Friday, 20 May 2011

The Devon County Show, Westpoint Showground, Exeter

This Show is one of the great events of the year. It was my first visit so I didn't know quite what to expect. There were a great many tents selling their wares: from 4x4 vehicles to life insurance to shearing equipment. But, what really took my fancy were the magnificent beasts; Sows, Hereford Bulls and Suffolk Sheep, as well as some fine poultry breeds...

So, herewith a gallery of images to whet your appetite for tomorrow, or next on image to enlarge it.

Mum, Dad's nodded off...So What Now?
I am struggling with this Old Girl - Keep your legs down!
The Maori
It's all too much...
Rear End!
Steady She Goes, Boy!
Move Along There...
Buttocks On Show
Blondes Have More Fun...
Steady She Goes...!
My Back's Killing Me!
Yes, First Prize For The Second Year Running...
Hold It, Hold It, Damn, I've Run Out Of Film!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Walking in North Devon and Cycling in the Cotswolds

Last week these two publications went to press. So expect them to be available for purchase next week.
Both of these have been published before but now they have been redesigned with clearer cartography and illustrated with more exciting imagery. Matt lamination has been added too, and if you are tactile and like touchy-feeley objects, these are for you!

Ten brilliant touring routes take you off the beaten track, up and down dale,  to explore the very best trails in the Cotswolds....

Circular walks to and from pubs, hotels and tearooms...along a coastline considered perhaps the most beautiful in all England...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Flock, Exeter Cathedral

From all over Devon they came: from across Dale and Moorland...The baying of new lambs, and mature ewes was to be heard against the ringing of the Cathedral bells...

Children from all over Devon had been chosen to paint sheep, in all shapes and sizes.
No surprise who I chose as the Winner. It had to be Barbie! Intricately designed and painted by my daughter, Flora.

The Melee of The Flock in the Cathedral Close
Devon Grass
Barbie -  My Winning Choice!
Flora & Barbie

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Treat Yourself to a Night Away

Romance is in the air - You know of this, and that person, who are getting married (why should Kate and William have all the fun?), or who are off for a fab weekend away, and you think my god why can't it be me?

It can.

Treat yourself. Re-charge your batteries. Relive the Moment. So, herewith some suggestions for all pockets:

The Organic Farm Shop

For the cheap and cheerful, and for the organic food emporium on site: Try the wee little camp site at the Organic Farm Shop, near Cirencester

For the medium priced, a B&B hidden away in a village with the largest village green in England, and where you can walk between hedgerows full of wild flowers, beside a river bank to a restaurant of great quality. It must be The True Heart in Frampton-on-Severn

OK. So you want to impress. Splash out. Be stimulated by Art and some decadence. Then try the boutique hotel in Painswick. Its controversial, after all the interior designer gutted a Palladian building and replaced the original features with plastic and more. Its the Cotswold88hotel                           I am told it is quite an experience...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Cotswold Photo-Shoot - From disaster to a triumphant conclusion

It's all in the preparation. I had organized for two keen bikers to be my models for the day but as the day dawned they couldn't make it. The weather was forecast to be bright and sunny. I had to go and hope for the best and to seek out bikers on the trail....As it turned out, I soon came across three pairs of happy cyclists riding the Bibury Circuit. They couldn't have been more co-operative. So, herewith, samples of the day, and thank you my charming models. Which one should ride the front cover of my forthcoming "Cotswold Off-Road Touring Map"?

Andy and friend belting along through Macaroni Downs
Paula and son heading towards Bibury with my Map
Riding through Coln St Aldwyns
Macaroni Downs on the Bibury Circuit
Humble Bee, below Belas Knapp: Looks like the perfect off-road route, but Alas, it's not a bridleway just a farm track...
The Cotswold Off-Road Map will be available towards the end of May...
A Sample of the Bibury Map has been illustrated in my Blog of the 18th April...
Happy Biking!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Iris Details

I first stumbled across these wild irises two years ago and now look at them. Below, the more domesticated version nurtured in Upcott by my dear friend Sarah. The purple-blue variety...

Romantic Hartland

Who could imagine that a stinging nettle could have made the difference between meeting Prince William and his fiance, Kate.  Whilst on the coastal footpath last week our walk was severely curtailed when my 6-year trod on a stinging nettle. Such was the fuss that we returned to Hartland Quay. If we had continued along the path we may well have met up with the two Romantics who were staying (such were the rumours) in a cottage belonging to the Stucleys. We shall never know!

The Drama of Hartland Quay
Sunset at Hartland Quay
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