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We heard the cuckoo!
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!
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.
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.
What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?
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?!”
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!
(turn volume up)
We had a magical family day out yesterday at Abbotsbury Swannery.
Feeding time for swans is at 12 noon and 4pm
Children are able to go and feed them too.
There were masses of breeding pairs to see
and cygnets – awwww!
There are Go Karts, a Maze, a Quiz, a Playground and a very good restaurant, which all makes for a very good day out.
And – Little Miss M and I added 3.2 miles to our total – 75.2miles completed – target 500 miles
Last year, in April, I was in a quandry about which colours to use in my Coastal Cosy blanket – and you dear readers helped me out – pinks or no pinks that was the question.
I finished the blanket back in the Autumn, but have been waiting for a suitable sunny day to take it to the beach for its Ta Dah! moment.
there was a bit of resistance to climbing that hill but after seeing this sign
chatting about exploding cows got us to the top
walking through coconut scented gorse bushes towards Flowers Barrow and looking inland at Lulworth Castle
oh my aching knees! but Oh! it was so worth it.
The blanket had found exactly the right place to be photographed
and because it went so beautifully with the colours there, it has been re-named the Worbarrow Bay Blanket.
and came up with some novel ideas of their own …
“we are a rock”
“it would look good on this rock over here Granny”
and then back to hunting for sea glass
our haul after about an hour and a half
tiny pieces of treasure.
We walked 3.8 miles bringing the total number of miles walked by Little Miss M and me to 65 of our 500 mile target.
More details of the colour order and the edging of the Worbarrow Bay Blanket to follow in a future post.
In case you would like to visit Tyneham and Worbarrow – here are the Opening times for this year.
Click on any photo to see it full screen.
The weather has been relentlessly wet and windy since I returned from Egypt on the 5th March, so it was a relief that the sun was shining at last. But still so windy!
pushing on against the wind
and a brief stop to taste some gorse flowers, in the summer they taste like coconut – not much taste on this cold and windy March day
but the colour! That yellow just glows in the sunshine.
All the colours looked crisp and clear after the weeks of rain we have had.
Click on any photo to see it full screen.
We were battered by the wind, but did our best to stop and breathe in the colours and the elements and the sheer joy of being in such a beautiful place.
We did not go right to the end, there have been a few scary cliff falls along the coast recently especially further west at West Bay, when this happened on 15 March.
Looking East over the dry stone walls, one could catch the sound of larks singing – extraordinary delicate silver tinkling amidst the bluster of the wind.
Larks say “Summer is a-coming” to me like no other bird does and remind me of hot sunny days lying on Dorset hill tops looking up into the sky trying to see their little bodies on the wing, dark against a clear blue sky.
and this time noticed Encombe House in the valley, much of it is hidden by the trees, but can you see the pavilion looking out onto the lake with a little white boat on it?
If you would like to know more about the history of Encombe House, click on this link.
We headed for the pub and a hot chocolate
but not before gathering some wild garlic so that my daughter could try a new Salsa Verde recipe.
My son ( the running one) had told me about a new App that records walks and runs – so I tried it out for the first time – I haven’t quite mastered adding the photos properly, but it is a fun free App called Relive – here is our walk:
The App seemed to run my battery down very quickly so I had to turn it off before we made it to the pub. My son recorded his 46 mile run around Bristol – (yes! that is not a typo – 46 miles!!!!) a couple of weekends ago, so there must be something wrong with my phone.
We went to the Scott Arms where you can sit in the garden as gaze across at Corfe Castle – what a view!
Do click on this picture and see it bigger – we could see for miles.
Little Miss M was thrilled that she could look through the telescope and ran to tell me that she could see a person in a red jacket walking around at Corfe Castle
There is a footpath, part of the Hardy Way, that goes from Kingston to Corfe Castle and we all decided we would like to walk it on a warm summer’s day.
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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