Roman Leicester under our feet uncovered

When I heard about a 2 day event for the public to see spectacular Roman mosaics discovered by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS)  in the heart of Leicester city centre decided it was an opportunity to not be missed.

For those unable to visit here are photos (probably too many) for what lay under the old Stibbe factory  between Great Central Street and Highcross Street.

Archaeologists have discovered one of the largest Roman mosaic floors in the city, two Roman streets containing a number of buildings and lots of artifacts. So far these objects have been found…pottery, a flute, a knife handle, brooches, beads, coins and hair pins. The viewing platforms around the edge of the site were fantastic and guides brought the area to life explaining about the buildings that once stood there, it was also great to see Archaeologists still working and discovering more items.

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We queued for 2.5 hours for a short but exciting visit, thank goodness the sun was shining!

May 6th and 7th were the dates decided to open, due to popular demand the opening has been extended for this week.

Click here for a short video across the Roman Leicester site


Beacon Hill birthday

Frost sprinkles sparkling like icing sugar over my birthday cake, with beautiful clear blue sky to accompany it, a perfect day for a family walk around Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. Great way to blow off the cobwebs, get out for a run around to try and shed all the Mince Pies and Christmas pudding from the past few days. Winter sunlight was definitely a welcome companion.

Some of my favourite trees are in this wood, their shapes are so aesthetically pleasing, combined with the light, green barked trees and copper coloured Beech leaves what more was needed for stomping, leaf kicking and exploring.

The rocks are pretty fantastic too, formed from volcanic activity 700 million years ago, the summit was originally created at the bottom of the sea from compressed volcanic ash and tilted into their vertical position by an earthquake.

Calke Abbey Christmas long exposure

Last year in the run up to Christmas we visited 6 National Trust properties, this year our weekends have been taken up with other things, days have flown past and suddenly find ourselves 2 days before Christmas

Determined to visit at least one place festooned with baubles, twinkly lights and colourful illuminated grounds we settled upon our closest place National Trust Calke Abbey located between Derbyshire/Leicestershire border

Here are just a few photos from our little trip into echos of Calkes Christmas past. Although over for another year we cannot wait for Christmas 2017 at Calke Abbey.

National Limerick Day an ode to Stoneywell

Looking for a relaxing day

Come and spend it the Stoneywell way

Gimson built and loved for years

Our cottage will remind you of bygone years

Coffee, cake and sandwiches too

We look forward to seeing you

Make sure you don’t miss out

In order to visit book your spot

Get in touch to reserve your slot


National Trust Stoneywell website

Rainy day poem on World Poetry Day

Now for something a little different from me, felt inspired to write these words.

Spit spot drip drop, listen to the rain,

spit spot drip drop, shelter from the storm,

spit spot drip drop, underneath an oak tree,

spit spot drip drop, watch it plop from leaf to leaf,

spit spot drip drop, will it ever cease,

spit spot drip drop, puddles getting bigger,

spit spot drip drop, bracken looking greener,

spit spot drip drop, storm is blowing over,

spit spot drip drop, rain is ceasing,

spit spot drip drop, coming to an end,

spit spot drip, sun is peeping from a cloud,

spit spot, time to run around,

spit spot, storm is over, rain has gone,

time to meet afternoon sun.

Images shot at National Trust Calke Abbey and National Trust Stoneywell


World Book Day – Libraries & books of National Trust Midlands

My kids say they are too old to dress up for #WorldBookDay so rather than create a costume I have been looking through photographs of books, book shelves, libraries and snugs of National Trust Properties in the Midlands area.

National Trust Baddesley Clinton

National Trust Belton House

National Trust Calke Abbey

National Trust Charlecote Park

National Trust Hardwick Hall

National Trust Packwood House

Packwood house May 2014 DSC_0341

National Trust Stoneywell

National Trust Sudbury Hall

National Trust Upton House

National Trust Wightwick Manor

an extra day every 4 years – what i did with mine

Crisp clear frosty start to the 29th of February 2016.
Another 4 years until this date arrives again so I decided to take random mobile phone photos of my day.

Turning 40 at Christmas meant I had won a trip to the doctors for a free MOT health check Woohoo! So 40 minutes later emerge with less blood than I went in with, the promise of a 24 hour blood pressure check, advised to have more milk….bleugh more fresh fruit..i wish (stupid allergies) but at least weight and height are ok 🙂 Returned home via shops, seeing signs of spring and snapping pics of urban textures.

Inside a canal lock gate

Not really what I expected to do for the weekend but had a fascinating trip to Mountsorrel locks near Leicester where the Canal and River Trust are restoring the lock gates.

The lock has been drained – first time in 30 years. No treasures were found at the bottom but it does have the original red  bricks dating back from between 1780 and 1794. The top and bottom lock gates are being replaced, together they weigh nearly 4 tonnes! The lock chamber itself is a massive 28 metres long, 4.6 metres wide and 3.4 metres deep and it can hold 438,000 litres of water, standing inside it was awe inspiring and almost hard to believe how much water should be above my head.

Also had a lovely little trip along the canal in a barge thanks to Sileby Mill Boatyard.

The event is on again tomorrow (28th Feb 2016)
There’s also a lovely pub next to the canal (The Waterside Inn)

Beautiful clouds, beautiful day

Sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and relax.

Yesterday I felt myself staring out of the window and watching clouds. Big fluffy white clouds whizzing past on their way to another destination outside someone else’s window. Ready for another person to stare or glance at, perhaps make a shape from or to call them cotton wool clouds. Occasionally a darker grumpy cloud came past blotting out the sun causing outlook on the world to just be a little dimmer.

Here is a timelapse video of that very view that attracted my attention. 5 hours worth of filming condensed into just over 1 minute of viewing.

A is for Apple …#AnAppleADay – National Trust Stoneywell Cottage

Over the past few days I’ve been walking around a few Orchards looked after by the National Trust to check out the harvest, I’ve been to Stoneywell Cottage, Coughton Court and Calke Abbey.

This is my 2nd year to wander the Orchard at Stoneywell Cottage and it offers the biggest Apple harvest I have seen to date.

Apple varieties at Stoneywell Cottage are Newton Wonder (eating), Bramley and Worcester Pearmain (cookers) it’s a small orchard compared to the other properties visited but I’m sure it was plenty big enough to have kept the Gimson family home supplied with oodles of apples to stew, crumble, turn into pies or eat straight from the tree – #50things.

This is the third in a series of “Apple Blogs” Calke Abbey Apple blog is here, and the Coughton Court apple blog you’ll find here

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