Rather Wet……


A Rather Wet Big Wood, Allestree

Something rather unusual this morning…its rather wet to say the least.  Rain is something that has been very sparse this summer, so todays heavy rains have definitely been a shock to the system.  But I guess its not all bad news….we do need the rain and it also  makes a refreshing change for the mornings woodland walk.

The damp has also produce some Fungi.  For October we should have seen much more, all our old favourites like Fly Agaric, you know the red one the woodland fairies and elves sit on have yet to appear. But this season so far fungi is few and far between…



Autumn has really to bight in our woods, the greens are still king.  So for awhile longer we can still enjoy a sparkling wood…the rain has just added a touch more sparkle.




Once we get a few days of real cold and the odd frost then these woods will magically change there colours…. but lets make the most of what we have right now…it ain’t half bad…. and for October a bonus 🙂

6th October

(C) David Oakes 2018

Anyone for Sherry ?……



I am not usually one to join Commercial Tours, but as we were in Jerez de la Frontera I thought we should make an exception…particularly as the owners of the famous Gonzalez Byass Bodegas was opening especially for our group despite it being a Sunday morning.

I am pleased we did.  Not only was our host and guide a member of the family but the tour itself was certainly a cut above many others.  The Bodegas founded in 1835 was built round and within the old town, swallowing up village houses as it expanded.


Undoubtedly the lasting memory is of row after row of tar blackened Oak barrels and as we moved round the Bodegas the a distinctive sweet smell of sherry, getting stronger as one discovered areas of very old wines.  Row after row of barrels, and there were thousands, would perhaps seem rather boring but not here as each area had a little bit of history and fame.

Over the centuries the Royalty, the Rich and Famous have trod the same steps as we, the difference being in that they added their ‘autographs’ to barrels of Sherry that would be forever theirs and their families.

The Old Blending Laboratory has been left as it was, untouched apart from layers of dust.

Then there are the Royal Collections. Giant casks each with its Royal Crest and nor is the Royal Collection limited to the Spanish Monarchs but also the British Royal Family have their own collection.


As with all tours there is the ubiquitous Shop….but with the offer of tastings of all the blends of Sherry it was not much of a hardship….we even staggered out with a few bottles, that and the unique aroma, nice memories for home .



6th October

(C) David Oakes 2018