~In jeder Sprache wohnen andere Augen.~ ~I don't know where I am going but I am on my way.~

mardi 21 décembre 2010


Christmas can come.

After an accidental interruption due to eye surgery and a dramatic fight for wee RobRoy's life, we are now back to normal.
The stitches -which are still in the eye- will come out on 23rd, that is my first Christmas gift. My second Christmas gift is that the cat has been saved. And EG being with me. I don't need more.

Since late November, snow has fallen permanently. There was a 2-day interruption where all had gone but then it started off again.

These are pictures from December 6th:

Horses are delighted but won't stay outside for long.

Christmas decoration comes out and a special treasure is found at the fleamarket:

I find it goes so well with our vintage lamps - 'left overs' from EG's family.

December 12th:

The height of the snow grows and grows and the old horse cannot even wait to go into the field without coat, she is so keen on rolling in the snow, she does it in the courtyard.

What a quiet world.

This is one of neighbour's deers.

A few sunny days giving this special holiday feeling.

Last day's pictures, more snow.

The moon last night. It will be winter solstice and full moon tonite - isn't it a magical combination?
Magical. I wish you all a magical Christmas. Full of joy and happiness.

Joyeux Noël - Frohe Weihnachten - Feliz Navidad

mardi 2 novembre 2010

Escape to the South - Part 4


This tranquil garden was the home of architect and designer Harold Peto from 1899-1933. He became famous by creating houses and gardens for wealthy Americans who wanted to take residence on the Côte d'Azur.

He was highly inspired by Italian gardens and collected plenty of antique fragments.
When he found Iford Manor, he could afford to buy the property and create a terraced garden where all his collected treasures could be integrated into the hillside.

Peto's garden is a fine example of architectural genius. Its atmosphere, the clever way of using the hillside gives visitors fantastic views and one is almost always overlooking the property. I wonder how long his daily "G.I.T." (Garden Inspection Tour) would have taken him. ;-)

The perfectly blue sky let us believe to be in Italy.

When we had decided to visit Iford, we really did not know what to expect. Gardens in Autumn can be sometimes disappointing.

But this one is worthwhile visiting in Autumn.

Peto was of the opinion that, for the highest development of beauty, a garden must be a combination of architecture and plants. In his manuscript "The Boke of Iford", he wrote that "Old buildings or fragments of masonry carry one's mind back to the past in a way that a garden of flowers only cannot do. Gardens that are too stony are equally unsatisfactory; it is the combination of the two, in just proportion, which is the most satisfying."

Iford Manor has a cloister. The leaflet says: 'A haunt of ancient peace'

Those words are wonderfully chosen!

It must be a perfect background for the sound in here.
I imagined how it must feel in winter. Standing in the cloister, seeing your breath in the cold air and watching snowflakes falling silently in the atrium.

A bit higher up is the Japanese garden. Entirely hidden below the huge trees. All is damp, moist and mysterious.

There is always a marvellous view over those Wiltshire hills.

I will keep this garden in my private "treasure book". It is worthwhile to visit and it also is an enchanting place.

On the way back through Wiltshire to 'Pompei', we had troubles to find something to eat. We finally managed to find an open pub in Hampshire and I had - eventually - Fish & Chips :-)))

Next day we explored around the river Test.

vendredi 29 octobre 2010

Escape to the South - Part 3 Bristol and Bath

Our -French- guide for the Bristol city tour was "indisponible" as he had to prepare for next day's Half Marathon in Cardiff :-). P.S. First time he run in public and he arrived after 1h 49m. Well done, I find!

We started at Isambard Kingdom Brunel's suspension bridge and were surprised how cold it was up there.

As a pedestrian one can cross for free whilst cars have to pay for each crossing.

It was a good start as one gets immediately a good overview from above what Bristol might be.

Walking down town and when the sun got higher, it became warmer
and warmer.

Once arrived close to the center, we admired the ancient buildings but also enjoyed the various street artists.

University towns are always buzzing and if I was still a young student, I would certainly love to be one of them.

After a while we went into the cathedral. A sudden silence touched us in there.

Relatively tired in the evening we were no more keen on visiting Brunel's SS Great Britain but could see her masts from the distance.

This picture was taken because I wonder what the flag on the very right might be? Any clues will be welcome!

It was pleasant to walk around the harbour in the evening light.
The last picture is of Bristol's Millenium Place, we stayed at the (excellent) IBIS hotel just in front of the place.

On our way back to Bath, we had to go into this wee shop called "Gardenalia". I can't remember having seen any place like it. Piles and piles of garden items, vintage tools, rosted bits and pieces - all convenient for garden freaks like us :-).

We stayed a while exploring and finally decided about our precious export goods. My best buy was an ancient spate, in perfectly working order. I love things with "knowledge" and this spate told me that he had dug in his life more than I had been digging so far. I had this vision of "he is going to dig alone" ---- and you know what? It is almost like that! The spate does the work effortless (as it is light) and is the right purchase for a me for the gardening years to come :-)))

Bath welcomed us in its usual grace and -again- the bluest sky ensured magic pictures.

I was pleased that I found the old theatre again, which we had admired on our last trip to Bath with EG in 2005. I love the story of Beau Nash, the King of Bath and his mistress Juliana Popjoy - the names promise already a great life and existence, don't they?

Bath hosts the exhibition "Britain from the Air" and we took long moments to absorb it all.

After all those city tours, we were looking forward to a quiet countryside and went to Bradford-on-Avon and to Iford Manor to visit the famous Peto garden. I learnt that there are several river Avon in Great Britain. The one which runs through Bristol and Bath and Bradford got its name from the Welsh where the word "afon" means river. And I also learnt (later from EG) that close to Bradford is that famous shop for Armstrong Siddeley's spare parts ;-). We HAVE to go again!