Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Celebrating wide verandas / stoeps of the Karoo

Hiya

I spent some time in the tiny Karoo town of Aberdeen again visiting family.  I love the quaintness & simplicity of the town because it harks back to a time long gone!

The Tourist Information leaflet informs us that Aberdeen has some unique architectural styles - not that I can identify them with any certainty but these are the ones they named:

Victorian
Georgian
Karoo 
Cape Dutch
Germ
Gothic Revival
Russian
Art Nouveau
Flemish Revival 

One thing I really love is the wide stoeps or verandas so essential to life in the Karoo. The stifling hot summers mean that they are essential to surviving the heat.


 Beautiful wide & beautiful spaces ....


 This house & its elegant stoep / veranda reminds me of our childhood spent at my Grandfathers home in Pretoria where we spent many happy hours playing & running around. It is funny how a single image can bring back so many happy memories ...





How lovely is this detail on this house?


1897 with intricate metal work as well as towers that could be Russian or Gothic ...


Even the metal fence echoes the details on the house ... 



There is a hint of Dutch architecture here as well as turrets & broekie lace details on the stoep ...


Do you have a favourite stoep / veranda? Do you enjoy exploring places you visit? Tell all ...
Thank you for stopping by, taking time to read & even leave a comment.

Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Captain Lawrence Oats & the Karoo

Hi everyone

On a visit to the tiny Karoo town of Aberdeen in South Africa,  my eye was drawn to a blue plaque on a house in Brand Street & I walked over to read it.


What an amazing history collided in this tiny town! 

I am a great Boer War follower, having had family who fought on both sides of the war .... 

One of the famous historical figures that saw action in the Aberdeen district during the 2nd Anglo Boer War was Lawrence Edward Grace Oates. Serving in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons he suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh in March 1901 which shattered his leg and left it an inch shorter than his right leg when it eventually healed.

In that skirmish he was twice called upon to surrender, and replied “We came to fight, not to surrender.” He was recommended for the Victoria Cross for his actions. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1902 and Captain in 1906. He later served in Ireland, Egypt, and India. He was nursed by the Harvey family of 16 Brand Street in Aberdeen where he celebrated his 21st birthday. The wound caused him a lifelong limp. 

The name of Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oats is well known & it is forever associated with his selfless act of walking out in to the snow blizzard on his 32nd birthday, to his death so that he would not hinder the rest of the Antarctic team. 


According to Capt Scott's diary, his last words were: 'I'm just going outside and I may be some time.' 

What an amazing story of an amazing person whose life is celebrated in the tiny town, where his injury in the Boer War led him to make his final decision. 

I did not know this connection until I walked over to read the blue plaque on that wall but now that I know the story, I have a deep respect for how history was shaped in Aberdeen. 

I hope you have enjoyed this story with me. Thank you for stopping by, 
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Harvest time in the Shire

Hi everyone

Suddenly it seems like Autumn has arrived in Shropshire, especially when I was out walking around a local farm with the Godsons & I saw the harvest stacks ....

The farmer suffered a devastating fire in his winter stacks some winters back so he has moved them far away from the road - this is the smaller stack ... 


A walk just a bit further revealed this enormous hay stack ...



To give you an idea of the size, that is me standing next to it - I was dwarfed by the stack ...



The fields also had loads of lovely carrots - Godson with some from the edges where the wildlife had nibbled on them too ...


It is brilliant to see the harvest out in the fields, it signals the start of Autumn & the Harvest celebrations which start soon.

Hope you are enjoying the start of Autumn too. Thank you for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Winter salad greens for my planters

Hi everyone

I have neglected my blog over the summer due to an extended holiday. However, now it is time to get some of the jobs done ahead of Autumn.

My 4 tomato plants survived being left outside while we were away - fortunately, we had regular rain which kept them going, Hopefully they will still ripen because there are a lot of small tomatoes on the plants.


I shared my new salad planters with you earlier in the year - they have provided us with a plenty of salad greens over the summer - it has been brilliant to just open the back door & pick enough for a salad - the simple things in life are often the best!

My Elho planters have been absolutely brilliant & I am determined to make the most of them.

On my return from holiday, I knew it was time to redo them with the hope that I would have enough greens & salad leaves for winter. Do you also eat salad all year round?


 The straggly, last lettuce leaves were pulled out, then it was time for a trip to the local garden centre.

However, they only had kale plants or some swiss chard with its bright, colourful stems.



Fortunately, I found some salad seeds in their sale section so perhaps all is not lost.


The planter with the kale plugs has the first of the salad seeds sown - these are meant to be ready in 25 days so I will see how that goes ...


I love the bright stems of the chard - the ones at the back are from an early planting but they have not done too well so they will stay for the time being. 



These two planters have swiss chard in them ...


Planted & covered up again with their lovely covers that keep the soil warm & the plants protected. They benefit from radiated warmth from the house walls too in this sunny, protected spot.


The green planter on the left by the water butt, has the kale & first salad greens in it ...



A quick rain shower waters the planters before I had a chance to put the lids back on ... 


The Elho planters were a great idea for growing some bits at home.  I will give you an update on their use in winter ... 


Do you grow any bits of your own at home? I find it hugely satisfying to see things progress. Thank you for stopping by & visiting my blog ...
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Exploring local history on a walk ....

Hi everyone

Our long summer holidays means time to get out & enjoy catching up with friends. The Godsons & their Mum joined me for a local walk that none of us had actually done before ...




We set off to explore ...



Lush, overgrown areas, hinting at their past use with old stone walls ... 




Beautiful skies & old structures ..


 The Godsons going up to explore through a very narrow gap ...


Tranquil lakes with reflections of all the lovely greenery from the woods ...


 The hills are covered in pretty natural plants that looked very pretty - nature has the best colour combinations.


With several stables & paddocks close by, they have a designated track which was good ..


The road after the horses had passed by ...




This is the perfect space for the energetic lads to burn off some energy & enjoy the outdoors as we used to do as children ...




 Lovely walks in beautiful countryside ...


The horses are enjoying the sunshine & lush grazing too ...




A pretty goat who was company for a horse ...





A lovely time with a good supply of foraged blackberries from the hedgerows  that was made in to crumbles for pudding this week ...


It was very interesting to explore something that is really close but that we have not been to yet - perfect holiday leisure time! 


I am sure we will be returning to visit this again as we did not see all of it ... I hope you have enjoyed it too, thank you for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment,
Dee ~♥~