high days & holidays


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I am enjoying these days leading up to Easter, as a chocoholic bunny lover it is my very favourite time of year!

I’ve been doing a bit of Easter decorating and my garden is putting on it’s Easter show.

Some nice weather would be good though, March is definitely going out like a lion!

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Thank you to everyone who joined in with my 6 year blogiversary giveaway to win Dora.

So many lovely messages, thank you!

After allocating everyone who wanted to join in with a number I employed the random number generator and the winner chosen was ………………..

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………………….Anne!!! :)

Well done Anne! Dora will be with you very soon!

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Thanks as always for visiting and for all your lovely comments.

I hope you all have a great week and a lovely start to April.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

Eat lots of chocolate, it’s the law at Easter! ;)

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My garden is gradually coming to life again and that makes me very happy.

There are lots of little crocuses, daffodils, pansies, violas, wallflower and primula in bloom now and my tulips and bluebells are pushing their way through.

Trees and shrubs are in bud….all is good! :)

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Crocuses are such pretty little flowers,especially when you look at them close up and as is the case with all flowers, inspiring too!

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Meet Crocus enjoying some sunshine in my garden, her little dress is covered in blue and yellow crocuses.

By the way I looked up the plural of crocus just to be sure and apparently it can be either crocuses or croci, although crocuses seems quite clumsy, croci seems a bit strange, so I went with the former.

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Today is actually the third anniversary of my first little rabbit, Lavender Rose (Happy Birthday Lavender Rose) and Crocus is bunny number 176.

I can’t quite believe it myself and I could never have imagined back then what that first little rabbit would lead to but I have had a lot of fun creating all those little individual characters and I still have so many more to make, so I’m not stopping anytime soon!!

Thank you so much to all of you who have given one of my bunnies a home, some of you more than one and that pleases me no end knowing that you like them so much that you come back for more!

Mothers Day pressies Collage

It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK today and I would like to wish all you mothers and those who fulfil the roll of a mother a very Happy Mother’s Day, I hope you all have been completely spoiled!

I’ve been a very lucky girl with lots of lovely gifts from my HB, son, daughter and son-in-law, I thought I’d share a couple with you.

My children bought me the gorgeous sheep cushion, on one side it has a lovely woolly sheep and on the reverse, balls of wool and knitting needles, I love it.

I was also thrilled to receive a lovely DollyBird Art print from my husband, I have admired Eimear’s work for a while now and have been a follower of her on Facebook and Instagram. Do take a look at her work, she is very talented.

Thanks as always for popping by, happy Sunday and Happy Mother’s Day!! :)

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Happy Winter Solstice!

It’s no secret how much I love and look forward to this day, probably from about the end of September, truth be told! I feel the worst is over, now I know we may have lots of poor weather to come but it’s all about the light, the light is coming back and that feels so good. Tomorrow even though we won’t even notice it will have slightly more daylight than today and that is a wonderful thought.

I had a walk around the garden this week and even in depths of December there is colour out there but more importantly there is so much hope in the form of bulbs and buds, just bring it on!!!

Christmas 14 Collage

However I’m not so caught up in pre-spring that I’m overlooking Christmas, it is of course happening here at GRD HQ. My son is home from Berlin this evening and along with my daughter and son-in-law we’ll have a lovely festive week together as a family.

Merry Christmas 2014

I’d like to thank you all for visiting me here this year, it is always lovely to have you stop by and leave your wonderful comments, which are always appreciated.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas with those you love!

See you all in pre-spring! :)

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The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild was without a doubt the highlight of our recent trip to the south of France.

The villa was designed and built between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934) who was a member of the Rothschild banking family, Béatrice was married to the banker Baron Maurice de Ephrussi.

The Baroness filled the mansion with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, and an extensive collection of rare porcelain.

I’ll take you for a little tour of inside the villa first!

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rothchilds ceilings Collage

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The villa is situated on the Cap Ferrat peninsula with outstanding views of the Mediterranean on either side but the most amazing thing about it are the gardens. The grounds are divided up into various gardens each one beautiful.

