The Walled Nursery, Hawkhurst #4

Last week was the 4th visit to the beautiful Walled Nursery at Hawkhurst for my camera and I. It is such a pleasure to be able to go back and photograph this site regularly; we are in the manic throws of spring here and, what with the toils of Mother Nature and the progress of the greenhouse restoration, every week presents something new to record. The challenge I have set myself is to try and produce photographs as opposed to snap shots of all this productivity.

Which ‘six’ of these ‘pixx’ should I have chosen? I just don’t know.

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The old glass
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Terracotta flower pots in a heap
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Behind the shed
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Bygone days
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The peach house is out of bounds
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Pretty colours and zinc
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Accessorising
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Left behind
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My favourites – often found on the beach.
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Curly
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Seed heads
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Through the wisteria
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I didn’t get too close to the bee hives.
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Fork
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In the gutter.
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Under glass
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Breaking out
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Chives
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The ‘wall’
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A test piece.
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Enter
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The structure of euphorbia.

 

Where the dogs lay

It’s been a while. I shall make no more apologies, suffice to say I’m struggling to get here regularly at the moment. However, because Lightroom Mobile has made it virtually instantaneous, I am dropping something into Instagram on a regular basis: https://www.instagram.com/sixpixx/  which, for the most part, will eventually make its way to this site.

Some of today’s photos won’t make it to Instagram – they’re too personal. Whoa, how did I make that decision: is my blog a more intimate space than my Insta account? And even, why would I want to put something quite personal into the public domain on any platform? Strange and interesting but I don’t have the answer.

Anyway, spring has arrived, even if temporarily, and we’ve been brave today and faced something that needed doing. Today, Poppy got delivered to her final resting place with strict instructions not to antagonise other family dogs (Loulou and Smiler (Emma)) who already rest there. It’s a good spot, especially in the spring when the wood anemones become bluebells and the fox cubs play amongst the pine and oak tree trunks in the evenings. They were always countryside dogs and it’s nice to think of them there.

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Down the wood
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Under the oak

 

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Looking up through the pines
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Amongst the anemones and with the promise of bluebells
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She’ll sleep with those who went before
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And by the way – it used to be a hop farm
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Where folk would come from the towns and cities
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And spend their summers living in Hopper’s huts.

Bodium

It wasn’t quite the same walking the orchard this week without the little white thing but the weather was fine and the cider brewery didn’t clear all the apples so the colours were resplendent in the autumn sun. It was such a fine day, we extended our walk up to the castle and engaged with the ducks who are always extremely outrageous but highly comical.

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Autumn windfalls.
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Cider apples that are normally collected by the brewery.
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A hardy few cling on for dear life.
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Sunshine and cobwebs.
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Bodium castle in the sun.
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A formidable construction.
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The moat ducks are audacious
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They always cheer me up.
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Lots of new vineyards in the area producing new local wines.
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Rushes by the river.
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Silhouettes.
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The Bodian steam railway soon to me linked in to the national network.

Last walk around the Orchard

It hasn’t been a particularly good week. After a second trip to the vets with a growth in her mouth and a heart murmur that strongly indicated she wouldn’t cope with the anaesthetic, it was recommended that we make the end easy for her.

Isn’t it ridiculous. Despite being 17 years old, she was still very fit and this was not the outcome I’d prepared myself for. The other half, being country raised and far more pragmatic, had prepared himself for this eventuality. It will be hard for him; they went everywhere together.

Little did we know this was Poppy’s last walk around the orchard – at least she got to stuff that sneaky cider apple before we could get to her. But, who will now nag me for the carrot tops? Poor Molly, not much of a doggy sleep over for you.

Sleep tight puppy dog.

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Alleppey, Kerala, India

We took ourselves down to Alleppey (or Alappuzha) with a view to spending a couple of nights on a rice boat in the back waters. Little did we realise that it was a national holiday in India and the place would be heaving. After elbowing our way through the other tourists along the quayside where the houseboats were moored and speaking to a couple of captains, we agreed that it may not be quite the unique, romantic, enlightening experience the guide books would have us believe and therefore, opted out.

