About karenlovestodance

I love to dance and I like to buy clothes in charity shops, though on one occasion I bought a teddy bear called Horace instead!

May Day 2021

As many of you may know I am a part time mascot for Oxford University Morris Dancers. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to join them for a while now. It is May Day today, a very important date in the Morris Calendar so I have done a little jig on my own to celebrate. My version of the Nutting Girl Jig.

Happy May Day everyone.

Here are memories of my Oxford trip 5 years ago when I first got into Morris Dancing. https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2016/05/02/may-day-morris-dancing/))

Horace the Alresford Bear 1/5/2021

Nye’s Brownie Box Camera

Nye has acquired a camera which is like the sort we used when we were young bears. A Brownie Box Camera.

The humans took us to Dyrham Park and Nye brought his camera along too.

Nye thinks that I am quite photogenic so decided to use me as a model. 

His first attempts didn’t come out very well. Here is one….

He did have success after a while though…..

I posed on a bench carved from an old tree…

Here is the result:

We walked on looking for suitable photoshoot locations. Nye started getting more adventurous and photographed me up in a tree…

Here is the result. I think I look better in colour but the Brownie Box camera only takes black and white photographs.

Anyway we had a lovely afternoon and chatted away as we walked around Dyrham parkland.

Before heading for home we got our human to take a photo of us both with the Brownie Box Camera…

I think modern cameras take much better photographs but we vintage bears rather like old things!

Horace the Alresford Bear 12/4/2021

Standing Stones Adventure

The adventure began in Pensford, a village not far from Bristol.

At the start of the walk we passed through Culvery Wood, where the beautiful wood anenomes were in full bloom.

After walking along next to the River Chew then across some fields we arrived at Stanton Drew, and soon spotted the standing stones. I stopped to read the information sign. The stones have been there a very long time, about 4500 years.

Here I am wandering around the stones…

I stopped for a little rest on this one, and wondered about what life must have been like 4500 years ago.

There are three more stones away from the main circles that can be found in the garden behind The Druid’s Arms (a pub).

They are known as ‘The Cove’ and it is thought that they were used for special ceremonies such as weddings.

The Druid’s Arms was closed, I would have liked a cider but enjoyed my orange instead.

After a little rest we set off back towards Pensford through country lanes and footpaths.

I said ‘Hello’ to some donkeys but they were so busy grazing they didn’t notice me.

The llama in the next field spotted me, but I felt a bit vulnerable with no fence between us so I didn’t hang around.

We also had to cross a field full of sheep, they were also busy munching grass.

My little legs were starting to get quite tired, fields are big areas for small bears to walk across.

We finally got back to Pensford as the sun was going down.

The circular walk was about 6 miles in total. Lots of interesting things to see, if you live in the area and enjoy walking I recommend this route.

For more information see http://www.publow-with-pensford-pc.gov.uk/parish-walks/?doing_wp_cron=1617140508.5302309989929199218750 (we did walk 2)

Here is some information about the standing stones:


Horace the Alresford Bear 30/3/2021

Pumpkin hunting at Saltram

It’s the time of year when pumpkins have all finished growing and humans use pumpkins to celebrate Halloween. Saltram have placed pumpkins around the garden for children and bears to find. Here we are in front of the house.

We soon found our first pumpkin.

We helped the gardener for a little while.

Nye spotted a tiny pumpkin with the statue.

We set off down an avenue of trees…

Soon found another pumpkin…

….and another one!

We had to stop for a photo with the beautiful cyclamen.

Here we are with another pumpkin, it is inside the folly behind us.

Through the drain grill we could see a pumpkin underneath the folly.

We found a tunnel underneath….

…and found the pumpkin we could see from above.

Outside again we discovered this one.

Underneath the chestnut tree was a pumpkin that had split in half.

We got a bit distracted from pumpkin hunting. We wondered about asking for a ride on the tractor but the gardener was hiding so we opted for a selfie sat in the shovel.

It was quite a surprise to find a pumpkin underneath a lemon tree.

Nye found this little pumpkin in the orangery where there weren’t any oranges.

Near the house this little pumpkin was watching us.

The last pumpkin was found on the way out. We counted 12 pumpkins altogether; I don’t know whether or not we found them all.

