Tag: nature

Autumn winter in the great outdoors? Go on then!

Any season that isn’t summer is not my bag. Summer is the absolute dogs danglies. Autumn is, in my opinion, the worst season. Spring means summer is coming, and winter at least has Christmas. Autumn? To me it just signifies the end of the good stuff (summer) and the beginning of the cold of winter. I don’t understand how people get excited about autumn.

I’ve already posted about my dislike of September (the beginning of Autumn, if so many are to be believed!) a few years ago.

I read about pumpkin spice lattes (I don’t drink long coffee drinks), jumper season (I prefer t-shirts), wrapping up in hats and scarves and boots, sitting in front of the fire and going for autumn winter walks.

And I Just. Don’t. Get. It.

You don’t really see autumn colours when you live in the suburbs of a city. Sure, my garden is covered in leaves and they’re a range of colours, but that doesn’t bring an appreciation of the beauty of autumn. It just brings a mulchy mess that ruins the grass!

And as for winter, it’s barren and cold, with no greenery, dull dark days and the only brightness in months of darkness is the excitement of Christmas.

Confession: I may have changed my mind a little bit, all thanks to Bodhi Bongo!

Overnighters in our campervan are very much for longer days and warmer weather. But as a day van, Bodhi has opened up new possibilities for us outside of summer. Our van has a twin gas hob, we have a kettle and a griddle pan and lots of space, which brings a whole new dimension to going out for the day.

Our first trip out was to Sudeley Castle which I posted about here.

November

In November I experienced a whole new take on Autumn. The husband suggested driving down to the Forest of Dean for a scenic drive and a wander. I was enthusiastic but wary. Autumn isn’t really all that, right?

The drive alone was beautiful. Being in the campervan you’re much higher than a normal car, so you can see a lot more. More colours, more streams, more bridges and tree lined roads.

Bongo drive to the Forest of Dean
Bongo drive to the Forest of Dean
Bongo drive to the Forest of Dean

We parked up in Speech House Woods, which is maintained by Forestry England, changed our shoes, and off we went!

Autumn Winter Bongo in the Forest of Dean

It wasn’t long until I stopped in my tracks, looked all around me, and declared “this feels like an autumn fairytale!”

I’ve never seen such beautiful shades of orange, rust and gold, interspersed by blue skies and evergreen leaves. The air was crisp, there was a blanket of leaves underfoot and trees of all shapes and sizes.

Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean

It definitely turned me into a fan of Autumn walks! So much so, that, a couple of weeks later, we headed up to the Clent Hills, which is just a short drive from Birmingham. At their highest point, Clent Hills rise to 1037ft, with 360 degree views over multiple counties.

Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills

December

And so to Winter, where surely the drop in temperatures and bare branches would hold no interest for me? Well, such is my new zest for outdoor life (!!) that the suggestion of a post Christmas drive to the Wyre Forest was jumped upon by me. I adorned myself with coat, scarf, hat and gloves (all the things I sneer at!), packed our campervan bag with all the essential (teabags, sweeteners, kettle, bread and sausage) and off we went.

Autumn Winter Wyre Forest

Turns out that even winter in the forest is a joy! There’s a surprising amount of green thanks to coniferous trees, and the low winter sun creates beautiful shadows and casts a glow through the trees.

Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest

How does our campervan make autumn and winter walks more enjoyable?

When you’ve been for a walk in bracing temperatures, you (I) need a little downtime before bundling back in the car to go home. Having Bodhi Bongo means we have plenty of space to take off all our layers, change our muddy boots and stretch out (and stop sweating!) before we head back. We can have a cup of tea and some food sitting at a proper table. So far we’ve cooked bacon sandwiches, cheese and ham toasties and sausage sandwiches, all fresh and hot. It’s a real novelty and makes it so much fun. Who thought I’d look forward to watching a kettle boil on a gas stove?

Buying our campervan at the “worst” time of year means that we still have the very best to come! But,, rest assured, when autumn rolls around in 2020, I’ll be chomping at the bit for days out. This is a year round hobby for us, and I’m excited to see where we end up in the future!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Nature photo challenge – day 7

I’m going to cheat a little bit here, with two photographs. Ok, technically three. They are from the same destination though, and I really couldn’t choose between them as they all give me all the feels, so ner.

Both of them were taken at my favourite holiday destination on Mainland Greece. Stoupa is a small coastal resort at the base of the Tygetos mountains on the Mani peninsula and is quite possibly my favourite place on earth. I first went there about 15 years ago with my Dad, and returned many years later with my husband. I didn’t expect him to like it as it’s so quiet, but he was immediately besotted with it’s quaint charm, slow pace of life and amazing food. So much so that we went twice within 6 weeks!

The sunsets there are stunning. The contrast of the sky against the dark coastal rocks is just gorgeous.

There’s no better way to start an evening in Stoupa than sitting in a bar with a cocktail and watching the sun descend; turning the sky amazing shades of yellow, orange, red, indigo, violet and inky blue, before ending in the blackest of blacks due to lack of light pollution. During one trip the moon which followed was blood red for the whole week, which was eerie and fascinating and exciting, all at the same time.

This second picture was taken on the coastal path as we walked from Stoupa to neighbouring village Aghios Nikolaos.

Stoupa to Aghios Nikolaos

The blue of the sky, the darker sea glistening under the sun and crashing in white foamy peaks against the rocks and the cool sea breeze is the epitome of being alive. It’s like an instagram filter has been placed over your eyes and brought everything into super HD quality; the blues, the greens, the sandy path, the dusty pebbles, the black rocks, the pale mountain peaks. Along the path is the occasional house with white washed walls and tumbling pink bougainvillea. It makes me feel so relaxed yet so alert, all at once. Magical.

