Sunday, 23 April 2017

Spring Cleaning, Embroidery and Kitties

Spring Cleaning

Today I started cleaning the kitchen, while there’s nothing out on the tops since the dry rot work began. I came to the conclusion that the chippie isn’t going to make much mess constructing our walk-in pantry, and I’d better get on with the cleaning while the going was good, especially as I can’t do too much without completely exhausting myself! Today I climbed up onto the worktop by the window and cleaned the huge window, the windowsill, the picture rail and worktop around the corner and behind the microwave, as far as the hob. I also cleaned the curved glass of the extractor fan over the hob. I’m not sure it’s ever been so clean!!

01 Kitchen - Window

After that, enough was enough, and I came down, made a cup of tea and sat down with my hubby to watch TV.

Embroidery

While doing that, I did a bit of embroidery, and completed another piece for the over-bed tester decorations.

15 Plain Blue with Primary Colours

Kitties

Better news on the kitty front today. Phoebe is better than yesterday and has eaten a bit more. My hubby bought some small pouches of especially tempting kitty nosh and she enjoyed one of those for her tea. Beatrice is much less wobbly today – weird how both kitties’ symptoms seem to come and go a bit! We continue to keep a close eye on both of them, and they are getting lots of love and attention as always. We are enjoying the time left that we have with them and want to give them as much comfort and love as possible.

Here they are in their younger days.

Beatrice & Phoebe in Hammock 15 Dec 04

My goodness, they both look so fat and furry and young in that photo – taken back in 2004! Beatrice (on the left) was 4, and Phoebe was 18 months old.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

More Infusions, Garden and Kitties

Infusions

Today I have been back in the studio for the first time for ages – what with the work being done on the kitchen and other activities, I have been very busy, and in between too tired to do anything, but I was determined to continue with my Infusions experiments today.

I am nearly at the end of the samples that I am going to create, and today I spent most of the time working with Infusions combined with white fluid acrylic paint and gesso.

Here are the materials I used for creating a marbled effect using white Pebeo fluid acrylic paint and Infusions – Sleight Blue and In the Navy from set 2.

84 Materials for Marbling with Acrylic Paint

I painted some of the acrylic paint onto the large acrylic block and sprinkled on the Infusions in both colours, and then spritzed it with water to activate the Infusions. I pressed the card down onto this and made sure good contact had been made all over, and then pulled it off, and these are the results.

85 Marbling with Acrylic Paint - Printing Method

Top left: the first impression. Top right, a second impression after spritzing the block with more water. Bottom left, third impression, ditto, and middle right, fourth impression, ditto. By bottom right, fifth impression, much of the interest had gone because the Infusions had blended too much into the somewhat watered down paint that remained on the block. I had to press the card repeatedly onto the block for this one, to ensure complete coverage. However, to get five impressions from one block is pretty good! The first two are pretty similar, but on close examination you can see a bit more texture from the paint on the first one. They get more muted and subtle with each impression. You could do this technique equally well directly onto a non-stick craft sheet or a gelli plate, I should think.

Next, I did the direct-to-paper method of marbling with acrylic paint.

86 Materials for Marbling with Acrylic Paint - Direct to Paper Method

In this case, I painted a layer of the white fluid acrylic onto two pieces of card and sprinkled the Infusions in the same two colours on top. Spritzing with water activated the Infusions and they started to flow. For the first one, after spritzing, I blotted it very lightly and then left it to stand for a few minutes, and then dried it with the heat gun.

For the second one, I alternated heating with the heat gun and further spritzing, and added a bit more of the Infusions half way through, which gave a slightly stronger effect.

87 Marbling with Acrylic Paint - Direct to Paper Method

I think on balance I prefer the more subtle effect created by the printing method.

I then moved on to some further experiments with gesso, beginning with spreading gesso through a stencil (my own honeycomb stencil which I cut myself). For these pieces, I used Terracotta Infusions from set 2.

88 Materials for Stencilling with Gesso

I spread the gesso through the stencil using a palette knife, being careful not to be too careful with it! By this I mean I wanted a fairly distressed, incomplete look.

After doing this, I immediately turned the stencil over and blotted off the excess gesso onto another piece of card, to get a fainter, reverse stencil effect. I dried the gesso on both samples, using my heat gun, and then sprinkled on the Infusions and spritzed them with water.

