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Saturday, 11 August 2018

One For The Birds And Bees. ....

I am very fortunate to have plenty of wildlife here in my garden in heavenly Devon, and I try to capture photos whenever I can. The woodpecker is the most difficult one to capture with the camera, because he is off at the slightest movement or noise. I shall have to sit myself on a chair and learn to be patient - and very quiet! I did manage to take this one shot, although the quality isn't really very good

I was rather pleased with that last one, I must admit. 

Talking about the garden and the wildlife, research shows that bees are dying in large numbers.  However, this is not a new phenomenon.  In the 1950’s, there were over 50 species of bee here in the U.K.,  yet now there are only  25.  The rest have become extinct, and yet the number of non-native bees have increased.  This has been put forward as one reason for the demise of our own native bee.

A bit like our native bluebells, which are now being over-run by the Spanish variety!  Many people are simply not aware of the consequences if the bee population dies out.  They are responsible for pollinating our crops, and I have discovered that a third of our regular diet could be affected if this decline continues, and animals, both wild and domesticated, would be left without the foodstuffs they rely on. The following poster is courtesy of

Strangely enough, with the hot, dry Summer we have experienced this year, I have never seen so many bees in the garden, which is planted up with all the shrubs and flowers that bees love so much. I also have several Bee and Insect Hotels dotted around!

Well, we are now in August, and the year is pressing on. I hope you are keeping well wherever you are in this small world of ours 😊.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sunday Snaps...

(The above image is courtesy of - all other images are my own).

Many moons ago, on my Blog, I used to run a feature called Sunday Snaps, so I thought I would share a few photos that I’ve taken during the past week

You might notice that I snuck a little Sunday morning treat in with my fresh fruit this morning - and why not?!  It’s looking quite Mediterranean out there, isn’t it, as this wonderful Summer continues, with long days full of unbroken sunshine ☀️ and balmy evenings. It’s certainly going to be a shock to the system when it all ends!

One of the things that is a big plus for me, is that I haven’t had to cut the grass for ages. Usually, at this time of the year, I’m cutting it every five days. 

Mind you, the children break up from school for their six week Summer break at the end of this week, and that’s not usually a good omen, weather wise, if past years are anything to go by. 

Interestingly, the timing of the Summer school  holiday has existed since the 19th Century here in England,  and it is thought that it was so that the children could help in the fields at Harvest time!  Obviously, mechanisation has come a long way since then, and I’m sure many parents (and children) would like the holidays to be a bit earlier, when the days are at their longest. After all, by the beginning of September, the days are really starting to draw in again. 

I’ll close for now with a couple of latest photos of my family, who are such a blessing to me. Look after yourselves and I’ll drop in again soon. 

I’ve finally changed the Featured Post - you might be interested to see our narrow roads here in heavenly Devon!  Just click on the link at the top of the right hand sidebar. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

🎡🎢 We’re Having A Heatwave, A Tropical Heatwave 🎢🎡

Wow!  I’ve just realised that my last Blog Post was written on the 14th May, just before THAT wedding.  Did you all enjoy it?  I thought it was just perfect in every way, and the weather was absolutely wonderful, thus showing the rest of the world that we DO get blue skies and sunshine here in England.  It doesn’t rain ALL of the time.  

In fact, right now, we are in the middle of a heatwave.  This green and pleasant land of ours is now a patchwork of yellow, with fields and lawns the colour of hay.  A big plus for me though, is that I don’t have to mow the lawn every five days, and I’ve got quite a lot of lawn to mow.  

People are certainly making use of the Art Deco outdoor Lido on Plymouth Hoe. What a spectacular setting!

Road surfaces have been melting all over the County of Devon, and gritting lorries which are usually used in icy conditions, have been out and about spreading granite dust or sand, to absorb the soft bitumen, thereby stabilising the road surface and making it less sticky.  

We are officially hotter than the Caribbean right now.  You may, or may not know that, over here, we are not very good at coping with exceptional weather conditions, be it snow in the Winter or excess heat in the Summer.  Tender little flowers we are!! 🀨.  People all over the land are reaching for their rickety fans (probably last used in the heatwave of 1976) and gasping for air in the humidity.  Don’t forget that we are used to carrying umbrellas at all times, and our hands barely know how to function without them!

But......we’re British..... we can do this!! πŸ˜‚. I’m very lucky in that I live close to the Coast, and I head off there as often as I can.  The flowers in the garden have been looking lovely, and it’s been a really good year for the roses.

A reminder that if you want to enlarge any of the pictures, just double click on them.  My apologies, once again, to my Facebook friends, who have already seen these photos.

Well, I think that’s about it for now, so I will leave you once again.  Meanwhile, remember ......

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Sunshine and A Royal Wedding ...

