compilation of music from the 1980's to accompany us in the car. Our vehicle turned into a time travel machine.

Now I loved the 1980's - I breezed through it in a fog of Elnette hairspray, hand knitted mohair or cotton tops and fabulous white stiletto heels (they made my Ibiza tanned legs look amazing!). Look at me here - I'm modelled on Sheena Easton's "Modern Girl" !! I loved that electric blue colour in the 80's and have been thrilled to find it back this summer!
So we bopped away in the car to Wham, Culture Club, Rick Astley et al.. By the second CD we were thoroughly" back in the day" and I was remembering all the carefree times.

But then this played - and instantly I was transported back to the mid 80's - Friday teatime and watching the news when they used to show that horrid map of the UK with little factories on it and huge figures illustrating which works had been closed down that week and how many hundreds - sometimes thousands- of people had been made redundant . It stopped me in my tracks and gave me a knot in my stomach.
Music can totally take me back in time and evoke very powerful emotions .

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Sunday Bike Ride

So after we said bye to Louise and Dave, hubby and I got on our bikes to ride some of the Monsal Trail that lies behind Thornbridge Hall. I attempted this bike ride after a bottle of very refreshing Thornbridge Jaipur Pale Ale - it didn't do much to assist my balance!

We have done some of this trail walking - but we were able to go much further on the bikes. I had never been passed Litton Mill before, so it was interesting to see what lay beyond there.

The Geography and Geology of the landscape out here is amazing and the landscape itself is very impressive. Millions of years ago, this area was at the bottom of a shallow warm sea - unbelievable when you see how high it is now and how high above current sea level it is. The rocks below were lava flow from the volcano eruption that caused the sea bed to end up here.
Explained on one of the many information boards.
This area is steeped in fascinating industrial history too. It was surprising to come across some of the old relics along the way.
It was fascinating to read the info boards and see just how busy the station at Millers Dale had been....
...compared to how it looks today.
Ive mentioned before that the tunnels have only recently been restored and reopened. There are 7 along the way and I have got braver and have been through them all. Its much better on a bike as I can whiz through!!
The old railway line really clings to the edge of the very high hills - and the tunnels were an amazing feat of engineering - especially at the time that they were built.
Even though the track passes through the valley - you are at times a very long way up. This does however give you a great vantage point to spy on the moo cows below.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Thornbridge Hall Garden Open Day - and a surprise meeting

Ive never managed to be around for any of the Open Days that they have held at Thornbridge Hall, (near Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire) and its one of those places that I have always wanted to see more of. The hall is privately owned by Emma Harrison - local Entrepeneur and "Secret Millionaire" and when I read that the gardens were open today under the National Garden Schemes, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to visit.

The history of the hall is very interesting and I was surprised to read that it was owned previously by 2 more Sheffield entrepeneurs at times throughout its history.

I have to say that the gardens were really surprising. I didn't expect them to be as stunning as they were - my photos cannot do justice to them.
There are delights at every turn - but even though it is all really grand, it looks totally lived in and very used.
Some of the features in the gardens were bought when other local stately homes fell into decline. A couple of the fountains, and this stunning temple were from Clumber Park.
I wish you could smell these sweet peas - there were lots of beautiful sweet pea wigwams dotted around.
The Potager gardens were stunning - they were in a splendid very sunny spot and I spotted lots of produce being grown very succesfully.
This chap seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders!

The borders were all stunning. They had a great sunny and hot day for the Open Day. I got a lot of inspiration for my own pocket hankerchief sized plot.
One of my favourite parts of the garden was the relatively new Orangery (seen here from the coach house where delicious sandwiches, cakes and beveridges were being served).
Emma appears to live with her extended family and a few friends. The house and gardens look as if at any given time, they can - and do - turn into Party Central. The Orangery had lots of places to sit and dine.
In fact they had built a kitchen into one end of the Orangery so that they could cook down here - away from the house - straight from the garden. Behind the (fabulously Farrow and Ball painted) brick wall, was the old potting sheds. Now turned into a Micro Brewery!!! A great addition to a party house - and we tested the beer ! It was really really good. The lovely pained units were full of mismatched china. I loved it all!
Emma is also growing 2 Lemon tree's just outside of the doors - handy for her G&T's!
We also passed a new part of the hall that the family has built - a fab swimming pool.. So I came home wanting to completely redo my garden - to incorporate an Orangery, Swimming Pool, Pottager, Brewery and some new plants. The hall also has a underground Bar, Gymnasium, Ballrom and lots more stunning features. I really loved it all. Hubby is slightly alarmed at the number of projects I formulated in my head whilst walking round!
Then on our way out - something strange happened. We passed a young couple - and even though I knew I didn't know them - I thought they looked familiar. I mentioned to hubby that I thought that I recognised the young lady as a blogger that I regularly leave comments for - and she for me. He told me to ask her, but I daren't in case I was wrong. Then we bumped into them again around the corner - and she said "Hello - youre Diane aren't you"
It was Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling, (and Dave - her other half). It was lovely to stop and have a chat with them - such a small world.