89 Stencilling with Gesso

The gesso acted as a resist. I spritzed and added a bit more Infusions and tilted the card around to get the Infusions to flow between the raised gesso. I particularly like the subtle effect of the second sample, with the reverse stencil effect.

I then remembered a technique I used ages ago which I really liked – boiled gesso! I spread some gesso onto a piece of card with a palette knife, deliberately keeping it pretty rough with different thicknesses of gesso across the card, and then, before it had a chance to dry, immediately heated it with my old, high-powered heat gun held pretty close so that the gesso boiled and bubbled up. Once it was dry, I fanned it to cool it, and then used my fingers to squash the bubbles down onto the card to stop the tops of them flaking off. You get a gorgeous texture this way.

Adding some of the Terracotta Infusions from set 2 and spritzing it with water, this is the result I got. Pretty good!

90 Boiled Gesso

Here’s a detail shot where I tried to show the texture a bit better. Hard to see in the photo but I love it! This would look good with a touch of gilding wax on some of the raised parts, I think.

91 Boiled Gesso Detail

My final samples today were done with cling film.

92 Materials for Infusions with Clingfilm

I cut a piece of cling film larger than two pieces of card and spread it out but not too flat. I sprinkled on two colours of Infusions – Violetta and In the Navy, both from set 2, and spritzed them well with water.

93 Spritzed Infusions on Clingfilm

I then took the two pieces of card and placed them down on top of the spritzed Infusions.

94 Printing the Paper onto Spritzed Infusions on Clingfilm

They immediately started to curl up, but it didn’t matter. I flattened them down with my fingers, and carefully lifted the whole thing up, gathering the cling film a little at the sides so that the Infusions wouldn’t run off too much, and turned it over. Using my fingers, I scrunched up the clingfilm to create a nice texture across the two pieces of card and walked away and left it – how hard is that!! – with this technique you can’t peel off the clingfilm until the paint is dry. Patience…

95 Scrunched Clingfilm on Infusions

Later…

The Infusions had dried by bed time and I gently peeled off the clingfilm, and this is the result.

96 Cling Film Peeled Off

97 Infusions with Cling Film

I think these came out really cool! Definitely a technique to repeat.

I discovered most of these these techniques online, but I’m afraid I can’t remember who did what, so I give a general thanks to everyone for blazing the trail before me.

Our Garden

The Clematis montana growing on the end of the garage is now in full bloom! It is so pretty. This picture was taken from my hubby’s study window upstairs.

01 Clematis Montana in Full Bloom

In a few years, this prolific plant will have grown to cover the end of the garage. Next year my hubby will extend the range of the two trellises by adding wires along to right and left, and over the top of the window. It’s going to be glorious.

Taken from the same vantage point, the Forsythia is now in full bloom as well, and looking very pretty beside the steps to the upper garden. Beyond it, you can just make out the blossom on the apple tree. A few weeks ago my hubby’s brother came over and helped him prune the apple tree, and it’s a nice shape now, and hopefully we’ll get a good crop again come the autumn. The apples it produces are delicious.

02 Forsythia in Full Bloom with Apple Blossom Beyond

Finally, another shot from the study window, looking down onto the water feature/rock garden outside the kitchen window. It’s looking quite pretty now.

03 Water Feature from Study Window

Eventually the aubretia plants we put in will cascade over the wall, making a pretty display.

Kitties

The news isn’t good for either of our two old ladies now. Today Phoebe was unwell again, very listless and not interested in food, and she was sick a little bit, and produced some very small pellets of poo. The vet said that eventually the cancer would cause a blockage. However, we didn’t take her to the vet today, because when she was unwell before, she suddenly rallied and started eating again, and since then she’s been very well. She did eat a little bit at lunch time, and a bit more at tea time, and she seems a bit better now. We are keeping a close eye on her and are both realistic enough to know that eventually we are going to have to take her to the vet and have her put down…

As for Beatrice, for some time now, her balance hasn’t been that good when clambering into her hammock, and she’s been quite wobbly especially in her back legs. Today she seems a lot worse and even just walking along, she appears drunk. If she shakes herself while on her feet, she tends to fall over. She is eating well and is very communicative and purrs a lot, as usual, and is taking her usual interest in things, and her fur is in good condition. Again, we are keeping a close eye on her and my hubby thinks it’s just old age – if she was a human she’d probably be using a granny frame by now! She hasn’t had a stroke, we are sure, because it seems to be mostly both back legs that are affected and there’s no sign of hemiplegia. We don’t think it’s arthritis either, because she doesn’t seem to be in any pain. If it gets any worse we’ll take her to the vet but my hubby is sure it’s just old age. She is nearly 17.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Dry Rot–Work Completed

Today Kevin completed Phase One of our work in the kitchen to sort out the dry rot under the old cupboard, and to construct a walk-in pantry. The kitties were pleased to be released from the bathroom after their third day being shut in there – Beatrice fell out of the door like she did yesterday, but Phoebe was busy weighing herself – she was sitting on the bathroom scales! She weighs 7 lb!

