Category Archives: walks

Beach Walks

On my retreat I got up each morning eager to see the sunrise,

hoping to catch that moment when the sun just peeps above the clouds.

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

 fishing

but I was looking for rusty bits and seaglass

On the whole the weather was good

with the low sun adding beauty the the hedgerows.

Looking back from the path, if you zoom in, you can see my caravan perched above the beach.

So back to my cosy nest for some more crochet

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.

Then out for another walk to catch the sun setting

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?

From my nest on the cliff

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.

paddle boarders

This year, I was able to walk from my nest, along the Rodwell Trail, that follows the old railway line, from Weymouth to Portland. From there I could tramp up along the top of Chesil Beach

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

The Pheonix

But oh the shed!

Look at those doors – all that texture, the colours! the corrugated rust!

ART!

So, dear readers, I am sure YOU don’t need to ask me, “but what do you DO?!”

 

 

Rainbows!

Yesterday magic.

Just after walking under blackening skies

and being drenched with icy rain and pelted with hailstones

the sun came out

and created magic.

The first photo was taken by my lovely walking friend – and that’s J in the last photo. Such happy memories of a multitude of walks over the years – and this one was right up there in the top 10!

As is this one back in July 2019

❤ Have you found some magic this week? ❤

Sammy the Seal, Weymouth

A friend has been staying near the beach in Weymouth this week and we have been been meeting for walks and al fresco lunches.

A favourite place on mine is the The Lookout where it can be a bit breezy but the view is worth it, out to sea and looking over Lodmoor.

Before retirement, I used to work in Weymouth and often,  if I had an appointment with a colleague, rather than meet in a stuffy office somewhere, I would suggest The Lookout. Very few people are there during the week outside school holiday times, so confidential meetings could be had whilst looking out to sea.

Seeing Lodmoor from here made me realise that having lived here all my life, I had never walked around the Nature Reserve, so yesterday I put that right

There seems to be only one path that just goes straight across and you don’t really get to see much for the reeds, although I do get fascinated by the lines and patterns they make

and the reflections in the water

They turn up in my doodles

The path leads to a crossing over the road, then up the steps, over the wall and onto the beach

where every day a digger pulls back the pebbles from the sea. The following photo was taken in October.

Then, back along the beach to have fish and chips at Cafe Oasis.

and later as the sun was beginning to set, a siting of Sammy the Seal.

He has become a local celebrity this year. He appears on Facebook pages, on the News and in the papers. Friends have seen him and even been swimming with him but up until yesterday I had not seen him.

He was not lying in the most photogenic position, and one can’t get too close as there are Marshalls standing near to protect him and people and their dogs.

If you Google ‘Sammy the Seal Weymouth’ you can see loads of You tube clips and all the links to his appearance in the newspapers. In this clip, you also get to see the huge dormant cruise ships that have also been a Lockdown feature of 2020

I chatted to the Marshall and she told me that Sammy has been checked by the Marine Biologists who say he is 2 years old and comes from the colony that lives on Portland (the island you see in the background). He goes back to visit but seems to prefer contact with humans, coming up onto the beach in the early morning and at dusk. Apparently he won’t mate until he is 4 or 5 years old, so I wonder if he will be on or near the beach for the next couple of years.

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Sunrise on Sunday

Silent Sunday Stroll

Beach

Imagine my delight when I went for a walk at Overcombe beach yesterday morning and saw PINK seaweed!

It was such a beautiful morning and there were quite a few people swimming

with the backdrop of huge cruise ships sitting in the bay. There have been up to 10 at a time out there as they sit out the pandemic in the shelter of Weymouth Bay

They are quite a sight – some are enormous!

But I was far more interested in the seaweed and just looking at the pebbles 

and other finds

meet Rocky (found on different day)

and this is when Rocky met Bob, who lives at my daughter’s house

and this is me (on the left) and my sister on Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire, circa1962.

Who had one of those bathing suits? And why on earth did we have to wear those horrid hats in the sea!

Silent Sunday in Thorncombe Woods

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Silent Sunday: Castle Cove

view of Portland, Dorset

3 mile walk: Hambledon Hill

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.

The Cricketers a

and set off up on the footpath up towards Hambeldon Hill

footpath

under dramatic skies.

dorset

Hill Fort

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

patterns

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.

 

Hambledon Hill

dil on a hill

Dil on a Hill

Then back down the hill to the Pub garden

IMG_0662for lunchmenu

yorkshire pudding

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 puddingchocolate cheesecake

Toblerone Cheesecake!!!!

But Dil and I insisted on trying a spoonful – mmmmm – delicious!

Toblerone Cheesecake

 

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Silent Sunday

Dorset

Click for full screen.

Silent Sunday Sand Spiral

Ringstead beach

Made by Miss E.

Seaside Saturday

to see a Blue Sky in detail

Many years ago, when I was going through a really tough time, I sought the help of a Life Coach. One of the quotes he gave me was “To see a blue sky in detail”

The meaning I took from this was: when times are tough, notice something gentle, clear and beautiful and really concentrate on seeing and experiencing it in every single subtle detail.

