Monday, 27 December 2010

The best Christmas present!

I love Christmas but this Christmas was a little different, although I wasn't working one of my son's the celebrations had to wait until the evening when he got home. In the morning we went to Church and on the way home saw some people staring up into a tree and taking pictures. We turned the car round and got out....a flock of Waxwings! They are quite beautiful and were stripping the Rowan tree of it's berries before moving on to the next tree.
Since then we have had a few sightings of them, a real treat as I have never seen one before.
That was the best gift I had that day, even though I had some lovely presents.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010 advice please

If there is anyone out there who is a bit of a dog expert I would welcome some advice. Wrecks was a rescue dog and we have had him since he was 3 (we think, it's very uncertain about his exact age) now he is about 10/11. he has alot of fears and is afraid of alot, washing machines, fireworks, buses, anyone outside the family touching his head, lorries....I could go on! He feels safe at home and just lately is refusing to go out on a walk at all, he is not tempted by food and treats. It's such a shame, I'm even wondering whether he is getting a bit senile as he is ageing. Has anyone got any ideas how to manage this. We love him to bits but has had a difficult past. He has become my shadow recently and follows me from room to room, sitting right next to me....he's here now just next to me. I would really like to be able to walk with him again.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Autumn has come and gone and I'm back!

Autumn has come.....and nearly gone and I have been very remiss about the blog. So a short look back to what has been going on. The beautiful colours of the trees at Stourhead enjoyed on November 1st, a perfect autumnal day.
A visit to Pensthorpe in Norfolk where the wonderful Springwatch was filmed, and where we saw these Crane. What a tick!
A visit to Wimpole Farm, where the cows were behaving badly...."don't stand in your food!"

and "don't put your food on your head!"

Getting the logs in ready for winter
Preparing and eating the prettiest vegetable in the world, the Romanesco. It came in the vegetable box, and I love it!

Making a cream tea for my husbands birthday, yum!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Whilst walking Wrecks the dog the other day we were enjoyed wandering around on the Purbeck...when all of a sudden a tank fired in the distance. The army tank training area is in Dorset, and Wrecks does not appreciate this at all. In fact he sat down and faced the way back to the car! His body language says "I'm not going anywhere!" So we headed home for tea!
Spotted this moth on the window the other day, I don't know what it is but just in awe of the amazing colouring and how well it would be camouflaged on a tree.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Wareham walking and sad slow worms

Over the weekend we walked 5 miles around Wareham. Along the river Frome right down to Swinepoint where you can see Poole harbour. It was a hotter day than we had thought so it was a bit much for Wrecks the dog, we stopped to let him cool off in the river and he came out covered in mud! He still smells now!
I found this pot in the garden, unfortunatley a slow worm has gone through one of the holes and tried to get out through another hole and sadly died in the process.

I won't leave pots around on the ground any more.
More cheerfully I took this evening shot whilst walking from Hammoon, near Sturminster Newton to Shillingstone and back on Saturday.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A great holiday and a sad story in Derbyshire