Before leaving for home we enjoyed cups of tea. Pumpkin hunting is thirsty work!

For more information about Saltram see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/saltram

Horace the Alresford Bear 20/10/2020

Tyntesfield with Wilfred & Nye

Wifred is older than me and is quite well stuffed. He doesn’t get out much so today we took him to Tyntesfield. Here we are at the Roundhouse.

We walked on through the woodland trail where quite a few children were playing. Wilfred thought this bivouac would made a good place for bears to hide.

Right next to the children’s play area we found an abundance of fungi…

We managed to sneak underneath a climbing platform…

There are lots of trees suitable for small bears to climb…

It was important to pay attention to our steps as we walked along as there were spiky chestnuts here and there. We stopped to investigate them underneath a sweet chestnut tree.

On our way to the kitchen garden we stopped for a rest on a bench.

Most of the pumpkins had already been harvested….

The cafe was too busy to get cake so we headed back to the main house and roly polyed on the grass. Lots of children were doing roly polys too!

We posed for a photo by the bear sized house.

After exploring the rose garden we had a little rest in one of the bear shelters.

Before leaving to go home we bought some yummy chocolate in the shop and ate it on a bench in the car park.

Wilfred really enjoyed his outing but the humans say he is too well stuffed to take out often; he doesn’t fit in the bear carrier with us!

For more information about Tyntesfield see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield

Horace the Alresford Bear 11/10/2020

Woodchester Park

We started off our adventure at Woodchester following the ‘play trail’.

We had some fun on the stepping stones. I nearly got stuck…

We found a ready made bivouac to sit in for a little while and watch the birds.

Unfortunately the glockenspiel was too large for us to play.

I won the race to the top of the log frame.

After leaving the ‘Play trail’ we followed the pink arrows through a field of friendly sheep.

The café wasn’t open so we brought our own packed lunch.

Sometimes a little nap is necessary after lunch.

After a walk we arrived at one of the lakes. There are five lakes altogether at Woodchester.

Here we are posing for a selfie at the lake that has a boathouse.

The boathouse looked like it could make a great little house for bears.

There was a boat that wasn’t really going anywhere next to the boathouse.

Further on we found some splendid orange fungi.

Our legs got a tad tired going up these steps.

We finally reached Woodchester Mansion. It was meant to become one of the finest gothic revival private homes but it didn’t get finished.

We had a last look at the sheep before we headed home.

Woodchester is well worth a visit for a walk around the grounds. The Mansion is managed by a local trust and was closed when we visited. We think it would be interesting to see inside another time.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woodchester-park

Horace the Alresford Bear 28/9/20

Erddig (including The Wolf’s Den)

Erddig has a very big house but we were there to just explore the gardens.

The clock was telling the wrong time.

We set off together up the path to explore

This is a good tree for photoshoots.

We were quite surprised to find bananas growing in Wales.

The discovery of deckchairs is always a good excuse to warm the fur in late summer sunshine.

On entering the wolf’s den we posed next to the howling wolf.

We tried to walk across the log but kept falling off so had to shuffle across on our tummies.

I had a go at swinging along but I am not a monkey so didn’t get far.

Nye managed to get right to the top of the bear pole.

We startled the humans when we popped up here!

It is best to let sleeping wolves lie.

This little thatched house is just perfect for bears. Unfortunately it was roped off so we couldn’t go inside.

After exploring the Wolf’s Den we were very hungry and were relieved that the cafe was still open and serving. Cream tea yum yum yum….

We hope to return to Erddig oneday when the house is open.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig

Horace the Alresford Bear 19/9/2020

Chirk Castle

The construction of Chirk Castle began in the 13th century so some of it is very old. The castle wasn’t open when we visited but we were happy to explore the grounds.

On arrival we were very hungry so our first port of call was the café. We ate outside in the courtyard which was a tad chilly in the wind.

We took our cups of tea onto the lawn where it was much warmer.

After a little rest to let our lunch go down we played roly poly on the hill.

After many roly polies we set off to explore further.

We found a long seat that had been carved from a 200 year old cedar tree.

The tree was blown over in a storm in 2013. We read all about it on a display next to the seat.

