Friday, 29 June 2018

Daily photo challenge (4) - June Books

So this is it, the end of my first month's photo challenge 😄  Tomorrow the Instagram account Booktopia only has the 'challenge' set as 'a photo challenge wrap up', which for me will be a wee thank you to all the people who took part and were so friendly.

For now here are this week's photos....

Day 23 - Book + flowers
Down at the allotment today 😊

 Day 24 - Needs to be a movie

Day 25 - Book map
Well you can't beat the incredible imaginative maps found in The Lord of the Rings; helping to bring the story to life.

 Day 26 -  Book in an odd place
The dishwasher needs two priests, an old one and a young one, quick!

Day 27 - Book in the wild
I'm staying in a listed thatched cottage in he wilds of Fermanagh for a few days. This book is from the cottage and that, in the distance is an original gypsy caravan! 

Day 28 -  Favourite winter book
In the depths of winter I turn to the most summery and hopeful of books, those about the bright sunny to come.

Day 29 - June book haul
A girl can dream...I'm at the stunning Florence Court in Fermanagh. A perfect National Trust property and those these aren't my books, they could be as they're for sale in the book shop.

Love and hugs
Carrie x

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Trostan (A birthday hike)

It was Andrew's birthday on Sunday and to celebrate we decided to finish off that awkward middle section of the Moyle Way/Ulster Way that is simply impossible to do unless you make a circular walk out of it and double the distance. The distance we walked in the end was 10 km but it was the hardest 10 km ever. The terrain was almost impossible for me and the heat was beautiful but too much. I had 'Goldilocks syndrome' - nothing is ever just right, hahah...

We arrived at our start point late, at 2.45pm and were off.

* A hike in photos *
Carrie Gault 2018
The car park and our start/stop point

Carrie Gault 2018
Cimbing slowing up into the forest 

Carrie Gault 2018
Looking into the mossy forest

Carrie Gault 2018
Some of the forest path flowers (Thistles, Forget-me-not, Tormentil) 

Carrie Gault 2018
Andrew forest Bathing (Komorebi)

Carrie Gault 2018
A tricksy bit of very uneven and boggy ground but beautiful all the same and still on the right path

Carrie Gault 2018
The joy of the stream in the hot and humid forest 

Carrie Gault 2018
Andrew leading the way - roots and fallen branches are double vision friendly

Carrie Gault 2018
We followed the stream basically up to this tiny waterfall and slightly beyond

Carrie Gault 2018
Out the other side and then more climbing up and up the side of Trostan. It's always good to look back and see how far you have come (our car is at the other side of that forest).

Carrie Gault 2018
Bog cotton in the boggy land that went on for eternity - I fell many times into ditches and holes up to my knee but it did eventually turn into pasture land

Carrie Gault 2018
The view once we scaled a fence - looking out to Glenariff on the left and Cushendun to the right with the distinctive pokey porcellanite hill top of Tievebulliagh, (important to Neolithic stone axe grinders)

Carrie Gault 2018
Later we came to the first of many dried up water falls where Andrew filtered some water and I took pictures of ferns

Carrie Gault 2018
Off again and you can just about make out the rough, level path of an old rail line

Carrie Gault 2018
A single, friendly sheep in the bog land below us - check out those horns!

From here the terrain required all my attention again as the more tired I get the worse my vision becomes. We didn't have much further to go but the grass was thigh high. Then there was a quick walk along the roadside back to our car.

Carrie Gault 2018
A Happy Birthday pint and a big feed for my hubby (and me) afterwards xxx


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Slieveanorra short hike

Later on Saturday evening we drove up the north east coast to the Slieveanorra Forest to get on with our completion of the Moyle area section of the Ulster Way. We got there at 8pm and parked our car at a spot where we considered we may camp as well. That idea was bashed on the head the moment we stepped out of the vehicle into Midgie Armageddon! on with the head nets fast!

The weather was beautiful however and came to hike so onwards and into the forest/wilderness. We did only 7km but it felt longer 😄

* A hike in photos *
Attacked viciously by the tiny midgie rascals = deploy head nets which were amazing

Basically nothing in our backpacks was glorious and the weather perfect

Pretty shafts of light coming through the managed, grid like forest

Over a stile and into the forest trails, I like these paths the best

Always reassuring to see a wee marker so you know you're on the right path

  Not so wonderful broken fence serving again in it's second life as a wobbly ridge

 Love this mixture of pines, heathers, grass and bog cotton

So...a damn sign took THE WRONG WAY! This is Andrew (blue and grey smudges) coming back after just going a little further to check....Back we go.

 On the right path again - hooray!

 There's Slieveanorra in the distance, we don't need to climb it as we've been up there but just need to get to a certain point to complete the distance of this section.

 Treacherous bog land with deep ditches but also with beautiful ferns opening

Northern Eggar Moth cocoon - Carrie Gault 2018
Saw loads of these at one point, cocoons from some big insect? I'm still trying to find out what...
update - NORTHERN EGGAR MOTH cocoon!