The new render had dried sufficiently overnight for Kevin to plaster over it. This is how it looked at lunch time.

19 Plastering - 20-4-17

The work completed by mid-afternoon.

20 Work Completed 20-4-17

Kevin was trying to put back the pieces of laminate flooring but was having a terrible job with it, because it was so tight. In the end, I suggested that he leave it for the kitchen fitter to do, and he said if I was happy to do that, then he would – he will discuss it with Andy, the boss man, and if we have any further problems with it, to let them know. He wasn’t really happy about leaving his job not quite complete, but we agreed that perhaps the kitchen fitter might have a special tool for this, and anyway he would be very experienced in laying laminate floors, so that’s how we’ve left it. I told him it was fine, because until the walk-in pantry is completed, we wouldn’t be moving back into the kitchen, and were happy to continue to use the flat kitchen for the moment anyway.

This is what the floor looks like now. A huuuuge improvement on the awfulness of just a few days ago! I am so relieved that it is all sound now.

21 Work Completed - Floor Detail 20-4-17

He has nailed down the pale green underlay for the remaining laminate floor panels. There is a visible gap between two of the pieces which he wasn’t able to close. On the rest of the floor, you have to look very closely indeed to see the joins.

Andy called at lunch time while Kevin was on his lunch break so he didn’t see him, but we discussed the work and I told Andy how pleased I was with Kevin and all that he had done, and how pleasant he had been, and how conscientious. Andy was pleased, and said that “best case scenario” at the outset had been to remove the double oven unit and not have to go through into the sitting room, but the result was actually “better than best case scenario” and he was very pleased for us that it had all gone so well.

In the early evening Gary, our neighbour, phoned to say he’d got my message asking him to contact the kitchen fitter. I said to Kevin earlier that we’d probably have to wait a while because if he was as good as Gary said, he’d probably be booked up with other jobs for a while, and Kevin agreed, saying that if he was just sitting around waiting for the phone to go, he might not be that good! Gary bore this out by saying that the kitchen fitter is booked solid till July!! He also said he would never recommend someone he wasn’t prepared to use himself, which is a pretty good recommendation.

The kitchen fitter told him that despite the delay, he would be very happy to do the finishing part, fitting the doors etc., but if it was a question of fitting shelves in an alcove, then he knew a very good carpenter who could undertake that part of the work, and sooner, too. I told Gary I was happy with this arrangement, but would need to see the kitchen fitter beforehand, to tell him exactly what I wanted, so that he could liaise with the carpenter. Gary said he’d phone him straight away, and he’d probably be over to see us one evening soon.

He also said that the carpenter would probably be able to sort the floor OK, and that the kitchen fitter would be able to get hold of some more of the laminate panels to match.

So now we wait, but I don’t think it will be too long before something happens. In the meantime the plaster will have the chance to dry out thoroughly.

I said to Gary that once the construction of the pantry is completed by the carpenter, even if we have to wait for the doors to be fitted, we should be able to move back into the kitchen and use it, and I’d be able to start using the pantry. Fitting the doors shouldn’t involve too much mess, and I’d certainly like to be back in there way before July, especially in view of the fact that I shall probably be having my operation before then, and would like to get it sorted before going into hospital, as I shan’t be wanting to shift a lot of stuff when I am recovering.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Dry Rot–Work Continuing, and WOYWW 411

Nothing on my desk for WOYWW again, I’m afraid, but I thought you might like an update on the dry rot problem in our kitchen. Please see previous posts for more details.

Another day spent in the bathroom for two disgruntled kitties! Hopefully only one more day, though, because further good progress has been made on the work in the kitchen today.

First thing this morning, after Kevin had removed the floor boards covering the hole and before he started work, I took a photo of the new joists. You can see that he has wrapped the ends in damp proof membrane, and you can also see the new wall plates underneath.

