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Apologies for the lack of blogging these past couple of days but I decided to take the weekend off – something I’ve not done for a long time. Writing a daily blog can be time-consuming and the past few days I’ve been concentrating on other things – such as the glorious weather we had on Saturday and Sunday! The wall-to-wall sunshine we enjoyed made me want to spend as much time outdoors and away from computer screens, so that’s what I did. Instead, I swapped the office for the garden and spent a lot of time on Saturday repotting plants, tidying up the front and back gardens and trimming back some young saplings which are taking over land at the back of Bigland Towers. The place looks a lot better for the work and I feel virtuous as I expended a lot of energy doing it!

The only strange thing is we seem to have inherited some mad birds. A crow took an irrational dislike to a mirror which I’d propped up on the terrace at the back as it enabled me to see what the weather was like coming in across the valley. The crow spent two days smashing the mirror to pieces! The umbrella dish bird-feeder outside my office window became the target of a pigeon which has learned that if it attacks it all the seeds are scattered to the cobbles below so the greedy creature can hoover them up. Looks like I’ll have to come up with a plan B…

Today the weather reverted to type. Temperatures are still above normal (18-19 degrees instead of the average 15 for this time of year) but cloud cover has been with us for the afternoon. Dee and I still managed to get out for a couple of walks through the woods – which are gorgeous, but the Bluebells are past their best. So, today’s picture is what’s replacing them in several people’s gardens (including mine). Azaleas.

There’s not going to me much time for woodland walks for the rest of the week as we’ve both busy schedules. Expect a rolling blog tomorrow as I’ll be out and about on the Aire valley line and up to the Settle and Carlisle railway as part of community rail week. Then later in the week I’ll be in Beeston and Matlock – and no doubt a few other places too. Plus, there’s a birthday girl to treat this week…

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