Saturday, 5 March 2016


Today we drove to Middleburg, a small town between Leesburg and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It was established in the mid eighteenth century and is said to be like England - mainly because of the farms and rolling fields for horse and pony grazing which surround it, polo fields and the fact that it has a tradition of fox hunting.

There are many historic buildings in the Main Street.  Some are traditional inns but many which were built as houses are now business premises.

One of the first shops that we saw was this thrift store, which we visited, of course!  The goods on sale were indicative of the area - saddles, riding boots and horse ornaments and pictures!

There were many tourist shops - it is a popular weekend destination and also surrounded by Virginia vineyards.  This store though was an excellent butchers and deli - one item in particular caught my eye..

This is a plate of maple-bacon glazed doughnuts!!  They looked unbelievably rich, not to say fattening, and at $8 for each doughnut were quite an investment.
(No, we didn't!)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Last Snow of the Winter?

As forecast, it snowed overnight and when David woke up this morning he took this photo at first light.

The snow was quite wet and stuck to the trees making a rather picturesque scene, if a little grey.

As the sun came up, the snow quickly melted away.

In the garden, the few flowers that are out were liberally sprinkled..

Next week we are due to have some temperatures of 22 and 23 C - quite a change!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Morning Visit to the Golf Club

No, I haven't decided to take up golf (although maybe I should!).  

This morning, though, I made an early visit to the Reston National Golf Club to talk about the possibility of running another event there in June.

It was bright and chilly and most of the golfers had yet to appear - everything was ready for them..

Some plans were made for a possible BBQ in the outdoor pavilion in June - when hopefully it will be a little warmer than it was today.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Clearing the Cobwebs..

Today we had arranged for a company to come and sweep the chimney and to clean the ducts which carry heated or cooled air through the house.  The truck, when it turned up, had the appearance of a giant vacuum cleaner with bags on the top which inflated when it was switched on...

...and a huge suction pipe..

The vacuum was soon attached to the furnace (central heating boiler/air conditioning unit) ..

It was quite noisy - and quite chilly with the garage door open to accommodate the pipe.

The vacuum was also used to test and clean the ducts attached to the tumble dryer - which was just as well as there were apparently several birds nests (hopefully last year's) at the outdoor end of the pipe.

Then it was time for the chimney cleaning and the young man climbed right in.. you can just see his feet in the above picture.

So this evening we should have cleaner air all around!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Frying Pan Spring Meeting House

We came across this little church when we walked on a trail through the woods from Frying Pan Farm Park on Sunday.

A Virginia historic marker nearby indicated that it was unusual as, since its origins in the late eighteenth century as a Primitive Baptist Church, it was a racially mixed congregation. 

The graveyard also reflects this lack of segregation.

Behind the meeting house is a spring and stream where members of the congregation were baptized.

The meeting house was used as a place of worship until 1968 when it was handed over to Fairfax County for preservation as a historic building.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Light Brunch

Sunday Brunch is taken very seriously here and it can be quite a big meal - often the menus will feature chicken and waffles or filet mignon with eggs.

All good, but we are trying to eat a little more healthily at present and so, when we ate out yesterday, I chose a starter of 'Iced Crudités with Tsaziki'.

The plate of crushed ice decorated with colourful vegetables looked great - although there were three different coloured cauliflowers - which added up to quite a lot of raw cauliflower!

I would have probably felt more virtuous if they hadn't brought us tiny Rocky Road squares at the end of the meal (which of course, we ate...)

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Frying Pan Farm Park

I came across this farm and park in the first few weeks of driving when I got lost on my way to pick David up!   Driving past this rural oasis in the midst of large busy roads was quite a surprise, but today was our first visit there.

The park has a working farm, run along the lines of a 1930's-50's American farm.  The introductory exhibit had many interesting original photos including this board which set out the role of the 'farm wife' (any comments, Maggie?).  The duties of the farm children at various ages were also listed..

Once on the farm there were many animals to see..they were enjoying the patches of warm sunshine..

In the barn, David spotted this little sleeping beauty..

Come a little closer...

We hope to re-visit the farm with Lauren, James and Theo at Easter.