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We heard the cuckoo!
For the first time since last Summer, I met up with my son and his family for a glorious walk in the sunshine. There are still frosts every morning and a nip in the wind but the weather was just right for walking.
Click on any photo to see it full screen.
We met in Hilton. You can find the walk on the Dorset Life website.
Quite a gentle uphill walk to get to the ridge from where we could see for miles and miles.
She is standing by a trough which I had to photograph for Cathy cos I know how much she likes them.
Ahead was our picnic spot.
The boys were intrigued by the little bits of memorabilia left on a shelf in the shelter, and we wrote in the Visitors book.
After lunch we set off again through woodland
Little Bro collected wild garlic and was fascinated by the wood anemones.
There is something so refereshing about being up high and looking out across the county – deep breaths of clear Spring air certainly recharges the batteries.
Once back in the village we said our farewells and then I went to investigate the church
and found this rusty iron headstone – how pretty
If I were to be buried, my daughter suggests ‘Rust in Peace’ as my epitaph!
To my surprise I could enter the church by the side door
On the drive home I passed the rather spendid Milton Abbey, which is now part of a private boarding school
I am ambivalent about the place of Monarchy in our modern society, but there was something about this pared down ceremony to honour a life, on the whole, well-lived, that I felt I wanted to watch, to mark a point in history.
I hope you are having a happy weekend whatever the weather in your corner of the globe. xx
On my retreat I got up each morning eager to see the sunrise,
After some crochet, and timed according to the tides, I went for a walk to one of the two little beaches nearby.
When the sea was calm, there was a heron
On the whole the weather was good
with the low sun adding beauty the the hedgerows.
This is what two weeks of mosaic crochet looks like – in Stylecraft Special Aran and 5mm hook. The pattern is Santa Cruz by Daisy Knots.
I wonder where I will go for Christmas 2022.
If you could go anywhere in the world for two weeks on your own, where would you go?
7.06 am 25th December 2020, looking out from my static caravan window.
Click on any image to see it full screen.
As some of you will know, every other year I escape Christmas and find a hideaway where I can be on a blissful tinsel-free retreat.
This year, I could not go too far from home, but luckily a friend owns a caravan at Sandsfoot Castle, overlooking Portland Harbour, just 10 miles from where I live and she was kind enough to let me have it to myself.
I have not been away from my house overnight for about a year, so it felt very exciting to pack a suitcase and stuff the car full of craft supplies and head off to the sea.
8.00am 30 December
watching the sun come up each morning was the biggest thrill.
Each day a constantly evolving Rothko painting would gently, gradually, change with the light across the sea and sky
Lots of people seem to find it too odd to comprehend that I enjoy going away on my own to be in some far flung place in isolation – but I LOVE it. My very own silent retreat, away from village life and all the practical ‘to do’ lists of home and garden.
I often get asked “but what do you do?”
Most of what I do fits around Tide Timetables, the weather forecast and the time the sun rises and sets – and that is a wonderfully calm and simple way to live for a couple or more weeks every other year.
In 2008 I went to California for six weeks,
In 2016 I stayed in a treehouse on the Pembrokeshire Coast from the 15th December to 15th January.
This photo was taken at 1pm on Christmas Day. Whilst so many were tucking into a turkey, I was walking for about a mile along the top of a nearly isolated beach in crisp clear air and glorious sunshine – it felt SO good!
I say nearly isolated as there was one family having a windy picnic lunch looking out to sea and in the carpark, looking out over the harbour, where it was a bit more sheltered, there was a couple in red and white Father Christmas hats sitting at a picnic table covered in decorations and having a lobster and champagne lunch. Fabulous! The camaraderie of doing things differently.
There are plenty of old rusty bits and pieces to enjoy along that stretch
I would love to know the story behind this abandoned boat
But oh the shed!
Look at those doors – all that texture, the colours! the corrugated rust!
So, dear readers, I am sure YOU don’t need to ask me, “but what do you DO?!”
Merry Christmas everyone from my seaside hideaway
On Sunday I met my son and his family for a walk and a Pub Lunch, it felt almost normal.
We parked at The Cricketers pub at Shroton, where we had a table booked for 12:30.
and set off up on the footpath up towards Hambeldon Hill
under dramatic skies.
Happily there were a couple of gates, but not really squeaky enough to be very tuneful
and some rusty wires, making line, shape and pattern
Hambledon is one of the 20 Hill Forts in Dorset. I have been to 12, not all of them are on footpaths, but I will see if I can go to a few more, there always such magnificent views from up there.
Then back down the hill to the Pub garden
I am glad I ordered a Child’s portion of Roast Beef – look at the size of that Yorkshire pudding – it was massive – and yummy.
