It looks like blossom, but it’s actually a puddle with trees reflecting in it then wind born bits of twig and flower petals floating on top. I thought it looked interesting and unless you look closely it’s really hard to tell what’s going on. Anyway this is from Rode Hall again. I also took lots of pictures of benches dotted around the grounds. I might post a few photos here. There is a Bench Appreciation group on Facebook that I shared them to. I wonder if there is an abstract nature page for this sort of photo?


One plant we tried to grow in the garden was Gunnera, seen here at Rode hall. It’s a large leafed plant with a spiky surface. It grows in wet conditions and the leaves can get to 2 or 3 feet across. This was by a large pond that has a waterfall at one end flowing down a stream to the lake. There are a large variety of plants at the hall but this is a favourite.

We also noticed there were rhododendrons in flower today, which means we must visit the Dorothy Clive garden to see how that is growing.

Rode hall bluebells

We finally got the weather for our walk around the grounds of Rode Hall. It was lovely, calming and peaceful. I know it’s strange, but I wondered where the musical backing track was….. But there was beautiful birdsong.

This was the last day of the actual bluebell walks, but they are obviously still there for a little while. There is a Rode Hall website and I’m sure there will be details available for visits there.

Odd fungi

These are growing at the base of an old dead tree. I have no idea what they are. There is another lot a bit closer in to the tree which may be small shaggy inkcaps

All around everything is coming to life. I will post more photos later of blossom and bluebells (sadly the Spanish type which hybridises with English ones) but we keep them as they were from my grandma’s garden. We also have patches of wild garlic coming into flower….

Summer is….

An ancient song…

Summer is icumen in

Lhud-e sing cuckoo

Groweth seed and bloweth mead

And springs the wood-e noo

Sing cuckoo

Ew-e bleateth after lamb

Low th after calv-e coo

Bullock starteth

Buck-e parteth

Merry sing cuckoo

Cuckoo cuckoo

Well sing-est thou

Cuckoo, nay stop thou never noo


Sing cu-ckoo noo sing cuckoo

This is an ancient summer song from England. It’s rustic words are a real tongue twister to sing. Our choir tackle it at this time of year. I tend to sing the burden because it’s a simple repeating line. You need good breathing though because it runs along below the main song and usually starts before and ends after the rest of the choir. We sing the music as a round, normally four groups for the tune singing summer is icumen in.. Summer is icumen in.. One group after the other. The foot/Burden group is usually split into two groups of two and start Sing Cu-ckoo… Sing Cu-ckoo…. Over and over.

As a side note, the first time I saw the song was in the film ‘the Green Man’ with Edward Woodward. The villagers sing this after he is captured as a sacrifice. I always get a little chill down my spine when we sing it! You can probably find it on YouTube…..


Bricks or sets? A good surface to walk on, but not for the environment. As the song by Joni Mitchell goes ‘they paved paradise and put up a parking lot’.

Everywhere everyone is having driveways installed, block paviours or tarmac. Repelling water so it runs away quickly instead of being absorbed into the soil. Then the drains flood and storm drains are overwhelmed. Raw sewerage gets released into rivers, which keeps happening. People have been wild swimming in rivers and around the coast for years, but the amount of waste effluent getting into our natural waterways is causing extreme concern for health.

There are new rules to make paving permiable to rain water. But who checks on it. So instead of putting in a driveway think about a more environmental and possibly cheaper option?

Most of it!

What place in the world do you never want to visit? Why?

OK, but why?

The Earth is quite a large planet to humans, but it is also a finite place. It doesn’t go on for ever and it has limited resources.

I know there are wonderful places to visit and also terrible places, it depends mainly on human activity. We may preserve a place or tear it apart. Every time a person travels though they have a carbon footprint, the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by the vehicle you travel in, what energy it takes to make it and what is used to fuel the vehicle.

But with satellites, television and the Internet I can visit almost every corner of the world without actually going there. So why should I? I visit places in the UK because it doesn’t cause too much pollution. If I could, I would cycle to where I want to visit. If I want to go abroad I would prefer to use a sailboat or at the most a ferry. I don’t want to fly unless there are solar powered planes.

Another reason not to travel is the fear of disease. There have been films about escaped viruses and diseases, but I never thought I would experience a real pandemic. I guess it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy. I don’t know what I might catch ‘out there’. I am not xenophobic, I’m happy for anyone to come here. I just want people to think first. Do you need to visit, do you want to increase your carbon footprint? It’s a different situation if you are fleeing violence or oppression, then in my opinion you are very welcome. The world is a strange place. I’m lucky to be here.