Category Archives: walks

Sunday Saunter

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We heard the cuckoo!

 

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Silent Sunday

Saturday walk: Hilton and Bulbarrow

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.

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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.

It was the first time I had met their 6 month old Border Terrier, Haggis

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.

A shelter made in memory of Mark Batchelor who died aged 32 in 2007.

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.

Then out across the ridge and down into the valley

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.

Heading back to the village – a boy and his dog ran ahead

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

And enjoy the peaceful interior

Just as I was leaving I noticed this piece of modern stain glass hanging from the ceiling. I do love to see modern art in churches

On the drive home I passed the rather spendid Milton Abbey, which is now part of a private boarding school

I got home just in time to watch the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.

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

In a Vase on Monday – Vintage Plough Share

Eucalyptus clippings and self-seeded wallflowers in a glass vase and a little found shrimp paste pot; an old brick found on the beach, and put in the fire to clean off the black tar; a vintage plough share, washed and waxed with furniture wax, and some rusty old sheep wire formed into a spiral.

I was walking along a farm track with my daughter and her three children a couple of weeks ago and spied a piece of rust embedded in the chalk and rubble of the track. (Not this track but one very similar – this photo was taken on Friday)

Oooh Rust! I cried! and bent down to try to pick it up. I couldn’t get the piece out, so said I would come back another day to retrieve it and bring a tool to work it free. The children were determined to get it out for me, and with some sticks and stones they only took about 5 minutes to free it. I always have my rucksack with me, which was just as well as it was heavy to carry home.

A precious (well to me anyway) piece of farming history. My son-in-law recognised it as a single furrow plough share, from the horsedrawn era and spent a bit of time looking online to see if he could identify it more precisely. It might have come from something like this one.

Just the sort of plough that my Grandfather would have walked behind on his farm in West Dorset.

When I sent this photo to my son-in-law later, he said it looked like an alien snail

So the working title for this little sculpture is ‘Snailien’.

What does it look like to you?     What would you call it?

It’s catching – Little Miss M, 8, has now started her own rust collection!

and this is Miss E (13) having her first welding lesson from her Dad, what a cool Dad he is!

It turns out she was making a flower/plant for me! and when I got home that night she had planted it in my garden!

Oh my! Better than diamonds – this makes me so happy.

This is a great fat rainbow I saw on my walk on Friday – it looked so much closer and bigger in reality. Maybe there is a pot of rust at the end of it! 😉

Joining Cathy who is Rambling in her Garden this morning and giving us a Little Love to help us grow.

❤ 🙂 ❤

The First Bluebell

Yesterday I went on a lovely walk with my daughter’s mother-in-law. There really ought to be a name for our relationship. There was a nip in the wind but the sun shone and created the most glorious colours in the sea.

The sun filtered by the clouds gave us purples and blues

shimmering steely glints

and glorious aqua greens.

We walked from Osmington Mills to Ringstead and came across this cottage that under normal circumstances would be buzzing with people. I took the number, because I might like to stay there one day – just a 5 minute walk to the sea.

Walking up through a sheltered wooded valley, we saw our first bluebell in flower. Crumbs! that’s early!

and then this stange plant which turned out to be a Japanese Butterbur or Sweet Coltsfoot.

Next time we go there for a walk, we hope the cafe near the beach will be open and we will stop for a coffee.

Fingers crossed.

 

Silent Sunday Sunny Saunter

so good to see the sea again

WetWetWet

We have had SO – MUCH – RAIN!!!

 

I have never seen the river as high as this at the ford.

When my son got married, in October 2008, the newlyweds left the church in a horse and trap and drove across the river here. The water would have covered their knees, sitting in the trap, if they had attempted it on Friday when I walked over the bridge in the rain.

And then the sun came out

and the heath was looking all rusty and glorious.

From cave dwellers til now – is it “ART”?!Icy weather to come apparently – I wonder if this will turn into a skating rink.

What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Winter Woodland Walk

It has been so wet for so long and some of the woodlands near me are looking particularly lush and mossy – elves and fairies peeping out from behind every tree and fern.

To give everyone in my daughter’s family a much needed break from the rigours of home learning, I have taken two of my grandchildren out for a ‘keep-your-distance-walk’ a few times.

Little Miss M and Master R love to draw and grasp every opportunity, so when they found some chalk on the ground ….

This is one of the cyber characters that inhabit Master R’s imagination

and then – throwing the chalk at the tree to make marks was a good game too – who could make the highest mark, how far away could they stand and still hit the tree?

(Yes I did knit the bobble hat 🙂 )

And something to melt any Granny’s heart – a card from Little Miss M

She had made one for both of her Grannies. Awww! ❤

You might remember that Little Miss M and I are walking 500 miles together – You can go to this link to see a wonderful walk we did in March 2019.

We did not add many miles to our total last year (I wonder why?!) but we are both determined to do more this year.

Our total to date is 133.5 miles, only 366.5 to go!

Have you been able to go out for any walks this week?

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.

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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

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Silent Sunday Sand Spiral

Ringstead beach

Made by Miss E.