14 New Joists 19-4-17

The first job was to spray into the hole and as far as he could reach under the floor with a chemical to prevent any more dry rot. This was a lot less smelly than I’d anticipated. He also drilled into the outside wall and injected a damp proof course.

He then fixed the new joists permanently into their correct position and nailed down the new floor boards. So nice to know that everything underneath is now treated and dry and safe. The rest of the work is repairing, tidying up and making good, in readiness for the fun part – the fitting of my new walk-in pantry, as soon as we can get hold of the kitchen fitter.

By lunch time he had made good progress hacking off the render from the walls. He needed to do this to make sure the rot had not extended up into the wall.

15 Hacking Render off Wall

More good news – there is no sign of any damp or rot in the wall. He said the plaster was bone dry, and all the blockwork is sound. He was able to go ahead and render the walls with fresh sand and cement in preparation for plastering.

After the work this morning, the room is very dusty and smells of old masonry dust. I am glad I removed everything from the tops in the kitchen. The contents of the cupboards are fine. Once the work is finished I intend giving the whole room a good spring clean.

In the afternoon he re-rendered the walls with sand and cement.

16 New Rendering on Walls

17 Detail of New Rendering

Down the left hand exposed edge he has incorporated a metal bead.

The new floor boards – unfortunately I couldn’t photograph these until Kevin had gone, and he’d tidied his kit into the corner, covering them up a bit!

18 New Floor Boards

Tomorrow, once this is all dried off, he will skim the lot with plaster, clean up, and his job will be done. Ready for Phase Two – the walk-in pantry!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Dry Rot–Work Begins

Today the man from the damp proofing company came to begin work on our dry rot problem in the kitchen.

He worked fast, efficiently and very tidily. I was amazed how much he had got done by lunch time, and with so little mess, too.

To backtrack a little, here are the pictures of the problem area. First of all, the old kitchen cupboard to the right of my fitted double oven.

01 Original Cupboards Closed

When the fitter installed our new kitchen when we moved 3 years ago, I asked him to leave that cupboard because it was an original feature of the house and it seemed a shame to strip it out. However, it proved an absolute pain – it was too deep, and the back was inaccessible, and whatever I wanted was always at the back, which meant that I was constantly taking stuff out to get at what I wanted! The first rule of larder design: have shelves that only hold one or two things deep, so everything is accessible. Also, in front of the cupboard was an area of dead space in the kitchen. The fitted oven unit is built against the front of the old chimney breast, and the cupboard goes into the recess to the right of it. When the new pantry is built, the door will be flush with the front of the cooker and will make use of this dead space.

Here is the top cupboard open, and you can see the problem I have with access to the contents.

02 Top Cupboard Open

This is the bottom cupboard, already cleared – you can see how far back it goes, and you can also see where the floor boards have rotted away, and the hole on the left.

03 Bottom Cupboard Open and Cleared

The rotten floor boards and the hole.

04 Rot in Bottom Cupboard

Looking down into the void beneath the house – you can see the rotting joists.

05 Detail of Rot in Bottom Cupboard

When the damp expert came to assess the problem, he said we would not know the extent of the problem until he’d got the floor up, but the worst case scenario was that it might have spread quite a distance, and he anticipated having to remove the oven unit anyway, and possibly even need to take up some of the floor in the sitting room next door. He said he would definitely have to take out the whole of the old cupboard, and I had no objection to this as it had proved such a problem to use.

He was due to begin the work a couple of weeks before Easter but a death in the family took him away for a few days so he said he would start the following Thursday instead, until I reminded him that the next day was Good Friday, which would mean we would have a hole in the floor for four days and no work being done, and he said he would start the day after the Easter bank holiday, which was today, Tuesday 18th April.

In the meantime I had plenty of time to clear the kitchen, starting with the rest of the offending cupboard. I didn’t know how much mess would be created, and anyway we needed to move into the kitchen in the flat, so I cleared everything that was out on top – no point in taking everything out of the kitchen units as they’d be protected from dust anyway. The next two photos show work in progress with the clearing!

06 Clearing the Kitchen Ready for the Work

07 Clearing the Kitchen Ready for the Work

It started to get very bare indeed and it became quite echoey in there! Once the work is done, it will be a great opportunity to give the whole kitchen a good spring clean before bringing the stuff back in, and the new pantry will allow me to organise things better so that I won’t need so much stuff out on the worktops, making it tidier and easier to keep clean.

