Sunday, 5 May 2013

there's no place like home

whether it is better to paint or to sew...that is the question

With all this decorating I am finding muscles I never knew existed and keep discovering sploshes of paint that have not come off in the shower; some interestingly coloured freckles to add to the natural ones. The house is really starting to look the way Mark and I want it to (well ok, the way I want it to look and Mark is ok with), but I think I need a break from decorating and I am itching to get back to my sewing machine. I have, therefore, decided that once I have finished the tiles and woodwork in the bathroom, I am going to wait a bit before I start on the three bedrooms (although one of them does need to be done before some very important visitors arrive in August).

beauty on my doorstep

We spent much of our holiday wandering around gardens (and tomorrow plan to see if the orchard at Lacock Abbey is in  blossom), but sometimes it is easy to overlook what is right under your nose. I have plans for our garden: raised-beds, raspberries, more rhubarb, roses and even things not beginning with 'r' - but the garden already has a loveliness all its own and Spring suits it very well.

our garden in Bath

The cherry tree at the bottom of the garden is really showing off at the moment...

our cherry tree

...and the cats are loving sunny days in the garden (although I do have to keep shooing them away from the sparrow hedge - luckily the loud bells on their collars seem to keep the birds safe)

Max and Rio, the cats

Now the part of the garden formerly known as 'the jungle' is clear, Max thinks it is a wonderful place for a snooze. Actually we had intended to put down gravel there and add some pots, but have decided instead to plant spreading thyme and camomile and fill the gaps with chipped bark, so it is more cat-friendly.

Max relaxing

What is more, we are surrounded by beautiful countryside. At the end of our little cul-de-sac you look one way towards the city (the centre of Bath is just a 20 minute walk away) and the other to rolling hills. I really am spoilt, and feel hugely grateful to live in such a wonderful place.

looking towards Swainswick village

the Woolley Valley

George and the horses

This week I walked George the spaniel the loop around and through Swainswick village and was somewhat concerned when, in a narrow country lane with high hedgerow both sides, we met a large horse and rider (only the horse was large). I have only been walking George for a few weeks and did not know quite how he would react to a horse. He has been fine with people, children, other dogs, ducks etc, but we had not met anything as big as a horse. Here, as my Swedish friends throw their hands up in horror, I have to confess to being rather scared of, not to mention very allergic to, horses. I just knew I couldn't be afraid because it would pass on to George (and maybe even the horse) and if the horse reared up it could be quite bad for me and George. The rider seemed anxious too, which didn't help my worries any. However, George quietly sat at the side of the road with an expression that said "horse? what horse?". The rider commented on what a wonderfully behaved dog he was and I thanked her...despite having no right to smugness, George being someone else's dog who I only walk one day a week.

Feeling relieved, we carried on with me fairly skipping along, George's recently filled poo bag, swinging in my hand (I feel the need to make sure people see I am a responsible dog walker who picks up George' gifts). As we turned a bend in the narrow lane, we came face to face with not one, but two more horses!! Before my heart had time to sink, one of the riders called out "Is that George?". "It is George" I replied, somewhat surprised by his canine celebrity. Clearly my fears were unfounded as George seems to regularly socialise with horses and riders.


  1. Your garden looks lovely! A bit ahead of us, but we are getting there, we have had glorious spring weather these last few days. The cherry tree looks almost magic!

    ... and I must admit, that I too feel the need to make people realise that I am a responsible dog owner who picks up after Hampus, so I have been known to be seen swinging a poo bag or two (or several) ;-)

    1. Thank you! I do love the cherry tree, although we need to get in a tree-surgeon, as there are a number in the garden that need some attention.

      I find the problem with the poo bag, is it gets in the way when trying to take photos of the countryside - it's bad enough trying to reach high enough to see over the hedges, as George has short little legs and his lead is not long enough. I need to work out how to take the photo one-handed.