I may have written about this before. But we have this beautiful victorian palm house near us. It is a favourite visit and has such a lovely history. I think one of the reasons that it has such a lovely feeling is that there is a lot of love gone into this building. It is a grade 2 listed building and was built back in 1896. After being bombed in the war and then re-built a little, it fell into disrepair and by the 1980’s was closed to the public as it was deemed unsafe.
In June 1992, a public meeting was held highlighting the dereliction and calling for restoration. A petition was presented to the City Council by what had become the “Save the Palm House” campaign. A public fund raising campaign was established, with a “sponsor a pane” programme generating over £35,000. This led directly to the conversion of Save the Palm House into a registered charity (Friends of Sefton Park Palm House). The Palm House was partially repaired and reopened in 1993. It was fully restored at a cost of £3.5 million with Heritage Lottery and European funding and reopened in September 2001.
It is now simply stunning and is often used for events and weddings. It is so pretty and one of my favourite places. One of the things about the people of this city is that they love their city and they will get behind something that is important to them.
The palm house is evidence of that, that is for sure…
I have photographed it SO many different times. One of the first professional jobs i had was in the palm house, in the evening and with not much light. yeah was a baptism of fire. I climbed the little staircase that takes you up to the top of the palm house to try and get an overhead shot. There is a little gallery at the top of the dome. But the ladder started to wobble and got the best of me!! It was an evening ill not forget.
This is one of my shots from that night:
Ha! looking at those images now makes me realise how much i have changed as a photographer. I wont forget that fully grown angel statue and his hairy legs though!! 😉
We often just nip out to the park and the palm house at the end of the day and before the kids went back to school and all the christmas decorations came down we did just that and it was all pretty and lit up with fairy lights and a jaunty little christmas tree in the doorway (that was actually tied down- bit windy i guess!) It was getting very dark as we left the park and i only had my little camera with me and i fiddled with the setting so that i could let in a max amount of light to get the blue in the sky. It could really do with a tripod to be honest because the shutter was slow and really it was beyond a hand hold but they kids were already yelling at me to hurry up…they get quite used to mama dragging her feet and taking lots of shots!!
Then we played a little with some ‘fill-in’ high sync flash techniques….the kids always come back on side when they are in the pictures!! (btw for the photographers out there, this image below is just taken with a entry level DSLR and the little on camera flash that it has!!)
A couple of weeks ago a couple of the members of apartyofseven suffered a pretty mean stomach bug, myself included. One of those that knocks you sideways and looses days and hours to the bathroom and the faithful bucket. Yuk.
About 72 hours after i had stopped being ill i decided that it was time to try and have a little run, up till this point my legs were still pretty wobbly. So one saturday morning i decided to wander off to a local ‘runners’ park after the ballet run drop off.
I sort of shuffled around the park, feeling wobbly at places but it was a slow and steady run and it gave me time to have a look at the park at the changing leaves. The park has a LOT of trees so the impact was pretty impressive. I even noticed a HUGE conker tree and thought there and then that I would suggest coming back later with the kids to do some conker picking. Which we did, although i did forget where the tree actually was and dragged everyone all the way round the park saying excitedly to them…’oh wait till we find this tree, wait till you see it!’
To be fair when we got there they did try and get enthused about it but i think to be honest they were all thinking i had kind of lost it. 😉 But we did get a very impressive conker haul!
The park has a famous victorian palm house and a fairy glen that i have walked past thousands of times but never read the info on it, isn’t it funny how sometimes you have no idea about the stuff that is under your nose. My son and i read the story about the fairy glen and the bridge and the iron bridge. Gave me a little bit of shiver down my spine to be honest! My son though, every the pragmatist told me that it was ridiculous and couldn’t possibly be true because Ghosts down exist!!
Walking back to the car we noticed the biggest mushroom i think i have ever seen. It had some amazing colours and was standing proudly by the side of the path. I have no idea what makes a mushroom grow somewhere, do they have spores that are blown by the wind? are they planted? I haven’t a clue. 😉
I do know though, that lots of them are very dangerous so i wouldn’t let the kids touch this one, so we looked at it a while. I took some pictures and we wondered about what type it was. Annoyingly it has a bit of grass on the top which was really spoiling it but im such a chicken that i wouldn’t even touch it to remove that for the shot! ha!!
I was flicking through some images this evening and i came across this one which i took on one summery afternoon before the school run in the garden and i realised how different the afternoons are around here, not just because of the weather although that is a massive contributing factor. But i moan far too much about the weather so i wont go on…
But because not having my second youngest around in the afternoon is a little strange and taking me and the little one a bit of time to find a new way of doing the lunch, pre-school time and also how to do the ‘lets not fall asleep on the way to school in the buggy and be a nightmare going to bed in the evening’ thing 😉
and i realised that i miss her a bit. That sounds really bad, like im surprised that i do, which isnt the case at all.
But i am not a mum who laments when my kids move onto new adventures. Yes there is an element of sadness when you put the baby cot away for the last time, or you realise that the ‘baby aisle’ in the supermarket really holds nothing for you anymore save maybe the trusty packet of wipes. There is most assuredly a time for fond memories and that whistfull and slightly rose coloured jaunt down the memory lane of new babies and pre-school years when your consciousness fools you and plays a heart-stirring soundtrack over your parenting past and tells you that it was ‘all so wonderful back then’ 😉
But I embrace the future, new adventures, new challenges, new lessons to learn and so im always cheering them on as they head off into new things.
With this little girl, she was so totally ready for school that she didnt need the cheerleader waving madly behind her telling her she was going to be great.
She just got on. did it. Embraced it.
thats my girl 🙂
Okay so its not really memphis..and being honest with you i wouldnt know what that is like because i have never been and i just really love the song…..
this hill near where we live around this time of year backs onto loads and loads of crop fields and we like to go walking over there and it always reminds me of that line in the song ‘walking with my feet ten feet of the Beale’ which until recently i thought was ‘off a field’ ( you can see my connection here) but apparently it is a road and not a field… HAH! So my comparison falls down in so many ways but in my imagination it works!
The hill is one of the high points around here and so you can get a decent view of the landscape, which it is, to be fair, slightly blotted by a motorway and lots of plyons but it is a peaceful place and i love the sound of the wind moving through the crops. It isnt that far away so its not really a day trip but we took a lunch and sat for a while. Well some of us did! 😉
Generally the kids eat and run when we are picnicking. I have never had a child that hasn’t come complete with ants in their pants and they seem to be unable to sit still for very long. Fortunately there was a large rock to play on and some little sisters to give piggy back races to. Im amazed there were no injuries and it actually had the added benefit of my toddler asking someone else for a carry!
The rock here on this hill also gave me an idea for an image i want to get with a friend’s older daughter who is currently doing ‘en pointe’ ballet. I have been searching for a possible location and i think i may have found it. I was getting one of my girls to pretend to be a ballerina to see if it would work and she went for a classic ‘first’ position! 🙂
We walked back through the wheat fields. Once they stopped moaning about having to walk..(is it only my kids that do that?) They really got into looking and noticing the different flowers and how the wheat is planted in lines and how much ‘crop’ a farmer might get out of these many fields..oh and how much actual wheat it takes to make one loaf of bread. Something to google i think as OH and i had no idea whatsoever!
A nice little afternoon. All in all