Faces near the entrance to the Choir at Lincoln Cathedral. Not saints – though maybe sinners, who knows? – these characters still look bright and mischievous after all the years that have passed since they were carved. They hint of the ‘other lives’ unremarked in history books or the cathedral rolls of honour. Meanwhile the low sun plays with lovely patterns on the north wall…
Back again in wonderful Nova Scotia. The scenery inland can be repetitive: rocks + trees! But the coast and rivers are beautiful. This is taken near Bridgewater, not far from the World Heritage site of Lunenburg with its famous Bluenose sailing ship and colourful 18th century clapboard buildings. Most of our time we spent over in Digby with friends, enjoying great hospitality, beach sculpture and, of course, views.
Gunby Hall is a little treasure (almost) hidden in south Lincolnshire, some way from most of the tourist trails. The house, now with many more rooms open, is well worth a visit. It isn’t so daunting as some of those magnificent mansions where you wonder if you want to see yet another portrait or four poster; there’s a real domesticity to it. But the icing on the cake is the garden, which is lovely and had a wonderful flush of colour in August when some gardens are fading. There are lots of ‘rooms’ as well as open spaces and we particularly liked the mix of flowers and vegetables.
Nearby is Tattershall Castle, an imposing pile and in remarkably good nick, considering it was left to fall into disrepair for many years. The interior is bare but interesting and the views from the roof and turrets are magnificent. You can see a long way in south Lincolnshire!
Here is a close up of Sylv’s finger – oh, and a butterfly that seemed to like her perspiration. Taken at the wonderful Kamnik Arboretum in Slovenia, one of the best botanical gardens we’ve visited. We liked the mix of Tyrolean, Balkan and Mediterranean in architecture, scenery, food and drink – and admired the vegetable gardens everywhere: out in the countryside, in suburban gardens and even on our campsite. And on the way, of course, the stunning scenery…
Wow – here we are careering around Barrow in a Model-T, judging the fifty plus wheelbarrows all around the village. Waving at the front is Amanda White from Radio Humberside/Look North, our celebrity judge. The driver and owner is Mr Barker and the vehicle is actually a very rare Model T Mifflinburg – two forward gears and one reverse. Back in the Market Place people are waiting for the results and Barrow Band is getting set up. What a great day! (And an excuse to get my hands on a megaphone…)
More about the wheelbarrows and the weekend events on the Better Barrow site: www.betterbarrow.org
Abbotsbury, Knoll, Kingston Lacy, Mapperton… the list of great gardens in Dorset goes on. Mapperton (above) is one of my favourites, combining surprise, formality, informality and a great tea shop. Friendly gardeners too. Knoll is quite small but full of interest and Abbotsbury is large, meandering and ‘sub-tropical’. Kingston Lacy also has a mansion to visit – with what seems to be an intact wine cellar:
Blue skies in Picardy – what more to ask? This is le Crotoy and its idiosyncratic hotel/restaurant, Les Tourelles, now restored and looking lovely, just like the personnel in the picture. In the other direction lies the Somme estuary (see picture below). On the other side of the estuary is St Valery, a larger and equally attractive town, with stunning domestic architecture, high town walls and the start of the steam railway line back to Le Crotoy.