Stourhead

Mother came to stay for a few days, and while SWMBO entertained her for most of the time (Tyntesfield and Concorde [only open until the end of September]), I felt morally obliged to take a day off work and take her somewhere. We ended up going to Stourhead, somewhere she'd not been before, and one of the best known landscaped gardens. Fortunately, we managed to avoid the rain - the heavens opened just as we got back to the shop & tea room, which was a perfect excuse for a slice of cake. I think this is one of the nicest views there is - it looks completely natural, but you just know that a landowner with a firm opinion of his place in history combined with a egomaniacal landscape gardener probably uprooted several small villages and converted a small hill into a substantial lake. He probably then decided that he didn't like the colour of the water and had the landscaper...
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Welsh Wales

We've been spending a few days in Welsh Wales - the weather has been pretty good, but it's been damn cold. It's bloody May - it shouldn't be this flamin' cold! First up was Manorbier in Pembrokeshire. We've heard how lovely it is - it wasn't. Might have been something to do with the Arctic gale blowing, but we didn't hang around for very long. There's a surprisingly pristine castle, but it's not National Trust so we were buggered if we were going to pay to get in... After that, we went to Colby Woodland Garden, which *is* National Trust. Quite nice, with a reasonable walled garden, but nothing desperately exciting. When we were in Wales in September, SWMBO was trying to find a beach on the Cardigan Bay coast that she visited as a child. We've been to about half a dozen of the damn things now, and we still haven't found it. I suspect that the passage of 30 years has...
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January Snow

I've been living in Bristol for more than 13 years now, and we've had negligible snowfall in most of that time - probably 2 snowy mornings - and I reckon the last decent snow I saw was probably in 1991. But in the last 12 months, we've had 4 decent snowfalls - 2 in Jan/Feb, one at the end of December and another one today. Being the inveterate snapper that I am (which you wouldn't guess from the amount I've posted to this blog, would you?), I've taken the opportunities to get out and take some photos. These are today's. The Downs A bicycle on Whiteladies Road Snowboarding on Brandon Hill St Mary Redcliffe The lump of metal in the foreground is a fairly famous piece of tram track that landed in the grounds during a German bombing raid in WW2...
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Bosherston

We also visited Bosherston in Pembrokeshire, where three small valleys were flooded in the 1800s to form a large series of lakes. These are full of water lillies, and look fantastic. Panasonic FX-37, 26mm equivalent, 1/800 @ f5.6, ISO 100 Having walked for a mile or so along the valley, you suddenly come out at Broad Haven beach - completely unexpected and very picturesque. Without wanting to sound rude, you wouldn't guess it was Wales, would you? Panasonic FX-37, 26mm equivalent, 1/800 @ f4.4, ISO 100 And on the walk back, we came across this cormorant, which happily sat there for ages while I took photos. Panasonic FX-37, 130mm equivalent, 1/125 @ f5.9, ISO 200 ...
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