Saturday, 3 December 2011

Going back in time at Bradford on Avon

Dave had a day off this week and we spent it in Bradford on Avon, which turned out to be a very good decision. This Tythe Barn was in use on the farm until 1971 but is now part of a country park. Just next to this are some wonderful craft workshops to browse around. Stained glass makers, carpenters, artists and much more.

Inside the barn, a beautiful space with a cross window with light streaming through. I would like to put up long tables down the middle and have a humdinger of a party there.

We had been told about this unassuming looking coffee house, Mr Salvat's. It was like stepping back to the 17th century, the seats like tall pews, crackling open fire in the grate and the wonderful Mr Salvat in 17th century dress and writing with a quill. We had a very nice lunch there but Mr Salvat does not take cards (well....they hadn't been invented had they!) so we told him prior to lunch that we would go off to the cash till, he wouldn't hear of it and told us he would be open until 5pm and just pop in any time to pay! We tried to give him a tip but he wouldn't accept that either.
The 17th century music, the fire and the decor was just so relaxing, you must visit him if you are in the area.

A quick shot of the dining room. The town feels very old, there are no big chain stores to be seen and some really nice little shops, the ladies seem to use wicker baskets to carry their shopping and I found the most wonderful little sewing shop!

We really didn't spend the whole day eating but after walking around for several hours we did go into these 15th century tearooms, The Bridge Tearooms for a reviving cuppa. The door is very low and even I, who am only 5 ft 2" had to duck....Dave is a foot taller and had to stoop very low!

Tea looked inviting, another roaring open fire and waitresses dressed in Victorian costumes, very pretty in their long dresses and pretty caps and aprons but maybe a couple of centuries too late

If you should be naughty in Bradford on Avon.... this is the old lock up. It's positioned on the bridge so the back of it overhangs the river. Again the door is very tiny!

This old Baptist Chapel, founded in 1689 and rebuilt in 1797, and people are still worshipping there now by the looks of it. How amazing to have so much history. When you looked through the arch there was actually a very big building behind

We have passed through this little town lots of times on our way to see our Welsh family and when our son was at University in Swansea but we had never stopped there, it's well worth it.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Fantastic Mr Fox

It's really not like November at all at the moment, it feel warm and mild and beautiful sunsets to be seen.
We wandered down the lane at Middlebere, stopped to watch a couple of Goldcrests in the hedge, marvelled at the Starlings doing their dancing in the sky......a whole murmuration of them and enjoyed seeing the Fieldfares and Redwings back again.
The cottages all quiet now that the summer visitors have left,including all the swifts, swallows and martins who have long flown away.
The hedges are laden with berries and golden landscapes.
BUT the best part was meeting a man who goes down every day to feed the foxes, he feeds nine at the moment and knows them all by name. They know his car and run up to meet him. As we walked to where he was he told the fox to shoo off because he was worried about our dog chasing them, however Wrecks was on a lead and no danger to the foxes. We chatted to him for a while, said our goodbyes and we wandered off. A few minutes later he passed us in his car, he pulled over and said he had something to show us as we had seemed so interested. In his car he had an album of photos of his fox friends, he knew every one by name. What a nice man, a real countryman with a wonderful Dorset accent and a pleasure to spend time with.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


I used to be involved in my previous Church in setting up the Harvest display every year, it took ages to get it right.....but somehow I think this shop which we saw in Llangollen a few weeks ago has got it right without trying too hard!
Lets just be thankful for the rich variety of food available to us in this country, for the farmers who grow and rear it and pray that food will be available all over the world for everyone.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Tarrant Rushton Airfield

Last Sunday we walked right round the perimeter of the old disused Tarrant Rushton Airfield,'ve guessed it, Tarrant Rushton! The airfield was used in World War II between 1943 and 1947 and gliders left here on the eve of D Day to begin what was to become the Pegusus Bridge mission. Flight Refuelling took it over for 30 years and flew Lancastrians and Lancasters from here.

Now it has become agricultural land again and is home for lots of pigs, cows and sheep as well as the crops being grown. These piglets were running under the fences, which their mother could not do and tearing up and down the tunnels made by big bales of straw that were along the side of the path.

If you fancy a rest as you walk, well someone has thoughtfully left the prettiest view in Dorset from an armchair I think!

Cows grazing and an awful lot of sky. From parts of the airfield we could see Badbury Rings. It's just over 3 miles right round the airfield and a great winter walk I would imagine as the paths are solid, although could be very windy and cold.

There is a memorial to the brave men who flew from here, where we parked the car, and behind it is one of the old aircraft hangers now used to store farm machinery and be a home to alot of birds who were flying through the giant door openings.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

We have recently returned from a short break in Wales and took the chance to visit Chirk Castle. The gardens were stunning in the early autumn sunshine.

Chirk castle is on the border of England and Wales and still lived in by the family although the National Trust run it
The view from the summer house through the autumnal leaves. I will put more pictures of our Welsh break soon but have just watched the Welsh rugby team go out of the world cup and feel too sad to write about it now! Sad to lose after a dodgy ref descision, I wish it had been more clear cut.......I wish they'd won!

Monday, 10 October 2011


Just to recommend my friends blog which she has just started. Dee has terminal breast cancer and in her words is "living with it". I won't say any more as you will understand as you read it.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Oak fair at Stock Gaylard

This is Stock Gaylard house in North Dorset,between Sturminster Newton and Sherborne, and once a year they hold the Oak Fair on the heavily 'oaked' estate.