My son was the only one to go for a pudding
But Dil and I insisted on trying a spoonful – mmmmm – delicious!
I took a dear friend to a hospital appointment today – round trip 166 miles. The furthest I have driven, prior to that, since the beginning of March, was 10 miles. It was wonderful to spend time with my friend and to get out and about, seeing the world with fresh eyes.
If you click on the photo you can see it full screen – the spire of the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral is on the left hand side. I was there in 2016 with Miss E.
Now 14 days of keeping as much to myself as possible and being on the alert for symptoms. I’m pretty sure all will be well, but we live in uncertain times.
How beautiful the countryside looked after the recent good dose of rain, and a field of linseed is always a joy to behold
Be safe, be happy, be well.
The Great Wave by Hokusai
The focus is more about the boats heading into the wave.
(this is a photo I took of the picture on my computer screen, then flipped it).
For years I looked at The Wave and hardly noticed the boats and the people in them.
Now I see the picture differently
I wonder how this affects our cultural differences in many and various subtle ways.
I am really looking forward to sharing 12 glorious months of Textile Tuesdays.
Textiles of all sorts are my first love in the land of Creativity, so I’m starting off with a bumper crop of archive makes that I have just excavated from my many and various boxes in the loft – it is like a museum of my life up there.
Sheila and her family have bought a fabulous Georgian house on Exmoor which they will be renovating ready for Bed and Breakfast guests. My goodness what a task, but I am SO looking forward to watching the transformation of the rooms as I know they will be fabulous.
About 25 – 30 years ago I had a crush on needlepoint – I had seen someone making a cushion cover and had to have a go – so I bought a kit
As you can see I liked more subtle colours in those days – it was all terracotta and soft greens – very grown up!
but I didn’t love this one and could not find the patterns I wanted to make so I started designing my own. Following a visit to a Doll’s House Fair I started designing and making doll’s house carpets – a perfect craft for travelling. They are all to the 1:12 scale. 1 inch = 1 foot. They were wonderful little projects to pack in a backpack
I made this one on a canal boat in Shropshire
and this one has crossed the Equator twice – travelling right round the world with me in 1994. I designed it as I was travelling, adding in motifs I came across.
The bright colours soon burst forth I became fascinated by how the same colours and the same design could create such different patterns.
A computer programme helped me design these ‘Andy Warhol’ daffodils. I made them as cushion covers but then wondered if they would be better frames as pictures and my indecision consigned them to a box in the loft.
Some need a bit of cleaning. But – what to do with them – having unearthed them from their box, I realise they should not stay there, something needs to be done with them.
These could be cushion covers
I think some could be framed, even in their unfinished state – but what do you think – are they art one would want hanging on the wall?
Food for thought.
That is a long post from me! Some months I will most probably post just one Textile Photo – do you have any textiles to share – one piece or many – current or archive. You are welcome to dig deep into your blog archive and revisit old posts – anything goes so long as the photos are your own.
I’m really excited to see your very own Textile Tuesday.
Just leave a link in the Comments.
Time to share the windows we have found to photograph …
This month I have been noticing Shop Windows – this one in my little rural local town
Who would buy those lurid meringues? Would you?
And yum-yum ….. A Splat Cake! ??????
In contrast how about the window of The Grand, Piccadilly, London.
(click on the photos to see them full screen)
Laduree, which apparently invented the recipe for Macarons.
In contrast again the shops in Bethnal Green Road are a little more earthy
like The Green Factory,
then turn a corner into Brick Lane and all manner of amazing street art assaults the senses
This is the side window of a leather goods shop.
I look forward to seeing what windows you have found in your part of the world – archive or current, all welcome. Just leave a link in the Comments.
I have really enjoyed having one subject to focus on this year, it has made me look at the world from a slightly different perspective, I do hope you have enjoyed it as well.
So, what about next year …. thank you to everyone who has offered suggestions, all wonderful ideas, …… one of my great loves is Textiles and this has gone up a gear since being part of the Stitchbook Collective.
Next year Wild Daffodil’s photographic monthly sharing of photos will turn into
Still on the first Tuesday of each month, it will be wonderful to see what Textiles you find to photograph.
Whether the textiles are in your own home, something you are working on, or have seen when you are out and about, I’m really quite excited to see what turns up on
Textile Tuesdays 2020
You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.
You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece.
I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.
To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.
I drove the 3 hours to Horsham last Saturday.
Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post.
There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!
On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, which was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.
And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.
I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.
So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!
Here we are again, this time on top of 120, Fenchurch Street – wow that sun was bright!
That is ‘The Gherkin’ in the background.
To get up to the roof garden at 120, you just turn up and queue. As people come out, more are let in – we only had a couple of people in front of us and didn’t have to wait at all. You go through an airport-style security scanner before getting into the lift.
