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Saturday, 12 October 2019

This is where I live, here in heavenly Devon


Today I thought I would give you a little tour of Ivybridge, here in the beautiful South Hams of Devon, where I have lived for 37 years.  I am proud to be a Devon maid born and bred, as I was born in Plymouth, about ten miles away, Britain’s Ocean City. The picture above is of the ancient bridge, from where Ivybridge gets its name. A bridge in this exact location was recorded as far back as 1250, which was known as the Ponte Ederosa, which translates to the bridge of ivy.  The bridge crosses the beautiful River Erme, which runs through the middle of the town. 


Ivybridge nestles at the foot of Dartmoor, one of England's glorious National Parks, and yet we have the sea and wonderful sandy beaches only fifteen minutes from here.  I guess Ivybridge is really a small town now, but to me, it will always be "the village!"  "Town" is that other place, just ten miles down the road, that is the seafaring City of Plymouth!




The above photo is of the river that I have mentioned previously in this Post.   As you can see, we have a lovely Memorial in the village dedicated to the brave men of the American Armed Forces, who were stationed here during WW11.


From the following photo of the Main Street,  you really can see how this small town is nestled at the foothills of Dartmoor.  



I can see the Western Beacon from my home, and these are the views when you have climbed to the top ...



Well, I hope you have a lovely Sunday, and that you’ve enjoyed this little tour.  

Friday, 11 October 2019

Changing Of The Seasons

Well, usually I love Autumn, especially when the days are dry and bright. I love crunching along on crisp, fallen leaves and admiring the changing colours everywhere. Unfortunately, this October has been exceedingly wet so far.  However, I did manage to venture out for a walk yesterday, during a dry spell!  It felt so good to be outside, seeing the beauty of nature all around me. Just a couple of photos from that walk ...







However, in the next couple of weeks here in the UK, the clocks go back and the darker mornings and evenings will be with us once again. Many enjoy the closing of the curtains,  and perhaps enjoying the crackling of an open log fire or woodburner. The feeling of being cosy and warm. 

I like to light scented candles as well, to make it even more snug and cosy. I'm fine with this at the beginning, as, the weekend after Thanksgiving, which we don't celebrate here, I decorate the house for Christmas, and there are twinkling fairy lights everywhere!  I do love Christmas! 

But it's after Christmas is over and all the pretty ornaments are packed away once again in their boxes, and the lights dismantled from every nook and cranny, that I start to feel rather gloomy. 

However, I know that many people really do suffer at the onset of the darker evenings.  It can lead to feeling rather low, feelings of apathy, and general loss of energy. 

Sometimes it is rather difficult to remain positive at times like this and those negative thoughts can become difficult to dismiss. 

Reading a good book can help us lose ourselves, and I find that playing my favourite music rather loudly can all help to lift my mood. Luckily, I have no neighbours!  

So, to you all, I hope that you can find some pleasures in these soon to become shorter days, so that we can all head towards Christmas in good spirits. 

Here are a few positive quotes to help you on your way ....

 



Well my friends, on that note, I will leave you once again, hoping that all is well with you in your little corner of the world.  Have a lovely weekend ❤️

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Positive Quotations For You Today ....

Most of my bloggy friends know how much I like quotations, so I thought I would share a few here with you today, all of which are courtesy of Pinterest.com














I hope to see you all again soon.  Until then, look after yourselves.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Has Your Life Been Like This, Or Is It Just Me?!


Hi there everyone. Hope your weekend is going well.  


I was sitting, just ruminating about life yesterday, contemplating my navel, when I asked myself that very question....is it an Aries trait, or just me?  Let me explain - I was looking back over the years of my life (and there are a lot of years for me to look over, let me tell you!), and I was thinking of all the things I had started, but yet never quite finished. 

I had never achieved that hole in one, never painted a masterpiece, never written that best selling novel, to name but a few of the hobbies I have tried over the years. 

I played golf (badly) for a while, but the trouble is, I was always thinking that I had to get back to pick up the girls from school, or what to get for the evening meal.  Not quite the concentration you need when trying to get a hole in one. Also, I used to get transfixed standing over the ball - get the grip right, address the ball, wiggle the bum, until my playing partner used to be shouting, "hit the b....y ball!

When starting a hobby, I think half the pleasure for me is getting all the accessories!  I had a very pretty golf bag, with fluffy covers for all the clubs. I had my golf shoes and visor cap. Oh yes, I looked quite the Pro, until I tried to hit the ball...


I was lucky enough to be given a very expensive digital SLR camera a couple of years ago, but never quite got the hang of shutter speeds, or how much light to let in, and, besides, my iPhone takes very good photos, although the bigger camera is much better for zoom shots, obviously.

I've lost count of the number of gym memberships I've started, or exercise equipment I've bought for home use. I guess I was never meant to have the body beautiful!


I had ALWAYS wanted to try water colour painting. How wonderful to just sit on a cliff overlooking the ocean and be able to capture the beauty of my surroundings.  Again, I had all the equipment, even an easel and a very nice travelling painting set. I was ready to go!  I actually took a few lessons with a friend. Trouble is, the tutor was obsessed with trees, and I just wanted to paint boats and the beach. So! Another one bit the dust. 

I tried learning German, but that didn't work either. There were so many things that I've tried, but I'm still looking for that special talent that we all have within us. (We do, don't we?!). I guess I just have no staying power, which I'm certainly not proud of. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one! Come to think of it, I've never tried Amateur Dramatics. Perhaps that's where my star will shine. Lights! Camera! Action! I'm ready for my close up!

