Friday, 27 February 2009

The writing on the wall

I know...not Fiddleford again! We walked here for a while last weekend but while I was on my break during night shift last night I picked up a book about Dorset and found out a bit more about the Mill.

Just out of interest this is a photo I took one summer evening last year and the following one is as it is as spring approaches now. You can't even see the manor house in the summer picture! Tree's are just as beautiful in summer or winter!

The small building is the mill and the other one is the manor which dates from 1355. This is just the perfect place to walk on a nice summer afternoon, then stop and have a picnic in this field looking towards the mill and manor house,listening to the bee's humming and watching the insects skimming over the water, it's like another world.

Here's the mill again with catkins blowing in the breeze in the foreground.

These inscriptions are next to the door of the mill and exhort the miller to welcome all comers and be honest in his dealings. On researching I also found that a notorious smuggler in the 18th century used the mill to hide his contraband. His name was Roger Ridout. It apparently kept the workers in nearby Sturminster Newton in liquor, it caused them to "fight in the streets and crazed their brains" , not so different from any town now on a Friday evening then!

The inscription reads as follows;

' He thatt wyll have here any thynge don

Let him corn fryndly he shall be welcom

A frynd to the owner and enemy to no man

Pass all here frely to corn when they can

For the tale of trothe I do always professe

Miller be true disgrace not thy vestfalsehod appere the fault shal be thine

And of sharpe punishment think me not unkind

Therefore to be true it shall the behove(To) please god chefly (that liveth) above'

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

C is for lent!....and for Catflaps

Is this a catflap for a high rise cat? Rather a classy entrance really!
The pancakes have been tossed and eaten and now to decide what to give up for lent.......
I 've's to be food beginning with the letter 'C'.
Crisps, Cream, Cakes, Chocolate, Chips, Chinese takeaways. Exceptions are carrots and cabbage, and chips on 6th March because we've already ordered fish and chips at a do we are going to with friends!
40 days, it seems a long time away!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Unexpected meeting in North Dorset!

Today's walk turned out a little differently than we had anticipated, let me explain. It was such a nice afternoon we decided to drive up to North Dorset and look at Holwell Church as I have been tracing my family tree and find that alot of my ancestors are from farms in the Holwell area. The graveyard was as a country graveyard should be, a little unkempt with carpets of snowdrops dotted around, very old graves jostling next to much newer and shinier stones. We didn't find any family tombs but I think the family may have been too poor to have been able to afford any lasting memorial.

As I looked at this path down to the church I could imagine my relatives walking down these flagstones to the door to be married or to have their babies christened or even to bury a loved one. At the back of the graveyard there was a bridle path that looked as if it had been a drovers path so we thought we would wander down it a bit. We hadn't got far when we heard the sound of dogs and a distant hunting horn.
As we glanced across the field the first huntsman came into sight with a few dogs as you can see in the video below. As you may also notice he was heading our way and we were on a narrow path! You will need your sound on to get the full experience!....the horns and hounds and hooves!

Next thing we knew we were surrounded by the hounds, sniffing all around us, although not touching us. We just stood still as these are not pet dogs but working hounds, three of the huntsman were also on the path on large hunter horses. It was the way of things that they were going to go past us so we stood back in the bushes while the whole hunt passed us, some of the horses brushed us as they rode past, the horns blasting and dogs yelping, horses hot and steaming and riders covered in mud splats! Most of the riders acknowledged us and wished us 'good day' but I think they may have been concerned about who we were!

I am not going to get into a debate about hunting here and I will not comment either way but it is a long time since I last saw the Hunt and I suspect it may be a good while before we see it again.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Gull's..not knowing one from another!

I confess that I don't know my Gulls very well, I wouldn't know if a Glaucous Gull came and pinched my cornish pasty from my hand!
However I did see a pair of Great Black-Backed Gulls at Baiter the other morning, I only know because I had my handy pocket bird guide with me. I'm not sure if they are common or not but I was pleased because I have never identified one before. They were stunning to look at and I'm chuffed to have seen them even if they are as common as muck!

Friday, 13 February 2009

A simple pleasure

I woke the other morning to the usual frosty scene and as I ride a bike decided it may be safer to walk to work than wobble my way down the steep hill, it's called Constitution Hill for a reason! I gave myself 3/4 hour and what a lovely walk it was. These picture were taken in the park before hardly anyone was about, just the occasional dog walker to be seen. The birds were just beginning to show themselves around the duck pond. I saw some Aylesbury ducks but haven't listed them because I'm not sure if they are captive or not! Also saw some white geese with yellow/orange beaks but apart from farmyard geese I don't know what they are.
I really fancied sitting on this bench and watching the scenery and the light change in front of me but as I start work at 07.30. this wasn't possible. My place of work is within 5 minutes walk of this lovely view, I feel very fortunate.
At the end of the day the walk up the hill was not quite so much fun but no pain, no gain! I will try and do this again next time I'm on an early shift and maybe leave home earlier so that i can enjoy a few minutes sitting on the bench!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Sewing my own bit of Spring.

Yesterday down here it rained from morning till night, I know some areas are flooded but thankfully I live at the top of a hill... I did venture out for half an hour to walk Wrecks the dog but in the end we retreated home, both soggy and dejected!
So as it was an indoors day I decided to get creative and made this cushion cover to replace a rather tatty one in the lounge. The central cross stitch embroidery is done on 22 count aida, I found it in a frame in a charity shop ( I think that's a thrift store in the USA) it cost me 25p! It's a bit sad that someone called Anne has spent hours making that cross stitch, had it framed and dedicated it to her Mother according to the back of the picture, and it has ended up as a bit of old junk. Anyway I took it out of the frame and made it into this, and I'm pleased with the result.
This morning the rain has stopped and I had a wander in the garden and to my great pleasure the first frogs have arrived in the pond and the newts too, so spring is really on the way.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Day trip to Wales

After watching the weather forecast with a little more interest than usual we made the trip up to Swansea to see our son who is at Uni there. The snow was deepest over Salisbury Plain, near Longbridge Deverill but on the other side of the Severn Bridge there was much less. Having met our son we headed off up the valleys to find a pub he knew and had a really nice Sunday lunch there, a pub called The Ancient Brition ( which my husband gamely posed with a place mat with "Ancient Brition" written on it)...I didn't put that photo on to spare his blushes!
The mist hanging over the fields was so pretty, I took this as we were moving along in the car so it's a bit blurred but you get the idea. While we were eating it snowed heavily, the pub was filling up with red-shirted Welshman , there to watch their rugby team play Scotland. It would have been fun to stay and enjoy the atmosphere but felt it prudent to go back down to the main road as we needed to return to Dorset last night.
Saw a Kestrel very close at Badbury Rings on Saturday, it showed up well on a snowy backdrop. Lots of Buzzards seen on the journey yesterday.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Silly Snow Shots

As I'm sure there will be alot of amazingly good photos of the snow at the moment I decided to go out and take some silly snow shots. This chilly couple were sitting at the viewpoint looking over the town and out to sea ( another shot in a minute of these two)
. This is vaguely normal, taken at 05.30. having been awoken by Wrecks the dog barking because a fox was outside the back door....sort of "Get off my land" warning.

I hung the Christmas wreath on the tree for the birds, and very pretty it looks too but the birds don't use it. I might use this one on my Christmas cards next year...or maybe the snowy postbox.

Here's the snowpeople again.

The snow had started to thaw here so not as good as it could have been.

It seems you can order snow from Iceland on line now!

The award for the maddest postman goes on the picture and you can see he's wearing shorts!