I’ve previously shared the occasional post made up of photos I’ve shared on Instagram (or not at all), documenting random wanderings or photographic observations that don’t quite warrant a post of their own. Well, starting this month I’m making it a regular monthly feature, as I find it’s a nice way to record the changing seasons and the little moments that add colour to life. This month feels like a good month to start with, as spring has sprung, bringing with it a renewed sense of optimism and, mercifully, an end to a bit of a low period that I’d for some reason found myself in.
The daffodils and narcissi have brought welcome cheeriness to the garden throughout this month. This isn’t the only sign of the changing seasons; the apple tree is coming out in lots of buds, and so, excitingly, is the wisteria. The neighbourhood blackbird seems to be going a bit crazy, constantly attacking his own reflection in the car, which apparently is something they do in mating season!
Pershore Abbey was looking similarly spring-like on a recent trip there earlier in the month, a veritable carpet of snowdrops and crocuses adding some bursts of colour to the wintry park next to the Abbey.
We’ve also cheered our hallway up considerably by finally getting rid of the horrid brown curtains that had been there since before we moved in and replacing them with these FABULOUS William Morris ones. This is my favourite design, the Strawberry Thief, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with them.
Having recently discovered the Ebrington Arms – the absolute archetypal Cotswolds pub – we were glad to have time to return there this month, this time for lunch. The food was superb, with a generous layer of cheese in Lee’s burger and lashings of delicious smoked salmon in my sandwiches. Even the crisps that came with mine were homemade, and incredibly delicious for it.
Another lunch we had this month was in the new and improved cafe at Turweston Aerodrome. Lee needed to fly in to visit an avionics supplier there, so I tagged along for the ride and we enjoyed lunch overlooking the apron and runway. See if you can spot the beloved Robin.
This was from the flight back, for which I was ‘pilot in command’ (hence why you can see Lee on his phone in the reflection on the iPad!). I’ve done quite a bit of flying this month, which has been lovely. I’ve flown the motorgliders a bit too, and I’m pleased to find I haven’t forgotten how to.
Another flight was to Gloucestershire Airport, as Lee needed to fly Gwenn the Dimona in for her MOT/routine maintenance. She’ll be staying there for a few weeks, so I flew in separately in the Robin to pick Lee up and fly him home. I hadn’t actually flown solo since the beginning of October, but I’m current enough on the Robin that I didn’t think anything of it. I was a bit nervous about it, as Gloucestershire Airport is quite big, with proper air traffic control and extra procedures (e.g. you have to listen to the airfield information – weather and such like – on a separate frequency before you radio them up to say you’re nearly there, quoting the right bits of information to prove you’ve listened to it). But I’m pleased to say it all went without a hitch, and I did all the flying and radio on the way home too. It was actually International Women’s Day that day, so it seemed a fitting accomplishment!
Another interesting solo flight I did this month was to a favourite farm strip, Croft Farm, where I had to take the beloved Robin for maintenance. It was warm and sunny but the visibility was terrible, and it took me a little while to find the airfield (that’ll teach me to think I didn’t need the GPS!)!
Back on the ground, one of the best things about spring is, of course, seeing the fields filled with lambs again. I have always been a huge fan of sheep, even when they’re fully grown, but there’s something about lambs that just completely melts my heart. Here are a few that we passed on our travels.
Even better, though, our friend Lucy has lots of sheep on her farm, and she kindly invited us over one evening to meet some of her lambs. This tiny little fellow is “Sydney Spindle”, who was living in her kitchen for a while until he gained some weight and strength, and I felt enormously privileged to be able to give him his evening meal! He was so adorable, making such cute little noises. It made my year, I can tell you! Lucy also introduced us to lots of her other lambs and their mums, and they were so delightful, every one of them.
This month it was my birthday, and we had a family gathering at my parents’ house in Wiltshire to celebrate. I snapped this pic of rainy Bath while I was stuck in traffic on the way home.
I also called in at Gloucester Services on the way home, which at first glance might not seem exciting enough to warrant a mention here. If you’ve ever been there, though, you’ll understand the appeal. The place is amazing – quite unlike any service station I’ve ever been to. It’s light and airy and beautifully designed, with a fabulous big farm shop full of all sorts of fresh local produce and gifts.
My actual birthday kicked off with my amazing helicopter lesson, which I loved every minute of, and then lunch in the sunshine at Wellesbourne cafe. I’ve already booked my next lesson, so the process of learning to fly helicopters is definitely underway. Watch this space!
I treated myself to a new camera for my birthday – an Olympus Pen E-PL8. I still have a lot of learning to do to figure out all its settings, but it looks beautiful and I’m pleased with the photos I’ve taken with it so far. Our birthday stay at Fawsley Hall was the perfect opportunity to try it out, albeit without having yet read the manual!
Finally, we had a nice day out the other day to Avoncroft Museum, which has a fantastic collection of old buildings that were originally in other places and have been moved here. I’ll write a proper post about it when I get the chance, but here’s a view to enjoy until then.