Our stopping point (by another way-marker) the views were amazing...

The track looks so obvious looking back on it, when you're in the midst of it you see the full contours as it rises up in front of you 

The sun going down and yet it's so bright the moon is simply rising into a blue sky - 
Midsummer dream days

 This is at 11pm, we stopped at a picnic spot to have some tea and revive ourselves, that the coast of the Antrim Glens straight ahead and The Mull of Kintyre to the right.

Below is from the same position just looking in to one of the Glens (Glenarrif)

Then a simple drive home and as it was midnight Andrew got to open his Birthday presents and we had porridge with chocolate buttons in place of cake. Plus not a midgie in sight 😃.

Hugs and love
Carrie x

Monday, 25 June 2018

Triumphant Return to the Allotment

As far as I can work out, it was the 31st of May the last time I was at the plot and that wasn't for very long. I think, though my brain is mush, that I merely accompanied Andrew that time whilst he watered some plants. The whole allotment thing hasn't been working out well so far this year for me.

So it is with joy in my heart that I tell you I was there in the blistering heat of Saturday afternoon for an hour and enjoyed taking these photos and weeding the blueberry bed 😃

arriving at the plot - Carrie Gault 2018
This was the plot as soon as we arrived. Andrew had just given the potatoes a darn good watering and was off with his watering can to help some other thirsty plants - I on the other hand decided photos were more important (I felt I needed evidence that I was there, haha).

the plot honeysuckle lives - Carrie Gault 2018
The honeysuckle didn't die! Hooray, it's blooming away merrily at the moment though the leaves look sickly but we really though it was dead a month back.

garlic, sweetcorn, squashes and apples thrive - Carrie Gault 2018
 Before I got started into my self imposed weeding battle I took photos of the great work Andrew has been doing. Getting the sweetcorn and squashes in and looking after the needs of the garlic and apples. 
The ground here is lovely, weed free, friable and the plants are thriving I'm very proud of him!

blueberry bed weeding - Carrie Gault 2018 is where I took up residence for 45 mins or so, the ground was rock hard and cracked in most of this bed which is why I simply couldn't get any more weeds out. Plus I had to spend ages ripping out grass and untangling weeds from our neighbours plot which had invaded here and wrapped themselves around my precious blueberry bushes. My arms still bare the scratches of thistles and sharp twigs.

ripening blueberries- Carrie Gault 2018
 But it was all worth it as I uncovered so many blueberries that had been fighting for a little sunshine - I am expecting good things from these 2 bushes this year again.

rhubarb, broad beans, beetroot and scallions, climbing beans - Carrie Gault 2018
During my absence Andrew has done wonders with our new rhubarb crowns and they are flourishing in there new home (please ignore the weeds); I'm so glad as the weather has been all over the place and it wasn't easy to find a window to get them in and settled. Now we're in a heat wave and all they want for is water. His beetroots and scallions are also off to a good start especially as they were under a very finely woven net to protect them. I swear these plots have ALL THE PESTS and diseases now after 10 years of use.
He planted out and stringed the broad beans on Saturday and look! don't you love it when your climbing beans start to cling on to their supports by themselves 😄

hubby on the plot - Carrie Gault 2018
So the alarm went off after an hour and I was pooped but happy. The potatoes looked so different and were standing so very erect again. Everything had a final good watering and we left to get a cold drink and plan our hiking adventures - more of that next time...

Much love and best wishes
Carrie x

Friday, 22 June 2018

Daily photo challenge (3) - June books

So as you know this week has been a very mixed bundle of emotions, generally poor ones but with a dizzying high last Sunday. Here is the week in book photographs from the prompts on Instagram to begin with. Oh and DO NOT tell me anything about day 17's book - I haven't read it yet, I'm still crawling through the tome that is Anna Karenina..

 Day 15 - Most surprising plot twist/ending

Day 16 - Book + face 

Day 17 - Your newest book 

Day 18 - Favourite character

Day 19 - Pastel book covers

Day 20  - Begins with B
Bill Bryson Books and a Bottle of Bretton Breizh in a Billy Bookcase. All in Black and white.

Day 21 - Freebie
This beautiful book was gifted to us by the ever glorious James Alexander Sinclair

Day 22 - Bookshelf
all my Penguin English Classics in a row - just about fit them all in 😊

So there you have it. I'm enjoying doing this and the little community on line is lovely - everyone loves books; they are fabulous.
My highlight of the week was definitely Sunday which was our Wedding Anniversary - 13 years! Andrew and I went out for dinner, had cocktails and listened to live jazz. I got to dress up too and wore makeup, all in all it was a particularly satisfying evening :)
Well, today is a lovely day and I've just taken some photos of Toby in the back garden sunning himself, thank goodness that lawnmower has stopped and it's all peace and bird song out there. 

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!
Much love