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Pub which has been serving since 1620


As we continue exploring British pubs, this charming coach inn in Althorp has been serving thirsty punters since 1620. These photos are of the summer room overlooking the garden. Photos copyright SvD. Original link
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This is what 55 looks like


No botox, no hair dye, no bullshit, just a good diet, long walks to overcome bad memories, a full time job and two fingers to anyone who has pissed me off. Life is short. Be yourself and enjoy getting older. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  146 Hits

Life starts here...


Pity the kids trapped in urban ghettos or parents too uptight to let their darlings catch a few germs. In my garden today, I lay on the grass endlessly fascinated by this: Frog spawn. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  147 Hits

Spring lambs


On my morning walk at the farm. How beautiful to see the Spring lambs. Their days are numbered of course but I respect the farmer's way of life. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  159 Hits

Sunday Supper


Instead of potatoes with everything, why not replace them with vegetables? This was our supper last night: roast duck served with a medley of roasted root vegetables (cauliflower, beetroot, garlic). Everything cooked in the oven while we argued over Scrabble. A shaving of Parmesan on the vegetables added another layer of flavour. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  141 Hits

Spring has sprung


The first lambs have been born, the birds are mating, the trees are coming into leaf. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  180 Hits

Discovering a new pub every weekend...


My paramour and I visit a different pub every weekend. If you want to experience the authentic British way of life, stop at a country pub. There's more to England than London. Country pubs are the local haunt to watch football, catch up with mates and just relax. Pubs can be hundreds of years old and offer a slice of our history where generations of proper blokes have been downing bitter in the winter and lager in the summer. If you're not a local, you'll stick out like a sore thumb (especialy if you order a latte and avocado on toast) but you'll always be welcomed with open arms. And if you misbehave, they'll stick you in the pillory. Photos copyright  SvD. Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  145 Hits

Sleepy on mum's lap


Jack Russell adorability. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  151 Hits

Beautiful Padstow


If you haven't visited Cornwall, give it a go. Padstow is very bourgeois with lovely pubs, art galleries, restaurants, bakeries, a mecca for Rick Stein fans, and interesting bric-à-brac shops surrounding the harbour. Our two doggies had a whale of a time at the water's edge. Enjoy life. Live for today. Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  161 Hits

Love in a cold climate...


And snow on the beach! Photos copyright SvD. Original link
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  176 Hits

Fistral Beach, Cornwall


A part of our green and pleasant land I had not experienced before, the world famous surfers' paradise.. Mild 6 degrees Celsius in January but raining, of course. Hardy surfers weren't deterred though... Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  169 Hits

How to Eat...


....slow cooked beef in Guinness pie. Perfect supper for the cold tonight.  Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  163 Hits

A Slash of Orange.


One can see where Turner got his inspiration in our chilly, dark country where sunlight is rationed by the Gods. On my morning walk these days I can manage to see around the fields without a torch. Day breaks at around 7.30. I am always in awe of the vastness of the sky and how small I am in the scheme of things. Just me and the hound under the sky. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  148 Hits

The End is the Beginning


The news is rife with tragedy all over the world, suffering indeed is universal. I've had a terrible week but as always, the universe sent me a message. I saw a rainbow on my morning walk today and both ends of the arc. I saw where the rainbow began and where it ended. The metaphor for my traumatic week was an exquisite reminder that I shouldn't regret any chance for happiness which is inevitably ephemeral. I also found this hare killed by a fox. Hares are nocturnal and it is rare for a fox to catch them (as they can usually outrun their predators). By the time I found him (an adult male weighing 9.7 pounds) he could only have been dead for a couple of hours.  Not a scratch on his body apart...
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  165 Hits

New beginnings


Each day brings the promise of renewed hope. This Christmas hearts will be broken, our faith in others challenged and it will seem that nothing will ever be the same again. The sun always rises and sets, a reminder to ourselves that everything passes good or bad. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  257 Hits

Merry Christmas and Peace to People of Goodwill!


What a difference a year makes! Twelve months filled with emotion and challenges. I am prone to negativity because of my family experiences but I was reminded yesterday by my love that seeing the worst only brings you down and turns you into a loser rather than someone who should see all that is good in life. In other words, if you think bad thoughts, an aura of gloom will forever fester over you. The good news in 2018 was that I found love and will forever be grateful that an old goat like me still has some life in her. Christmas is about love. Jesus asked that we love one another as he loved us. May I wish you all a Happy Christmas filled with joy and peace and LOVE. Photo copyright IC. Or...
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  201 Hits

The Secret Language of Trees.


          I have written before on this blog about the secret language of trees which exists in their bark. We can tell their age, their health and the species of tree by looking at the bark. What captivates me is the pattern that defines the tree's personality. As an artist, I see a weave for a carpet here or brushstrokes of oil paint on a canvas. Imagination. It's the one thing you either have or refuse to cultivate. Let your mind roam and think about something else besides the hum drum of life. Go for a walk in the woods and look at the trees. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  268 Hits

Food to heal


Tomorrow will be three weeks exactly since I got the winter bug: sore throat, lethargy, coughing. Oh joy! Antibiotics which I last took more than 20 years ago have helped clear the chest infection and food has also made a huge difference. I dragged myself to work though which set me back quite a bit hence coughing and spluttering still. I should add that the love of a good man has been wonderful too. This recipe, reminiscent of my childhood which my late mother made often, has the right balance of peppery kick to clear the lungs. Groundnut stew, chicken simmered in a thick peanut sauce over boiled rice went down a treat and it takes less than an hour. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  193 Hits

The Beauty of the Human Condition.


Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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  228 Hits

My salad days.


When I was a university student in Bordeaux in the 80s, I lived off three things more or less: shop-bought Moussaka which I shared with my neighbour, Yves, washed down with bottles of beer and followed by numerous Camel cigarettes. The other favourite was Carbonara from the local Italian restaurant where the owner would start ladling extra sauce onto the spaghetti as I walked through the door. For the princely sum of 26 francs, I could eat a huge bowl of Carbonara laden with crispy lardons, a green salad and half a carafe of red wine. The owner was very generous  and ensured that my Carbonara was swimming in the egg sauce although it has remained a mystery to me how a large vat of the sauce ...
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  219 Hits