My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Friday, 1 January 2010

The first day of a new year.....

Well - this is the first post of a new year and a new decade - January 1, 2010. It's been an interesting twelve months with some good and some - not so good! My blog reached its second birthday on 19 December 2009 and I managed to miss that - tut!

One of the highs, in terms of family, was my daughter achieving a great deal in obtaining a first class honours degree in Midwifery after going back to studying as a mature student - I'm a very proud mum. She and my grandson moved to the coast and my grandson has settled well in his new school being much more relaxed and happy in his new environment. I miss the regular contact I had with them when they lived closer but am very happy that their lives are happy ones and it was the right move for them to make.

My mother, not far off her 91st birthday, continues to keep me on an even keel and to be my support and a great friend too.

So what will 2010 bring? Who knows? I'm not making any new year resolutions as I don't particularly agree with that particular form of "wish list". I do have a "wish list" but the content is not a matter for here - whether I will achieve it or not remains to be seen.

And what for 2010? No particular plans at the moment; need to give thought to a venue for a holiday for Mum and I. Generally - it will be interesting to see what develops....

So on this, the first day of the new year, I managed to get up later than usual; at 8.00 a.m., day break, the full moon could be seen sinking below the horizon and viewed from my mother's garden.

We woke to a heavy frost (and a very very light, quickly-to-disappear, scattering of snow) but as daylight broke, the sun came with it and was to shine brilliantly all day. I'd put some sunflower hearts along the wall of my mother's front garden and soon the blackbirds came down for their breakfast in the sunlight.

So what to do. We started our day with a drive along the coast; nothing new but for Mum who'd been a bit housebound for a few days, a welcome break. Whilst it was high tide, the only birds up on the fields were gulls and no sign of the usual plovers etc. etc.

We headed of at the morning progressed and went to a favourite pub, The Sportsman at Amberley. for lunch. The welcome you receive from the landlords and their staff, is warm and friendly as was, on a cold frosty day, the fire in the wood-burning stove that greeted us as we arrived. Although an unprepossessing building from the front, there's a large conservatory-type extension at the rear where the pub's dining area is.
But at the back - the views are stunning in overlooking a huge area of meadow land which, after all the rain we've had, were flooded, however, this is normal for this time of the year

Whilst the birds were far to far away to be seen with the naked eye, the binoculars revealed large and many flocks of Lapwing, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese. A few swans were around as were three herds of Fallow Deer.

So we ate lunch whilst gazing out on the flooded meadows and watching the wheeling of several lapwing flocks. Lunch? Well - Brill - pan fried in lemon, thyme and butter with sautéed potatoes, broccoli, carrots and red cabbage. And pudding? Well who could resist treacle pudding and custard? - I couldn't; or Amaretti Crunch Ice Cream - Mum couldn't!

If you're ever in the Amberley area of West Sussex, the The Sportsman pub is definitely worth a visit for the hospitality, the location, the birds and the views. They also provide B&B accommodation..

We drove off at a leisurely pace through the very pretty village of Amberley in West Sussex. Amberley Castle is now a hotel - for which I'd need a mortgage to accommodate me for one night's stay but the building is pretty impressive - I suspect Henry 1 didn't need to pay those prices in the year 1100!!!

The sunlight was streaming through the trees as we visited the pond down by the church.

And high up in the old castle walls, the sun filtered through the windows..

"What light through yonder window breaks...."

and to end our visit, a picture of a typical thatched cottage, one of many, in the village of Amberley.

So we had a really great day out - totally unplanned - and agreed it was a good way to start a new year...

Hope you all have a happy and rewarding 2010,


neil said...

nice photos as ever

SPD said...

what a fantastic day i wish you were closer so we could do this sort of thing more often! 2010 a day for doing new things with good friends i reckon happy 2010 mum Love ya!

holdingmoments said...

Excellent way to start the year Tricia.
That pub looks a great place. Like being smack in the middle of a nature reserve.
Lunch sounds delicious; I managed egg and chips a while ago lol

All the very best for 2010.

Anonymous said...

NIce trip, nice scenery and a good start to the year Tricia. The female blackbird shot is brilliant. Oh! and well done to SPD.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo,s Tricia. Great opening one, what images it evokes.


Anonymous said...

That lunch sounds very inviting! All the best for the new year, Tricia.

Gaina said...

((Happy New Year))

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
Happy new year. It looks like it started very well for you. Nice post and nice pictures. Well done.

oldcrow61 said...

I really like the last six pictures. Hope the new year brings many good things to you.

Tricia said...

Hi Neil - thank you and happy new year to you.

SPD - it was a good day and I have the same wish as you... here's to a good 2010 for us all.... love to you....

Keith - the pub's excellent.. if you're ever down this way..... Oooh egg and chips - scrummy! :) Best to you to Keith..

Roy - thanks for your congrats for SPD. Mum's garden seems to attract Blackbirds and they certainly enjoyed the food treat.

Digi - lunch was great. Let me know if you are ever in Sussex.. Hope the New Year improves for you both :)

Gaina - and a Happy one to you too. Pleased to see you here again.

Chris - a Happy New Year to you to. Started quite well but hope it gets better!!

OC - thank you - the colours and shadows just begged to be photographed. Fingers crossed for the new year....

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia, Happy New Year! Phil and I haven't visited Amberley so will put that on a list for places to visit this year. Jackie.

Tricia said...

Hi Jackie. I'm sure you'll enjoy the visit :)

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