Uncategorized

Coast and Countryside

My wife recently spent some time with her parents north of London so my friend and I saw it as a perfect time to hop in Suzie Smart Car and have a gentle wander in the countryside. We ended up somewhere between Woodingdean and Rottingdean in the Brighton suburbs, a place called Happy Valley that holds the mystery of an unsolved murder from decades ago. Not so happy it seems. It was a mixture of bleak countryside, coastline and microclimates, a very eclectic place indeed.

We saw numerous butterflies I am yet to identify, heard the chirping of birds that I certainly didn’t recognise from my Midlands birdwatching days, got trapped in what felt like a field of thistles and discovered a narrow fallen woodland. All in all a good Sunday afternoon with great company

IMG_3627
The gate that takes you from the chaos of Brighton into freedom.

IMG_3633IMG_3634IMG_3639IMG_3642IMG_3643IMG_3649IMG_3663IMG_3667

IMG_3669
Barbed wire surrounded us everywhere we went.

IMG_3670

IMG_3672
Perhaps the tiniest poppy in Sussex.

IMG_3673IMG_3674IMG_3676IMG_3677IMG_3678IMG_3679IMG_3681IMG_3682IMG_3683

IMG_3687
The only butterfly that kept still long enough to photograph it.

IMG_3690IMG_3695

IMG_3698
Roots clinging to the ground.

IMG_3699IMG_3700

IMG_3701
Upturned trees pulling the chalk out the ground with them.

IMG_3703IMG_3704IMG_3705IMG_3707IMG_3709IMG_3710IMG_3711IMG_3712

IMG_3716
This doesn’t do the sea view justice.
Advertisements
Uncategorized

Climbing Elm Grove

I’ve lived in Brighton at the bottom of a mile long steep hill for six years. Until recently I had no idea of the views from the top as it is too far and steep to walk and buses are infrequent. Today we hopped in Suzie Smart Car and went to check out the views. On one side you can see nothing but greenery and the sea beyond, the other the lined streets of coloured houses in Brighton and the curve of the Sussex coastline. We were surround by the sound of grasshoppers, birds and the gentle breeze in blowing through the leaves. The roadside was lined with plants and flowers. These photos do not do the view justice, but I had to share them to tempt you to the top of Elm Grove.

IMG_3392IMG_3393IMG_3394IMG_3395IMG_3397IMG_3399IMG_3400IMG_3401IMG_3402IMG_3403IMG_3404IMG_3406IMG_3407IMG_3408IMG_3409IMG_3410IMG_3411IMG_3412

Uncategorized

Raystede Animal Sanctuary – Sussex

My wife and I have recently bought a car. The car of my dreams, a lifelong wish – a Smart Car. She’s called Suzie, and last weekend we went on our first drive out in her to the countryside, roof down, wind in my hair (not like the movies, I looked like Donald Trump when we got home!). We’ve wanted to visit Raystede for many years but a two hour trip on public transport wasn’t going to happen, it’s less than half an hour from our house in the car! Animals and wildlife are such great therapy if you suffer from any kind of health problem or are just in need of a destress, so we probably couldn’t have picked a better time to go. We spent time being nuzzled by horses, followed by geese, shouted at by moorhens and shown off to by the resident male turkey. Its wheelchair and disability friendly too.

Raystede are such an important and wonderful charity,. They rescue up to 750 battery hens every year, many of which never regrow their feathers, re-home every kind of fluffy animal you can imagine and provide wonderful habitats for wildlife such as hedgehogs and bats, and havens for insects and birds alike. If you are ever in Sussex I would strongly recommend a drive into the glorious countryside to pay this fantastic centre a visit.

IMG_3216IMG_3222IMG_3225IMG_3233IMG_3235IMG_3241IMG_3247IMG_3250IMG_3260IMG_3261IMG_3269IMG_3285IMG_3287IMG_3291IMG_3293IMG_3299IMG_3301IMG_3310IMG_3316IMG_3318IMG_3320IMG_3322IMG_3327IMG_3330IMG_3331IMG_3333IMG_3337IMG_3339IMG_3343IMG_3351IMG_3353IMG_3364IMG_3365IMG_3375IMG_3383IMG_3390

Uncategorized

Seaford In Spring

IMG_1832
Escaping Brighton over the viaduct.
IMG_1838
Train views.
IMG_1854
The bluest sky of 2017.

IMG_1858IMG_1869

IMG_1874
Twitching (bird watching).

IMG_1879IMG_1883IMG_1890IMG_1894

IMG_1898
Very happy to be out of Brighton.
IMG_1904
The colour of this water looks like anywhere but the English Channel.

IMG_1921IMG_1936

IMG_1937
Secret beaches beyond the rocks

IMG_1938IMG_1947IMG_1948IMG_1952IMG_1957IMG_1964

IMG_1965
A break in the throngs of dog walkers.

IMG_1969

IMG_1972
Jornaling on the beach.
IMG_1982
Back to Brighton, for now…
Uncategorized

Spring At Home

Spring is such a beautiful time of year, it’s a close second the array of bronzed colours Autumn brings.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I don’t often get out an awful lot, and I certainly don’t have a garden to admire from the dark basement flat that is my home.

