Sunday, 23 June 2019

Exploring the Shropshire village of Badger

Hi 

Do you like finding new places to visit & explore. I recently read an account in a national newspaper about cyclists finding tacks on their journey through the little Shropshire village of Badger; apparently the cyclists were not being sensible riders through the lanes in the village & they had raised the ire of the 120 inhabitants of this village. 

'Where is Badger?’ - I wondered. In fact it is not far from me, one of those many tiny Parishes, the tiniest Parish in England apparently. 


I did what any sensible person would & decide to visit it myself as it looked quite pretty with thatch roofs - not usual up here in the Midlands. 

According to the news reports: The Domesday Book informs us, rather quaintly, that the hamlet, which straddles the Shropshire and South Staffordshire border, once consisted of ‘4 smallholders with 1 plough and woodland for fattening 30 pigs’.

The Village is mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086 & the name is Anglo-Saxon in origin. The village has the river Worfe & Snowdown Brook running close by, though a deep sided ancient wood called Badger Dingle.

We parked up & visited the pretty St Giles Church in the village.  The church is a Gothic Revival Architectural one,  squarish rather than a long building. It is an unassuming village church with pretty stained glass windows & a little chapel to the side with tributes to the illustrious of the village.


The stone in the centre of the two headstones is part of an ancient cross the once stood in the centre of the village ...

This unassuming village church has lovely stained glass & a side chapel dedicated to the illustrious of the village ...

We took a walk through the village & met up with the Church warden who stopped to chat. She recommended a walk to us & so having sensible shoes on, took her advice.


I love woodlands, being surrounded by green spaces is just so good for ones spirit - there were no other people in this side of the woods so it was lovely to just enjoy the space


The walk took us in to Badger Dingle, a deep sided valley with interesting geology - described as such:

The village and the area to its north stand on Upper Mottled Sandstone, a Triassic deposit found in many parts of the West Midlands. This has been used extensively for building in the village, including St. Giles church. It is very evident in the Dingle, along the Snowdon Brook, where there are outcrops, cliffs and caves, artfully exposed and enhanced in the 18th century landscaping of the valley. The eastern side of the parish lies on boulder claysand and gravel, or till, glacial deposits from the ice ages.

Through the trees we had a view of the Birdhouse in the Dingle but we only got a good view once we crossed the brook & went up on the other side of the hill. We managed to walk to a clearing & see it across the valley ... 


The view from across the valley - how fabulous it would be to have tea or bubbly on that balcony ... 


 The Birdhouse
The Birdhouse was designed circa 1783 as an architectural ornament, viewing platform and place of resort. Constructed of local sandstone, the building had a basement containing a service area and a main salon above with views out over the pool. The salon was heated by flues in the rear apsidal wall, which conducted heat from fires in the basement, a system based on the Roman hypocaust. 
Gracilla Boddington, who lived at Badger Hall during the 1 820s, describes idyllic summer evenings entertaining at The Birdhouse and rowing on the pool. The estate later passed to the Capel Cure family, who used The Birdhouse until the 1 930s, most notably for their curious exercise in role reversal - an annual tea party in which they waited on their servants!

I would love to have attended a party there, in this forest with a splendid view of the valley, brook & forest ...


Have a look around The Birdhouse as a rental - fascinating for an escape, however it is too close to me to justify  escaping to. 

This was the last part of our walk out of the valley - how beautiful & calming it is ...


Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed exploring with me. I always read your comments & they are always appreciated, 
Dee ~💕~

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Growing some organic salads for summer


Hi All

We had had a very wet start to our June - Shropshire had a staggering 168mm / 6 inches of rain this past week. It has curtailed our gardening but I always plant a little something because I just love the challenge of growing things.

My herb garden is established along the raised side of the house - away from any animals & they are quite protected there by a fence & the house which means that I have fresh herbs almost all year round.

I shared my new salad planters two years ago - the Elho planters with their covers are perfect for salads because they are protected from bugs too & being on legs they are a good height too. They are positioned on both sides of our back door, close to the kitchen & the herbs so it is easy to use them.

I happened across this interesting mix from Miracle grow - the seeds in a rough pellet mix which is sprinkled over the top of the soil, watered then that is it.

I bought just one bag, sceptical of it, however, I followed the instructions & sprinkled the contents then watered it.

It was quite amazing as the little pellets suddenly started expanding until they looked like soil rather than pellets - all this in a few minutes - an interesting development.

This is the planter after just 2 weeks - the new leaves are looking so well.


I was so impressed that I bought another 2 bags so I can grow a succession of leaves over the summer (I have 3 planters so it is a practical solution to a salad lover like me)


The seeds have been protected from the cool, wet weather by their covers.


These elho planters are perfect for a small garden, for those of us who enjoy growing a few things. 

I have 3 tomato pods in a trough too - they are also miracle gro ones in pods that I have not used before as I usually buy small plants but they are a little slower at coming on. 


I was impressed by having the seeds & growing medium in a pod that can be planted, very little effort but hopefully they will grow as well as the information says - I will keep everyone updated.  

Thank you for stopping by, your comments are always appreciated, 
Dee ~💕~



Sunday, 12 May 2019

Enjoying our lovely canals ...

How welcome the bright, warmer weather is after a grey winter. The oil seed rape / canola oil fields are so stunning that a drive was needed today - how can you not be uplifted at this sight? 


Our lovely county of Shropshire is a large rural one, the heart of the Industrial Revolution that propelled the world in to the new age of mechanism ...

These canals once carried barges full of merchandise from our Industries around the country, our precious potteries were safely transported by canal when the roads were too bumpy.

