Archives for posts with tag: countryside

First Prize: ‘High Days and Holidays’ category

First prize: ‘Something Different’ category

Second prize: ‘The Garden’ category

Second prize: ‘Village Views’ category

Third prize: ‘Village Views’ category

The most important competitions are those closest to home and entering the local village show is a serious business when one’s honour is at stake! So I was delighted to walk away with the Photography Trophy this afternoon. And our family won the cup for the Largest Sunflower – although ours was the only entry.

The Robeys Cottage Cup

Treasures from the earth

A few favourites - I especially like the delicate pink cup and linear ship drawing

As I dug around in the soil I found many pottery fragments – remnants from a people living, loving and being in Snap. Some pieces had been cups, some plates, perhaps a few chunky chamber pots and even a delicate glass top  – a perfume bottle? None look precious but they excite me and capture my imagination with the humble story they hold. I had another opportunity to visit Snap for a little more detective work a few weeks ago. Sometimes you visit a friend and have a moment of serendipity – she confessed she owned a metal detector. I confessed I had always wanted to use one so she lent it to me and I had a glorious time searching in Snap for metal. My son hoped for treasure, I had plans to find a few coins and though all we managed to find were scraps and a door handle, it was deeply satisfying to fulfil a dream.

I now have pieces of Snap and want to create an art work incorporating these fragments. I have done one piece using a similar idea called ‘Walking Home’ but I  am planning to use more pottery pieces in this art work. However, I’m also working on another art project so I may have to hold off for a while and let my ideas continue to bubble.

To read more about Snap go to

Hunting for treasure with a metal detector

In memory of the people of Snap

Remains of the old well

I visited Snap for the first time in December 2011 to explore and satisfy my curiosity. There isn’t much to see and if I didn’t know it was there, I would have walked right past. Trees have grown over the site and the area was used for military training in World War One which hastened its dereliction – we clearly saw what could only be a bomb crater while walking down the lane. Many of the cottages have also been plundered for building materials. On my second visit in January I discovered the old well and also the stone bollard. This had been placed to protect a cottage that was built close to the lane from passing traffic. It made me smile sadly as the cottage is long gone but the bollard remains. Defunct of its original duty, it has a worthier function of commemorating an entire village. The hamlet was always too small for a church so there are no gravestones but green snowdrop stalks pierce through the dead leaves as a reminder of the former gardens. I started to dig.

…beat shopping any day. So when Hattie and I awoke to a beautiful winter morning, off we went for a winter walk. We talked about winter, took photos of winter and completed our exploration with hot chocolate and mince pies at the bridge.

Fresh from the printers… my mini calendars are selling (or being given away by me) fast. They make good stocking fillers, thank you gifts or to enjoy on your desk depicting the beautiful local countryside. They are also being sold at the Vale and Downland museum at the ‘Gift to Delight Exhibition’ which is open until 22 December – a great place to buy presents, so pop in if you need to do a little last-minute shopping.

An extract from my Seasons Journal: ‘The countryside has been stripped of its clutter and reveals its true shape and structure. We can see the distant cricket pavilion and new views appear. We still see colour on our walks with fat juicy rosehips and crab apples that glow red as if they are lit from within. The holly shrubs are coming into their own and are festooned with berries. Soon there will be more decoration as the Christmas wreaths start adorning the doors and supplementing the natural colours. It is glorious December when winter is still a novelty and the excitement increases as Christmas approaches.’ Wondering what this project is all about? Have a look at this entry.

I am not obsessed but ever since reading the fascinating biography of The Mitford Sisters, I have been intrigued to learn more about these six controversial sisters especially when I realised that the youngest daughter is still alive and is now the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, aged 91 and until recently lived in Chatsworth. Her son, the 12 Duke of Devonshire, and his wife now live there. Richard and I had a weekend sans children and used it to explore Chatsworth and what a fabulous time we had – the palace is soaked in history and yet is also a family home. Opening it to the public has given us a great privilege to enjoy treasures in the house and gardens. It helps when you have ‘Capability’ Brown and Paxton in your landscaping retinue and a number of the dukes were collectors of treasures and sculptures on a grand scale. I loved the surprises around each corner – wickerwork entwined into trees like giant seed pods, bronze Greyhounds against a stark background and a sculpture gate incorporating the scenery. When Richard had enough of my photography, he decided to try some silly walks… and we left to find our hotel. Want to know more, read the following books: The Mitford Girls and Wait for Me. Even better, go and visit Chatsworth itself.

An extract from my Seasons Journal: ‘Trees are slowly shifting from pale orange at the top down to green on their lower branches. The fields have now been tilled and are brown and empty and there are no cows, only rooks. I am guessing they are rooks because of the proverb: “A crow in a crowd is a rook. A rook on its own is a crow.” Rooks are meant to have grey-white faces, thinner beaks and peaked heads. Carrion crows are black with blunted beaks and are solitary birds. To be frank it is hard to tell if they are crows or rooks across the damp, misty fields but the cawing is quite haunting.’ Wondering what this project is all about? Have a look at this entry.

An extract from my Seasons Journal: Finally the weather is noticeably warmer and it feels as if summer has begun. Blossoms flutter down like confetti while cow parsley has sprung up and is at its best with drifts of tiny flowers. There are so many different shades of green from the palest off-white to dark bottle greens and everything in between. This is offset by the violently yellow field of oilseed rape which is eye-wateringly bright and we detoured to see it close up and enjoy the sensation of being surrounded by yellow, yellow, yellow. Wondering what this project is all about? Have a look at this entry.

I am not quite sure of what I am doing but this is a trial while I figure out what I am doing and how to customise my blog. I am a designer and how it looks visually matters to me. Widget? What is it, not quite sure but I think I need them. This is to test, if I edit the next day, does it change the date? I hope not, lets see… (that will be a no then).