Saturday, 18 October 2014

Lunch with the Swans

Well, another week has passed in a blink of an eye and we are fast tracking to the end of October.  Is it me, or does the momentum of September and October get quicker each year?  I have been chasing my tail all week (what's new? I hear you say) but there was a brief moment when the sun shone so I decided to get away from the office and take a short walk to the River Nene to visit the swans for an hour  Want to come along?  
It was surprisingly quiet of people when I chose the bench to sit at.  Only one other person was sitting a few benches down, just gazing at the swans on the river.  As I sat down, I spent a moment drinking in the colours that surrounded me, especially up against a beautiful blue sky.
In front of my bench was an old rustic narrow boat.  It had seen better days, but this was clearly a loved and lived in vessel, getting ready for the cold days and nights ahead.
A commotion could be heard on the river and it didn't take a detective to work out what it was.  This swan clearly wanted everyone to know that it was time for a deep clean.  The violence and vigour of his wings as they crashed against the water, followed by the serene grooming was wonderful to capture and I became aware that I was this lonely middle aged woman smiling widely on a park bench!  Oh well, it made people keep a wide berth when they walked away.  Have you ever done that?  Suddenly realising your expression!
After the spectacular display, the quiet elegance was returned, with gentle lapping of webbed feet against the smooth rippling river.
It's feathers were now clean and looking like mounds of snow on a mountain side.
Lunch consisted of a Greggs sausage roll - oh go on then, maybe there were two in that paper bag!!
They were still hot, giving me extra time to savour my surroundings, including building work noises and the shrill noises of the geese nearby.  The other reason for buying two, yes there was a reason, was that there were more pastry to leave and feed these elegant birds.
Slowly they came to finish off my lunch scratchings, quickly joined by seagulls, geese, pigeons etc etc.  This little one though was having a bit of an afternoon rest!
He seemed to be happy enjoying the narrow boats that were a little further up the river.
Once finished, I headed back to work looking across the park which had colourful lorries, full of rides that were being packed away to move onto their next venue.
I love walking around these ancient walls of Peterborough Cathedral, and seeing the different seasons in progress.  The Cathedral is coming up to its 900th birthday and has certainly seen its fair share of all weathers through the years.
My walk to the office takes me past the Monks Kitchen, the oldest part of the precincts and was the place that the Monks prepared food all those centuries ago.
You can imagine how old this ancient graffitti is!  Those monks!  Tut tut!
And the ancient carvings.  I can never be tired of looking at these old, weathered carvings and hoping that they will be there in another 900 years.
But, time was up and I had to return to the office.  The view from the window is very different now  that the scaffolding has been taken down, so it means unfortunately I can't climb up again and touch those turrets and windows (for those new followers who are wondering if I've gone mad, my post on this is here - don't forget to wear your hard hat!).
Just an hour to refresh the batteries, take in a good walk and share lunch with the swans.  Perfect!

London Zoo beckons us for our trip next week!  I haven't been for years so counting down the days.

Thank you so much for your visits and comments last week.  My dad is very slowly improving, but this is taking longer than expected.

Have a lovely weekend and week.

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumn's Beauty at Burghley House

For the last couple of weeks I have been dreaming about crispy brown leaves beneath my feet, so when I heard it was going to rain, and rain hard, I knew I had to get to Burghley and risk the showers before things started getting all mushy.  So, are you ready for a gentle walk my 'deers'?!!
The Elizabethan Burghley House was standing beautifully in its grounds with the mist clearing... and still dry!  We were being very lucky with the weather this time around.
The last of the summer roses surrounded the driveway's flower beds and the smell was incredibly strong along with the lavender that danced by their feet.  White roses on one side and red on the other, all equally strongly scented.
However, I suppose I had better get keep with the rules!
Our walk was shared with deer of all sizes and temperaments.  These two were enjoying some play jousting with their antlers.
There is still green in the trees but the slight change was there to see, especially beneath our feet.  At last, we were able to hear the crispiness beneath our feet.
The trees are amazing in the grounds.  They seem to look as though they have been corkscrewed out of the earth.
The avenues of trees looked nearly ready for their sleepy slumber that would follow in the next few months.
Our walk took us through the metal gate and onto the bridge to give gorgeous views of the House and lake.
The autumn colours gently showing through the green.
Our walk then followed the lake back to the house and the sun started to make more of an appearance.  It was warm but not summer warm - warm with the autumn bite.
It was so quiet on the bridge and we didn't want to leave here.
The house was beginning to be bathed in the sunlight.  It's always a joy to see and visit this landmark  (past posts are here, here and here), but to just walk around the grounds is free to everyone.
I've censored the statue that stands in the driveway of the house (too many 'grapes' on show!).
Mumsy had a lovely reflective time walking around as my Dad hasn't been too well lately, so she was just able to be quiet for a while.
And so, it was time to head back as the storm clouds had finally appeared on the horizon.  Time to leave this one snoozing... where's his blue badge?!!
Autumn has come, slowly, but the comforting colours are appearing.
So, how's the season changing in your part of the world?

Oh, and this shot was taken by Miss Teen of me and Mumsy...
Just look at those leaves!!!

Have a wonderful week.

Take care.

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