If you think of England, you may think of London and all it's great buildings, but there is another side...the "green and pleasant land" as we all used to sing at school! The picture of the landscape of Derbyshire for me depicts this, the green fields, the stone walls dividing them and the lush vegetation.We stayed in a village called Sheldon which is a couple of miles outside Bakewell, and this is the lovely little barn conversion we stayed in with it's own little garden.It was spotlessly clean and every comfort included. These cows were driven up the village twice a day for milking and nice to see even if we did have to wait a bit to get out in the mornings!
Bakewell is a lovely little town with interesting small shops and seems largely untouched by the supermarket giants that ruin our towns now. Down by the river these folk were dancing to old 40's music and passers by were joining in, it was a great atmosphere.There is a village called Eyam near Bakewell which has a beautiful window in the Church depicting the plague that killed so many of the villagers in 1665-6, in total over 14 months, 260 villagers died. If you want to see the window better please click on the picture.
The bottom left of the window shows the local tailor, George Vicars opening a parcel of cloth that had been sent from London, unfortunately it also contained fleas and as he dried it out the fleas became active. George died a few days later of the plague.
The Vicar of the parish, William Mompesson decided that as people were dying all around, their services should be held out in the open to minimise the risk of infection. It was decided that everyone should stay in the village to contain the outbreak, and food was left outside the village for them to pick up with no human contact. There was a young couple, Emmott Sydall from Eyam and her sweetheart Rowland Torre from a neighbouring village who would meet at a river and shout across to each other but sadly Emmott and eight of her family died of the plague and this is in the bottom right of the window.
The Vicar's wife, Catherine Mompesson nursed many of the victims herself and lost her own life in the process, aged 28 leaving a young family. Every year on the Sunday nearest her death a service is held and a wreath laid on her grave to this day.
A sad story but it happened in so many places back them, it's well worth a visit and the village is very pretty anyway.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

From Dorset to Wales to Derbyshire.

I've been a bit quiet on the blog front as we have been on holiday for two weeks, the first week in North Wales and the second in Derbyshire. Amazing weather for both weeks and we've come home feeling refreshed.
Our cottage for the first week was quite old and a little basic if I'm honest!
Okay, I'm kidding...this was the cottage we stayed in, it was 200 years old and had still got alot of original features in it. The half stable door, a built in box bed with wooden steps up to it which was very old,

and an old hand made kitchen with a slate workspace. It was a nice place and a nice position right up in the hills, but not as clean as it could have been and a not great bathroom. Rather strangely they had added a sauna to the cottage but the shower was rubbish so it was a bit useless really! I don't think they had saunas 400 years ago! However while D watched England get beaten and thrown out of the World Cup I reclined in the sauna with a good book!
We walked up the lane on the first evening and saw masses of bird life, 5 Cuckoo's together...I have never seen that before. Wheatears, Redstarts, Red Kite, Buzzards, Pied Wagtails, Grey Wagtails, Mistle Thrush and lots more.
Foxgloves everywhere, wonderful against the stone walls. and then the relaxing started....lots of walking, reading, sewing, sunbathing, drawing and no painting...I just didn't get around to it.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Watching the filming of Springwatch and Wrecks has a nasty shock.

On Tuesday evening my daughter and I and Wrecks the dog went down to Kimmeridge to watch Simon King filming Springwatch and be a bit nosey. It turned out to be quite a traumatic experience! In the first picture you can see Simon King out in the water being filmed.
This is all the paraphernalia in the car park with Clavell tower in the background.

Looking down on the filming, Simon King on the far left. Unfortunatly my batteries ran out on the camera but my daughter has some much closer pictures taken very close to them on the beach.
We decided to take Wrecks for a walk while the filming was going on and walked on the lane behind the coastguard cottages when suddenly out of one of the gardens came a German Shepherd dog at high speed and just latched onto poor Wrecks neck! Amy and I tried to get the dog off but he was too strong for us so we just had to shout "HELP" and thankfully people came running out of the cottages. It took two people to prise the dogs jaws off Wrecks and seemed to take ages. The lady owner was obvoiusly very shocked as it was entirely unprovoked and Wrecks was on a lead and walking sedately between my daughter and I. Thankfully Wrecks is OK although his collar has a bite mark right through it and his neck is bruised, he can't shake his head properly at the moment. I think we may have given the sound men on the filming a bit of a problem with all the noise! It was very frightening and I admit the following day I was nervous of walking him.
Up on the top a lone camera.

Lastly the garden is looking good, it's such a lovely time of year.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

This is a VERY scary hedge!

