Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Last week we had beautiful weather all week. Sunshine, blue skies, soaring temperatures. We drank tea and had meals outside in the garden, and 13yo and I did a fair bit of gardening too. But as is so often the case, the weather turned for the weekend and I woke up to rain and much lower temperatures on Saturday morning. Quite good weather to spend the morning in a knitting cafe then!

I still managed to get out in the fresh air though. Late Saturday afternoon the weather cleared, leaving some blustery blue skies. So I got out the bike and decided to head towards Woolpit, a pretty village about 10 miles east of where I live.

Pretty thatched cottage with Felsham church in background

I stopped in Rattlesden, another village I've driven through many times, always thought it was pretty but never stopped. The church is on a hill overlooking the village

It's a beautiful church, very richly decorated for such a small village. The only drawback of going for a bike ride at the end of the afternoon/early evening is that most churches are locked up and I can only look around outside, and not really find out anything about its history.

There was obviously a porch here before, but why and when did it go?

Just outside Rattlesden, next to the village sign

is the first Suffolk hill that has defeated me. I had to get off the bike and walk. It was actually so embarassing that every time a car came past, I pretended to be looking at the view down to the valley - how silly is that!

From Rattlesden it wasn't far to Woolpit. This village has a church that you can see for miles around and as I'd recently seen some photos of its interior, I wanted to go and have a look.

This church was still open, but there was a service going on and I never feel comfortable looking around during a service in my cycling clothes. There was plenty to see outside though.

I am still not sure if he is a green man... that elusive green man! Apparently I have photographed green men before, but that was before I realised what they were. Now I know what they are, I can't find them...

On one of the FB photography groups I belong to, I was told about the green children of Woolpit - apparently one day two children appeared in the village, looking like perfectly normal children, apart from their green skin. They spoke no understandable language, but were taken in by Sir Richard de Calne of Wykes in his house north of Woolpit. The boy died young, but the girl grew up and when she'd learnt to speak English, she claimed to have come from some underground fairy world. Lovely legend!

Very wonky chimney on house next to churchyard

From Woolpit I headed back home via Drinkstone, Beyton and Hessett. 

Drinkstone had a neglected mill - right in someone's garden!

And Beyton has one of the few circular church towers in Suffolk - they are pretty much only seen in East Anglia, but mostly in Norfolk. There are only a few in Suffolk.

Poor bike, seemingly slung against the fencing! 

Made it home dry, an hour later it was chucking it down with rain. Another 20 miles done.

Sunday morning was yet again wet and blustery. I'd arranged to meet up with H, my friend from knitting group, for tea, cake and knitting. We had a second breakfast with scones and boterkoek, and decided to take her dog Lupin off for a nice brisk walk to work off those calories. 

The beautiful mansion is Columbine Hall, a house in private hands but open for viewing by invitation and for weddings, concerts and other events.

Stowupland is in gently rolling countryside, and the rapeseed is in full bloom at the moment (no wonder poor 16yo can't stop sneezing).

H. says he's only looking well-behaved because she was trying to get him to look at the camera with a piece of livercake. I know better - he is a very well-behaved dog!

In the afternoon I had my first session as volunteer for Ickworth Church. I knew the church is without heating/electricity, but after a couple of hours inside, boy was I cold! It was much warmer outside, and that was with autumnal temperatures...

I'm sure I'm going to bore this blog silly with photos of this church... I'm enjoying the volunteering, which really is just a sort of meet and greet, telling visitors about the history of the church. Lots to learn and remember still! There is a concert in a fortnight where I'm helping out. It'll be interesting to see the church being used by lots of people.

I'd gone out in the morning knowing I wouldn't be back till late afternoon, and had set both the slow cooker and the bread-maker, so we could eat pretty much as soon as we came in. The house smelt mouth-wateringly nice!

Chicken legs with chorizo sausages and pork belly, with salad and homemade bread. Yum. Dessert was apple custard but although that tasted good too, it looked so revolting that I didn't dare take a photo...

Batteries well and truly recharged for the week ahead!

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