Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Monday, October 2, 2017

Old cars and Wine

As a member of the Boot n Bonnet car club,
we get to enjoy many lovely outings,
 organized by our dedicated club members. 
On a crisp, but warm fall day, we headed out towards Tweed, Ontario, to visit a little gem of a winery, which reminded me of the story of  'the little engine that could':
Potter Settlement Wines
Despite many years of failed attempts, the Johnson brothers, Sandor & Robin, are winning awards for their efforts and hard work:
 Given that they are right at the edge of the Canadian Shield, it is hard to believe that anything grows....
.....but, alas....check out the grapes!
 We were treated to a tour of where all the magic takes place, but were not invited behind 'the big wooden doors', where the temperature controlled nectar was maturing.

The location was peaceful and inviting.....
....and the 'Late Harvest Frontenac Gris' was delicious....
More autumn outings coming up....

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Home...but the memories are alive

When I was a teenager, not sure of my path in life, I thought I could take my love of photography and turn it into a living.  Many years later, and a successful business person (not as a photographer), photos still play a big part in my life.
I took well over 1,000 shots while on my overseas vacation, so wanted to share few extras.
Milner Tower overlooking Port Erin Bay, IOM
 Views going over the mountain

'Cow' Art

Storm is a brewing....

I think it tastes better on this side

The chasm at Glen Maye, overgrown with vines

Overlooking the south of the IOM

Ramsey shoreline, IOM
Ramsey Beach
Looking south, IOM
The Calf of Man

The spires at Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)
West Bay, Dorset, looking west towards Eype (I walked that trail years ago...)

I hope you have enjoyed some of my memories.....Only a year to go until my next visit!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The final days

All good things must come to an end and our UK journey was nearing the finish line.
For our last few days, we visited, shopped, ate and packed.
One last trip we took was to visit Taunton, to walk around the town and stop in at St Mary Magdalene church to capture its beauty.
 I just loved the etched glass door
 The ceiling is one of the finest I have seen in a church
 Even if one is not religious, these stained glass windows are breathtaking

 We stopped at Bills Restaurant for lunch, and for a chain restaurant, it was very good.

Garlic king prawns

Crispy duck salad

Sheppard's pie

Crispy cod burger
 Just so you don't think we are absolute gluttons, stuffing ourselves for each meal, what follows is the next evening farewell pub evening with Aunt Shirley, Christine and David, after packing for our voyage home.
Ham, mushroom and leek pie

Fish pie
A big thank you to everyone who wined, dined, entertained, visited and put us up for 3 weeks.
We will miss you all.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A little History

My father's side of the family comes from Bridport,
 located in Dorest, UK. 
 In fact, my Great Grandfather was the Mayor for 2 years during the 1930's.  He decided to build a new house for his family, on a piece of garden at the back of his father's home. 
Through a piece of luck, my Aunt Shirley was able to chat with the current owners who invited us to visit their home
 to see what it looked like now.
The back of my Great-Great-Grandfather's house,where the garden once stood

The front of my Great-Grandfather's house
 The original fireplace was untouched!
Even though the original piece of land was used mainly for the house, there still was room for a lovely garden.
After a pleasant visit we headed over the Burton-Bradstock to have lunch at what was once a pretty run down hotel that hosted a family reunion back in 2005.  It is now all tarted up and is called The Seaside Boarding House
They have a wonderful menu...
...where we dined on cauliflower-hazelnut soup and grilled mackerel

The view overlooking the beach was breathtaking
After a satisfying lunch, we headed to West Bay, where my Dad and Aunt spent many a happy summer.  The cliffs of the Jurassic coast were magnificent.
The harbour bustled with colourful boats.
  No matter which way you looked the views impressed!
I can't believe that my UK holiday is soon over.....

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Welcome to Downton Abbey

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have watched all six seasons of Downton Abbey, so was super excited when my Aunt Shirley game me tickets to go with Trish to visit Highclere Castle, (where  it is filmed), for my birthday.  I had a vision of arriving and being met by the butler Carson......but alas, bubble burst, I stood in line for 45 minutes with all the other fans, awaiting my turn to get in.  Camera in hand, I was crushed again to find that no photos were allowed inside.
So trying to make the best of it, I took some outside shots and bought the 'book'. I'll share some pictures of the inside of Highclere taken from the book!

Coat of arms under each window
Getting ready to walk through those famous doors...

It was a real treat to walk the same halls and stairs as my favourite characters.  Thanks so much Shirley!

After our morning visit, we had another treat.  We met with an old friend from our high school years, who had moved back to England.  I saw him a few years ago, 
but Trish had not seen Simon for over 40 years.

The food at The Yew Tree Pub in Highclere Village, where we had lunch, was fabulous.....the best fish and chips so far...
 ...and the burger was delicious
A bonus on the way home was a 'Stonehenge drive by'....

What a wonderful day.

The Jurassic coast coming up...