This first picture is not at all scary, it's a view of Dorset from Okeford Hill where we walked in the very hot heat on Sunday afternoon. The wild flowers are so pretty at this time of year and the lanes peaceful and full of butterfly's.
Whenever I think of moving out of Dorset I only need to walk up here to change my mind again.Right, here's the scary bit! We saw alot of bits of hedge festooned in cobwebs like this, there would be a few yards of clear hedge then lots of patches like this.I am not a spider lover so made a mental note not to live in this village! Does anyone know anything about it and why there is so much in one spot? Some bits were bigger and more densely covered.

This little insect obligingly sat next to me allowing me to play with the macro! I don't know what it is, I must look him up.
Just to add, my son has started writing a blog about his trips around Britian on his new touring bike, so far he has been to Devon and Somerset, have a peep on the side bar (Cycling expeditions)

Friday, 4 June 2010

These early summer evenings are just perfect for strolling and enjoying the insect filled, scented dusk. Walking with wrecks the dog last night was pretty near perfect!
Bank holiday Monday saw us back at Corfe Castle, partly to get my birthday present and partly so we could see this train running through from the main line (which is, I am told quite rare!)Here it is going across Corfe Common where I reclined and read a book while we waited.
I like this little bit of garden outside a cottage in the village and would like to sit in the chair.
When I walked through the park on my way to work I saw this Cormorant at about 7am in the misty light before the sun had burned through. He's there nearly every day.
The birthday gift I went to get at the Boilerhouse gallery in Corfe Castle was a hand carved wood kingfisher made by a chap called Bruno Channon. I had arranged that I would go and look this weekend but unfortunately for me they had all sold, and he had put three there on Friday! I spoke to him and he is going to make 2 more and I can choose which one I would like....and I get to choose the wood I like, which is better really. Sort of bespoke! I have chosen Oak and Yew, I was born on Oak Apple day and I love Oak trees, and Yew is just such an old and beautiful coloured wood.
I did however get these two bird feeders that you see hanging from the Oak tree in our garden, they were outside a cottage and only £2.50! The notice said "Put money through letterbox", this was a bit tricky as he had nailed up the letterbox in his door! Anyway we forced it through and the neighbour said he would tell him it was there!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Is it just me, or are there more dandelion seeds flying around this year? Walking last night the sides of the path are carpeted with thick layers of them. This spiders web was prettily festooned with them too.
One of my son's had a touring bike for his 18th birthday about 6 weeks ago and he's really enjoying it too. Last week he cycled down to Devon (about 60 miles each way) and slept in a bluebell wood!
Yesterday he cycled up to Burnham-on-Sea as he wanted to see Wales across the water. That's about 160 mile round trip! He really enjoyed the Somerset Levels and this time slept in a old overgrown footpath but the dawn chorus woke him at some unearthly hour so he set off early and has arrived home again.
He's going to save up for some panniers to go on the front of the bike to even out the rear panniers. I can hardly even lift the bike, and it's a steel frame too!
Lovely walk along by White Mill at Sturminster Marshall the other night, the Mayfly hatch is well underway now. Saw and heard a Cuckoo ( second time this year). Several Kingfisher sightings and a Reed Bunting too. The fields are full of Buttercups and Cow parsley, it's all heaven to me.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Tarrant Keyneston

Just a short walk this afternoon across the fields from Tarrant Keyneston Mill to Spetisbury, passing this beautiful mill covered in Wisteria and full of bloom. I have been on night shift so only a short wander today!
You'd have to bend down a bit to get in this door!

The mill always looks stunning but at this time of year it's extra special. Then across the River Stour where ducks and their little ducklings dash about in the water. The horse chestnut tree dipping down into the water.

Keep going and cross the next bit of the river by the mill pond where the swans are nesting at the moment. Then you come to another mill with beautifully tended gardens and the footpath goes right across it which must be a bit annoying if you live there.
Best of all the Cow Parsley is blooming all along the edges of the lanes and roads, orange tip butterflys dancing about around them. There is nothing like a few sprigs of cow parsley in a jug with a few buttercups and a bit of Campion too. I didn't pick any but I imagined it!