Here is the flat kitchen with our stuff moved in. (You can see the primrose bank through the window!)

08 Decamping into Flat Kitchen 1

08 Decamping into Flat Kitchen 2

It’s very small, but I can stand in the middle and reach virtually everything! We’ve now been in for more than a fortnight and I’m really quite enjoying it! It’s funny to be using my old cooker again, too.

So – this morning the work began, with Kevin, one of the firm’s subcontractors taking on the work. Here is the space where the cupboard once was – these photos were taken at lunch time.

09 Cupboard and Rotten Timber Removed

10 Working on the Hole

He said that the man who had laid the laminate floor had done a beautiful job – the pieces were so snugly fitted together that he had to exercise great care to remove them without snapping off their tongue-and-groove edges.

In this photo you can see that he has already cleared away the rotten timbers.

11 Detail of the Hole

The pipe over the hole is believed to be the gas pipe which fed the old gas cooker which we had removed when we had our new kitchen – Kevin wasn’t keen to interfere with this, and I am hoping it won’t cause a problem in the new walk-in pantry – I shall discuss it with the kitchen fitter when the time comes. It runs through the wall and under the sitting room floor, presumably to the main out in the street at the front.

During the afternoon he cut new joists and wrapped the ends in damp proofing membrane (the black roll bottom right in the next photo) and cut new floor boards. He also made new wall plates to replace the rotten sections he has cut out – these support the joists. The old ones were extremely hard wood where he had to cut them, beyond the rotten part – and he couldn’t get his big power saw in and had to use a small blade which got extremely hot and made a nasty smell, as well as a great deal of noise – and of course during this stage, I had to deal with an important phone call!

All day the kitties were shut in the bathroom because the last thing we wanted was for them to start exploring the hole, and wandering about underneath the house! They were not best pleased. We discussed what to do, and we agreed it was best to keep the kitchen door shut and the cat flap locked, and after Kevin had gone, let them out so they had access to the rest of the house, and if they wanted to go out, we could let them out through the door from the flat into the garden. However, by the end of the day, Kevin had laid the new floor boards in place to cover the hole, without fixing them, so we were able to let the kitties out without any danger of losing them in the foundations of the house!

This is what it looks like this evening now he has gone.

12 End of Day 1

13 End of Day 1 Detail

Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the work he’d done so far in the hole, showing the new joists in place, before he covered it up, but I’m hoping to get one tomorrow morning when he lifts up the floor boards to continue work, as it looks quite impressive!

What we have learnt today is all very good news. He says that it is a great advantage that the joists run transversely, because if they were running out at right angles to the end wall, the rot could well have got into more of them, necessitating a lot more digging out, and more floor having to coming up. As it is, it has only affected the two joists running across the cupboard space, and they are bounded each end by two solid walls. Not only does he not have to dig up the sitting room floor (WHAT a relief!!!!!) but he hasn’t even got to remove the double oven unit! I was pretty well certain that this would have to happen after what the boss man Andy had said.

Tomorrow, Kevin will remove the joists he’s just laid in place for now, and hack off the render from the walls where the cupboard was, as he needs to ascertain if any rot has got into the walls. He will redo this with sand and cement. Depending on whether he can get away with one or two coats, he may even finish the job by the end of Thursday! If it needs two coats, it will go on into Friday, but the job will certainly be finished by the weekend.

He will also spray the whole area with a chemical to destroy any dry rot, and make sure it is all damp proofed and ready for the new timbers to be permanently installed.

After the render has dried, he will plaster the walls, and then once the floor is all back in place, we can go ahead and get the kitchen fitter to start building my new walk-in pantry. He probably won’t be able to start immediately as he’s bound to be booked up with other work for a while, but at least we’ve got the flat kitchen and I’m quite used to cooking in there for now.

Today’s news was so good, and I am so relieved, and no longer worried about a huge, ongoing job causing major disruption and a lot of mess.

I am very impressed with this firm, and with Kevin’s expertise and efficiency. I can’t believe how much he has already achieved, especially as once he’d seen what needed to be done, he had to go out and purchase supplies.

I should have more news and photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tiverton Canal and Mamhead Woods

Yesterday we had an outing with our friends, to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and all the new growth.

The first part of our day took place along the Tiverton Canal, somewhere I had never been before.

The start of our walk along the tow path, in the village of Sampford Peverell near Tiverton.

