Tag Archives: Dorset

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?

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?!”

 

 

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.

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Silent Sunday

Sculpture by the Lakes

Wordless Wednesday

(turn volume up)

Silent Sunday

view from Eggardon Hill, Dorset

Click to see Full Screen.

Silent Sunday: Paintings in the sky

cloud painting in the sky

cloud bird

dorset hills

Click on the photo to view full screen – breathe in that summer sky.

Windy Wednesday Evening Walk

Silent Sunday

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Swan Sunday

Abbotsbury Swannery

We had a magical family day out yesterday at Abbotsbury Swannery.

my cygnets

Feeding time for swans is at 12 noon and 4pm

feeding swans

Children are able to go and feed them too.

swans

There were masses of breeding pairs to see

breeding swans

and cygnets – awwww!

swan eggs and cygnets

cygnets

baby swans

swannery

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

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St. Catherine’s Chapel

The Fleet

Worbarrow Bay Blanket

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.

Yesterday was the day and we went on a fabulous walk at Tyneham before getting to the beachtyneham

there was a bit of resistance to climbing that hill but after seeing this sign

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chatting about exploding cows got us to the top

towards Flowers Barrow

walking through coconut scented gorse bushes towards Flowers Barrow and looking inland at Lulworth CastleLulworth Castle

and then the most glorious view of the steep descent to the beachwindy cliff

walk

oh my aching knees! but Oh! it was so worth it.

cliff

The blanket had found exactly the right place to be photographed

Worbarrow Bay, Dorset, UK, crochet blanket

and because it went so beautifully with the colours there, it has been re-named the Worbarrow Bay Blanket.

Master R and Little Miss M were happy to help me with the photo shoot.crochet blanket

and came up with some novel ideas of their own …

crochet blanket, Cosy Stripe

blanket angels

crochet blanket, Attic24 design

“we are a rock”

beach, crochet

“it would look good on this rock over here Granny”cliffs and blanket, crochet

beach crochet

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and then back to hunting for sea glass

blanket

our haul after about an hour and a half

sea glass

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.

Edit

In case you would like to visit Tyneham and Worbarrow – here are the Opening times for this year.

Tyneham Open Days

Click on any photo to see it full screen.

 

63.5 miles so far

Kingston, DorsetOn Sunday, Little Miss M and I added 2.7 miles to our target of 500 miles.

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!

We parked near Kingston and walked through the woods towards the seaKingston, Dorset

Little Miss M often likes to run ahead, and found a hill that she and her siblings wanted to roll down – but it was a bit steep for that! So on we wentDorset coast

pushing on against the wind

to be rewarded with gorgeous views towards the Isle of PortlandThe English Channel from the Purbecks

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

eating gorse flowers

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.

towards Houns Tout

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.

dry stone walls

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.

coastal views No lying on hilltops on Sunday though – we turned back

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?

in the valley below

If you would like to know more about the history of Encombe House, click on this link.

walkWe headed for the pub and a hot chocolate

wild garlic gathering

but not before gathering some wild garlic so that my daughter could try a new Salsa Verde recipe.

wild garlic

In the woods Little Miss M also wanted to gather some moss and ivy and as many different leaves as she could find to take to school.moss

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:

https://www.relive.cc/view/rt10004021559

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.

Corfe Castle from Kingston

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

telescope

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.

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Silent Sunday

Isle od Portland from Kingston, Purbeck, Dorset, UK

Forde Abbey Windows

Hellooo!!stone mullioned windows

Here we are on the first Tuesday of the Month , our Monthly Meet-up Photo Challenge, with another collection of WINDOW photographs. To join in please leave a link to your photos in the comments. Your photos can be any interpretation of the subject, and can be your latest photos or archive photos and posts – all welcome.

Forde Abbey on the Somerset/Dorset border in the south of England is the perfect place if you are looking for a collection of windows to photograph. Join them on Instagram to see some wonderful photos of the gardens.

The photos above are the windows to the Orangery, we couldn’t go in in February, but peeped through the windows to see the citrus trees inside

orangery

I hope we will be able to wander through this space later in the year when the house is open for viewing.

in February

Til then we had the outside views to enjoy.

Forde Abbey

But we could go into the Chapel where, behind the Rood Screen, there was a delicate tree flowering in the window – is that a Mimosa?

mimosa

but this Window at the other end of the Chapel stole the show

chapel windows

especially with that blue sky beaming through.

I’m looking forward to seeing the windows you have spied this month.

A Bunch of Sweet Peas

sweet pea CalWhat a happy bunch we were!

The picture is missing Jenny, who joined us later.

crochet groupSladers Yard (in West Bay, Dorset, UK) were very accommodating and welcoming. We had a board of yummy cakes garnished with strawberries and cherries – I wish I had taken a photo! And they had set aside two tables at the back of the room for us.

There were nine adult crocheters altogether and a delightful junior knitter.

There is something so deeply comforting about being with a group of women coming together and making things together – it is timeless – a connection with our ancestors reaching back over the centuries.

It is great to share ideas and talk about our current a future projects, equipment and how we store our stash.

And don’t you just LOVE Helen’s craft bag!

craft bag

I admit to a bit of Craft Bag envy!

blankets on the beach

We felt we had to get at least some pictures on the beach, to show us firmly placed in West Bay, especially to send to Lucy, the designer of the blanket that had brought us all together. Lucy comes from these parts and often returns here for holidays and family visits.

Some of our group had other places they had to be for lunch, so there were fond farewells and talks of meeting again, before a few of us went to the beach where as you can see – it was a bit windy.selfie!

I’m hopeless at selfies!

Just right for paraglidersWest Bay

westbay

And then there were 3, we had a wander around the harbour

West Bay, Dorset, UK

Time for a few more photos

crochet friends

I love this one of Kay and Sandra

And then back to Sladers Yard for a lunch.

A huge thank you to everyone who came and made our Gathering such an enjoyable one – and thank you to all those who have said they would like to come to another one – yes there will be another meeting, not sure when yet.

Any one of the group might arrange a meeting in their area and I will do my best to get there. I will be arranging one in early Summer and will give plenty of notice here on my blog and on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks also to Stylecraft Yarns for sending such amazing goody bags – everyone was thrilled! stylecraft goody bagWe all have plans for our Batik Elements Yarn. The colours on the website do not do it justice, they are much lighter and lovelier! The youngest member of our group used hers as a friendship bracelet for her cuddly toy – just the right fit!

And I have some goody bags left for anyone new who comes to the next meeting.

Thank you to Sladers Yard for their wonderful hospitality, and to some of the other customers who came to chat about crochet.

One guy told me that he had learnt to knit when he was 8 and loved it but his Grandad had ridiculed him for ‘being a girl’ and he’d stopped. I told him about all the many examples of men knititng and crocheting online and he said he might take it up again in his impending retirement. He said we should exhibit our work in a gallery as it was so good! Now there’s a thought …….. !

Of course the biggest thank you has to go to Lucy for creating such a friendly and fabulous crochet community with her heart-warming blog posts and wonderfully colourful designs. This is the fourth Lucy Crochet Along I have done and each one has brought a wonderful sense of community but there seems to be something about these colours that have inspired many of us to gathering in groups all over the world, to share the Sweet Pea journey.

Sweet Pea baby jacket and hat

A picture of the Sweet Pea set in the snow.

Pattern for the jacket is in this post.