Further on through the beautiful gardens we came to a thatched building where hawks used to live.

At the edge of ‘The Pleasure Ground Wood’ we climbed up onto a fence for a photo.

Unfortunately a gust of wind blew and we both tumbled backwards into long grass the other side.

One of the humans fashioned a bear lifting stick from a fallen tree branch and managed to retrieve us both. Here I am being lifted back over….

We had a look in The Woodman’s Hut but no one was at home.

It was time to move on as we had to get to Erddig next, so we headed back towards the castle.

The castle styled hedge made a great place for a photo shoot!

We would like to visit Chirk again oneday as it would be very interesting to see inside too.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle

Horace the Alresford Bear 18/9/2020

A bit of Italy in Wales; Portmeirion

Had the weather been warmer we could have thought that the humans had brought us to Italy; but we were in North Wales in Portmeirion

Off we went down the path to explore.

We climbed up on a balcony to get a better view of the chap on the other side who was reading something….

We liked this little tower; the humans referred to it as a folly.

As we went down the hill we noticed an enormous chess set. Nye thought the pieces were probably bigger than me.

A closer look was necessary….

The knight was definitely bigger than me.

We posed for a selfie with the King.

After this photo was taken the wind blew us backwards and we tumbled into the lap of a human sitting on a bench the other side. I think she was a tad surprised.

Further down the hill we looked back up at the houses and noticed a man leaning over a balcony. He was very still so we think he was a statue. Can you see him in this photo?

We squeezed through the railings to have a peek at the hotel swimming pool.

On the quayside we found a boat moored.

We thought about sailing it away then discovered that it was built into the wall!

We went through a tunnel to continue along the quayside.

After a short walk we arrived at the lighthouse, but it doesn’t actually work as a lighthouse. The humans said it was another folly.

We climbed up into a very big tree at the start of the Woodland walk.

Our little legs got quite tired climbing up to the old castle.

I had a rest to look at when we reached a pergola. Nye wouldn’t climb up as was bothered that the wind might blow him off the edge!

There wasn’t much left of the old castle….

Back down in the woods we found a large teddy bear sculpture carved from a tree trunk.

We sat for a little while in the dog cemetery. Lots of dogs were buried there. Several were named ‘Roger’.

Tree ferns always make me think of dinosaurs…

To rest our legs after so much exploring we sat on the beach. The tide was coming in though so it was time to find some refreshments.

Warm welsh cakes fresh off the griddle. Yum yum yum.

Many of the buildings in Portmeirion are holiday cottages. It would be an unusual place to have a holiday.

For more information see: https://portmeirion.wales

Horace the Alresford Bear 12/9/20

Powis Castle

It was a wonderful surprise when we arrived at Powis Castle today as we had no idea where the humans were taking us.

There is a wonderful view of the Welsh hills from the terrace.

We sat on the rather strange cannon that was shaped like a dragon.

We were surprised to find palms in the garden. Our human said the microclimate must be quite mild there.

Happiness is making memories. We certainly made good memories at Powis.

We stopped for a while to rest our legs sitting in a peaceful place.

There are lots of terraces in the hillside brimming with flowers.

Selfie time…

I think this is probably the only way we will ever get to pose with a peacock.

There are giant ladybirds all around Powis at the moment for children to find and count their spots.

The box hedges were very tall and quite wibbly wobbly.

Nye spotted a yellow giant ladybird.

There are numerous places at Powis for tired bests to rest their legs and just sit and watch the world go by…

Lots of apple trees too!

We wondered about having a paddle in the fountain but couldn’t as left our wellies at home.

Here we are with two rather splendid Welsh dragons behind us…

On the woodland walkI found a black giant ladybird with red spots. I have never seen a small one like that!

We left the insects in peace in their insect hotel…

There is a rather splendid view of the castle through the trees from the woodland path.

The sign says ‘Happiness is g8n8ng a tree a hug’….

So we hugged a tree. We are happy bears!

A giant foot but no sign of any giants….

We said ‘Hello’ to one of the peacocks that live in the grounds before walking back up to the café.

Welsh Barabryth. Yum yum yum

Do visit Powis Castle if you get the chance. We enjoyed every minute; a wonderful place for bears and humans too.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden