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.

20170507_141936-1 Susan Guy_Roman Leicester c.jpgSGP_6144-1 Susan Guy_Roman Leicester cSGP_6131-1 Susan Guy_Roman Leicester cSGP_6132-1 Susan Guy_Roman Leicester cClick on the images to view larger

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

Spring

Earth is waking from it’s Winters sleep

warmer days are such a treat

Spring has begun

or has it just sprung

birds are tweeting

Sheep are bleeting

blossom filling the air with scent

smell them quick before they are spent

blue skies

and busy Bees

pollinating our trees

leaves uncurling

fluffy white clouds whirling, twirling swirling

soil preparation

in anticipation

for what this year will bring

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.

Blooming Bluebells in Calke Park

Bluebells are blooming and filling Serpentine Wood at National Trust Calke Abbey with their heavenly scent and bright blue petals. Whilst visiting on a sunny blue sky day they seemed to be the perfect compliment for the acid green leaves bursting from Beech trees.

What could be more idyllic than an English woodland filled with Bluebells and birdsong in Spring. Click here for a virtual Bluebell visit.

Abstract Bluebell photos. I would love to know what you think

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

Plenty of Snowdrops but no snow

The sky is blue, sun’s shining and there’s a nip in the air so wrapping up snug head off to  National Trust Calke Abbey to see the Snowdrops. I am no Galanthophile (Snowdrop fancier) but what a lovely  collection of Snowdrops displayed on the Auricula theatre.

Snowdrops with double and frilly petals, some single with long petals, others single with short petals, all in individual pots each with a variety label. Below are snowdrops plants photos followed by a closer image of that plant.

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Snowdrop season is a few weeks earlier than last year but a sign that Spring really is just around the corner. I for one cannot wait for the next flourish of colour.

What better way to end a lovely day out than with a sunset

An Elizabethan Christmas at Hardwick Hall

In the past 3 weeks I have visited six National Trust properties.

So here is my sixth festive visit, National Trust Hardwick Hall and hopefully it will not the last one for Christmas 2015

Before afternoon light disappeared we wandered around the garden spotting Santa logs, each with a different and slightly comical facial expression.

A grand welcome with 2 huge Christmas Trees festooned in red and gold baubles with beautiful skeleton leaves hanging from a branch over the dining table.

Upstairs yet some more gorgeous Christmas trees, candles, cerise and purple baubles and a birds eye view from the balcony of the entrance

The light had really dimmed by the time our visit inside Hardwick Hall was over but what an amazing sky & silhouettes of Old Hardwick Hall.

Some National Trust houses may still be open over the festive period but remember to check opening times before you leave.

Copyright Susan Guy

Tudor Christmas at Packwood House

In the past 3 weeks I have visited six National Trust properties.

So here is my fifth festive visit, National Trust Packwood House

Walking into the Entrance Hall to be greeted by the bushiest Christmas Tree that I’ve seen this festive period. It looked splendid with dried oranges, silver bells, red stars and cinnamon sticks tied with raffia.

From the entrance hall and along the long gallery with a Christmas Tree in each alcove each adorned with paper lanterns, Delft print origami paper stars and multi coloured Elephants, down the steps and into the Great Hall. To be astounded with magnificent fresh fruit display running the length of the Refectory table. Citrus and cinnamon smell was delightful and pungent although due to my fresh fruit allergy I did have to step back a little.

I love the dining room at Packwood and it just seems to come to life with the Christmas finery displayed on the gateleg table with tree twinkling in the corner. I can imagine myself curled up in the corner in front of the fire with good book and small glass of warm spiced wine. Even the study had a tree in the corner and bright red Carnation floral arrangement in the fireplace.

Some National Trust houses are still open over the festive period but remember to check opening times before you leave. Parkland ususally remains open in the winter months but houses close for conservation, cleaning and to get ready for Spring

Copyright Susan Guy