Monthly Archives: March 2015

Wild waves and magnificent magnolias

Our weekend in Devon continued under grey skies, accompanied by gales. Our plans to visit a nearby National Trust house on Sunday were thwarted because severe weather warnings meant it had to be closed. So we decided to make the most of the weather, and drove to Croyde to watch the wild waves. The wind was strong and cold, and the swell enormous as we walked out along Baggy Point.

1-IMG_25441-IMG_2546Today the skies were clearer as we headed home, and we called in at Knightshayes Court en route. We enjoyed the designs of the interior and the carefully planning in the kitchen garden, but the highlight was the wonderful display of magnolia trees in the formal gardens. I have never seen such huge magnolia trees, and blossoms, subtly scented. Just beautiful! 1-IMG_25741-IMG_25811-IMG_2584


Devon grey day

A wet Saturday morning, and the scenic drive along the Dorset coastline, and then across Exmoor to North Devon, was largely a white out! But as we drove down through the wooded valley leading to Combe Martin, we emerged from the low cloud and the sun was trying to shine.

20150328-205754.jpgWe explored the pretty nearby village of Berrynarbor where my great grandparents William and Selina Snow grew up. I have written more about their lives on my other family history blog. Their family trees have been difficult to unravel, but in Berrynarbor churchyard I found the grave of Ephraim and Jane Street, who I believe to be Selina’s grandparent, and my 3x great grandparents.


20150328-210049.jpgAfter their marriage William and Selina moved a few miles along the coast to the growing Victorian resort of Ilfracombe, where William had a florists shop. We found the house where they were living in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, and where my grandmother Mabel Jane Snow spent her early years.

Down on the harbour side we saw Damian Hirst’s impressive larger than life sculpture “Verity”. Slightly incongruous but it makes an impact. I can’t imagine what ever my great grandparents would have made of it!

20150328-210936.jpgThen back along the cloudy, rocky coast to Combe Martin, beautiful even on a grey day.


Spring colour

The warm sunshine on the allotment this morning was just wonderful. I always feel the colour of the new forced rhubarb is a little outrageous, all that lime green and pink. There were some nice creamy white leeks to dig, and a little purple sprouting broccoli. 1-IMG_2484After I took this photo we found a hidden row of plump orange carrots, but they were too muddy to include in the picture!
Back home I have been finishing off a journal piece of March daffodils. Appliqued fabric on to a wool embellished background. I was not entirely happy with the needle felted background daffodils, they are a bit too blobby! 1-IMG_2487-001

Finished piece…

Well the difficult threads of last autumn have finally come together into a finished quilt. More of a wall hanging than a bed cover, but at least it is a completed piece rather than a pile of samplers in a box.


When I started making the stars using the difficult threads I didn’t know what the final piece would be. Perhaps it’s like the “threads” in the stories of our lives, we don’t know what the final pieced together narrative will look like…


We have just got back from a trip north to Macclesfield, getting to know the youngest member of our family – five week old William. He is just beginning to take notice of what’s going on around him…IMG_2419

We had a special meal out with Dad Tim, and Mum Sofia who was celebrating her birthday.1-photo (19)

Here is William eyeballing Steve – Farfar (Swedish  for Grandfather – father’s father)IMG_2449

And dozing here with me, Farmor – (Swedish for Grandmother – father’s mother) IMG_2426
We took a trip out to Little Morton Hall, nowadays beautifully kept by The National Trust. In the late 1700s Steve’s 6x Great Uncle -also called William (Thornicroft)- was a tenant farmer here. Records show that when he lived here it was in a pretty rundown state!IMG_2424

Stirring the mud…

1st March, the first day of spring and a beautiful morning. Plenty of snowdrops and early daffodils were in evidence on our walk this morning. But the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy was mainly bare earth with not much to see.

Except for these wonderful little creatures …



We watched them enjoying digging deep in the mud, snuffling and snorting, and even blowing bubbles. They obviously see (smell?) things under the earth that we are oblivious of…

All a matter of perception I suppose!