Sunday, 4 November 2018

Beer Street v Gin Lane

Health to the Barley Mow! 
Labour and Art upheld by thee
Successfully advance
We quaff thy balmy juice with glee 
And Water Leave to France 
(Beer Street, William Hogarth)

Gin and The Glorious Revolution

In 1688 Dutch Prince William of Orange became King of England and brought over Dutch drink "Genever", kicking off the Gin Craze of the early 1700s. By the time William Hogarth engraved the infamous "Gin Lane" in 1751 gin consumption was 18 pints per person per year....

Gin Lane

Great to see Hogarth's "Gin Lane" close up in all its debauched glory- fights, death 
and a drunken mother dropping her baby- hence gin's nickname  “Mother’s Ruin”!
A 1689 Parliamentary Act banned the import of French wine and spirits and
 led to a massive increase in gin production. Also I found out Hogarth's pet pug was called "Trump"!! 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Prints of Darkness

 Hogarth & Goya exhibition at the Whitworth Gallery, where I got to see one of my all-time favourite pictures, "Gin Lane" plus its partner "Beer Street"! Acerbic wit aplenty......more on Gin Lane later

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

South Crosland's 1st Well Dressing

Crab Tree Well, Midway, South Crosland. My first well dressing. It's small and I made it from scratch with local plants. Gorse, ash keys, ferns, birch bark and hydrangeas...

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Plague Stone

The stone where food was left by for Eyam residents by their neighbours in Stoney Middleton during the plague of 1665-6. The holes were for vinegar in which the coins were left in the hope it would sterilise them.....

Plague Doctor

Strange sights in Eyam and Tideswell

Tideswell to Eyam

A warm welcome at the Horse & Jockey and great to see friends when I needed them most, after a good soaking!

Magpie Mine

Heading for Tideswell

Lead Miners, Lathkilldale

Bateman's House Mine, Lathkilldale

In an attempt to keep the lead mine secret, Mr Bateman built his house over the top of the shaft. You could go down the first 20 feet on a step ladder!

Custard Field Farm and a Welly Doorknocker

More sketches on Day 2, Monyash

Bonnie Prince Charlie's Cupboard

Day 2: Ilam to Hartington:  Bonnie Prince Charlie and has a room named after him at Hartington Hall Youth Hostel as well as the cupboard he is supposed to have used on his stay there. He was on his way to Derby with his rebel army........

Ilam YHA - "Sweet as.....Rock 'n' Roll"

Some characters at Ilam youth hostel

Ilam Church

The church was a lot older than this datestone, containing the Anglo Saxon shrine of St Bertram....

Ashbourne to Ilam

Starting the walk, on the Tissington Trail

Day 1: Derby Bus Station

Helpful Derby residents

Dark Peak White Peak

A map of the route

Peak Pilgrimage

Sketches form my big walk round was 62 miles in the end, as I went over 
Froggatt Edge

Monday, 21 May 2018

Perry Market Trader

Celebrating the very best  car boot sales in the South of England

Perry Mosaic

Perry WI's mosaic, to be added to others celebrating 100 years of the WI in Cambridgeshire....

Hand Holding Wheat

Coat of arms above Gayne's Hall lodge, Perry, which may be the arms of the Abbot of St Albans, John Whethamsteade......

Wot No Contour Lines?

Once I recovered from the lack of altitude I had a rather lovely time in Cambridgeshire. The "hill" is 15 metres high.......

Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Range

The Stag Inn at Dufton had a lovely cast iron range which heated their water....

Dufton Pike well

There was a well, a hill, but no Jack and Jill...

Dufton Fountain

Thanks to google, I found out what the engraving on the fountain at Dufton meant. Quakers apparently owned the London mining company and paid for piped water to Dufton...more on the mines later.....

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

May Day, May Day

Some May Day traditions. Others include rolling some cheese down a hill, which, due to Health 'n' Safety Gone Mad was re-enacted with  Babybel this year......

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Leonardo DiCaprio Beetle

A newly-discovered Malaysian Water Beetle has been named after Leonardo DiCaprio according to the Guardian, in  honour of  his environmental work......

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Moon Wort

A correction to an earlier post, which mistakenly said Moon Wort was another  name for Honesty. With thanks to Brigid Primrose and Nicholas Culpeper....

Friday, 27 April 2018

Chatsworth Chunder

This one's for you again Brigid- my diary entry for our Inn Way walk (2012) . Our stay at the Peacock Inn led to an unfortunate incident caused by the heat, as I recall, now totally out of context, except that I was reminded of it when plant spotting yesterday, "purple plants".......

Inn Way- Derbyshire Adventures 2012

The Inn Way, Derbyshire 2012

Adventures in Derbyshire with my brothers, bridesmaid Brigid & friends. I'm retracing some of my route in May, hoping to raise funds for Macmillan nurses......

Thursday, 26 April 2018


Who says money doesn't grow on trees? Well, it's a plant and it's called the money plant and isn't really money, but that's just nit picking.....

Dog Violet

Today's purple plants spotted on cycle ride to work whilst sheltering from the downpour under a holly tree....and rescued from lawnmower death on our front lawn!

Friday, 20 April 2018


Almond: how do you say this nut?

a) OL-mund?
b) AL -mund?
c) AR-mund?

Coming soon: Scone

Thursday, 19 April 2018