Monday, 4 May 2015

Happy Days

This last week has been a very happy one. We have been out and about enjoying walks in our lovely part of the country and also indulging in a couple of meals out.

I am going to share with you some of the highlights of our week and hope you enjoy the photos.

On Friday we needed to make a trip to the M&S superstore at Hedge End, now I am not a great lover of going shopping, but when we go to Hedge End we try and combine it with a meal out in a lovely pub we know down that way - the Brigadier Gerard at Horton Heath.

As we pulled up at the pub we were stunned by the beauty of the floral displays, in particular the tulips - such a wonderful riot of colour.

The food was excellent, with my Slimming World weigh-in in mind I chose a seafood salad which was delicious and my DH chose a beef madras. However I couldn't resist one of their lovely cappuccino ice creams but did syn count it so hopefully not too much harm done.

I am sure our walk in Stoke Park Woods on the way home probably helped as well. Thirty plus years ago we lived adjacent to these woods in our first home as a married couple so decided to re-visit old haunts especially as it is bluebell season.

I did show you some of the photos from this walk on my last "Five on Friday" post but here are a few more. We were so lucky to see the roe deer, she didn't seem too worried about us and only scampered off for cover when we got quite close to her. We also loved watching the thrush breaking open a snail, we used to see them do this all the time at home but they are a rare sight these days.

I feel a bit guilty because we also went out for a meal on Saturday as well, this time just to a pub a little way out of town which is situated on top of a hill. Each year the swallows return to this location and again we had fun photographing them as well as enjoying another lovely meal. I also couldn't resist taking photos of the owner's Airedale as he peeped out of the back of a land rover, he looked so sad as much to say "why am I stuck in here".

We have also been back to St. Mary Bourne twice this week for more walking, we are lucky that this village is only 5 miles from home and it is so nice to get out of town and enjoy the countryside. I love the cloudscapes in the first three photographs below. 

It was lovely to see the family of ducklings, at first I only spotted Mum sat on the bank beside the stream and it was only when I looked again that I spotted the ducklings around her. They then took to the water giving me an opportunity to take more photos, they did swim off very quickly though so just took a couple of hurried snaps.

We are loving our walks since I took semi-retirement at the start of the year, it is great to have time together to explore and we have taken more notice of how quickly the countryside and nature changes from week to week. I achieved my 1 stone weight loss last week, only a tiny fraction of what I need to lose but that was my first milestone, I am sure the walking is helping so we plan to keep up with the exercise. However I will be working for three days this week so will have to wait for Friday before we can venture out again.


  1. What a gorgeous post, Jan - I know the Hedge End shops well as I grew up close by and my parents go there every week! Your spring photos are lovely, especially the ducklings and field of oil-seed rape. We keep whizzing past these fields in the car, but there never seems to be a place to stop for a photo. Well done with your weight loss! I am now on my own weight loss journey and have lost 5lbs so far - onwards and downwards!
    Cathy x

  2. Jan, I have to say your photos today are just exceptional--they really look like something out of a travel magazine. I am wondering what kind of camera you use? I have a tiny digital pocket camera and am thinking about something larger and better.

    Good for you on the weight loss--you'll be walking more and more and faster and faster the more you lose :)

    1. Carol, thank you for your very kind comments on my photography. I actually use two cameras, one is a digital DSLR which is a Canon EOS 500D, I have a couple of different lenses I use with this camera but would love a longer lens to be able to zoom in on wildlife but they are very expensive. I also have a little camera which goes everywhere with me, this is so useful when I don't want to carry my larger camera and kit with me - this one is a Canon Powershot SX240HS and takes remarkable photographs for such a small camera, it has a 20x zoom lens on it which is unusual for a little pocket camera. I hope you are able to find a camera to your liking, I have been having such fun taking photos since I stopped working full time at the beginning of the year. xx

  3. What beautiful scenes from your walk :) Well done on the weight loss too!

  4. Hello Jan :) I found your blog through a comment you left on the Tales From A Happy House Blog. I love your photographs and the picture of the Airedale just melted my heart. We had to leave our own Airedale behind (he went to a wonderful home) when we left South Africa to live in beautiful England 5 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the snippets from your week.

    1. Hi Shirley and welcome to my blog. Thank you for your kind comments on my photography. I agree, Airedales are beautiful dogs and I love seeing this one, he is so cute. xx

  5. Lucky you - 2 pub meals in one week; I'm very envious, especially as that first one looks stunning with all the flowers. Very cute dog! Gorgeous bluebells and ducklings too. Enjoy your walk on Friday; I look forward to seeing more photos. xx

  6. This is my first visit to your blog, Jan, and I'm just in time to see that gorgeous pub!

  7. More fantastic photos and love coming on your walks with you as at the moment I find it difficult to walk any distance........ Congratulations on your weight loss it's a great achievement and one you should be proud of. Love the ducklings I saw 2 with their parents at the park in Winchester this week as we took our granddaughter to feed the ducks, you're never too old to enjoy the simple pleasures in lfe tank goodness. Chris x