…..and the year moves along


Cyclamen are now flourishing…. so Christmas must be on the way.  A year that has flown into the past, despite the terrible pandemic and the effect on our daily lives.

So a gentle and colourful reminder of what is ahead was welcome.

But not just one reminder today… but two.

As the sun was shining this afternoon, we thought we best tidy up the garden before winter heads our way.  We got a little help from another symbol of Christmas – a Robin came along to supervise.


Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

5th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

The Lamp Room……. A sign of the Times

The Lamp Room

The Lamp Room….

There was a time when the Lamp Room was one of the most important rooms in our large Town and Country Houses.  The heart of those houses was debatably the Kitchens, but like all the other rooms, from Bedroom the Ballroom, Lounge to Library, Nursery to Games Room…. all needed light when the days became darker.  A light switch and electricity were not an option.

So, you can understand why the Lamp Room was so important.  In this room a member of staff was responsible for cleaning the lamps, trimming the wicks, filling with oil….and the distributing them as needed in the house.

Tonight, we have a change in TIME…….  24th October the last day under British Summer Time.  Tomorrow we are back to Greenwich Meantime.

As we gain on hour overnight, as we ‘put our clocks back’ by one hour….  you could say that time, for a short while, stands still.

So, remember to change your watch and also….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

24th October

(C) David Oakes 2020

September Ends….. still no autumn but the change has to come soon


Yesterday, 29th September was a day you could wish for.  We  had managed to book tickets to visit Calke Abbey a Parkland.  Like other National Trust Properties, CV19 means you have to book in advance.  Trouble is you do have to predict in advance what the weather will do (no booking allowed on the day!).  So, we were lucky.

The woods are always a great place for a walk.  Despite it being the end of September there was little indications that autumn is knocking at the door…  It will come but not for a week or so yet.

The Red Deer Hinds were relaxed, feasting on the Acorns. The Red Stags were in hiding, soon their testosterone levels will rise and peace in the woods shattered….

Till then the Hines are making the most of a bumper crop of Acorns.  The ground is literaly littered with Acorns under the Veteran Oak’s.


The Beech is the other dominant tree in these woods.  Still rich green and with the low sun, quite spring like on the trails….


Like many Trust properties, they seem to feel the need to dress up these natural spaces with sculptures and other so called ‘Art Works’.  I can understand temporary exhibitions, indeed I rather like them, they make a change…. but as permanent fixtures I am none too sure.  I know the tree below is well past its “sell by date”….  and I like the silhouette it casts in all weathers…. but this adornment seems more than a little out of place.


We have passed this tree for many years; it has always been a skeleton Each winter it loose just a little more of its structure.  It has though become like an old friend.  Even the sapling tree on top thrives.

As the end of the afternoon approached those blue skies started to vanish. The forecast is for some bad weather ahead.  The evening sunshine did make the Coach House and Stable block glow…


but the clouds told the story of change….


Nor did those clouds tell any lies…  today, the last day of September and it’s raining.  We cannot complain as we do need the rain and today, we are certainly getting it !


Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th September

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Few signs of Autumns Approach


It is also Spider Time….

We are past the mid-point of September.  It is that time in the seasons when, in some places, it can still look like summer. But increasingly splashes of colour, new berries and fruits indicate that autumn is on the way.

Down by the Lake autumn looks some way off…


But elsewhere those hints of autumnal colour are becoming more prevalent….  seed heads of long-gone blooms contrast with bold Nasturtiums bold making a final statement of intent to stay. Leaves on the Maple are turning and Teasel heads have lost their fluff and now all spikes, Rose Hips bright Red only matched by the Yew Berry …. it is a time of contrast.


Days of high summer sun are rapidly fading, soon they will be just memories.  The upside is that we have all the glory of Autumn to come


Make the most of today…   the official last day of summer.  Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox.   But as always…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st September

(C) David Oakes 2020

Wordless Wednesday…… Halfway


As we pass the halfway point of September the signs that Autumn is approaching will start to increase with each passing day

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

16th September

(C) David Oakes 2020