And that’s it! The end of the 7 day photo challenge. Thank you so much to Terri-Louise at TouLou89 for nominating me, I’ve really enjoyed it. So many memories, happy thoughts and things I’d forgotten.

For my final nomination, I invite anyone who’s reading and would like to get involved. Do let me know in the comments if you take part so I can check out your posts!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Nature photo challenge – day 6

One of the most amazing things to me about nature is flowers. They’re just beautiful. I’ve been taking more notice than ever lately (as you’ll have noticed if you follow me on instagram!) and feel I’ve developed a slight obsession!

Case in point – my wedding bouquet, which was lillies and birds of paradise flowers.

Wedding bouquet lily birds of paradise

Just look at the colours and the perfection. The vibrancy. Each leaf and petal unfurled just as nature intended. It’s amazing really!

We got married in Mauritius and hadn’t chosen any of our wedding details before we arrived. We picked our flowers from a book, not seeing anything in real life until the ceremony. I was completely overwhelmed.

As well as my wedding bouquet, we had a huge gerbera daisy arrangement. The camera can’t encapsulate just how bright and perfect they were.

Wedding flowers gerbera daisies

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I was nominated by the lovely Tou89Lou – pop over and have a look at her blog.

Today I nominate Holly at ClosingWinter. She’s recently done a huge renovation project on her garden, so I’m sure there are some nature pics to share!

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Nature photo challenge – day 5

This picture was taken right on the estate where I live! It’s very green and well tended, with loads of tall trees, ivy and shrubs.

Grey squirrel

There are so many squirrels in and around the estate, and because they’re so used to humans they’re fairly tame. They’re comical to watch because they dash around at a rate of knots, chasing their fellow furry buddies and clambering up trees. When a human gets close they stand stock still, as if their lack of movement will hide their existence. Then, when you get too close for comfort, they’ll dart off into a bush or behind a tree trunk to hide away.

I know grey squirrels are classed as vermin, but I love these little guys. They cheer up my morning as I leave home and welcome me back at the end of the day.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

Today I nominate Jessica at Thrifty Blogger as she always takes such beautiful pictures, so I’d love to see her interpretation of this challenge.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Nature photo challenge – day 4

The blue lagoon in Iceland is a bit of a headscrew, because it looks almost too artificial to be real. The water is the colour of Lenor fabric softener, it’s that blue. The contrast of the black volcanic rocks and the white sky on the day we were there almost looked like one of those photographs which have been changed to black and white, and just one colour element has been left.Blue Lagoon Iceland

Unfortunately we didn’t get to go in the lagoon, because we were with my Mother-in-Law and it’s not her thing. But it was amazing to wander round, see the steam evaporating from the naturally warm water into the cold February sky, and generally marvel at how frickin’ ace nature can be.

This trip was 6 years ago now (wowsers!) so has never featured on the blog, but I might do a retrospective post at some point.

I should also give photo credit to the husband who took the picture, but as I was there and we’re married, it belongs to me by default.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

Today I nominate Tamara Prokopchuk as she’s been out of the blogging loop for a while and this might give her some posting inspiration!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Nature photo challenge – day 3

Here’s my third nature photo.

Seagull drinking a cocktail

I love love LOVE this photo of a cheeky seagull enjoying the remnants of someone’s cocktail! This was taken outside a bar in Paignton on a warm summer night about 10 years ago. Being a seaside town there’s a plethora of seagulls, many of whom are very tame as they’re used to being around people (much to my chagrin; I don’t like birds that fly close to humans). We were having drinks just one table away, when this dude swooped down and started poking his head in the glasses left by the previous table occupants.

Look closely and you’ll see the creamy drink on his beak!

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

Today I nominate OxfordCottageGardener as she’s very outdoorsy and will no doubt have lots of great pics to share!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Nature photo challenge – day 2

Day 2 of the nature photo challenge takes us to North Wales, which is my favourite place in the UK. This photograph is taken at Swallow Falls, just outside Betws-y-Coed. The falls  blow me away every time I visit; the power of the water rushing through the valley is immense. The whole area is so green and lush.

Swallow Falls Betws y Coed

We spent a weekend in Betws-y-Coed last year, you can read about it here and here.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I was nominated by the lovely Tou89Lou – pop over and have a look at her blog.

Today I nominate Hailey at The Undateable Girl’s Diary. Hailey lived in San Francisco for a year, so I’m sure she has heaps of amazing photos to share!

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Nature photo challenge – day 1

I’ve been nominated for a photo challenge, which is pretty exciting! I love looking back at photographs and how they can evoke a memory.

The rules for the 7-day nature photo challenge are simple. Just post your favourite nature photo each day and nominate another blogger everyday, for the next 7 days.

I’ve been nominated by Tou89Lou – pop on over and check her out!

So, on with my first photo.

Chamarel Coloured Earth Mauritius

This was taken in Mauritius. We took a day tour around the island, and part of the trip was the seven colours at Chamarel Coloured Earth. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon which is a result of minerals in the earth. There are shades of green and blue, as well as the red and orange you can clearly see on this pic.

We got married in Mauritius, just the two of us, on the beach. You can read more about it here and here

I nominate the lovely Tina from teaisfortina. She’s a real sweetie and you should check out her blog too!

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