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Spanish Garden

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Florentine Garden

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Stone Garden

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Japanese Garden

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Exotic Garden

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Rose Garden

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French Garden

My favourite garden was the French Garden, it was beautifully laid out with it’s musical fountains, I could have sat there forever!

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Such a wonderful place, how amazing would it have been to have lived there!!

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One of the places we visited on our recent trip to the south of France was the Renoir Museum.

The musuem is housed in the Renoir family home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, there is a reconstruction of Renoir’s studio where the painter spent the last years of his life and it holds many personal possessions, paintings and sculptures.

The house is a neo-Provençal building designed by the architect Jules Febvre in 1907 and is set in an olive grove and where the painter lived until his death in 1919. In 1960, the house became a municipal museum featuring the family’s furniture and fourteen original paintings and thirty sculptures by Renoir. The grounds contain beautiful old olive trees, orange and lemon trees and a rose garden and there is a wonderful view of the Haut-de-Cagnes, a very pretty French hilltop village.

I’m now just going to let the photos do the talking!

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Paims Musee Renoir Collage

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art Collage

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renoir paintings Collage

These were my two favourite paintings, I loved the apples, the light in the room in which this painting was hanging was amazing and the colours just stood out, I would really love to have this hanging on one of my walls!

The other painting looking out towards the Haut-de-Cagnes is a very beautiful painting too, I love the fact that I actually stood in the exact spot that Renoir stood to paint it. The two old olive trees are still there, they must be very old as the painting was painted 100 years ago and they were quite mature trees then.

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As I’m never going to own either of these masterpieces I treated myself to postcards of them.

It was a wonderful day out, the house was amazing, what a fantastic place to live surrounded by an olive grove with that brilliant Riviera light!

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The European Heritage Open Days were held here this weekend, it’s a time when all over Europe historical and famous buildings throw their doors open to the public.

We always like to pick somewhere we haven’t been before and this year we chose to visit the beautiful Florence Court, near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh.

Florence Court was the 18th century home of the Earls of Enniskillen.

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We started off our visit with a picnic in the grounds in the brilliant sunshine, the weather was very kind to us, big cheer for Indian Summers.

We then took a tour of the house.

Florence Court Collage

Now as is almost always the case with all these magnificent buildings there was no photography allowed inside the house except in the room that the tour started in.

So you’re just going to have to take my word for it that it was indeed magnificent.

There were many treasures from a trunk that belonged to William III to a chair that the Earl sat on in Westminster Abbey at the coronation of Elizabeth II. So many interesting artifacts and beautiful furniture.

I really loved the ‘downstairs’ it was so very Downton Abbey, the kitchen where the food was prepared, the rooms where the servants ate and where they filled hot water jars and oil lamps for ‘upstairs’, all fascinating.

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After the tour of the house we went back out into the sunshine to enjoy the grounds and gardens.

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Now at first sight this tree doesn’t look very significant. It’s an Irish yew tree which is a different species to the English Yew, this particular yew is the mother plant of every other Irish yew tree in existence throughout the world today. It dates back to between 1740 and 1760.

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I’m not sure how much of this plaque you can read but it explains the history of the tree.

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I was so jealous of their pumpkins, considering the fact that mine never got beyond the flower stage!!

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It was a lovely day out, Florence Court is definitely worth a visit.

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We’ve had some lovely days out during my Hb’s time off work!

There have been visits to parks, woods, the seaside, gardens, mountains and canal tow paths.

We’ve played in mazes and with sun dials (I liked the human one best), we’ve looked down on the city from on high and over the sea towards Scotland, we’ve walked through trees, up mountains, beside rivers and canals and the sea. We’ve had lovely meals out, picnics and ice creams, there has been sunshine and showers but most of all we’ve taken time to smell the roses (and other flowers too)!

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sun dial Collage

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black mountain flora Collage

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bangor castle Collage

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bangor castle 2 Collage

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I wish it could be summer all the time!!! :)

Photos taken at ~ Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, Co Antrim : Black Mountain, Belfast, Co Antrim : Newry Canal Tow Path, Co Armagh : Groomsport, Co Down : Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Bangor, Co Down : Clare Glen, Tandragee, Co Armagh

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