01 Martyn, Mary and Margaret Beginning our Walk

So lovely walking along the level tow path and enjoying the serenity of the surroundings.

02 Along the Tow Path

Looking across the canal to the houses opposite. You can see that the canal is raised up above the level of the houses.

03 Canal-side Houses

What a thrill to find a swan sitting on its nest.

04 Swan on Nest

The male swan wasn’t that keen on us being there, we didn’t think, so we moved on smartly as he swam purposefully towards us!

05 Swimming Swan

The village church.

06 Sampford Peverell Church

Approaching Sampford Peverell Bridge, walking along the curving tow path.

07 Approaching Sampford Peverell Bridge

An amazing wooden carving in someone’s garden. It has been carved from a tree stump, still rooted in the ground.

08 Owl Carving

09 Owl Carving Detail

There were gardens all along, meeting the water’s edge.

10 Canal Bank Gardens

Bullrushes.

11 Bullrushes

Weeping willow tree.

12 Weeping Willow

Sampford Peverell Bridge.

13 Sampford Peverell Bridge

Underneath the arch of the bridge. I love the pink tinge of the bricks, and the unusual way they are laid.

14 Underneath Sampford Peverell Bridge

A sleeping duck.

15 Sleeping Duck

The other ducks started approaching the sleeping one.

16 Swimming Duck

Out of the water and busy preening, but the other one didn’t wake.

17 Ducks Out of the Water

More gardens along the canal bank.

18 Canal Bank Gardens

An old barge.

19 Old Barge

A moorhen pottering about amongst the reeds. He made quite a noise.

20 Moorhen

This beautiful house, visible through the trees, was for sale and we each fantasised about the price and came to the conclusion that we probably couldn’t afford it!

21 Beautiful House Through the Trees

A bit further down we found this nice little house with a veranda curving around in front of the house.

22 House with Curved Veranda

A large wood store. Someone’s got a big wood burning stove!

23 Wood Store

Returning to the village of Stampford Peverell.

24 Returning to the Village

An ancient mounting block set into the wall. I am glad that features like this have not been removed, despite the fact that they are now redundant.

25 Ancient Mounting Block

Jack’s Cottage.

26 Jack's Cottage

The Globe, where we had lunch – an excellent meal. We sat in a covered area at the back so we felt half inside and half outside – a very nice compromise considering how cold the wind was.

27 The Globe

Return to Mamhead

We still had plenty of time to enjoy, so we decided to spend the afternoon in Mamhead Woods, where our friends took us last year, and which immediately became one of my very favourite places. To preserve the memory of that lovely visit, I made a mixed media mini-album which I completed in January of this year.

This time I didn’t take nearly so many photos as I’d covered it pretty comprehensively last year. I had hoped to find the woods carpeted with bluebells but we didn’t see any! It was interesting seeing the woods in the early spring because the leaves were not fully out, and it looked very different from how it looked last summer.

Here is some delicate blossom just coming out on one of the trees.

01 Blossom on the Trees

The only bluebells we saw were white ones!

02 White Bluebells

Over at the far side of the woods, where the vantage point is with a view over to the sea, I love the curving paths with the wooden railings.

03 Broad Path with Railings

Tree bark with lichen.

04 Tree Bark

The interesting wooden seats and path continuing to curve away from the view point.

05 Mary at the View Point

The magnificent view over towards the sea which came as such a surprise to me on our first visit, as the trees open up in a quite unexpected way.

06 Magnificent View of the Sea

Towards the left, another beautiful view in which you can just see the Exe estuary.

07 View of the Exe Estuary

After this we returned through the woods, taking a shorter route back to the car, and taking in the obelisk on the way.

Tree roots.

06 Tree Roots

The obelisk through the trees.

07 The Obelisk Through the Trees

Light and shade through the trees.

08 Trees with Light and Shade

Twisted tree trunks.

09 Twisted Tree Trunks

A mossy tree stump.

10 Mossy Tree Stump

Mamhead Woods are so full of tall mature trees, generating an atmosphere of calm and peace as one is surrounded by the magnificent trunks reaching heavenwards. The place is carefully maintained, and they have worked hard to provide varied and interesting seats made from wood, which do not shout against the surrounding natural beauty, but rather enhance it.

It was such a great day out. The weather was fine all day but cloudy at times, and the air was cold. We were glad of our hot meal at the pub, and we all had a lovely time enjoying each other’s company.

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