Welcome Back Summer!

We were so blessed during the (first) lockdown to enjoy blue sky and sunshine most days. That kind of outlook felt like a dim and distant memory until today. We’d returned to the miserably grey covered sky, cool wind, and intermittent rain. Yuck. Not good for the soul at all. Despite the damp, my hay fever’s been horrid recently. I suspect it’s all the long grass we’re surrounded by. I had a patch test many years ago and ‘grass pollen’ was my allergy. So I’ve been a bit down-in-the-dumps.

Hoorah, we welcomed the sun back today and took a walk to a local historic site. It wasn’t too successful sadly. More on that later …

Super Successful Cordial

Thank you, Kiera! The elderflower cordial turned out well. The elderflower syrup not so much – I reduced it to toffee! I’ll know next time …

The cordial is delightful – especially with a gin and soda!

Walking Between Rain Showers

We met up with some friends on Friday we haven’t seen for years and walked away from Whitchurch along the canal. We reminisced and caught up – most uplifting and just what I needed to brighten my spirits. Thank you, Kailey and Josh and your delightful family. We love you all dearly.

Areandare’s mooring – surrounded by lots of long grass and clouds

Searching For Pan Castle

Today we met up with my daughter and grandsons. It’s why we’re here. To spend as much time with them as possible before we head south on the boat, then MUCH further south in a plane.

Barry had seen there was a historic site nearby, and it was the place Lisa suggested we walk to. The mound of Pan Castle. We met them in Aldi car park, as I wanted to shop there later for a nice bit of beef for our Sunday roast.

We followed the Ordnance Survey map across the road, along a footpath and across a field to get to the now very busy A51. Crossing that we came to a walk through a wood, past the Belton Cheese Factory, and up the gravel road. To discover that you CAN’T, in fact, walk to the site. Oh, dear. Two disappointed grandsons and one frustrated grandad!

It’s a scheduled monument, so I guess it’s protected. Plus reading the information, a “waterlogged ditch” may not have been the safest place for two energetic boys to be adventuring in!

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte and bailey castle, occupying a low-lying position in an area of undulating and formerly marshy land. From this location there are extensive views to the east and north east, including the nearby town of Whitchurch where an early medieval castle is also known to have been built. The oval, steep-sided, flat-topped motte measures approximately 62m by 78m at its base and 47m by 60m across the top and stands to a height of 4.5m. It is surrounded by a waterlogged ditch, between 7m and 15m wide, and a large outer bank, averaging 17m wide and up to 1.2m high.”

Pan Castle: a motte and bailey castle – https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1020286
Where those trees are is the castle mound and moat
The obvious sign on the gate – no going in there then!
The fields nearby are a carpet of yellow, white and green. Stunning.

Ah well. We’d asked a few locals who passed by where the castle was, and no-one knew! One said she’d never walked this way before. Like Lisa and Rob, people are discovering more about their back yard since the coronavirus pandemic. I’d say that’s one of the positive outcomes?

Latest From The COVID-19 Symptom Study

It sounds like good news! One of my fears is that there’ll be a second lockdown before we can get down to Heathrow and on the flight to New Zealand on 16th August. Today’s email from Professor Tim Spector is most reassuring.

According to the latest COVID Symptom Study app figures based on positive swab tests there are now just below 5,000 daily new cases of COVID across the UK (excluding care homes) [*], this number has fallen by almost a half (47%) from the 9,400 figure last week, suggesting the current COVID trend in the UK is much more positive than currently thought. The figures were based on 12,872 swab tests from 24 May to 6 June 2020 and extrapolated to the wider population.

In England, the number of daily new cases fell in all the regions, including 49% in the North West (820 from 1608), a drop of 46% in the South East (365 from 674) and a drop of 43% in the South West (162 from 284). The North East and Yorkshire is still the area of the country with the highest incidence rates, but the number fell from 1,965 to 1,275 a reduction of 35%, suggesting that the situation is improving.”

New Daily COVID Cases Across The UKhttps://covid.joinzoe.com/post/covid-cases-uk

It’s just nine weeks tomorrow, so the number decreasing significantly is awesome news. We continue to report daily, along with almost 4 million others in the UK, and answer any questions. Thankfully we both remain healthy.

How’s it going out there?

10 thoughts on “Welcome Back Summer!

  1. Pingback: Rain Rain Gone Away! ~ Barry & Sandra's Adventures On and Off NBAreandAre

  2. Love the photo of the lightning tree, I do love a lightning tree! I have loads of photos like that which have been taken around the cut.

    • They’re so photogenic, aren’t they? There was a spectacular one across the canal from the mooring we had when we got married on the roof of Northernpride in September 2009, at The Dog and Doublet Bodymoor Heath. I imagined they’d be dangerous and need chopping down. But my daughter informed me they’re left as they are to provide a habitat for insects, which makes sense to me 😉

  3. From here in NZ with no new cases for 23 days, 5000 new cases a day seems catastrophic!
    I do hope your travel to NZ isn’t disrupted and I know you are both very happy to go into government managed isolation once you arrive.
    The countryside is looking lovely, and we are a bit sad we cannot be there enjoying it, but very happy to be here in COVID-19-free NZ – even though it is getting colder …
    Cheers and hugs, Marilyn and David

    • I know. Quite ridiculous isn’t it? But it was 11,300 two weeks ago! Keeping our hopes up and appendages crossed 🤞
      Enjoy Aotearoa without tourists. That’s MY first sea of heaven on earth x

    • No! My daughter a few miles away did. But somehow it passed over. We did get a spectacular rainbow 🌈 about 40 minutes ago though …

  4. So glad it turned out well! I’ve done that before myself when reducing syrup, but left it and it turned into boiled sweets 😂😂 x

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