The host at our homestay had said he could organise a day with a backwater village guide and so we arranged that instead. And, what a pleasurable experience it was. My only regret is to not have spent more evening and morning time on the water when the villagers are going about their daily chores on the rivers.

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Taking his human for a walk
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Lucky goat
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Going about their business
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Local
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Converted canoes for the tourists
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Waiting to be hired.
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Houseboats converted from traditional rice boats – Kettuvallams
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Choose your houseboat.
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The pollution from boat motors is a little disquieting.
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Footpaths and waterways through the villages – away from the tourist trails
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So many butterflies but mostly too quick for me.
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Our guide and his canoe
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Traditional Keralean banana leaf meal at the home of our guide.
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The grandchildren of our backwaters village host and his wife.
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The grandson having his lunch
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canoes in all shapes and sizes
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Bathroom accessories
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Sheltering from the midday sun.
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Family of water buffalo
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Local wildlife – kingfisher
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All life happens here – quietly.
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Serene and calm
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Local transport
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Washing up.
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But I feel they are playing.
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Should be bathing…
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Daily chores at the riverside for villagers
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Bathing for all
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Loads of river traffic on this national holiday.
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Traditional house boats in a queue.
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A big responsibility for a small boy.
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Late afternoon on the canal in town.
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Boats to service the tourist trade
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In town, the bustle is intense.
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Retro cast advertising figurines.
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Recycled rice bags.
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Retro shop mannequins.
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The electricity system frightening.

Bexhill to Hastings Link Road Update

I posted photos of this development a couple of years ago when, between Crowhurst, Bexhill and Hastings, there was a mud bath with random bridges crossing the countryside. The town was up in arms because of the destruction to the marsh land. Well, with more and more cars, we do need more roads. This link road that keeps traffic off of the seafront gets me to work in a third of the time (selfish, I know) and the council are doing a great job at opening up the surrounding countryside with bridle, bike and foot paths. I like it.

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From the bridge over the road.
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Lots and lots of planting.
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Seemingly generated some extra money for the local farms.

 

Chanctonbury Ring, South Downs

It was a bit of a climb (understatement) which was more acute than high but well worth the effort. Luckily, before we went, I hadn’t read anything of the tales of rituals and witchcraft that have been reported from and about Chanctonbury Ring that sits up high on the South Downs in Sussex. And, maybe my excitement to possibly wild camp there one evening has been somewhat dampened since reading said tales – we’ll see.

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Exposed gnarled roots evidence the ancient woodland on the ascent.
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Out of the woodland climb and onto the top of the downs.
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These lambs seem unaffected by their proximity to the ring.
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Approaching the ring into the setting sun.
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Inland, across Sussex.
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A romantic barbeque for two.
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Better quality filters have since been purchased which may (or may not) eliminate some of this flare.
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Heading back down through the forest before total darkness falls – and the witching hour begins 🙂

New Places – First Times

Waking to a bright, sunny autumnal morning earlier this week, I thought I might challenge myself and take myself off to a new, different type of place to photograph. Just up the road from us is a beautiful little church, nestled in the woods – hence the name ‘Church in the Wood’ – and it would be the first time I had tried to capture a graveyard. Maybe a little macabre for some but, although not being religious, I do find them serene. And, a good chat with the 87 year old gardener (wish I’d got a shot of him) and the sexton who tried to tice me into Christianity with bacon butties rounded off the morning nicely.

I tried editing these images but whatever I did, I couldn’t seem to make them look better – maybe my crush on Photoshop is gradually waning. These are as they came out of the camera. Now that I’ve photographed it once, I need to go back soon and take the photos I wish I’d taken. Here are six (or seven) of what I got this week. I hope you enjoy the serenity of them.