Friday, 24 July 2015

Downland Walk

On my day off this week on a beautiful sunny but breezy day we drove to the village of Hannington to enjoy another walk. Hannington is one of the highest villages in Hampshire set on the North Hampshire Downs and is in an area of outstanding natural beauty.  

It is a location I know well, being only a few miles from my home village of Kingsclere and for six very happy years in my far distant youth I worked on top of the Downs at the Home Office Wireless Depot (more of that later).

Having parked up the car at the Vine pub we made our way up through the village, over the village green and down by the side of the Church to the footpath that takes you to For Down and the Wayfarer's Walk.

The Wayfarer's Walk is a long distance path that extends for 70 miles from Inkpen Beacon (just across the Berkshire border) through Hampshire to Emsworth (near the Sussex border).

Once you reach the end of the footpath the vista opens up as you reach the open fields. The farmer's have left field margins and the wild flowers that grow there are so beautiful. As you might be able to tell one of my favourite flowers is the poppy and I got a bit carried away taking photos of them and afterwards wished I had taken a greater variety of the other flowers that were on offer!

I love to see fields of barley shimmering in the breeze.

We have now reached part of the Wayfarer's Walk and the stunning views you get across the Hampshire Downland are truly wonderful.

From reading some of my previous posts you might have gathered that I love cloudscapes and this was a perfect day for getting such shots.

After crossing For Down we followed the Wayfarer's Walk as far as Stubbington Down. The views from here looking across to White Hill and Watership Down (of rabbit fame, yes this is where Richard Adams set his famous book) are stunning and are the views of my childhood. I spent many happy hours walking with my Dad all over this Downland scenery from a very young age.

It was then time to turn off of the Wayfarer's Walk and turn right taking us up the hill towards the top of Cottington's Hill past this lovely field of clover ...

... towards the top of the hill where you can see the Hannington transmitter mast.

Just before disappearing into the trees I couldn't resist one more view, this time looking down onto the village of my birth and the surrounding countryside.

As I said previously, this is where I used to work, right on top of the Downs underneath the transmitter mast. I don't think I fully appreciated how special it was back then to work in such a location and look out on those views every day.

From here we walked downhill past the farm in the dip and then uphill again to the road where we turned left back towards Hannington.

We were pretty thirsty by the time we reached the village and as we had used the pub carpark for parking our car it would have been inpolite not to have a drink on our return (and a lovely meal).

This has to be one of the most enjoyable walks we have done for a long time on a perfect day and I am sure it won't be long until we are back here to do another walk around this lovely village, there are so many more walks we can do from here but I would be more than happy to repeat this one.

I am so thankful that having reached the age of 60 I am losing weight and getting fitter allowing us to enjoy walking in the countryside once again.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Lily Pond Crochet-along

Don't faint with shock, after being an errant blogger for the last month or so this is my second post in a day.

The reason for this double post today is because I put the last stitch into my Lily Pond CAL last evening and have been out today to photograph it. For those of you that don't know, Stylecraft have been running this CAL designed by Jane Crowfoot by releasing it in eight parts over the last few months. 

Never one to ignore a crochet challenge I couldn't wait to get started back at the beginning of April and here we are three months later with a completed blanket. I must say that there was a time when I didn't think I would ever finish it, the amount of ends to sew in was a huge task, this is never my favourite part of a project and I am glad that I did this as I went along rather than leave them all to the end.

So at the beginning of April I started with this ...

and on 18th July the final stitch of the border was completed, the last of the ends sewn in and another blanket completed.

I must say that I am so pleased I kept up with the fortnightly releases so that I didn't have a herculean task at the end. There was a lot of work in this project but the finished blanket is well worth all the effort I put into it. Now which of the projects I have lined up shall I start on next?

Weight, Walks and a Wedding

Apologies, another long gap in my blogging adventures. Life has been very busy lately - how on earth I found time to work full-time I have no idea!

The good news is that I have been keeping up with my Slimming World journey and this week gained my 2 stone award and my Gold body magic. Onwards and downwards to my next target - reaching 3 stone weight loss. 

We have had time to fit in some walking as well, we are both really enjoying getting out and about in the countryside this year and I am sure the exercise has helped with my weight loss. I am gradually finding it easier to walk further but am always too busy taking photos so my pace rate is probably not as good as it should be.

One of the walks we have enjoyed recently is the Longparish Riverdance walk. You might remember we walked this for the first time back in the Spring. It had a different look to it this time around now it is the height of Summer but still just as beautiful. Here are a few pictures I took on route.

Helen (Stitching Granny) - this one is for you - Yew Cottage (hope it brings back happy memories) 

This roadside verge was stunning - full of wild flowers.

Yesterday we returned to the village of St. Mary Bourne, one of our favourite places for walking, this time our eldest son accompanied us. It was the perfect day for walking, warm but with a bit of a breeze. Again I couldn't resist snapping away, the clouds were beautiful yesterday so hence plenty of cloudscapes!

Last weekend it was my youngest son's best friends wedding day. I have never seen my son look so smart, he usually is in scruffy work clothes or casual clothes so it was lovely to see him dressed up for once. Here are a couple of photos - 

I apologise for the photo heavy post, I can never choose what to leave out!!! I promise I won't leave it so long between blogs next time. In fact, I might be posting again later today, I completed a special crochet project last evening and just need to photograph it before showing it to you.