See you later peeps. 

Monday, 23 September 2019

Autumn Gently Creeps In ....


Today is the Autumn Equinox -  I came across this quote by Oscar Wilde this week, and I thought it was very appropriate right now ...




We have had a couple of gorgeous weeks here in ye merry olde England, with clear blue skies, and amazing sunsets. Is anyone else looking forward to Autumn 🍂, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness? I quite like to be all warm and cosy in the evenings, with the lamps switched on and scented candles flickering away. It can be quite a romantic time of the year if you think about it. Yes, even if you are on your own.  Play some of your favourite music or settle down and watch a favourite, soppy film.  One of my favourites is Beaches with Bette Midler, about female friendship. I'm usually crying buckets by the end!

Talking about Autumn....these two pics taken in my garden last year sum up the season very well, I think. There's always this wonderful light in Autumn, when everything  seems so crisp and clear. 





Going back to the Oscar Wilde quotation at the beginning of this Post,  there is another one of his that is a favourite of mine, and I actually have it on a little plaque here in the home ...



Most of my long term bloggy friends, know how much I love quotations, and I'm always looking out for new ones. Pinterest is a wonderful source for doing this. Sometimes you read a quote, and you just think, 'yes', that's exactly it!  

I'm sure most of us love taking photos, be it of our family, times spent with friends, our gardens, places we have visited, or just anything that takes our eye.  This quote fits the bill exactly, for we truly are capturing a moment in time and, of course, these days most of us carry our phones with us, so there is no excuse to miss a magic moment!



I'm hoping for a lovely, dry Autumn so that I can get out on some walks here in heavenly Devon, and really appreciate the beauty of the upcoming Season, with all the amazing colour yet to come. Isn't nature wonderful?! 



Well my friends, I'll leave you again for now with another little quote, and these are my wishes for you today.  Take care. 




Any images today that are not my own, are courtesy of Pinterest.com

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Opera In The Open Air

Verona Opera Festival

If you love opera and you also love Italy, you really have missed a stunning spectacle if you haven't yet been to see the Verona Opera Festival.  (Even if opera is not really your thing, you would not fail to be moved by the ancient setting of this particular Festival).  I went with a friend a few years ago, and we decided to do it in style, and opted for the best seats in the house (Poltronissime) where the Italians turn up in full evening dress for the men, and long, elegant gowns for the ladies.




Before entering the Arena di Verona, it is a good idea to eat at one of the many restaurants in the small streets surrounding the amphitheatre.  This way, you can really make the most of the charged atmosphere, whilst doing some serious people watching at the same time.  There are lots of gorgeous, designer shops for you to feast your eyes on (I particularly remember the Louis Vuitton shop, which was immediately opposite the ancient arene, containing a huge selection of wonderful handbags - all at wonderful prices, of course).



Once inside the arena, be prepared to be blown away by the sheer scale and magnificence of it all.  The arena sits 20,000 people, from the best seats which are on the floor of the arena, right up to the unreserved places on the upper (very upper!) stone galleries, where you are perched high on the topmost ramparts of the original Stadium, which was built in 30 A.D.
When one thinks of opera, The Royal Opera House at Convent Garden, the Sydney Opera House, and La Scala all spring readily to mind, but you will find that Verona combines a quite unique setting with productions and performances of a consistently high standard.  Where else could you be watching, on a hot summer night, a performance of Aida (as I was) at the start of the second Act, when immediately behind the stage, a huge, full moon rose majestically above the ancient arena walls and literally hung in the dark sky, surrounded by glittering stars, for the remainder of the performance.



The Italians really do have a love and flair for the dramatic performance, and they are a very demanding audience, which always seems to bring out the very best in performers and musicians alike.  When the audience is particularly appreciative of a certain Aria, they will stamp their feet, cheer and clap and, even though they are in the middle of an Act, the performers will sing the Aria again, to even more spontaneous applause.
It really was a magical experience, and one that I will never forget!


Whilst in Verona, of course, we just had to see the balcony from Romeo and Juliet!





I hope you have enjoyed this second visit to Italy 🇮🇹 

(All images today courtesy of Pinterest.com)

Monday, 16 September 2019

The Magic Of Italy ....

Many of my ‘older’ Followers may remember how much I love Italy, and Venice in particular.







Just look at the colours of Venice in these beautiful photos. When you visit Venice, and I have been there quite a few times, you can’t help but be inspired by the vibrant hues of this amazing City. Venice really is a feast for the eyes, with something to take your breath away every time you take a few steps!

I hope you don't mind today if I share some beautiful images of Italy with you.  I have been there quite a few times and visited Tuscany, San Gimignano, watched the magic of the opera at Verona in the ancient amphitheatre, Rome, Florence, Lake Garda, and Sicily (which is absolutely beautiful).  I would love to visit Lake Como (where George Clooney has a home!) and Lake Maggiore.  But there is still time ....

Obviously, the art in Italy is to die for, and there are some magnificent gardens to stroll around. 


Venice






The ancient Ponte Vecchio bridge across the River Arno, in Florence, where you will find the most amazing little jewellery shops.  This bridge was built in 1345. Can you even imagine that?! 



The magnificent  Duomo in Florence....



I think I had better stop right there!  I could go on forever expounding the magnificence (for it truly is magnificent!) of this beautiful Country. I hope that I have managed to give you a taste of Italy, albeit a very brief taste!  I love the romance of the Italian language, the food, and the utter splendour that awaits you, no matter which part of Italy you decide to visit. I must go again soon!  

(All images today courtesy of Pinterest.com)