There are quite a few nice places to visit within an hours drive from where I live.
This photo is of Flatford Mill. If you have heard of the painter John Constable, this is the site of one of his most famous paintings called ‘The Haywain’.
He painted nearly 200 years ago and very little has changed since then.
In this crazy world where nothing seems to stay the same for longer than 5 minutes, I find it very therapeutic to go to a place where time seems to stand still. The river still runs, the mill still turns and nothing seems to alter.
Another place like that is The Church of St Peter on the Wall at Bradwell-on-Sea.
This building lays claim to being the oldest intact church in England and dates back to 673 AD. The stones it was built with were actually from a ruined Roman fortress called Othona. The roof has been repaired but walking into this bare church you really feel that you are transported back in time.
I am very grateful that we still have these little pockets we can go to in order to escape this hectic world for a little bit.
Happy Saturday everyone.
A few days ago I wrote a short story about a woman on holiday, called Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea. See here:
Well it didn’t seem finished and a few people told me that it needed some more, so I wrote part two here:
But it still wasn’t finished. So here is the finale.
Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale
Jane walked down the street from the apartment complex to the main part of town. She heard a couple of guys wolf whistle as she went past. She smiled to herself. Her fifty-year-old body may not be as slim as it used to be but clearly, she still had it. Then she heard footsteps behind her. Angela was walking a long behind her wearing a white sarong dress over her black bikini with a black wide-brimmed hat. She wore stylish espadrille wedges on her feet that gave her extra height. Jane felt a pang of jealousy as she realised the wolf whistles hadn’t been for her at all but for Angela’s stunning twenty-something year old figure instead.
Angela walked up to her and gave her a warm smile. “Hi Jane, are you headed into town too? Do you mind if I join you?”
Continue reading Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale.
As you may already know, I love trees.
This is a picture of a particularly lovely tree that is growing on the edge of the beach on the Isle of Mersea in Essex, England.
This was taken in early May and it was a particularly glorious sunny and hot day. The tide was pretty much all the way out, so swimming wasn’t an option, it was more or less just mud. Also the sea would probably have been too cold anyway, it doesn’t tend to warm up until end of July.
Mersea Island is a really lovely place and is separated from the mainland by a salt water creek. The road, known as the Strood, allows you to drive over to the island without any trouble, except around high tide when it is underwater for about an hour (this happens twice in every 24 hours).
The Island has one town, West Mersea, which has a nice beach and lots of beach huts and fish and chip shops. The east side of the island is mainly just farms and caravan parks. It is quieter on the East side. The whole island takes about 30 minutes to drive around, but sometimes it can take longer than that just to find an empty car parking space!
I hope you liked this picture.
We have had something that I don’t remember happening before. We have had a long weekend, May Bank Holiday, where all three days have been gloriously sunny and warm!
It has been lovely. Knowing our weather though, in just a few days the temperatures will go back down from the high twenties (Centigrade) down to the 17 or 18 degrees that is more usual this time of year and then people will start moaning “Haven’t had much of a summer have we?”. I always point out the nice days that their memory has missed, for some reason they don’t seem to like it. Let them wallow in their own misery, say I.
I have made the most of the weather. We went out Friday to a local garden, called Hyde Hall (I posted a picture the other day), This picture is another one taken on that day. It is a really lovely garden with a mixture of formal and informal bedding, a fish pond with ducks, a huge vegetable garden and a nice green hill that you can roll down (my rolling days are over though). It also has a few nice places to get tea and coffee, and cake.
You can also pick up some plants and garden related gifts.
Today we went to another place you can get to within an hour (driving). It is an island called Mersea, for those of you unfamiliar with this part of the world. It is technically only really an island at high tide. You can usually just drive across to the island and it is only separated by mud flats, however at high tide the water covers the road completely and you are stuck for an hour before the road opens again. The Island has a small town and a lovely beach and lots of caravan parks and beach huts. It is a lovely place to go on a sunny day, and we took full advantage. Photo’s to follow.
I hope you all have had a lovely weekend.
Yesterday I went to Hyde Hall Gardens which is about 20 minutes drive from where I live in the heart of Essex. The gardens are run the the Royal Horticultural Society and they have 4 gardens across the UK, so we are lucky to have one in Essex.
This particular day was a craft weekend so they had lots of stalls selling glassware, pottery, hand dyed wools, soaps etc.
It also happened to be one of those rare days when it was lovely and sunny.
Why the umbrella? Well actually both the name Umbrella and Parasol refer to the objects original purpose, which was to keep off the sun. Umbrella comes from the latin Umbra which means Shade. I was putting it to it’s original purpose to keep the sun off.
Have a nice Day. x
This is a picture of the Walled Garden at Cressing Temple Barns in Essex.
This place has an excellent tea rooms and a lovely green lawn for picnics.
It was also one of the sites owned by the Knights Templar, or the ‘Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon’ to give them their full name.
There are two large barns one of them dating back to around 1200 AD which are still standing and maintained. They are often hired out for weddings and other function.
Also on the site is a Walled garden. This would have been used by the Knights Templar to grow necessary crops and herbs. Today it is laid out in as near to a traditional medieval garden as possible, with section of herbs for medicine and for dyeing. There is a small orchards and a nuttery, with Hazels.
It is a very lovely place to visit, if you happen to be in Essex, England and fancied walking in the footsteps of the old crusaders and also having a nice cup of tea.
I hope you enjoy this picture.
This is a picture of the church at Greensted, near Ongar in Essex, England.
It claims to be the oldest wooden church in the world and the oldest intact wooden structure in Europe. Quite significant claims.
I happen to live within an hours driving of this virtually unknown landmark.
Despite the impressive claim, there isn’t even a car park and most people visit the church on foot from nearby Ongar.
It is still an active church for the local community and services take place every Sunday.
The Oldest part of this church is the central section which dates from between 800 and 1000 A.D. It is made from cleaved oak trees, a style typical of early Saxon churches of the period. The trees themselves would have given shade to the Romans.
The brick section to the right, which contains the Choir and the Alter, dates to the 1500’s and the white wooden bell tower dates to the time of the English Civil war (1642 – 1651).
In the grounds are various Yew trees, that traditionally were planted in churchyards to stop children eating the poisonous berries. Yew is a particularly long-lived tree and the Yews here likely were planted before the current church was built.
The atmosphere inside this small church is very special. As you walk in, the smell of the ancient timber and the incense used in ceremonies over a thousand years permeates the air. You automatically whisper, it seems too sacrilegious to raise ones voice on this hallowed ground.
I have taken lots of friends to visit this place and none have failed to be impressed by the history or awed by the special feeling of peace that exists.
I hope you like this picture.