Sunday, 13 November 2016

Seven weeks till Christmas

Look how much fruit there is in a Christmas Cake.

Here I am helping to stir the mixture.

And this is the mixture ready to be cooked.  It has to sit for an hour and then be cooked for at least three hours.

I’d no idea making a Christmas Cake took so long. 


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Sheffield Park and the Bluebell Railway

Before Barnaby and I went to the Bluebell Railway we visited Sheffield Park Gardens.

Autumn is the best time to go because of all the different colours.  The trees and bushes were looking lovely.


Sheffield Park is also the name of the station where we joined the Bluebell Railway and where Daddy Bear used to come as a volunteer: sometimes helping to restore the engines, sometimes making the tea and sometimes working as a fireman on the footplate.

The volunteers who work there now were kind enough to let us up on the footplate of "his" engine.  He'd have had to work hard to keep it fuelled with enough coal.  It really is a "Giant".   

Our buddy Stewie came with us to the Bluebell too as he was particularly close to Daddy Bear.

He was excited to ride all the way to East Grinstead.  The line wasn't open that far when Daddy Bear volunteered here.


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Winchester City Mill

It was half term so there were lots of activities taking place at Winchester City Mill, including pumpkin carving for Halloween.

There was also a spooky trail of letters to follow.  I don't think the "M" stood for Morris though.

The sound of the Mill Race was so loud I almost needed ear plugs.

It was a bit frightening so I was pleased that it was lovely and peaceful where we went next.  There is a beautiful garden right behind the Mill and the river flows much more calmly beside it.


Half term in Winchester - Day Three

Here's a close up of the plaque mentioned in Barnaby's post.  

As you will see, although Alfred reigned in the 9th century (871 to 899) the statue wasn't created until 1901 (the beginning of the 20th century, over 1100 years later).

On the plaque inserted in the statue itself it tells you who officially unveiled the statue.

Despite celebrating the founding of the English nation the dates are given in Roman numerals but that's appropriate because Winchester was a former Roman settlement too.


PS If you're wondering what Barnaby and I are sitting on it's a plastic bag because the grass was really wet and we didn't want to get soggy bottoms.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Hinton Ampner Gardens

I also explored Hinton Ampner with Barnaby.

The gardens were very pretty and some of the flowers were still out even though it was almost November.  This was the plant of the week.

We visited the local church too, which isn’t part of the estate but is linked to the Dutton family.

We particularly liked this stained glass window.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Two Castles (Winchester and Wolvesey)

I mentioned the Battle of Hastings in my earlier post today and you may know that the whole story of that battle is recorded in the Bayeux Tapestry.

An excerpt from it is part of the exhibition in the Great Hall, as Winchester Castle was one of the first places William the Conqueror built after he became king.

I really liked Queen Eleanor's Garden

On our way home we also looked at Wolvesey Castle. This used to be the palace of the bishops of Winchester Cathedral but it was built after Saint Swithun's time.

It's in ruins now but you can see how impressive it would have been.


Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral is one of the oldest in the country and was built by a direct descendant of William the Conqueror, who famously won the Battle of Hastings.

The font isn't quite as old as the cathedral but it's still been in use for over 800 years. I love the fact its decorations celebrate the patron saint of children.

I also saw the memorial to Saint Swithun.

It's ironic the cathedral has a patron saint associated with water because at the beginning of the twentieth century the building was sinking. It had to be underpinned by a deep-sea diver, William Walker.  Here I am with the statue commemorating him.