Hello to you all.  I hope all is well with you, wherever you are as you read this.  We have had some glorious weather here over the past week or so, and I have tried to take advantage of this by visiting gardens and going on coastal walks here in heavenly Devon, where all these gorgeous places are right on my doorstep. 

So then, we come to a very special wedding which will be taking place this Saturday, at Windsor, here in the UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§.  Yes, it’s Harry and Meghan.  I wish them both every happiness - it’s clear that Harry is besotted, and I really do hope that Meghan realises exactly what she is taking on, by becoming a member of the Royal Family. Obviously, it’s all very exciting at the moment, but she will never again be able to just pop out to the shops on her own, or any of the simple things that we all take for granted. She will now always have to be accompanied by plain clothes armed Police Officers. Certainly she will live a life of luxury, but at what cost?

My sympathy at the moment is totally with Meghan’s father -at the time of writing, it is unclear whether he will even be attending the wedding, let alone walking his daughter down the aisle.  He has had the world’s press camped outside his door, and I feel, to be honest, that the Royal Family could have done much more to avoid this whole situation. Why on earth didn’t they bring her mum and dad over here a couple of weeks ago, to get them used to what was expected of them.  Again, I just can’t understand why Prince Harry hasn’t even met his future wife’s father.  To me, that’s not really good enough, although I know that he has met his future mother in law.  The poor man has rather just been left to hang out to dry, I feel.  Quite sad.  

But let’s wish them both every happiness as they start off on their married life together. I’m sure that they will try to do a lot of good with all the various Charities that they are involved with. I do feel that Diana lives on in both her boys, as they have so much empathy for the underdog.  

Congratulations to them both πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸΎπŸ₯‚

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Trying To Make It Snappy!

Hallo again - it’s me, writing from heavenly Devon.  Whenever I’ve glanced at any advice about writing a Blog Post, invariably they tell you to start off with a snappy title, to draw people in.  Hence the title of this Post!  So then, did it work?  Were you all agog to see what I was going to be writing about today?!  Oh well, it was worth a try 😊

Hard to believe, but just for a few days last week, Summer suddenly arrived. No Spring - just Summer!  Everyone had their shorts and t-shirts on and, suddenly, everyone looked happy, as they basked in the warm temperatures.  Here are a few photos of the delightful little coastal resort of Salcombe - a haven for tourists during the Summer months, but at this time of the year, still relatively peaceful, which is just how we locals like it. I mustn’t say that really,  because Devon and Cornwall rely heavily on tourism.

I was also able to pay a visit to one of the best National Trust properties here in the South West, on a perfect, balmy day.  I have to say that I count my blessings every day, and especially for having the good health to be able to get around to do all these things.  Something that I never, ever take for granted.  A few photos of the magnificent gardens at Stourhead. 

I have been giving some consideration to starting up a completely new Blog, in addition to this one, but one that focused on gardening and my own garden.  But, on reflection, I thought that might get a little confusing, so I have decided to incorporate gardening photos in with my Southhamsdarling Blog.  

These two photos are special to me - the first one features a new garden fairy, given to me by daughter number 1, and the second shows lovely tulips and anemones, which were bulbs given to me by daughter number 2 in the Autumn last year.  Did I tell you how blessed I am with my two beautiful daughters?!  Also, of course, I am very blessed with three healthy grandchildren.  So much to be thankful for.

I hope this Post might have been of some interest to you, and I will try to think of some ‘snappy’ titles to use in the future 😊.   Sending best wishes to all those who ‘follow’ my blog, and thank you for your support. 

Meanwhile, something to ponder on, as I leave you ......

Last two images courtesy of

Monday, 2 April 2018

Here’s To Another Year

As I write this, I find it hard to believe that in a week’s time, another birthday will be here.  I often think about my birthday last year, which was a very special one for me.  I’ve put up a new Featured Post, where you can read how I reached that ‘big ‘O’ birthday. Just click on the link at the top of the right hand side bar.  I always think that with each passing year, we appreciate things just that little bit more, and count our blessings just that little bit more. 

 The important thing for all of us to remember is that “age really is just a number” , even more so these days. I think the important thing to do is to surround ourselves with people who uplift us, who make our souls happy and who make life ‘fun’.  It’s not exactly rocket science, is it?,  we also have to look after OURSELVES, and to remember to be gentle with ourselves. We might not always get it right,  but that’s not the end of the world, is it?  


Perhaps it’s better for us not to think about age at all, but to just live in the moment.  Sometimes getting older isn’t quite so easy, but I believe we must embrace it - not look back to what might have been, but to always look for the positives in each day, and, believe me, there are ALWAYS positives. Each year of our life is special and precious. 

So I look forward to this next year with hope and expectation of good things to come.  Despite the weather still being chilly, I decided to go out and make a start on the garden during the Easter weekend.  Here are a few photos, which I hope you will enjoy. 

Hope the week ahead will gradually see warmer weather over here. This Winter seems to be dragging on and on! 

Quotes courtesy of