Archive for the ‘Out and About’ Category

On Saturday we went to one of the villages up in the Jura, Genolier, for their Carnaval to celebrate the end of winter.

Mark was mainly interested in going due to the fact there was going to be a burning of the Winter Man (I think he had visions of it being similar to the Wicker Man, those of you that have seen the film will be pleased to know that it wasn’t!).

There was a marching brass band…

Marching band

Marching band in funky costumes

Marching with a full drum kit...impressive!

Marching with a full drum kit...impressive!

a parade from local nurseries…
A float of insects

A float of insects, or maybe aliens

A nursery of African animals

A nursery of African animals


This nursery were dressed as clouds, the teachers had cardboard suns on their heads - so cute!

A pirate ship

A pirate ship...another cunning way of keeping the kids all together

And the burning of the Winter Man (papermache icicle type thing).
The burning of the winter man

The burning of the winter man

And at that point we left because the program said their would be a talk from a local politician, which we didn’t think we’d understand.

There were a couple of things I really liked about this carnaval. The first was that most of the children who weren’t in the parade came dressed up in fancy dress anyway. I’m not sure if this is a tradition here but I think it’s a lovely way for everyone to participate in the celebrations.

The second, and this would never happen in England, is that there didn’t seem to be any opportunity to spend money! There were no rides/games/hot dog vans/candy floss sellers etc. How brilliant is that! (Although I wouldn’t have said no to a vin chaud if I’m honest).

Bea took it all in her stride

Bea took it all in her stride...although slept through a large part of it


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This weekend we had a very lovely time visiting Marks family in Ipswich. It pretty much rated as my idea of a perfect weekend. Saturday Mark went to the football with his Mum while I spent the whole day crafting, and Steve spent the day creating a delicious Indian feast for the evening.

On Sunday we went to Southwold. It was wonderfully windy and the sea and sky were fabulous. My photos never turn out quite how I’d like them, I think I need a slightly better camera, but here are some of the better shots.

I can’t find out who designed this sign. I came across another Southwold sign on All Things Considered (completely by accident, was just checking out the 10 blogs that Yarnstorm’s author likes). It looks similar but I don’t know if it’s be the same designer and the internet is not giving me any more information about this at the moment. It’s a very stylish pier, nothing like the ones you get in Weston etc.

Saw some incredibly pretty, and I assume expensive, beach huts.

The sea was quite rough, which is apparently unusal for this part of the Suffolk coast.

Although I didn’t see any boats so no need for the lighthouse, despite the stormy looking sky.

And even though the sky looks pretty menacing in all these pictures it didn’t rain once. And I managed to find a shop selling my favourite chocolate – Prestat Violet Creams (I know it’s odd but I think they’re lovely!).

Update on crafts completed and started to follow later in the week.

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I realise that yesterdays post was quite long and perhaps a bit picture heavy, but just let me get it out of my system and then I’ll be back to the craft.

Here’s some pictures of plants that I’ve taken recently in the New Forest, at Furzey Gardens and Kingston Lacey . For a bit of added variety I’ve thrown in some more ‘arty’ shots from the break.

Rhododendron at Kingston Lacey. Although it could have been from anywhere in the New Forest as everywhere we looked there were lovely bright pink flowers.

A beautiful Iris at Furzey Gardens.
Iris at Furzey Gardens

And this lovely plant which I’m sure I’ve never seen before. It’s called Crinodendron Hookerianum.
Crinodendron Hookerianum

I really love ferns and the New Forest was full of them with lots of new growth.
New Forest Fern

And finally, it’s not a plant but I love all the birds that were thatched on to roofs in the New Forest, I can’t begin to imagine how much skill you need to do this. Do you think each thatcher has a particular bird they use?
Thatched bird

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Just got back from a lovely few days in the New Forest, which was a lovely break.
New Forest
I’m pretty sure I’m the only person that didn’t realise that there are loads and loads of wild ponies wandering around the New Forest – but just in case you didn’t know here are some pictures.
New Forest Ponies
There were lots of foals around with their mums which was lovely to see.
More Ponies in the New Forest
(I would like to add that I did know that there were ponies but I thought it might be like when you go on a whale watching tour and invariably see nothing).

We went to Kingston Lacey National Trust house one day which was completely fabulous. Both the house and the garden are amazing.
Kingston Lacey
There’s also the beginnings of a sculpture park there (it may not officially be the beginnings but there wasn’t loads to see when it came to the sculpture).
Sculpture Park at Kingston LaceyKingston Lacey Sculpture
When we visited Kingston Lacey the kitchen gardens were open. Normally they’re closed to the public because they’re not completely renovated yet. There was an amazing gate at the entrance.
Kingston Lacey Kitchen Garden Gate
And some lovely pigs sun bathing.
Gloucester Old Spot Pig
I’m also very envious of their incredibly neat veg growing.
Veg planting at Kingston Lacey
We also went to Furzey Gardens, which was a really lovely, peaceful afternoon.
Furzey Gardens
I’ll post some plant photos later in the week but here’s a wildlife pic from Furzey that I’m really pleased with. I know the dragonfly is a little out of focus but given that I only used a compact digital camera I think it’s pretty good.
And that was our lovely holiday, back to work tomorrow…which will be a bit of a come down I think.

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