Category Archives: walks

Short stay in Cumbria

After visiting Cathy’s garden, the next day I drove another two and a half hours to visit a friend from school days who lives in Cumbria.

The weather had turned cloudy. On the first afternoon we walked at Leighton Moss and the next day walked along a nearby canal.

The decommissioned canal is now a haven for wildlife and a fun feature to have at the end of the garden.

Not quite sure of the purpose of this stone construction, which was at the top of the bank going up to the canal.

but obviously I enjoyed finding this little collection outside a farm gate

and I have a soft spot for old, rural post boxes (I wonder how long they will be in operation for)

and roadside plant stands

Then we walked along an estuary and up through the woods to get a view of the hills and mountains of the Lake District, which were just peeping through the November skies

A happy time reconnecting with an old friend and seeing a very different landscape.

Next day I was off to Harrogate to the Knitting and Stitching Show!

I am very excited about telling you all about it – it was FANTASTIC!

Silent Sunday in Cumbria

A couple of weeks ago at Leighton Moss

A few Blissful Days by the Sea.

Spending time by the ocean restores my spirits like nothing else can.

I went to Newquay with two friends – we have holidayed together before many times, so we know it works. This was a special birthday treat for one of us, spent in a very special place.

The video was taken on our balcony and the round room at the end was our sitting room with 360 degree views – it was spectacular.

We walked, we ate delicious meals, we did a mind-scrambling jigsaw together, we danced to 60s and 70s tunes, we read, we watched the surfers and the golfers below, we relaxed, we laughed and breathed in all that ozone.

lunch at Lewinnick

I hope you too can soak up some holiday vibes from the photos – put on a bit of Elvis, the Stones, the Beatles and the Proclaimers and you will be right there with us!

Would you like to live here?

look at the salt water swimming pool

On the walk home: a bench with lichen and rusty bits!

on the beach we found thousands of these magical remains of By-the-Wind-Sailors

a type of jellyfish, but so much more than that

we watched the stormsand drank coffee in the cosy Seaspray Beach Cafe

and every day a rainbow!

it was magic!

Castle Drogo

Last week I met some friends at Castle Drogo, before travelling on to Cornwall with them to stay in Newquay for a few days.

Castle Drogo is one of the most bonkers places I have ever visited. Unfortunately the house was shut but you can see some photos of the interior if you go to the # Castle Drogo Instagram page

It was built between 1911 and 1926 as a family home?!

What were they thinking!

It looked like a prison or a workhouse to us.

Trees mask the glorious views to the moors as you walk around the house.

There are two magnificent arbours. We were not sure what variety of tree they were but my best guess was a type of birch.

My favourite tree was this magnificent maple, what a colour!

with its twisty moss covered trunk.

After lunch in the cafe we drove the hour and a half to Newquay.

This is the view from the apartment we were staying in.

Oh happy days!

Silent Sunday: Newquay, Cornwall.

 

 

 

 

Slow Sunday Haiku

Leaves falling

Showing front and back

Autumn’s here

 

It is a long time since a haiku popped into my head.

This one was inspired by this post by Mrs Gumboots.

Joining Cee’s Challenge FOTD – Autumn Leaves

A Day with the Boys

Good morning

Good afternoon

A walk round the pond.

We wanted to identify this little bird – it was so tiny and hard to spot in the fir trees. Such a loud alarm call for a tiny bird.

Even harder to find with my phone, look at the top of the video and it will come into view

We searched the free App ‘Chirp’, I have on my phone, once we were away from the bird. (we should not play recorded birdsong near birds as it confuses them) The nearest we found was the Willow Warbler and the Chiff Chaff, but ‘Chirp’ did not have their alarm calls

So I looked on You Tube and we found this clip

We think it is a Chiff Chaff, what do you think?

After a glorious gentle summer’s day in the sunshine, a last wander before bed

Good night. 🙂

Walled Garden

This is a delightful find and not too far from where I live.

An old Walled Garden in the process of being restored by volunteers

and raising money for the village church roof fund and charities

The River Bride runs through it

and it nestles quietly in the valley in the village of Little Bredy

There is even a basket of sticks left by a bridge for playing Pooh Sticks.

This little man-made waterfall is in grounds of Bridehead, a short walk from the Walled garden.

A wonderful wander followed by a traditional English Cream Tea, which consists of a pot of tea (in this case some not-so-traditional Lemon and Ginger tea) and a scone on which to spread jam and clotted cream.

Sunday Saunter

Click on any photo to see it larger

We heard the cuckoo!

 

Image

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.

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.

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.

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, “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.