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Lapworth Bargers on a Sunny Autumn Morning

It does’nt get much better, well having said that I’ve walked the towpaths in mid winter and as it does…. have a certain appeal but it is muddy and grumpy, but today it’s gorgeous the blue sky is bright and the sun is shinning, a lot of the trees are turning colour and starting to shed their leaves giving you a lovely dappled effect on the towpath.

Lots of walkers making the most of the lovely weather and everybody seems to be in a good mood, smiles galore and chirpy “good mornings”. You know when you smile the world really does “smile with you”! Probably the fact its a Sunday helps to make people feel “NOT IN WORK YAY !

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Where they meet from Stratford upon Avon to Birmingham

Where the canals meet from Stratford upon Avon

Rain could not stop the great fun of the Lapworth Scarecrow Festival.

Lapworth Scarecrow Festival in its 9th year’

Originally this festival originated in the 1990’s in the Midlands and it has rapidly spread and is celebrated by many villages in the area. Its held as a great fun day while at the same time raising funds for local charities.

Great fun to be had at the local village of Lapworth last Saturday and Sunday.

It’s always a weekend the village works towards in order to raise money for local charities. Yet again the organisers had done a great job and we were there in droves even though the rain did decide to try and dampen things, but we’re made of more resilient stuff.The scarecrows had been made and they were on show to be judged. There were 70 exhibits dotted all over the place some strapped to lamp posts others staked to the ground then others propped against garden walls etc

Spongebob Squarepants, Harry Potter, Paddington Bear, Homer Simpson and even Father Xmas and his sleigh were on display.

We did have some rain, can’t do much about that but everyone was in good spirits and got in to the generous spirit of things.

The village hall was crammed with all kinds of different craft stalls, home-made cakes, card crafting, sewing items, knitting items amongst many. Even had some exotic animals and creepy crawlies. The children loved them. Can’t say much for myself. Then there was the real ale queue that went on for ever!! So all dads happy there ha-ha!

There was also going to be a fly past by the RAF in a Hurricane Spitfire that had to be cancelled,  and yes due to high winds. Irony or what?

 

Packwood House….Stately Home….Volunteering is Essential to Help Sustain Our Bygone Era

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One of my passions is visiting  Stately Homes, I have walked miles over the years visiting these wonderful old places, dragging along one very tired husband and  shall we say one  slightly bored daughter and another daughter who as the years went by  gained an absolute consummate  interest in the subject  matter. I always said she should have done a history degree not journalism!!

Going on holidays my aim was always to scope out the nearest place of historical interest, whether we would be holidaying home or abroad.  Probably drove everybody nuts ,but they all humoured me, bless them. I bet deep down they thoroughly enjoyed it, well you never know!.

The years have rolled by but the interest has never dwindled, my second daughter still has the same enthusiasm as when she was young. So I still have an alley who at the drop of a hat who will trawl around  with me. Then I had an epiphany, why not find out to see if they require volunteers at one of these  wonderful  old houses close by. So now my mission is set and expecting it to be a bit difficult to find out any information and get an interview, “little did I know” not the case at all these beautiful old chunks of history are crying out for volunteers.

I was accepted as a volunteer. I felt so privileged it was like somebody giving me a gold bar, it really was. I felt like I was on hallowed ground. Slight overstatement but I felt great.

I turned up for the first time ( Jubilee Celebration  Monday) at Packwood House deep in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside “I was now officially working, well volunteering at least at  a beautifully interesting old house. Now I had so much to learn was a bit nervous hoping that I wasn’t going to be overwhelmed and dropped in at the deep end, well I survived.

Packwood House is a beautiful old manor  type house deep in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, it is actually owned by the National Trust which does everything within its power to provide the public with a strong sense of interest, belonging and provoke a distinct curiosity and love for a bygone age.

This is my 2nd year volunteering, the fortunate part is, this year they will be open most of the year instead of it being purely seasonal. So great things ahead I think.

As a volunteer you can be called on to help in many areas but you do establish what is suitable for you and what you can and be

prepared to do. Generally flexibility is the name of the game.

Worth Another Visit…Weather Fantastic Why Not?

Yes its Stratford again and so worth a visit well I actually went shopping a necessity in most people’s lives but it has to be done. Did the evil deed (I really do dislike shopping) and sneaked an hour by the River, tempted to stay longer and you can understand why. Alas home I had to go

Boat Race on the River Avon at Stratford

Boat Race on the River Avon at Stratford

Buy food from the Riverside......smells delicious

Buy food from the Riverside……smells delicious

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon

Fabulous day spent at Stratford-upon-Avon amid the glorious (unusual) sunshine.  I think next to Buckingham Palace and the likes all the London Royal sites William Shakespeare’s must be the second most popular attraction in the country. I don’t know that for a fact so its definitely not quoteable but last Saturday Stratford was heaving with people, you could hardly move

As I made my way from the parking towards the town which was a  different route Not having been to Stratford-upon-Avon for sooo many years I was wondering how much of it I’d forgotten /  remembered suddenly the River Avon was in front of me and the whole cavalcade of memories started at Sheep St and slight meloncholy set in for a little while. That  passed and the  anticipation of seeing all the old places we used to visit was a strange feeling but a bit like finding an old pair of  favourite shoes in the back of the wardrobe reluctant to throw them away but you put them away safely ’cause even though you’d forgotten about them you still dont want to get rid of them. So you don’t …ever!

Memories and thoughts stay forever, thank goodness I’d say.

The one thing Id forgotten was the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) of course Stratford is the birthplace of the the Bard (Shakespeare) so this is why the theatre is there. It is a modern building now but the original building dates back centuries

RSC from Clopton Bridge Looking Straight on to the Avon

RSC from Clopton Bridge Looking Straight on to the Avon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Shakespeare Company