This garden is open to the sky with native planting and it is much quieter and calmer than in the tropical lushness of the other garden.
I loved the play of light and shadows on the floor, walls and plants.
There are no restaurants there, but it is a perfect place to take a packed lunch as most of these people seemed to have done.
They were perched on the edge of the rather awkward looking water feature, more comfortable seating would be a bonus.
From this terrace you can see ‘The Walkie-Talkie’ building and look at where we had been just a few minutes ago – in the garden on top of that building.
and as we walked back to the tube station we spotted some more, this one with a very long title that makes very little sense to me, and is something to do with lava and volcanoes
which could be very witty …….hmmm. Perhaps I need to find out a bit more about them to appreciate them more.
Edit: I looked for more images and information about this piece. I wanted to see the piece up closer and from the inside. I found this which says the Footbridge was closed so that the piece was not vandalised. Grrr! So eventually it will be removed. I seem to have a whole load of thoughts and emotions swirling around about that. It would have been good to have had a video to experience this replica of a displaced home. I get the reference to migrants and displacement and the fact that the ‘home’ looks as if it has been just dropped uncomfortably out of context, I just wish it’s message could have been presented in a more accessible way.
Searching for all of the 21 sculptures and getting up close to them could be a nice focus for another visit to London.
I will end with a photo my son took just before we left The City.
and went back to his house to spend a delightful weekend with him and his three girls, whilst their Mum was on a girly birthday celebration holiday.
Gardeners’ World is one of my must-watch programmes on TV and a few episodes back they showed a Roof Garden in Fenchurch Street, London. I told my son about it (the marathon running son), as he lives and works in London. He knew the building but had never been to the garden, so a couple of weeks ago, we met outside Exit 8 of the Bank Underground Station
and made the short walk to Fenchurch Street.
What a place The Sky Garden at 20, Fenchurch Street is!
It is all undercover, the planting is tropical, and on several levels.
It is free to visit but you have to book a time slot – book well in advance as it has become very popular.
and the Thames
Look! The Tower of London and London Bridge
The obligatory selfie to send to the rest of the family
And then lunch: there is a bar and a couple of places to eat – a very posh restaurant, right at the top and a more casual area of comfy seating where you can get wraps and baguettes
Looking out of this window, my son spotted another Roof Garden – “That’s it!” I squealed.
So he consulted the internet and discovered that this too was free to visit with no booking system – we could just turn up, so after a bit more of a wander, off we went to find 120, Fenchurch Street ………..
It is the first Tuesday of the month, time to share some photographs of WINDOWS, our theme for the whole of 2019.
I have to admit it crept up on me this month, as the last few weeks have been busy with grandchildren on their summer holidays – I’m one very happy but very tired Granny!
So I have been dreaming of holidays – and thinking of windows seen on holidays in the past – this one with shutters in a little beach shop on Nevis in the Caribbean in May 2017
Love those colours together.
In contrast, this one seen on a walk to Pickering from Whistle Stop Cottage last November
and a bizarre shop window in Tokyo from November 2015
Do you have any window photos to share this month.
All are welcome whether they are current or archive posts – sometimes it is fun to revisit blog posts from a few years ago. To join in you can put a link in the comments of this post anytime until the next month begins on the first Tuesday in October.
Welcome to our Photographic Monthly Meet Up when we share photos of windows old and new on the first Tuesday each month. Leave a link to a recent or archive post in the comments.
The first is from the ruined remains of the Abbey at Cerne Abbas. You can read more about the history of the building here.
Another old lattice window, from inside a National Trust property, but I can’t remember which one.
For complete contrast I’m remembering my holiday in Nevis, the Caribbean in April 2017
I’m excited to see what windows you have found this month.
Do you remember last year when my nephew and his friends were on the Mongo Rally and wrote a song for me?
Well Aaran who put it all together has a new song just out: Amber Skies
I think it is beautiful.
And if you want to see and hear the song written for me – I’m known as Dondi by my nieces and nephews – here it is again – earworm alert!
Looking through the wibbly-wobbly glass of the magnificent greenhouse at Greenway House back in March.
The greenhouse sits in a peaceful walled garden looking onto the croquet lawn
Another view catching shadows on the inside
and in contrast,
the windows from inside the old stables at the lost village of Tyneham
seen on a recent visit with Master R and Little Miss M.
I sat and crocheted at the picnic table outside while the children played a wonderful game of make-believe in the stables and barns
Have you spotted any windows of interest?
We meet here on the first Tuesday of every month to share photos of windows we have found.
Whether ancient or modern, each window tells a story.
Leave a link in the comments, any time this month, to a new or archive post – all welcome.
So here is the thing, yesterday, 21 January 2015, my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer. This is the new journey it takes us on.
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