I am mercifully coming out the other side of a rocky time, life is calming, things are settling. Thank you so much to everyone who sent encouragement and good wishes. It really did help, more than you could know.

walk by the sea

Yesterday, just after it had been pouring with rain, I nipped down for a walk on the beach – the first time in 3 months. Oh! What joy, what bliss. The sounds, the smells, the colours , the air – ALL seemed so vibrant, so new, so wonderful.

I wanted you all to be there with me, so I imagined us all together, savouring every second!

Is there something bringing you special moments of joy right now?

Have a happy weekend.

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Silent Sunday

IMG_9506

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Symbolic Silent Sunday

light at the end of the deep dark wood

Little Altars at Home

window sill

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know how much I loathe housework, but these are strange times! Today found me actually wanting to give the bathroom a thorough going over!

As I was putting things back on the windowsill, I realised that every item has a special memory or significance to me.

Left to right:

There is an Umbrella plant, that I grew from a root cutting given to me by a dear friend who I see only rarely nowadays. She is currently staying somewhere in deepest India, unable to return home due to the transport system in that country being under lockdown. The glass bowl it sits in, has been with me since I got married in 1972, nothing special, not beautiful, but it has become an old familiar friend.

In a little pot next to it are some honeysuckle cuttings, waiting to see if they grow roots, so that I can give some little plants to my daughter as requested.

The fish shaped little dish holds a bumble bee that sadly died in my bathroom, I know Little Miss M (7) would love to see it, so I am keeping it for when she is able to come into my house again.

The clay dolphin was made by Miss E when she was about 8. I took her to some wonderful sculpture and stone-carving worshops when she was being homeschooled.

I bought the brass incense burner with the Ohm symbol when I was travelling in 1994 and visiting Buddhist communities all round the world – such powerful memories. It reminds me of chanting in the echoing valleys of the Himalaya Mountains.

The scallop shell was given to me by my neighbour, who is a diver, and brings me yummy scallops in the summer. The shells it holds all come from the beaches of my beloved Pembrokeshire, collected on my month in a treehouse by the sea.

Sea glass, collected on my local beaches, in times gone by.

A collection of tiny white pebbles – there is something so beautiful about them.

The twisted piece of wire with beads: this was a spiral Christmas decoration I had been making with my grandchildren

christmas trees, wire and beads

One of them sat in the bathroom, and after the twins came to stay – I found this one had been just too tempting to resist – I rather like the resulting tiny wire sculpture.

The jam jar has more honeysuckle cuttings,

and the shell on the right was given to me by my Mum when I was a teenager.

A whole lot of family, friends and memories on that tiny windowsill.

Do you have similar little collections about the house?

Wednesday Walk

diagonal lines

This photo is being entered in Cee’s Photo Challenge: Diagonal Lines

I took it on a walk this afternoon. I went for a walk ‘with’ Cathy.

We walk together even though we are miles apart.

Past the field to the woods

bluebell woods

where the blubells are just coming into flower

bluebell

Cathy and I enjoy nudging each other to get out there, enjoying this beautiful Spring.

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Wordless Wednesday

jurassic coast

Field Art

maize stubble

I set out across the field thinking that a field after maize is a bleak sight, devoid of creative opportunities. …

….and then I started noticing details in the hedgerow

pussy willow

Pussy willow, so magical in the sunshine. This photo was taken with my phone, isn’t it remarkable how technology has moved on in such a short time.

Looking up against the sky, lifted my spirits

pussy willow against a blue sky

My mind translated this picture into stitch: running stitch, fly stitch, couching and French Knots.

With stitching in mind the patterns of trees against the sky and the maize stubble became more intriguingwinter sky

mark making

the mark-making danced in front of me turning into pattern and linerandom

This mix of random shapes, which hold a sort of rhythm is what I am aiming for in my pieces of textile art – I haven’t quite got there yet but now I’m inspired by these images to have another go.maize stubble abstracted

Joining in with is great theme: https://thesandychronicles.blog/2020/03/06/friendly-friday-challenge-art-unexpected/

I’m sure you too have found inspiration in unexpected places……

Walking by Water

Weymouth Beach

I am trying to fit more exercise in amongst all the crafting – anyone else in the same boat? I needed some motivation to prise me away from the allure of the needles, threads and yarns.

So I started a Facebook Group inviting Facebook friends, wherever they are in the world to join me. If one of us is going for a walk, we post it on Facebook and ask if anyone can join us on that day. It doesn’t have to be at the same time, just the same day. Afterwards we post our photos in our FB group to share our walks.IMG_8358

And it is working! I would never have gone out in the bitter wind and pelting rain if I hadn’t said I would join a friend in Australia and a friend in Yorkshire. Head down into the driving wind, I was imagining walking alongside my friend in Oz under blue skies, and my friend in Yorkshire, skipping through a sprinkling of snow.

Wishing Well

Then I went to pick up a friend and we went to Upwey Wishing WellIMG_8368

and had a wander round the delightful watery gardensIMG_8369 before the reward of a delicious Cream TeaIMG_8373

Mmmmmmmm!

Have you been out and about this week?