The winter had left me feeling rather down in the dumps and generally fed up of the four dark damp walls of my expensive Brighton rental home. With no grass verges outside, few trees and not a sparrow or starling to be heard twenty minutes inland from the sea, I was desperately craving some greenery and colour at home. But with the lack of sunlight I have always been convinced that no plant could survive here, just as I appeared to be struggling to.

Then I read a magazine article about how good it is for your mental health to fill your home with plants. I am lucky in that I have huge Victorian windowsills on the two windows in my flat so I decided to hot foot it (get the bus) up one of the steepest hills in Brighton to my (very) local garden centre.

I’m positive that once inside my wife despaired of me, I was thoroughly excited by the greenery an houseplant options that surrounded me and she promptly abandoned me for the book section! Cautious of the poor light I finally came home with a couple of plants, a cacti pot and some pretty pots for them.

A few weeks on, they are alive and well so after a doctor appointment we went to the local florist at our market who always have a lovely selection of plants. Having read aloe vera plants are good for aiding sleep and need little light, this insomniac got her hands on the biggest one there for the bedroom windowsill along with a beautiful red edged grass of which I’ve not a clue what it is.

Finally, I needed some floral colour, so a trip to Marks and Spencers gave me the opportunity to be treated by my wife to a couple of lovely bunches of flowers and daffodils that cost just 25p because one flower had started to open, bargain!

Having been a keen gardener back in my home town of Birmingham, and even volunteering for a Jacobean walled garden, this green fingered girl (ok, woman)  is loving chatting to and watering her plants, I forgot how much I missed it. I’ll certainly be getting a bunch of flowers every week too.

Here is a small snapshot of some of the colour that is currently filling my home. I hope you like it as much as I do!

img_1753img_1752img_1751img_1750img_1749img_1747img_1740img_1741img_1742img_1743img_1745img_1738img_1737

 

Uncategorized

Urban Nature

I recently spent a couple of nights at my parent’s house in Birmingham. Their garden has always been a hub for city wildlife, I’ve spent many a summer sitting in the garden with the vast array of birds that visit the garden, from starlings and herons on the rooftops, and hedgehogs and baby robins hiding in the grass.

On this particular Saturday I was supposed to be having a study day, but ended up at the window watching the endless wildlife that visited the garden over the space of a couple of hours. Mr and Mrs Fox stopped by, the collared dove sadly without it’s mate, a single robin, starlings, sparrows, coal tits and wood pigeons fighting over the bird food and Mr Blackbird made a few appearances too. There were also a couple of gorgeous feline friends but that’s for another (mad cat lady) post.

Here’s just a few of the best photos I managed to get.

Uncategorized

The Best Of 2016

2016 has been a year of ups and downs. Although it’s been the toughest year so far health-wise it’s been a pretty wonderful year in so many ways. I started studying again, got myself a great new job with some good friends and my wife finally let me buy a sideboard!! I could post hundreds of photos and list even more great things that have happened this year. Here’s just a few of them, in no particular order whatsoever.

Getting to spend time with my wonderful parents, including trips to Birmingham and them staying with me in Brighton just before Christmas.

Spending quality time with good friends. From a drive through the Sussex countryside with my friend and her husband (and getting to meet her many fluffy kitties) to my bestie taking me on a trip through the Ashdown Forest to a Llama Park. Definitely the best birthday ever! Then there’s lunch with a really special friend just before Christmas.

img_0170

I felt so lucky getting to stay with our friends in their flat overlooking the sea on the Isle Of Wight in July. Quality time with my wife, two bloody great mates, and getting to see endless wildlife (and donkeys) made this one of the best trips I’ve ever had.

Of course, no review of 2016 would be complete without mentioning my trusty sidekick, Trinny the kitty. She’s the best companion and nurse a woman could wish for, even if she does spend a couple of hours every evening shouting at us. We also took on Bear the hamster this summer too. He appeared to be the hammy no-one wanted so needless to say, he soon came home with us.

My wife and I have also shared some fun times on Brighton beach and pier this year as well as other trips out including the stunning Arundel Castle, and one heck of a splurge of a shopping trip at Gunwharf Keys in Portsmouth. I’ve also spent some quality time on trains, of course, and even been on a few Route Master buses with dad in London.

And of course, there was also Autumn, my favourite time of year in all it’s colourful beauty.

I could go on, the list really does feel endless.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

(A big thanks to my wife for buying me a pretty awesome camera for my 30th that inspired me to take so many photos. I’m a lucky lady!)

Uncategorized

Perfect Weather For Ducks

Hello everyone,

Following on from my last post about my love of all things nature, here are some gorgeous photos I’ve taken of some ducks in parks in England.

The first few snaps are in Shard End Park, Birmingham, in June, where I was hissed at and chased by mother goose protecting her little ones. She then followed me around the park begging for more bread!

IMAG0600IMAG0605IMAG0601IMAG0611IMAG0616

The next few were taken in St James’s Park, London, just last week.

IMAG1128
IMAG1134IMAG1135IMAG1137IMAG1138IMAG1139IMAG1142IMAG1146IMAG1147IMAG1149

Can you help identify some of the ducks and birds from the London park?

Do you have any lovely photos to add to this collection, if so I’d love to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I did taking them.

Until next time…

Karen xx