It seems right to have this picture of a grand old oak tree to start this, it is one of many ancient oaks on the Stock Gaylard estate. For me this was a special place to go, having traced my family back to this area of Dorset, in nearby Holwell, my family were farm labourers on this land. Walking through the gateways and along the tracks I was wondering if my ancestors had walked the same way!

There were heavy horses dragging logs around....and keeping the grass trimmed!

The wonderful "Axe men" demonstating their skills with humour, despite the rain showers which made climbing trees more dangerous than usual.

These canoes were just beautiful to look at.....

and this man was hand carving a seat of a chair and really interesting to watch.

Is this a sort of Dorset bagpipes? This lady was just standing playing quite randomly.
Wrecks the dog was very tired at the end of the day having met so many of his dog friends there and slept all the way home.

We loved this fair as it was a proper country fair, so many of these so called country fairs are just the town going out to the country and full of car showrooms in the open air, etc..

At this one there was no intrusive music, the food area was great with local producers and tables and seats made of straw bales with a wood top and we even had a buffalo burger for an interesting change!....been mulling over ever since what the difference is between a buffalo and a bison is! Maybe I should say a bisalo! Lots of interesting wood crafts to see, a trip round the deer park on a tractor and trailer if you fancied it, falconary. We didn't manage to do everything but it was a great day out!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

This is the wonderful Barford Farm Ice Cream hut near Sturminster Marshall in Dorset. My daughter has to go back to work tomorrow after the long summer holidays, so we went out to a country pub for a snack lunch and then off for a walk and ending up here Barford Farm.

This is the little shed where the ice cream is sold.A dip in the river near Spetisbury for Wrecks.

The ice cream gardens which are large and have lots of hidden places to enjoy your sorbet or ice cream. The ice cream is made from the cows milk on the farm and is LUSH!!!!

One of the little corners to sit in. The local farmers are very busy at the moment getting the harvest in, seem to meet a tractor or combine harvester around every corner!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Why can't I comment!

I don't know why, but I can't seem to leave comments on some blogs now....I don't know why but please don't think I am ignoring you if I usually comment on your blog and have suddenly stopped!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

This weekend has been very busy and quite exciting too! I went to a very special wedding of this delightful older couple, John and Val. I work in a Hospice and these two lovely people both lost their spouses a couple of years ago at our Hospice, we run a "Pop-In" for bereaved folk that they can come to after they have lost someone and that is where John and Val met and fell in love. Yesterday my fellow nurse Jan and I were invited to the wedding and it made everything worth while!

This is not a very clear picture but it has just won a silver in the Dorset Arts and Crafts Exhibition at Bovington....and I also won Gold for my hebridean Landscape picture. I didn't intend to enter anything and have never done so before, however my Mother was entering some of her lace and bullied me into it. I was so surprised to have got awards!

Here they are!

Friday evening spent at the Swanage Carnival, watching the Red Arrows......

Watching my two sons running the annual Wheelbarrow race, the barrow is meant to be a John Deere tractor! They came about 9th out of's hard to tell as it is a very rough race with barrows crashing into each other and carnage generally!

Relaxing at the end with Ed's girlfriend with him in the barrow and Will pushing!

A fun weekend indeed!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Rest in the Outer Hebrides

I have just returned from a wonderful restful two and a half weeks in the Outer Hebrides and the North-west coast of Scotland. I almost don't need to write anything as the pictures say it all. This first picture is the view out of the kitchen window in the cottage we stayed in for the second week as the sun set.

I make no apology for most of the photos being over water but it was so stunning to look at.

This is the main 'A' road through the islands, they do seem to be making some of it two-way traffic now but alot of it is still single track with passing places! We didn't see any traffic lights or roundabouts, although I believe there is a roundabout in Stornoway, also didn't see any Police at all or hear any sirens for the whole time....peace!

Hushinish beach, how perfect is that!

I just love these sheep just looking at the sea!

Driving along....round a corner and this view opens up before you....

This is again the view from the kitchen window, the sea comes almost up to the house, it's in the village of Ardmair just north of Ullapool and the island is the Isle of Martin if you are a map reader.

Been back to work two days and it all seems a long time ago, roll on next year!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Tarrant Rushton and the Garden Fair.

We have just had our 2nd annual Garden Fair! It sounds rather grand, but it is'nt.We sell cakes and crafts in the garden for a little school in Kolkata in India where my daughter went last August. The sun shone, people came and ate cake and drunk tea and bought stuff I have been making over the past few months.

Amazingly we made a staggering £650, I still can't believe we made that much!

Plenty of cakes, the maltesers cakes are always a goodie.Some of my pictures and other stuff were on sale.
Changing tack slightly I went to visit someone I work with in her new home in a village in the Tarrant valley, Tarrant Rushton. It's a beautiful place and not on a through road, so very quiet. We walked up from her cottage to the little church, so pretty and tucked away at one end of the village.

Inside the church are these two pots which are set into the wall high up. They are said to be early amplifiers to help sound travel around the church.After a browse around the church we walked to the other end of the village where there is a river and a ford....but I think you would need a 4wd to get across it. It started to rain then, but not before I saw a flash of a Kingfisher right near to us!