Finding a calm view

FB_IMG_1588721437502

Waterfall at the Dorothy Clive Garden.

This was taken about this time last year. We had driven out to visit the beautiful garden on the border of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire.

The garden is in a steep slope with colourful flower borders filling the air with scents of summer. But before the summer show I am drawn to the quarry garden at the top of the site. This is filled with flowering rhododendrons, under planted with spring flowers such as bluebells. At its centre is a little dell where a waterfall cascades down into a tranquil pool. You can follow paths up to the top of the waterfall where you will find a full sized bronze stag sculpture looking out magestically over the quarry garden.

Other pleasures include a magnolia walk at the back of the garden, this is behind the quarry at the top of the slope. Here you can see the surrounding countryside.

There is another dry garden, with a laburnum walk arching over the path.

When lockdown ends I think this will be one of the first places I visit.

X

Dorothy Clive garden

IMG_20180506_201435_839

Just had an email from the Dorothy Clive Garden, explaining that they are closing due to government advice.

It’s a lovely place on the border with Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. It is a magical garden on a steep slope. If you get a chance when things have calmed down do go.

This is what I wrote back to them…

We visit to come and see the wonderful rhododendrons in the quarry garden every year, and have been enjoying watching the ecology section being created. Then the rest of it is just wonderful when it’s in full bloom. I love sitting outside the cafe and drawing the view, or walking down the steep slope towards the pond. Watching goldfish as they quietly go about their lives under the surface. 

Ive been visiting over several years. When I was fit I used to cycle over with my husband.

I have a very overgrown small garden with lots of trees, but we have some amazing geraniums that have spread everywhere. We got them from you a few years ago.

Hoping for a speedy resolution to the current situation.
Sincerely

 

Stoke Sings choir festival.

Sixteen Choirs, including the Deaf links Choir and the Intertheatre choir got together in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent today at the Victoria Hall. The reason? It was a splendid Choir festival for choirs around Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Workshops on sea shanties, music from the shows. Gospel singing and African music were some of the wonderful things we learnt. The teachers were so enthusiastic and so we’re we as pupils. Then later we learnt a new song to sing at the Finale.

There was a concert in the evening when all the choirs performed. An eclectic mix of Bond themes, a song from sister act, old songs by Robbie Burns because it is Burns night tonight. Lots of beautiful melodies and friendly people. Finally we sang  auld land syne and said farewells to new friends. A grand day out.

Anderton Boat Lift

_20200115_003550The Anderton Boat lift is somewhere I would like to visit. Its near the village of Anderton, in Cheshire, England. It is fifty foot high and joins the Trent and Mersey canal to the river Weaver. Boats go from the  canal or river into a lift filled with water and the boat and water is either lowered or raised to the other one. It’s called a two caisson lift lock, although I’m not sure why it’s called that.

The lift is a scheduled monument, and was built in 1875. It was closed in 1983 because of corrosion, but luckily it was restored in 2001and reopened in 2002. We intend to visit later in the year, there is a visitor centre run by the Canal and River Trust. I’ve checked and it is open at the weekend.

Drawing again

DSC_2170_20190812_164944_20190812_164910

Two sketches. One yesterday at Astle Park traction engine rally, I drew this at the end of the day when all the vehicles has left the show ring except for this miniature traction engine. I could have just taken a photo but as it stayed still for quite a while I drew instead.

The second picture was drawn outside but then we went into the restaurant as we were being bothered by wasps. I took a photo of the drawing while we were inside. I didn’t realise it was so dark in there with a blue tone to the lighting. I adjusted it with a photo editor. It shows how long it took to get served, the place was really busy. The food was very nice though.

X

Astle Park traction engine rally

We visited Astle Park Traction Engine rally today. There were a vast number of stalls with everything from crafts, car spray paint, antiques, archery and many more things. There was a show ring and tractors, Land rovers, steam traction engines and other vehicles trundled round it to the delight of the crowd. We enjoyed a drink from a bar in a marquee and some food. There was an old fashioned fairground with a galloper roundabout and steam organs, there were also old lorries and military vehicles. We had a go at archery and firing cork guns and paint ball guns.

It was overcast and threatened rain but it kept off. The ground was churned up in places but because it was dry it was starting to dry out so there was only a bit of mud.

Astle Park is just outside Chelford in Cheshire, its near Jodrell Bank Observatory. The event happens in August every year.

X

Enamel kiln

DSC_0026Enamel kiln at Gladstone pottery museum, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. These burn hotter than a normal pottery kiln. This is to create enamel from powdered glass, fired about 1400°C. There is a working enamel kiln at Stevensons in Middlewich on the banks of the Trent and Mersey canal. Enamels are used from jewellery to bathroom ware. This is because it has to be stronger and not chip or crack.

The industrial heritage of this country is hanging on. Places like the Black Country museum in Dudley in the West Midlands give us a place to see how the past was. Manufacturing changes and evolves. Soon robots and AI might be the only way things are made. But despite the old dirty polluting past may have been bad, it still stirs memories and romantic ideas of the way things were.

X

Singing at Audlem

DSC_1989

Today I went singing with a choir I am in called Loud Mouth Women. We were at a place called Audlem which is in Shropshire or Cheshire I think. We managed to avoid a couple of heavy showers and stayed dry. We sang twice. Once on the canal towpath and then outside a pub called the shroppie fly.

We sang a mixture of songs, from Polynesian to Zulu with a smattering of Latin and Hindi. We learn songs by repetition and also sang a Spanish song called ‘DeColores’. I do like our groups multinational ethos. We also sang ‘Nana was a Suffragette’ and ‘Do it now’ which is a green song about doing something about the Climate Emergency.

A very enjoyable day out at Audlem annual music festival.

 

A place to visit

FB_IMG_1558098847120

I must go back and visit Jodrell bank again. Maybe its somewhere to get Stoke urban sketchers to go to. I know it’s in the Cheshire countryside but it’s not too far away at Holmes Chapel. It’s certainly a challenging draw. I know I had a go ages ago. If my hubby was here he would be explaining how parts of it are off a battleship or something, I don’t remember…. So anyway yes it’s a fascinating place to visit, although I think it’s half term next week so it might be very busy.

X

Curved glass

DSC_1801

I was at a college this afternoon singing with our choir. We were in a very modern new building and the curved glass windows looked out over old trees. As we practiced before the performance we saw a great heron circling around these trees and a buzzard or some other bird from the raptor family sitting on a branch and looking at the heron. I think that’s why it was circling and not landing. Herons are strange and gangly  Their legs are long and dangle down as they fly. They have long wings that flap slowly and a small head with a pointed beak carried on a long neck which is bent in a flat S shape as it flies.

Grey and white the heron flapped round in lazy circles. I think it was wary of landing. The river dane is nearby and I guess it might have been fishing there.

As we went into the room we were performing in I took this quick photo, unfortunately the birds had flown off. But what a spectacular view we had.