Thursday, 30 November 2017


The cold weather has created some beautiful sunrises and this morning was no exception. Whilst photographing it I noticed this small hawk hovering patiently probably looking for the voles which puss and the owls also hunt from the field.

Monday, 27 November 2017

The holly, the ivy and the pigeons

The berries have been completely stripped from the holly and now the pigeons sit in the ivy eating the berries from their. Fortunately I took and saved berried holly earlier and it is sitting in water in the barn where it will last happily until I bring it inside.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Stir Up Sunday

I always like to cook my Christmas puddings as tradition dictates on 'stir up' Sunday. This doesn't actually refer to making your puddings but rather the Collect associated with this Sunday which begins with the words: "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people". It was then adopted by the Victorians as a convenient reminder of the task. In church I delivered the reading and then went home and steamed the puddings (4 this year so I could send a couple out as gifts), I also bottled a large jar of mincemeat that I'd made yesterday.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Poor scarecrow

I'm not sure Mr Scarecrow was as excited by the snow as I was! It was a very grey day and I didn't envy the menfolk their afternoon spent watching Burton Albion play.


It was so exciting as for once the forecast was right and I woke to snow. Gradually as the day went on it turned to rain but it felt very festive as I prepared the fruit for tomorrow's Stir Up Sunday.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The early bird

This morning there were lots of birds in the sky (sorry they are the small dots in my photographs!) They were too far away to identify as they were also in silhouette.

Tea and cakes

Our WI is taking part in a project to celebrate the centenary (next year) of the Derbyshire Federation. Each group was asked to produce a fabric 'brick' (so named due to its dimensions) to represent them. Three of us gathered at Hill Farm to create our submission: and yes of course it had to be tea and cakes (with a little knitting on the side)!

Good morning

The sight from our bedroom window, a pretty good way to start the day ahead! Unlike the last few days there is no sign of frost, in fact it's been surprisingly mild.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Autumn glory

Finally the trees are starting to change into their autumn colours after our recent frosts. They look particularly stunning as the late afternoon light (sadly now appearing just after 3pm) catches them.

Monday, 20 November 2017

A glorious day

A glorious day ... for hedge cutting. The field opposite us now boasts very neat hedges and makes us reflect on our rather straggly side as we decide whether to reduce the height of our line of hedge, now grown to trees which we inherited.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunrise and sunset

We have had so many beautiful skies recently, here I give you 'Hill Farm Sunrise' and 'Hill Farm Sunset'!

More skies

I would love artists and photographers to come and stay at our Bed and Breakfast as each time I see a glorious sky I feel they would be inspired by our rural surroundings.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

St Cuthbert

The Doveridge church of St Cuthbert seen across the fields in the misty evening light. Our own much nearer church of St Peter and St Blaise is tucked down at the end of the lane with just it's tower flag visible from here.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Late autumn garden

The grass is still growing and Dave has managed another cut of the lawn. The leaves have been tumbling off the trees though and the oaks (always the last to go) are starting to take on their golden autumn colours.

Hot chocolate

The approach of winter means that hot chocolate, porridge and crumpets can all be on my personal menu (though maybe not all at once!)

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The end of summer

This will be my last arrangement of our summer flowers as more frosts and winds are forecast, soon it will be time to use our berried holly indoors instead!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Dawn sky

This was the sky this morning as the sun began to rise over the hill opposite us. A cold start again but with the promise of a good day ahead.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Big bunny

OK call me fanciful but that is definitely a 'big bunny' in the sky tonight. Yesterday it was an alligator with his jaw open .... I see this is my 2000th post on the blog!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Frost again

The rising sun melted the ice from the gate and caused a wonderful effect of the light streaming through the misty air onto the field opposite. Living here so close to nature feels such a privilege.

A misty start

Today was both frosty and foggy. The early morning light made it look very photogenic but it was distinctly chilly when I popped outside with bare legs to take these photographs.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Firework night

We are lucky that our neighbours firework display looks at its most impressive from our house! We are fortunate to have such panoramic views here at Hill Farm and so were able to watch a whole selection of different fireworks over the course of the evening from the warmth of indoors (although Dave did venture outside to take this photo).

A garden posy

Each day that I can pick flowers from the garden at this time of year is special. These are ready to decorate the guest living room ready for tomorrow's visitors. Picked early as frost is forecast.


I'm pretty certain that these are penny bun mushrooms growing in our big field but I lack the knowledge to be positive and so don't risk picking them.

Early morning moon

This morning the moon was still up at breakfast time. Suddenly all the hedges and trees are starting to look bare as we've had some strong winds which have sent great flurries of leaves blowing around.

Friday, 3 November 2017

A bargain

Today we went to Cromford Mills (home of Sir Richard Arkwright's first mill complex and now a UNESCO world heritage site). We actually went there for something else and called into an antique shop where I spotted this exceptionally pretty china for sale at an amazing bargain price. I just love it, like all the china I collect it was made locally in the potteries in Fenton and is Crown Staffordshire China.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

We won

Having entered our scarecrow and his attendant sunflowers into a caption competition organised by Retherm (the company who installed our ground source heat pump) we were surprised to find we'd won! Our prize - a very nice hamper.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017


Well the sun is now setting an hour earlier and I am always surprised by how much it moves during the year. In the summer it sets much further to the west and we can sit out and look over the big field as it drops below the horizon. By November though it is setting at the bottom of the garden, much further round to the south.