Vaynol Park (1)

I googled to find out where the nearest bluebell wood might be. It turns out that a large chunk of Vaynol Park, which I always thought was strictly private (it is surrounded by a massive park wall), was given or sold to the National Trust and is now looked after by the Woodland Trust.

We started across fields full of oaks and lambs:-

Through a gate and down a woodland track:-

We arrived at a perfect bluebell wood:-

Not just bluebells, but wood anemones:-

Acres of wild garlic:-

And what I think was an early purple orchid (but I am happy to be corrected):-


Ash disease

We’ve been worrying that our ash trees, which give character as well as protection to the garden, might be afflicted with Hymenoscythus fraxineus, otherwise known ash dieback, which is causing the death of ash trees all over Europe, first spotted in the UK in 2012.

But I have been told that it may be merely that they’re late, following what is apparently an old country saying:-

Oak before ash, we’re in for a splash,

Ash before oak, we’re in for a soak

I know nothing of these things:-


To the Lighthouse

It’s a long time since I’ve walked out the full distance from the cottage to the lighthouse, if ever, a distance of five miles as the crow flies.

I set out early:-

There was no-one on the beach:-

You see the lighthouse in the distance, framed by the ruins of St. Dwynwen:-

Then the Pilots’ cottages:-

Twr Mawr was built in 1824, by order of the Caernarvon Harbour Trustees:-


May blossom

We went down to the river to admire the May blossom on the ragged hedges by the ruined cottage, abandoned so long ago that only a single chimney survives:-



I stopped to admire the bluebells on the verge beside the local church, which describes itself as being in Llangeinwen, a village which otherwise scarcely exists apart from the church itself and the nearby garage:-

I realised that I had never actually been into the church, which was founded by St. Ceinwen in the sixth century, is partly Romanesque, restored in 1838, and with a pretty churchyard:-


Maundy Thursday (1)

It’s a long time since we’ve been in Anglesey for Easter and Easter is so late this year. The hedgerows are covered in May blossom and there are bluebells by the roadside:-

They’ve made the new slate fence beautifully:-

And re-hung the old gate:-


Arturo di Stefano

The artist I went to visit in an ACME studio by the canal was Arturo di Stefano, whose work I have much admired ever since he did a commissioned portrait for the NPG of Sir Richard Doll, the doctor who demonstrated the link between smoking and lung cancer (more recently, he did another of Jan Morris). He was showing me big works of the shadows on Sicilian monasteries:-



I went to see an artist whose studio is on the edge of the canal by Mile End Park.

I was amazed to discover that the park was full of cowslips, which I think of in countryside and woodland, not the heart of the city:-