Monday, 31 August 2009

Day 243 - August 31st

Today we visited Houghton House at Amphill and that's what my photo of the day is of. I had to stitch three photos together to get the one image and it could still do with a bit of work on the sky.

Houghton House was built in the 17th century as an elaborate hunting lodge for Mary Herbert, the Dowager Countess of Pembroke, a well-connected member of the royal court. After Mary Herbert’s death, the estate was granted by the king to the Bruce family but it was eventually purchased by the Dukes of Bedford. The fifth Duke of Bedford rented the hunting park to a neighbour. He was subsequently unable to let the house without the park, so he ordered Houghton to be dismantled in 1794. Some of the fittings were used in new building projects.

Houghton House was reputedly the inspiration for the 'House Beautiful' in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.. It is now an English Heritage property which is free to visit. The house is about 6 miles or so from where we live and we have driven past the entrance so many times without knowing it was there. We're glad that today we found it.

The purpose for our visit to Houghton House was to do a geocache but as there were so many people around we didn't look for the cache so I think another visit some time will be in order.

Before going to Houghton House we went to Maulden Woods though to hunt for two other caches.

We found one of the two. :) When we later checked we found that the previous person to hunt for the one we couldn't find had also been unsuccessful so we suspect it may have been removed.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Day 242 - August 30th

This weekend is our village Scarecrow Festival. It happens every other year and is a big fund raiser for the Church. This year 65 people have made scarecrows and these are in gardens all round the village. There is a prize of £75 for the best scarecrow made by an adult and £50 for the best scarecrow made by a child.

This first photo is my photo of the day. I love how cute this scarecrow is. It was part of a bigger display based on a poem called 'A Mothers Work is Never Done'. I think this scarecrow was the 'Father' - not doing a lot to help Mother!

Loved this Chilli too. Not a typical scarecrow but it made me chuckle.

Policeman with his speed camera. I read in the paper about a similar scarecrow being seized by police in another part of the country for impersonating a traffic officer. Our police must have more of a sense of humour because they were happy for it to be out.

Very topical this next one .......

A cat burglar.

This next one was a gardener taking a rest.

The children loved this fisherman. In his picnic basket he has a 'Billy the Bass' (you can just about see his tail) and the children loved pressing the button to hear him sing.

This next one was Roald Dahl's BFG. It was massive and so much work had gone into it.

These two were sat on a wall having a glass or two of red.

This was quite a traditional scarecrow.

This next pair were Richard and Hyacinth Bucket from the sitcom 'Keeping Up Appearances'

Lara's little friend Iwan made this dinosaur. Our village is famous for the mining of coprolites which took place in the 19th century. A coprolite is fossilized animal/dinosaur dung!

A lot of work been put into making this train and its driver.


A crow in a plane - As the Crow Flies.

These two were enjoying a scarecrows day out in a soft top car.

Windy Miller from Camberwick Green. I used to love that at a child and knew the words to all the songs!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Day 241 - August 29th

Todays photo is of Steven doing what he likes to do best and would do 24/7 given the opportunity.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Day 240 - August 28th

Our house was built in an old orchard. Quite few of the old fruit trees were cut down to make space for the house and whilst the house was being built a huge, pear tree which would have stood in our back garden, was blow over in strong winds narrowly missing the part built house.

Since then the only other remaining trees (an apple tree and 2 victoria plum trees) have also fallen down. Two new small apple trees have been planted to replace those lost but now the only sign that there was ever an orchard is a very old blackberry bush. Whilst it's nice to have blackberries without having to go picking from the hedgerows, the bush is a real pain. It's growing behind one of the sheds and at this time of year totally covers the top. Picking the blackberries means getting on a ladder and trying to choose an overcast day when the wasps aren't around. I did managed to pick a few of the berries today between the showers. I got just enough to add to some apples for a crumble at the weekend.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Day 239 - August 27th

Steven and Lara have been creating weird and wonderful things with play dough.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Day 238 - August 26th

Today I sewed name tapes into the children's new school uniforms.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Day 237 - August 25th

For the last two days Lara has been trying to catch butterflies. Armed with an old fishing net and a jam jar she's been running around the garden trying to net one. She's been after the orange/brown ones but they are a little too quick for her. She did manage to catch a few white ones which were put in the jar for a few minutes so she could look at them. I was quite pleased when she told me that the best bit was setting them free again and watching them fly away.

I snapped this photo of her showing one of her catches to my Dad who was taking a break from cutting the grass. I think they were plotting the best way of catching the next one.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Day 236 - August 24th

Took the children to a Doctor Who exhibition at our local museum today. There was a full-size Tardis, Dalek, Davros. Cyberman and K9, as well as lots of memorabilia.

I took this photo of the Cyberman. Not sure if I should have taken a photo but there was no one around to ask so ..........

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Day 235 - August 23rd

We went for a walk at the RSPB nature reserve at Sandy this afternoon. I took lots of photos but most were disappointing. I choose this one of Chris and Lara as my photo of the day. Its rare to get a photo of my eldest son so whilst it isn't perfect I like it.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Day 234 - August 22nd

Whilst on holiday I bought some socks with the intention that when we got back home after the holiday, if we had a wet day we would make some Sock Monsters. Ever since Lara heard of my plans she has been nagging me about making sock monsters, so in an attempt to shut her up (in the nicest possible way) today in between the 101 jobs that have to be done when you get back from holiday (unpacking, putting things away, washing, etc, etc, etc...) we made sock monsters.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Day 233 - August 21st

Travelled home from Devon today. Got held up at the biggest car park in the world otherwise known as the M25. Got to laugh at the graffiti on the bridge - GIVE PEAS A CHANCE! Do you suppose someone (a) couldn't spell, (b) wanted their slogan to be memorable, (c) wanted to save on paint, or (d) was having a laugh????

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Day 232 - August 20th

Today was our last full day in Devon - home tomorrow. We visited Exmoor Zoo but our visit was brief because the day turned out quite showery.

My photo for today is of one of the Lemurs. In a rare moment of sunshine they came outside to sun themselves. Its not easy to take photos at Exmoor Zoo because of the glass or wires but I was pleased to get this photo.

The Ruffed Lemurs were also out.

We saw a few Meerkats.

Some Wallabies.

and the Agouti were quite cute.

Unfortunately there was no sign of the Prairie Dogs and whilst I did get a couple of photos of the Cheetahs they weren't great shots.

We did however get a long awaited Devon Cream Tea.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Day 231 - August 19th

Not many photo taken today so just my photo for today to upload. We went for a walk at Westward Ho! this evening. This photo was taken just before 8.00pm.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Day 230 - August 18th

Today started out quite overcast. We went for a walk along part of the Tarka Trail between Bideford and Instow. The Tarka Trail is over 30 miles and uses the old railways of North Devon. Passing through the largely unspoilt countryside as described by Henry Williamson in his classic novel ‘Tarka the Otter'. We walked to Instow, bought some lunch from a local shop and sat near the old station to eat.

Today photo is of a boat at Instow with Appledore in the background.

Here's a few more photos from our walk.

The beach at Instow at low tide.

More boats at Instow with Appledore in the background.


The restored Instow Signal Box, built in 1873.

Some of the wildlife and plants seen during our walk.

This next one is a common blue butterfly - we don't get those back home.

And this is a Burnet moth. Don't think I've ever seen one of those before.