They hold a special place in my heart, I love the way they wind through our countryside, unseen at times but the old highways now carry tourist narrow boats along at a leisurely 4 mile per hour pace, a gently hum the only things that disturbs the peace.


The bright weather today gave us the opportunity to get out & a canal walk was my first choice - it has been a long winter & I just knew that the trees would be greening up & it would be perfect ...

I have seen photos of this unusual canal bridge so it was lovely to see it today with the double arch & the telephone wires on the top arch - it is really tall & spans a deep crossing ...


The water was a little muddy today after our recent rains but the ducks with  their sweet young ducklings did not seem to mind ...


The bridges are all different sizes & shapes which frame the views beyond ...


 The countryside is so green now & the hedgerows are filled with pretty flowers ...


We called in for drinks at a tiny little canalside pub - the bar was just this little counter with what looked like 2 front rooms for patrons,  everyone sat in the garden enjoying the canal views & the sunshine - bliss ...


As we eventually walked back, the sun was much brighter & we had walked 7.5km along the tow paths. The reflections were perfect, it was green, peaceful & the perfect way to spend an afternoon.


On the way home, we passed a lot of poly tunnels, all laid out so beautiful,  a nod to the agrarian nature of our county where farming is still very evident. 


Thank you for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment,
Dee ~💕~

Monday, 29 April 2019

Making my own natural cleaning products ...

I know many share my concern about the quality of air in our homes. We are now very aware of the products that we use because they influence the quality of air in our homes & thereby impact directly on our health, especially in Winter when we spend more time indoors with the windows closed.

I recently had the opportunity to join a workshop lead by an aromatherapist with the view to looking at natural cleaning products to cut down on air pollutants in the home.

For those who have septic tanks, natural cleaning products do not kill off the essential microbes needed to break down the waste so it is essential to think of this when using products.

She uses various natural oils in her treatments so I was excited to learn more about natural products as I am very aware of pollutants at home.

I already grow a variety of house plants that are recommended to help clean the air.  I have found that peace lilies & aloe vera seem to thrive in our inglenook fireplace space. I like to think that our living room has the cleanest air in our house with all the plants in it.


This was our sample of natural oils to use in the workshop



A graduated bottle was useful for making up the mixtures ...


Natural products that we all have at home anyhow & which don’t impact on air quality



Our handout / booklet with recipes


A small group of us ladies gathered on a Sunday morning with our bottle to mix up the potions. 



My philosophy is that we can each make a difference to the environment by starting with ourselves, making changes that can have a ripple effect - less chemical, more natural products, small changes that help.


I am pleased for the warmer Spring weather when I can fling open the windows & doors to clear the air & by making changes with more air cleansing plants & less chemicals, I know I am making a small difference.

I hope I can inspire you to do the same too. Thank you for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment,
Dee ~💕~

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Easter blessings ....

Easter is very late this year & this term has been long but at last it is our break & I can concentrate on relaxing & enjoying Easter with friends & family.

My sideboard / dresser in the conservatory has transitioned from the blues to Easter favourites - a quiet time at home with special things close by.


A few favourite Easter things have once again appeared; a mixture of vintage (the blue plates), hand made bunny bowl & matching jug; the little bunny dish & round dish & the bunny glass bowl were bought in South Africa  while the two bunny plates are modern high street ones. I love how the ages, patterns & styles all somehow sit well together.


The little knitted easter chicks were bought last year in aid of a Dorset charity & I love them. Don’t  you just love the bunny pottery that is not Easter specific ... 

The 'running hares’ bowl & jug by John Atkinson of Bell pottery in Oxfordshire is so lovely, they are definitely not just for Easter. 


A little Easter tree with some fragile glass ornaments & then craft bunnies - always mix things up. It is a reminder of the fun part of Easter. Godsons gifted me some tiny wooden decorations for it - can you see them?


Easter is of course a Religious time & my collection of Ethiopian crosses (bought on my may trips to that amazing country) keep me grounded, a reminder that faith & spiritualism is at the heart of our Easter.


I am sending many blessings from my home to yours at Easter - however you spend it, enjoy your time with family & friends.

Thank you for your company, stop by again soon, and have a blessed Easter,
Dee ~💕~

Monday, 1 April 2019

Classic blue & white of Burleigh Pottery ...

It is no secret that I love china of all ages & colours but the classic blue & white is a Spring favourite because it brings a freshness to the decor after the festive red & gold colours

I love mixing up patterns & even era’s  which brings it right up to date. While having some visitors recently, we decided to visit the Burleigh pottery factory at Middleport in Stoke on Trent. Middleport potteries is on a canal & it featured as the place that the Great British Pottery Throw down was filmed.

Stoke on Trent is the home to British potteries, the town are famed for their bottle kilns & fine china wares.  I took pottery classes many years ago & it is a craft that I love.



The shop with its familiar patterns & colours ...


It was a lovely day doing some of my favourite things - exploring the origins of various china patterns & methods. 


Views from the upstairs looking towards the canal which runs alongside the factory.


We enjoyed a cream tea upstairs surrounded by lovely wares ...


The factory & museum plays tribute to the many patterns it is famous for ...


Dainty grape hyacinth are potted up in the pretty bowls

The twinkling lights soften the views between the industrial buildings


Many of the original moulds are on display; they are interesting as the shapes are still familiar


How can you not love this space?


The lovely thing about all the patterns & hues all together give a clue as to how they can be used & displayed together


It was a fascinating visit which I really enjoyed because of my love of blue & white wares. It is the success story of how many of these Potteries had to reinvent themselves to be financially viable.


 I hope you share my love of such lovely things, and that it has inspired you to mix it up. 

Thank you for your company, stop by again soon,
Dee ~💕~