Monday, 16 August 2010

The deck

Ian has been assembling the new deck over the last few days. It's gone up remarkably rapidly, but is now at the most awkward stage - requiring gymnastics to get to the garden (I promise we'll lay some boards over the top before you arrive Dad!).

William, being a lot more agile than us is enjoying the construction phase immensely

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Things are all coming together

and for once I'm not talking about the house. Yesterday we popped out for a couple of hours and managed to arrange both a venue for our wedding ceremony and another for the reception. This morning we booked the registrar so family please keep Saturday 16th July 2011 free (and probably the days before and after because it's a long way down to Devon!)

We shall be getting married at Woodbury Park, a hotel and golf club in east Devon. Woodbury Park is owned by former formula one driver Nigel Mansell and is also home to the world of racing (please note you have to book in advance to go to the world of racing). We'll be getting married in the Oaks room in the clubhouse - an upstairs room with a beautiful view of the Devon countryside.
The clubhouse (photo courtesy of

After the photographs we'll head over to Otterton Mill - a working water mill on the river Otter. We'll have the place to ourselves including the mill building itself, the terrace and a little garden by the leat. It's only a 30 second walk to the riverside footpath for those wanting to go for a wander down the river at any time during the evening.

We'll obviously send out invitations with more information nearer the time, but please get in touch if you want to book any rooms at the hotel (they also do lodges for 4-8 people) because you can get a discounted rate as part of the wedding party.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Ruggadon Middlepark

We went for a wander around a Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve today: Ruggadon Middlepark (not an easy name to remember - I keep calling it middlewood). We hadn't been there before and had read on the DWT website that it had "an outstanding number of butterflies". It didn't disappoint. Today we saw:

small whites (might have been green-veined)
large whites
meadow browns
speckled woods
common blues
large skipper
small copper
fritillaries (species unknown - see below for blurred photo taken in dark woodland!)

as well as a few different species of moth. Unfortunately we didn't spot any of the 4 species of hairstreak (I've only photographed the green in the past) or the other 3 species of skipper, but it was by no means a disappointing day.

Common blue:

6-spot burnet moth:

Small copper:

large skipper:

Unknown fritillary:

Every time you put your foot down several grasshoppers and crickets jumped up. This was our favourite - a long-winged conehead. I took about 30 photographs of her on the opposite side of a grass - she kept turning round and round as I tried to get a good view of her. Eventually she jumped and looked straight at me: