Weeping poppies.

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By chance we discovered that 5200 of the poppies that were part of the display at the Tower of London were currently at Woodhorn Colliery Museum. So we took the opportunity to go along and see them. A really imaginative way to display them at that location, cascading 55 feet down from one of the winding wheels. This wheel was built in 1897 and was in use until the colliery closed in 1981. By 1917 2500 of the 9000 workforce had joined the armed forces and 250 had died, so it was a fitting place to create the display.


Howick Hall Gardens

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Howick Hall Gardens is one of our favourite places to visit and we were there twice last week. Lots of Autumn colour but plenty still to come. What really caught our interest where all the seed heads on trees and herbaceous plants and the berries. No idea what the tree is that had the long black  seed pods but the texture of their surface looked just like leather.

Colchicums were in full flower all over the place under the trees and there were large clumps of tiny cyclamen flowers – white, pink and magenta – in various locations. The gardens(and the wonderful tearoom) were busy but the wonderful thing is that there is so much space to wander around, especially through the arboretum  and down to the seashore, that you meet few people and even then , everyone is always quiet.


Busy Northumberland!

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Spent a few days in Northumberland last week – so very busy compared to what it used to be. Last Sunday was the most glorious day and the world and its friends were nearly all on Bamburgh beach or in Seahouses. It was chaotic! Thankfully, we do know the quieter places to go but even there we encountered more folks than we would normally expect to.

So during the week we headed in land to Hay Farm Heavy Horses. We had a lovely visit there in April and and the weather last week was as perfect as on that previous occasion. Beautiful horses, including two ‘babies’ born since April – Daisy and Thomas. They were in their stalls and Merlin was watching over them. Outside there was Mustard and Teddy and three others, one of which was very clever at swishing her tail about. And then there were the lovely ducks with this one trying to snooze but frightened she missed anything.

Lovely Autumn day

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A glorious, sunny Autumn day. The leaves on the trees are really starting to change colour and there is an abundance of berries this year.

Two new clocks

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Just completed these two clocks, made with Harris Tweed, which will be on sale at Sula furnishing. The landscape one is my version of a wonderful photo of a washing line at Luskentyre.

Grouse galore!

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Another glorious day and after a brisk morning walk – a cold breeze today  – we have been out and about. We came back through Glen Quaich and over the ‘roof of Perthshire’. Heather burning in progress all over the moors. This area is well known for grouse shooting but they mustn’t have bagged many this year because there were hundreds of them all over the place and making a great deal of noise. Got out of the car to take photos and all you could hear, from all directions,  was that distinctive cackling sound that they make. There was some serious communication taking place!

Early evening walk

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A beautiful evening, one of several during this week of real “Indian Summer”. September has been a good month and has made up for all the awful weather this “summer”. The autumn countryside is beginning to glow. The bracken is turning yellow, brown and gold, and the tree leaves are changing from green to a range of colours –  from green to yellow to brown to red. The cold nights and misty morning have coated the spiders’ webs in tiny droplets of moisture which remain all day. When you see this you realise that there must be trillions of spiders out there in the wild!

The fine, high clouds had the feint tint of rainbow colours in them and the trees and mountains were beautifully silhouetted against the evening blue sky. And the Red deer stags are roaring!