Looking out

She often looks out watching the cars and vans racing up the hill. Looking at birds flying up to the factory roof, playing with the mobile on the window. Jumping down and clawing my legs under the desk when I go to type things up. This is her territory. She’s upstairs and her brother is downstairs. Both in their individual realms. They sometimes meet to play and chase. She’s a happy cat, she is mistress of all she surveys.

Face over the gate……

A few minutes ago a young man looked over our gate. He had dark hair and had a scarf or mask on covering the lower half of his face. As he looked over my hubby and I saw him and he say us. He turned away and walked up the hill. Hubby went to the front door and shouted, asking what was he doing and then shouted that he should sod off. The youth ignored him and walked away.

Why were we bothered? Because hubby’s motor scooter is locked just inside the gate. It’s attached to a ground anchor with a strong chain. That’s because it was stolen before but we got it back. It was stolen during a snow storm late at night but my hubby was able to follow the tracks to where it had been hidden! Is it any wonder that we are suspicious of people looking into the garden.

Window, band of sketchers prompt.

View through the window, from our living room. Our TV is at the bottom of the page. We have a pottery (Portmeirion) opposite where we live. They do have some ground that they garden, but they used to have roses scrambling all up the building. Sadly some of these have recently been cut back so the view is a bit less colourful now. Higher up the hill they are still there, still in flower. This is in a small sketchbook and is drawn with felt pens, some permanent markers a few coloured pencils and a thin black ink pen. The image on the TV is grey because we were watching a black and white film.

June sketch

June, before all the leaves had grown on the trees. View out the kitchen window over the main garden. Usually there is a cat in the way but not on this day. The bird feeder on the window didn’t get used. I guess being stared at by an interested looking cat isn’t a good thing when all you want to do is peacefully eat some sunflower seed kernels. This view showed the ripening cherries on the tree, gone and eaten a month later. X

Binoculars

DSC_2941

Want to see the stars? You don’t need an expensive telescope. Maybe just a pair of binoculars (you can get monocular too). You just have to get them set up so you can see images clearly. You can use them to look at the moon, where you will be able to see more of the craters and mare (seas). These are not actually filled with water, but flattened areas amongst the craters. There is the sea of tranquility where Apollo 11 landed for instance. Other things that binoculars make visible include some galaxies and comet Neowise which is gradually fading as it moves away from the sun. It is visible above the western horizon below the star Arcturus (follow the stars of the big dipper handle down till you get to a bright star, then look about halfway between it and the horizon. It is an idea to look in a dark sky area, and allow your eyes to become adapted to the dark for about twenty minutes to allow the pupils of your eyes to open fully.

It’s been cloudy here so I haven’t seen it!

Walking!

IMG_20200728_214214_686

A couple of hours and about four miles. Up hill and down dale. My feet hurt. I haven’t been that far for years. By the time I walked down our hill at the end of the walk my legs started wobbling underneath me!

It started as a gentle walk up our steep hill. Left along a slightly flatter road to meet (at a social distance) a couple of friends. Then we walked around the contour of the hill we live on. This photo is looking out over the Trent Valley across the school fields. Then right up the hill and saying goodbye to our friends. Me, my hubby and our friend we usually walk with carried on down a side street. Down hill, then up a pathway between roads, I didn’t take a photo but there is a high wall with a huge crack in it. It felt like it could topple and fall. We came out of the pathway onto another road. Downhill towards the old hospital site, past the local cemetery. We walked through side streets, past terraced houses, slowly wending our way towards home. We stopped off at a corner shop to sit and rest on a brick wall under the canopy of a large street tree. We bought ice creams to cool down and sat for a few minutes. When I got up I was feeling very stiff and my feet hurt. From there we went down a hill with a view over the south if the city, enjoying a cool breeze. We left our friend there and we walked up a side street, then down our hill to the house at the bottom. I had to hold my hubbies arm as my legs had started to wobble!

I feel tired but happy to have done another walk!

What to do on the Solstice

sketch-1592654798837

I can remember seeing the sun set and then come out again from behind the Cloud hill, near Congleton, Cheshire.

I could not remember where we were but according to ITV.com there is a place to stand to see it….

‘The solar event which happens just once each year will be visible in the Midlands tonight.

The double sunset takes places during the the summer solstice and can be seen from various locations around North Staffordshire.

According to the Oxford Journals the double sunset can be seen from the churchyard of St Edward the Confessor in Leek. The alignment of a local hill means that the Sun is occulted close to sunset around the time of the summer solstice. This phenomenon was described in 1686 by Dr Robert Plot. Calculations show the phenomenon will be visible for another 500 years.
  • How does it happen?
The apparent double sunset is due to the rotation of the Earth. As the sun sinks behind The Cloud the planet continues to rotate, allowing the sun to become briefly visible again.’

Apologies for the length of the quote, but it explains what I mean clearly.

Please note I’ve now been advised: due to earth movement and buildings it can no longer be seen in St Edwards churchyard but can be viewed from Lowe hill near Leek. My Dad is Doug Pickford who has written books about local legends (info from a friend)

X