Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Catching Up

It's a good while since I last posted but I thought I'd make a start again now that the nights are drawing in. It's not been one of my better summers this year as I had a few days in hospital in July though happily all is well now. For Bilbo Baggins it has been even more traumatic as he has had to have one of his hind legs amputated due to an aggressive bone cancer. He's currently at the vets as he has had a bad reaction to his first session of chemotherapy but hopefully they will pull him through and then we must decide whether or not to carry on or just let things take their natural course. He was doing really well until the chemo and I think we'd rather he had a shorter life feeling good than a longer one feeling grim.

On a happier note I was down in Suffolk at the end of July for Jude's 1st birthday celebration.

Jude and his family have moved house during the summer and this is part of their new garden. They are literally surrounded by fields but only 10 minutes walk from the village. It's a wonderful setting.

In early September I spent a weekend in Shropshire with Time Travellers our local archaeology group. On Friday we visited the Roman town of Wroxeter once the fourth largest town in Roman Britain. The remains of the bath house is all that is visible now though.

Just down the lane is the church of St Andrew which was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. Some parts of the present church date back to the 12th century. The photo above is of the font which is made from part of a Roman column.

The 14th century parish chest where the parish registers and other valuable documents would have been kept.

In the chancel are three very good table tombs still with most of their original colour on. The nearest one belongs to Sir Thomas Bromley who died in 1555. Sir Thomas was an executor of Henry VIII's Will so an important man in his time.

After checking in at the Buckatree Hall Hotel half a dozen of us decided to climb The Wrekin which was close by.The Wrekin is a famous Shropshire landmark, it's 1335 feet high and from the top on a clear day you can see fifteen English and Welsh counties. My husband has climbed it many times in his youth as a geography and geology student and says it's always been either raining or foggy when he's done it. There's a saying that 'if you can see The Wrekin it's going to rain and if you can't see it it's already raining':) At the top of The Wrekin is an Iron Age hillfort although only earthworks are visible now.

This is Heaven Gate - if you enlarge the previous photo and look at the drawing you will be able to pick out the two mounds which were the entrance to the hillfort. This was the main power base of the Celtic tribe the Cornovii whose territory covered Shropshire, Cheshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of the Welsh counties of Flintshire, Powys and Wrexham. Since my roots in Cheshire go back to at least the 1600s I'd guess that some Cornovii blood flows in my veins:)

My husband was absolutely right about the chances of having a clear day, as you can see there was low cloud obscuring the view even though it was a warm, dry day.

Here we are at the top! As you can see from my hair it was pretty windy up here!

Saturday and Sunday were spent visiting Ironbridge with its famous bridge over the River Severn. It was the world's first cast iron bridge and was opened in 1781. It looks idyllic doesn't it - but this is where the Industrial Revolution began. The Ironbridge Gorge and its Museums deserve a post to themselves so I'll leave that until later this week.


Sandies' Patch said...

Sorry your Summer was not as good as the weather. Poor Bilbo Baggins, I do hope he gets much better and that you both have more time with each other. He will let you know when enough is enough bless him.
I hope you continue in good health too.

Bovey Belle said...

Glad to see you back and blogging again, but so sorry to hear about Bilbo and his operation/reaction to the Chemo. It's a hard call when that happens.

I loved sharing your Shropshire outing, and what a lovely new home Jude has moved to. A really lovely garden for them to scamper round in.

I have only seen the Wrekin when driving past it but would love to scramble up there before I get old!!

Rosie said...

Good to see you back, Rowan. So sorry to read of your summer problems but glad to hear all is well with you now. Oh, poor Bilbo Baggins - I can understand how you feel about him continuing with the chemotherapy - it is so hard to know what is the right thing to do but often our pets will tell us when enough is enough. Ironbridge is one of my favourite places and the museums are all so interesting. I'm looking forward to your next posts:)

Mac n' Janet said...

Welcome back, I've missed your blogging. Glad you're out of the hospital and doing well, but sorry to hear about Bilbo Baggins. It's so hard when our pets are ill. Our daughter left her cat with us this spring when she moved to Japan, we became very attached to him and then he died of cancer, heartbreaking to us and our daughter.
Your visit to Wroxeter looks so interesting! We got to go on an archeological dig in August when we were in England, hoping to do another one next year.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, I'm so sad to read about Bilbo Baggins. I've been on many a walk with the two of you. I know you'll take good care of him -- such a pretty dog!

Patricia said...

Welcome back Rowan and sorry to hear about Bilbo Baggins and trust he is coping well. Hope you are feeling better as well. I too haven't been around much of late but like you, want to get back in the loop again. P x

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Good to see you posting again. Sorry to hear about B. Baggins, I hope he goes on well.

Roy Norris said...

I'm glad that you are OK now D.
Sorry to hear about BB though, poor thing and he doesn't understand why this should be happening to him. As you say it is better to have a short time and good one, rather than be in ill health for a long period.

Mary said...

I was saddened at the news of sweet Bilbo Baggins requiring surgery and chemo. Hopefully he will pull through and enjoy more quality time with you. Also sorry you were under the weather some this summer - hopefully all well now. That little Jude is a cutie that's for sure - hard to believe he's a year old already!

Glad you've been out and about enjoying historic Britain - great places and so interesting.

Rowan, thanks for the comment and just a heads up re: Anthropologie stores - apparently there are now 6 in the UK, the latest opened in Richmond-upon-Thames. I actually visited the one in Bath when there in June when we disembarked the Queen Victoria after our cruise to the Baltic and St. Petersburg.

Have a great autumn - and don't stay away for so long, you are missed a lot when we don't hear from you!

Warm hugs - Mary

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I'm glad you are back - and the hospital stay is behind you. Lovely photos of your visits - I look forward to your posts so much.

Ruthie Redden said...

Lovely to see you back to blogging again. Sorry to hear that you have been in hospital, and hope all is well now. And poor Mr Bagggins, I hope he responds better to the rest of his treatment. Your walk at the Wrekinbought back a childhood memory, my Grandad used to use the expression "around the Wrekin" when we were small, I never knew what he meant, he was from the Midlands!

Iris Rose said...

Good to see your blog again. I hope Bill is better!

Louise said...

We visited Wroxeter about 3 years ago and I took a wrong turn on the way and we literally drove 'all round the Wrekin'! I've never walked up it, but it's often clearly visible from here.

It's lovely to hear from you again, though I'm sorry you've not had the best of times lately and very sad to read about Bilbo B. I'm sure you'll come to the decision that is best for him.

ahomespunyear said...

Hi Rowan, hope Bilbo Baggins starts to recover from his chemo, poor must be very hard to see him like that.

Loved the photos of Shropshire, one of my favourite counties. And you've reminded me that we've not been to Ironbridge for ages, so must go soon.

George said...

Great to have you back, Rowan. Sorry to hear about your stay in the hospital, but glad to know that you are on the mend. Also sorry to hear about Bilbo Baggins and his medical issues. Nothing causes so much pain as seeing a beloved pet suffer. Eventually, however, we realize that dealing the the issues of older pets is the price we pay for all the love they have given us through the years. Good luck to you both.

Gracie said...

Happy to know you're fine, and I hope Bilbo will be too.