Mountstewart

There is barely a week doesn’t go by that we haven’t been here at least once and at least this is one place there isn’t likely¬†to be any building work disrupting the beauty of the countryside.

No matter what the weather there are always changes to remark on here. We are looking forward to more trails being available as we have probably tired every inch of what is open at present.

Two families of swans this year but we missed the first lot hatching and just noticed the second nest on the opposite side of the lake.

The art class had a wonderful morning painting and I got to join them for lunch. The food is always good but unfortunately for a regular visitor like me can get boring as very standardised not as it was with the previous chef who had a greater variety of food.

Smudge has recovered well from her leg injury but with the heat at the moment she is just zapped at the end of the day.

Coursework and countryside

I love to see the changes in the seasons as we walk in our usual haunts but I am also very relaxed hid away in my work room at my sewing machine. I am thoroughly enjoying this design and patchwork course and regret having to leave it all in the evening to go to work.

J has worked hard jan the garden this year with very little help from me.

Smudge loves the garden although I do feel it’s more out of nosiness as it gives her a better view of the neighbourhood.

Unfortunately we will lose quite a bit of our countryside this summer as they are starting to build houses in the fields behind us. I have enjoyed looking over the fields at the cows as I sit at my machine.

It was lovely to see our first family of blue tits take over our burden house this year and hope all this building doesn’t scare off the wildlife we have enjoyed for many years.

Back to the sewing machine and as well as the coursework some items for charity to be made.

Indoors or outdoors what a dilemma

We have had such beautiful weather it has been difficult to decide whether to sew indoors or find something I can work on outdoors. smudge likes to sleep indoors on my bed but also loves spending time in the garden.

Fabric postcards above which I made for our last N.Ireland Patchwork Guild meeting for the season. It was a fun swap and I have already posted the two I gained off to two friends who I know will appreciate them. I really enjoyed making these using Pima cotton and some silks from my Dollshouse miniature hobby.

This little lady above arrived in the post from a dear friend for our June raffle in aid of Kiwoko. This was perfect timing as I have been so busy with my coursework I hadn’t anything made and thought the raffle may have to go on hold til September.

Catch up time with Julie and Minnie. A walk on the shore with the dogs and some chat over cake in Binkys.

Happy birthday Julie

Open Day at Clandeboye Estate

Isn’t it amazing how we can live so near places and yet never have explored them. We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful pat of N.Ireland and enjoyed the opportunity to wander around the estate, especially with the weather we are having.

I really had no idea what was behind the walls and never imagined so much open meadow and beautiful lake.

It was unfortunate that dogs were not allowed but at the same time it was probably too hot for Smudge to tolerate.

When I was a child I spent hours lost in the countryside near where we lived, not a safe thing for kids today unfortunately.

My friend Jacqueline and I used to lie on the grass and make plans for our future, dreams of course that wher never likely to be fulfilled but fun none the less.  Unfortunately Jacqueline has passed from this world way before we would ever have imagined at that young age.

We really enjoyed exploring the grounds and gardens and although there are not so many plants and flowers as we are used to in Mountstewart this place had its own beauty.

These sort of properties appear very lonely even with many guests such as a day like this but I strain to imagine the hustle and bustle of staff that would have been many years ago to maintain this estate.

I found the graveyard interesting as it was obvious. Some folk were not actual family members but friends and visitors.

Old graves like this fascinate me just as much as my own family history. Along the trail we also found the family pets headstones.