Monday, 31 October 2016

The end of another month

October drew to a close here with a very pretty sunset and mist gathering all around us. Later I looked out at about 8pm and it was swirling about in the big field.


I couldn't resist buying a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. As a child and while the boys were little we made do with Swede's (I don't remember being able to buy pumpkins so readily then). If you've tried your hand at trying to carve a rock hard vegetable you'll know how easy a pumpkin seems by comparison, plus because it is smaller there was always that distinctive singed Swede smell. We saw lots of pumpkins in Jersey but they were very expensive and made us think we should maybe do some exporting for next year!


We suddenly have lots of large mushrooms appearing in the field. I should have put something in the top photo to indicate scale as these are the size of a large side plate. They look edible but I won't be risking it!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Garden visitors

Each morning we have had very heavy dew, I get wet feet going to pick fruit for my and our guests breakfasts. Amazingly there are still a few alpine strawberries ripening and the last of the autumn raspberries. I notice the birds are also getting rather damp as they make their way across the grass.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

More gadding about

Fresh back from our trip to Jersey we head to Wales to visit my brother. Fortunately early mist gave way to stunning Welsh mountain views and the local sheep kindly paraded past the back of Rob's house to keep me entertained. Harry of course was determined I shouldn't be distracted by them when I could take his picture instead! It was a fleeting trip though as we needed to return home to welcome guests to Hill Farm.

Monday, 24 October 2016

A summer stranger

Our wild puss has lived on a diet of voles this summer and we've hardly seen her, when we have she's been hunting in the fields and largely ignoring us. Today she found a nice sheltered and sunny spot next to our haystacks but wasn't impressed when I disturbed her by going to pick some raspberries!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Back home

We took a few days off this week to fly to Jersey and celebrate Dave's birthday. Living at Hill Farm is great but I do so miss the sea. I managed to paddle, hunt for shells and swim in the hotel's unheated pool, whilst together we walked, ate our way through Tennerfest menus and enjoyed wonderful weather. Now we're back Christmas seems to have arrived in the local shops with a vengeance and we haven't even had Halloween yet!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Saturday, 15 October 2016


We had fun this afternoon decorating our lovely church of St Peter's as we get ready for our Harvest Service tomorrow. My dahlias are still flowering like mad despite the cooler weather.

Friday, 14 October 2016

A Blackcap

This bird has to be a blackcap although it's the first time I've spotted one. Sorry it's a rather snatched photo but it disappeared deep into the hawthorn and didn't re-emerge. All my bird books describe it as a summer visitor so maybe this was a last breakfast before heading off somewhere warmer.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Doveridge church

A lovely misty shot of  St Cuthbert's church in Doveridge seen across the valley. I usually see the church like this early in the morning but actually this was evening just before the sun set.


Dave raked up the grass in the end because I was busy getting things ready for our guests. It was especially hard work as it's become very tough and stringy. At least now it will have a chance to dry out a little.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A Hawk

This hawk was hovering above the field for a long while yesterday, dropping down and then swooping back up. Elsewhere puss is surviving on a regular diet of voles!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Updating our photos

I've been busy updating photos for our entry in Britian's Finest (Britain's Finest places to stay and visit - accommodation in luxury hotels, B&B and inns and the leading attractions, gardens, museums, galleries, historic houses, ...) and adding new autumn and winter offers.

Church flowers

It has been my turn to arrange the church flowers this week. At the service on Sunday the sun shone through the window and the autumn colours glowed. I love the simplicity of St Peter's and the fact that the church is always open.

Monday, 10 October 2016


Deciding that we better strim the long grass under the apple trees Dave sets about the task with vigour ... my bit will be raking it into stooks when it gets drier.

Autumn colours

My flowers are putting on a good autumnal show. In my new bed my lupin is in flower and the colour is just perfect alongside the catmint. Soon I'll have to start digging over the second part of this new bed which I didn't manage to tackle earlier in the year.


The hawthorn is covered in berries which look particularly glorious in the early morning light. I stop to take this photo on my way to collect raspberries for breakfast.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

More balloons

It must have been the day for it as no sooner than I had finished photographing the first balloon coming in to land I saw a further two heading across the sky, but by now there was no time to stand and watch if I was going to make it to the service on time!

Balloon landing

Getting ready for church this morning I noticed a hot air balloon drifting over Doveridge, but as I watched it lost height and soon it was coming in to land.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Off we go

The sheep were keen to escape their field and head out into the lane, whilst for a moment they weighed up the possibilities of our garden! They were with the farmer and heading for pastures new - although I hope they'll be back soon as I really miss seeing them.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Autumn sunshine

I was setting up the tea tray in our guest bedroom when I noticed the afternoon sunshine catching the sheep and lighting up the foliage on the trees in the wood opposite us. At this time of year you can see the different autumn colours starting to develop. At night we hear the barn owl as he swoops between the woods and the fields around us.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Ploughing match

We went to watch the Brailsford Ploughing Match today. Although breezy we had plenty of sunshine, the ground though was wet after Saturday's downpour and presented a challenge for some competitors.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

More damsons

As a change from crumble and jam I turned the last of our damsons into a fool and swirled some damson puree into meringues (although it got rather too blended as I piped them), next time I'll try and get a more swirled effect. Anyway however they looked they tasted delicious!

Monday, 3 October 2016

New Moon

Tonight the new moon was setting fast in the dusk and the temperature is definitely cooler as we reach October (far too soon!)

Saturday, 1 October 2016

We can see you

We can see you, but only just. The hare made an appearance but once I'd got the camera he decided to sit just the wrong side of a clump of grass with only really his ears remaining clearly visible! He is sharing the field with the sheep but they seem to co-exist without noticing each other.

Watching and waiting

Walking up to the top of our lane we spotted this heron who stood immobile in the field, I guess he's fed up with waiting for our pond to fill with water! Mind you a little later on it began to absolutely pour with rain and presumably out ventured whatever he was hoping to catch (but maybe not fish!)