Sunday, 6 October 2013

Park Life

Firstly, a very warm 'HELLOOOOO' to my new follower Fran **waves**.  Thank you for visiting my whitterings!

Hello all. 

Today has been a spectacular autumnal day, and as lovely as it was snuggling up to him indoors this morning and sipping coffee in bed, I had a bit of a realisation that we couldn't really guarantee many more sunny weekends this year and that we really should drag our lazy arses out of bed and 'do' something with the day. 

We decided to take a walk to our local park.  Man has never visited our local one since he's been living in this neck of the woods, and its been a good while since I've visited too, put off by a combination of rickety knees, an arthritic back and steep inclines - all of which combine to make a simple pleasure a rather painful one which rather puts one off. 

Stevens Park in Wollescote is a beautiful place.  It dates back to 1282 and has housed many families over the years.  In 1930, a hugely wealthy local business man and great benefactor of the local community, Ernest Stevens, 'gave' the people of Lye and Wollescote the gift of the land along with the house, which was "to benefit the community with the provision that there would be no discussions of politics, drinking of alcohol and ball games on Sundays."   

The changing of the season is becoming more apparent now.  Although the day was unseasonably warm, the colours of the leaves are changing.  The dew veiled the long grass in silver and beech masts, sweet chestnuts and horse chestnut casings covered the ground beneath their parent trees providing a banquet for the ubiquitous local squirrel population.  We saw lots of them this morning foraging and racing up tree trunks to sit chattering at us as we passed underneath.

The big horse chestnut at the bottom of the hill had dropped loads of its spiky encased bounty on to the floor.  I remember this tree from my childhood.  It was one of the best conker providers in the area.  I couldn't resist picking some up and putting them in my pocket.  That wouldn't have happened back in my day.  Every single conker would already have been removed by us local kids and borne home as soon as they started hitting the ground.  Sometimes we gave them a bit of help to fall with a carefully aimed stick.  They would be polished, perhaps pickled or painted with clear varnish to strengthen them followed by the scary bit of trying to make a hole with a bodger or a bradawl without also putting a hole in your own hand. Kitchen drawers were raided to find suitable string to attach and you were then ready to do playground battle on Monday morning.  Tips would be handed down from Grandfathers and Dads on how to preserve a potential prize winner; how best to aim, how to angle your string just right to smash your opponent's  coveted conker to smithereens.    Isn't it sad that this traditional childhood game has been chased out of the playground because of irrational fears about health and safety?   Death by conkering.  I've not heard any reports have you?  I wonder how many kids actually know what a conker is?  I know - perhaps they've invented a conker smashing game for the Xbox or Playstation so the kiddies don't need to go out in all that nasty fresh air type stuff.  Cyber-conkering.  

I digress.

But that's usual here at Peapods isn't it?

Anyways.... here's some photos to look at whilst I go and polish me soapbox. And me conkers of course.  You never know when you'll need a polished conker.  
No its not your eyes - its just a rubbish photo!

There were loads of fungi - I've been looking at Google to identify them - so far I think this one is Fly Agaric

Massive fail on the others though.  Anyone?! 

Ooh I say!   Is that a toadstool in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?


Not sure what these berries are but judging the colour they are more poisonous than a very poisonous poison!
Harvey's still traumatised by that toadstool.

That's better!

Terahh a bit! xx


  1. oh god, my tea just went flying at the 'pleased to see me' toadstool, and that was BEFORE I read the sentence above the picture itself!!
    Ah, its too late of a sunday for so much mirth...

    *snigger*...still cant help it tho...! :-)

    GREAT photos... send it as an entry for the Countryfile calendar perhaps????

    BH x

    1. Hahah!! SOOO glad I could make you laugh! xx

  2. I once carved a conker from a small lump of Mahogany. I painted it, and drilled it, and no-one knew it was a fake.

    Yesterday a friend had put a picture of some conkers on facebook saying 'she had found all these wonderful chestnuts, and was going to eat them tonight'. I hope she read our comment in time!

    1. Ooo you little devil! Bet you were the conkering king for ages!

  3. Lovely photos- i do so enjoy nature ones! The berries are the Guelder Rose. No idea about the toadstools though!

    1. Thanks Aril - will check out the Guelder Rose. I can't remember ever seing the berries at all.

  4. What a lovely walk. Is Mary Stevens park the one with the big fancy gates? Had to laugh at your mushroom photo... chortle indeed!

    1. Hi Louise! Yes Mary Stevens is the one with the big gates and the lake. This one is Stevens' park which is a little way from there :)

      I'm glad the photo made you laugh!! tee hee!


Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...