Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The First Day of 2019

 On Christmas Eve Andrew, Toby and I went for a walk around the boundary trail of Castle Ward, (the National Trust site). I was in so much pain with my hip and back that we had to cut it short but nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves and got rather muddy. Plus it made for a good appetite later on.

It was a great excuse to use our new Millican backpacks that Andrew bought in a flurry of infatuation a few weeks before Christmas.

You see, sometimes you need a backpack but don't want to take your sporty hiking one and then drag it around all day in and out of lovely cafes etc. Instead, why not have a gorgeous, long lasting, hand sewn, recycled bag of utter style and wonderfulness?
millican bag - C.Gault 2019

I have the Rust Smith Roll Pack 15 L with pockets (Andrew's is a 25 L smith Roll pack in Tarn) and they have a multitude of pockets, internal organisation to place special things and a secret laptop sleeve and even a chest strap and hip belt if you wanted to go up a mountain with it. But to me it is a truly stylish, going to cities and taking photos, writing notes and reading a book kind of bag - too pretty for messing about on hill sides.

Chilly's water bottle - C.Gault 2019

I also had my new 500 ml Chilly's water bottle (which I have used loads since I got it around the same time - it fits in most handbags too and I always need water on a trip out - dry mouth syndrome, from my medication). I LOVE this as it's reusable, it keeps my water hot for 12 hrs or cold for a whole day and yet the outer shell stays at room temperature the whole time = no condensation, plus it's totally leak proof :) They come in many colours and finishes and in 3 sizes - 260 ml, 500 ml and 750 ml.
The matte finish makes it so easy to open with cold be-gloved hands  and feels lovely to ungloved ones too:) 

Then on New Years Day we did the same thing, only without Toby this time. It turned out to be a drier walk and unlike the first trip I was in the mood for taking some photographs.

Thus began my new-ish obsession with photographing fungi. I have always been drawn to moss and ferns but recently I'm taking more notice of the fun array of fungi we come across on our hikes so I am collecting them in photo form.

I'm hoping to walk more here, ideally once a month or every other month (we are still tackling the Ulster Way and wish to finish it this year). I'd love to document the place change over the months and take photos of my nature highlights. I hope you enjoy these from the 1st of January..

fungi and moss; Castle ward - C. Gault 2019

left - dark mushroom I have only ever seen in or near cow poop

right - look at those colours! the lichen in this area is beautiful too, the bracket fungus is very wiggly here :)

left - bulbs! I think they're snowdrops as I think I remember lots in this area before
right - just an idea of the beautiful pathways through the forests

bulbs and paths; Castle ward - C. Gault 2019
left - a single fern leaf and ivy (my faves too)
right - tiny wee mushrooms 'common inkcaps'? I must get a book on them

trees, fungi and moss; Castle ward - C. Gault 2019
Left - love this hedge of twisted trees, I look forward to see them change throughout the year
Right - bracket fungus and beautiful moss

trees, fungi and moss; Castle ward - C. Gault 2019
left - dead men's fingers fungi
right - gorgeous starry moss with thousands of water droplets :)
(Sorry - I don't know why my descriptions are playing up like this but I can't seem to fix it!! 😩)
Hugs and love

Thanks in sharing my first blog of the new year and hopefully this walk will become a lovely tradition
Carrie xx


  1. Nice post and pictures. Good to see that you got out for a walk a couple of days, but take care with your back and hip.
    Fungi is fascinating, but I know little about it. xx

    1. Hello Flighty! I have another proper hike to write about for tomorrow - an Ulster Way one. Doing the walking and yoga seems to keep the pain at bay. But I also have a specialist appointment so hopefully we can see what's going wrong. I shall certainly be taking care though, thank you xx

  2. (Your captions are showing up as new paragraphs - not in the 'caption box'?)

    Sorry your hip is bothering you. I so much enjoy the pictures you take on your hikes.


Please leave a little nugget of happiness in the form of a comment - don't forget to put your name at the end if using 'anonymous' setting x