26 February 2018

A Cold Day in Cambridge

Last Friday my friend M and I had a day in Cambridge, and let me tell you dear reader it was cold, very cold. But even on a very cold day in February the Cambridge University Botanic Garden was a delight.  John at 'By Stargoose And Hanglands' did a post about it a few weeks ago and after seeing his beautiful photos I decided I would like to visit.  

John also mentioned the superb Winter Garden, thank you John.
Just look at all this glorious winter colour.

Mother nature never ceases to amaze me, 
how she creates tiny delicate blooms that remain unscathed by harsh frosts and biting winds.

 The golden beauty of Fenland grasses

The Glasshouses provided some respite from the cold as we visited the beautiful Orchids exhibition

Collage courtesy of befunky.com

And the Alpine House

All these darling tiny plants

The Arid Lands House

After a cup of hot chocolate in the cafe we wandered into the city centre.

Lunch was our favourite - fish n chips, followed by browsing around the market 
and a few shops before making our way back to the coach pick up point

We thought this swan might be hoping for some food

Because even after turning round it was still with the punt, now joined by a couple of ducks!

And still there

The coach company we use do a few visits to Cambridge throughout the year
On our next visit we will tour Kings College.

~Be warm and well ~
Polly x

18 February 2018

A Good Read

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
New Year's Eve. Strangers Martin, Maureen, Jess and JJ plan to commit suicide by jumping off a high building called Toppers' House in London. Their plans for a solitary death are ruined when they accidentally meet each other on the roof. What happens next is an hilarious account of a reluctant involvement in each other’s lives; forming a kind of support group; a pact to postpone their suicides until Valentine’s Day at least; a holiday in Tenerife; witnessing someone else actually jumping off and finally deciding to delay their final decision on killing themselves for another six months as they try to pull back from the brink. 

Very funny, well written, excellent, thoroughly enjoyed it. Started reading it whilst on holiday in Zanzibar, borrowed it from the resort library. Didn’t finish it before I left so I borrowed it from the library back home.

~Be warm and well ~
Polly x

16 February 2018

Lunchtime Concert

Todays' concert was the Stondon Singers. This highly regarded choir of 25 singers was formed in 1968 initially to perform the works of William Byrd at Stondon Massey where the composer spent the last thirty years of his life. The varied programme included works by Byrd, Maurice Durufle, John Tavener, Imogen Host, Thomas Morley and Mr. Bach. M and I had sandwiches and tea and settled down to enjoy the beautiful singing.
Afterwards we visited the market where I bought some new wellies, browsed around a few shops, we only went into one charity shop! and then headed to John Lewis for coffee and hot chocolate and a good old chat before heading home.

Hope you have a good weekend.
~Be warm and well ~
Polly x 

12 February 2018

A Short Walk

Lovely walk this morning
blue sky
not much time today 
so did the short walk 

a little bit boring 

Me  and Buster

~Be warm and well ~
Polly x 

7 February 2018

It's A Dog's Life

"It's A Dog's Life" 
What does it mean?
Well it has two meanings
It can mean a miserable unhappy existence
or, as in the case of our dogs, a wonderful life. 
Take a look at what life is like for Buster and Rufus.

This wasn't staged, it's Rufus, he just plonks himself down regardless of what's there.

He wasn't sniffing the tulips! it's just the way he was laying

I can't remember how piglet came to be in the garden, 
but Rufus is always quick to spot a comfortable place to rest his head!

If you ever find yourself hankering after getting a dog but don't know what breed to get I would highly recommend a Lurcher. Being related to Greyhounds they are couch potatoes, which is strange, you would think being racing dogs Greyhounds would be high maintenance.  

They get long walks, sleep all day, Rufus loves playing with his toys and we get a lovely welcome home when we have been out, even if it's only for a couple of hours. They are lovely well behaved boys.

A Lurcher is not a breed of dog but is a type of hound that results from cross breeding a Greyhound with a breed of Terrier. They are unique to Britain and Ireland and have been around a very long time.  They are thought to originate from the time when only Noblemen were permitted to own pure bred Sighthounds such as the Greyhound, Saluki, Deerhound, Whippet and Wolfhound. The punishment for a Commoner for possessing one of these  types of hounds was death. So the Lurcher was bred to fulfill the need for the Commoners and Poachers to own a fast and efficient hunting companion.

If you do get a dog, please go to a reputable breeder and make sure you see the mum and dad. And don't reject the idea of a rescue dog. Rufus is a rescue and he is a darling.

~Be warm and well ~
Polly x 

2 February 2018

A Good Read

In the Woods by Tana French
Twelve year old Adam and his friends Jamie & Peter were playing in woods near their homes when something terrible happened. Adam was found with his back to a tree clawing the bark, he had blood on his shoes and slash marks on his back. Jamie and Peter were never seen again and Adam’s amnesia holds to the present day. 
Twenty years on Adam has changed his name to Rob and is a detective in Dublin. The plot circles around the murder of a twelve year old girl, Katy Devlin, whose case Rob and his partner Cassie Maddox are assigned to investigate. The body was found in the same woods where Rob’s friends disappeared, at an archaeological dig site, and the coincidence is enough to make him nervous. 
Cassie and Rob have been work partners for a few years and get along famously. Cassie is one of the few people who knows the truth about Rob's past. There are many rumours that they are romantically involved, though both deny this they live almost like a married couple, spending a lot of time at Cassie’s cooking dinner, drinking wine, and Rob crashing on Cassie’s couch. 
Katy’s murder takes the pair along many lines of investigation. Could her death be related to her father’s protests against the new motorway, could one of the students on the dig have had a reason to attack her. She might have been abused by her father or another family member. Or could it be related to the disappearance of Rob’s friends, as a hair clip worn by Jamie appeared near the crime scene. Rob discovers where Katy was killed and arrests and confessions follow. The conclusion is chilling. 

Described as breathtakingly brilliant, close to perfect and a superior novel about cops, murder, memory, relationships, and modern Ireland. mmm well I wouldn’t go quite that far, I don't recall much mention of modern Ireland. It was a good story with good characters and very good description of police procedures, and relationships, but there was far too much dialogue about the working and social relationship between Rob and Cassie, some of which was quite infantile. Page after page of what they were drinking, eating, thinking, talking about and crashing out at Cassie’s place. About a third of it could have been edited out without losing any of the plot.  

Have a good weekend

~Be warm and well ~
Polly x 
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