Thursday, 27 December 2012

Hello again!


It has been a busy few weeks for us, but fun. One of our son's passed out as a Royal Marine Commando and we had an amazing day watching the ceremony and being very proud parents. It's a long and very arduous course and their slogan is "99.9% need not apply"

I cannot explain how wonderful it all was and when the Royal Marines Band played to accompany them, it was a spine tingling moment.

I have had Christmas day off this year but back on shift on Boxing day, I worked today and after work we went for a walk along Sweetbriar Drove which is a delightfully named track near us. Cold and very wet underfoot but nice to be outside. The rivers are all full and in some places overflowing, I heard on the news that Dorset is one of the worst areas as the water just cannot drain away now. A school near us was hit by lightning today and burned down this morning, also a farmers barn and a hotel in the next town were also hit. It really has been wild weather.

I have rather ignored this blog lately but maybe will try to put more on now that we have a new camera and I can once again take pictures! Happy New Year!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Stir up Sunday

I heard something on the radio this morning that made me think, it's Stir up Sunday today apparently. Traditionally you would make your Christmas pudding today and all the family would have a go at stirring the pudding. Now, I don't make mine as my Mum always makes it as her contribution to the Christmas meal, and she does make a good one, I remember as a child she put sixpences in it and it was so exciting if you got one, it felt like treasure! I remember the smell of the pud boiling with it's cotton lid tied round with string. We don't do  the coin thing now....health and safety!
On the radio it said that only one in ten children have ever stirred a Christmas pud and never even eaten a home-made one. I think that's a bit sad. My children always stirred the Christmas cake as my Mum has pudding control! I know we are all busy but lets bring a bit of home made back.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Lazing on a sunny afternoon....

It was a lovely August late summer afternoon, what should we do with a spare hour or two? It was decided, off to Sturminster Marshall to the village hall where the ladies provide tea and cakes, at very reasonable prices.
 Then off to the river, we wandered along through the fields until we got to a bend in the river where I decided I should like to sit. Dave wanted to walk his cake off so he went for a 4 mile trek. I stretched my cardi out on the grass...avoiding the numerous cow pats and got my book out. What better than Wildwood by Roger Deakin to read by the gently flowing river.
I kept getting waylaid by things, a Kestrel being mobbed by some smaller birds above me, cloud watching, bees on the Comfrey, a distant combine harvester working up and down a field.
I kept hearing a crackling sound across the river, maybe an otter I thought....No!...it was a herd of Jersey cows on their way back from milking looking over the hedge at me.
I spent an hour and a half alone, no-one around except a couple of guys in a canoe who glided past me and didn't even notice me there!
I recommend this to everyone, if you can spend a little time alone just sitting and cloud watching it makes you feel as if you have not a care in the world....which we all know is not true, but escape to relax, it's worth it!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Barrington Court where even the butterflys are trained!

Visited the wonderful Gertrude Jekyll designed gardens at Barrington Court last week. We didn't go in the house as there was an exhibition of Antony Gormleys' work which we were not really interested in so we stuck to the garden instead.
Looking through the lavender towards the white garden.

The borders were just beautiful, hollyhocks, Poppy's, roses, stocks, lavender, snapdragons.........all my favourite type of flowers.

The grass in the orchard had been cut and was waiting to be collected.

This path smelt amazingly of lavender, roses and sweet peas, I have a rubbish sense of smell but even I could smell it!

On the way back a quick peep at the West Somerset Railway.

Back to Barrington Court where in the white garden we saw lots of butterfly's, but only white ones! All over the gardens there were butterfly's of every colour but in the white garden even they obeyed the white rule and only white ones entered!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee weekend



What a great Diamond Jubilee weekend, everyone has been celebrating as you can see by the flags in peoples gardens.

We had a walk to Tarrant Crawford Church which is up a little lane away from anywhere really. A lovely June evening, verges full of Cow Parsley. The Comfrey is full of flower and the bees all over it.

The river rippling by next to the path. This really is a lovely walk and perfect for a summer evening.

A cake made for three birthdays in the family, and to celebrate the Jubilee.


Then off up to Okeford Fitzpaine hill to see the beacon lit. We could see lots of other beacons from the top of the hill. Three cheers for the Queen were rousing and then an imprompu National Anthem started by the crowd which we all joined in. The field had grass which was at least 2 foot high....you could have lost a small child in it!! A great weekend made even better because I didn't have to go to work at all and could enjoy time with the family.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Dorset sunset.

After a scorching hot day spent cutting hedges, mowing the lawn and weeding the flower borders we went out in the cool of the evening to walk the dog. At times like this I remember how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful county. The lanes are lined by Cow Parsley looking like lace casually draped under the hedges and round the sides of the fields.
Within minutes the sky had turned pink and orange and we watched the sun sink below the line of the Dorset hills. Wonderful. When I see creation so beautiful I know that God made this....it didn't just happen.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Enjoying the summer....at last!

More pictures of the new kitchen! It's lovely to have the space back after all the kitchen fitters have been in, and to fill the cupboards again. The bucket of wild flowers were picked for our Craft day last Saturday, and far too pretty to throw away.

Now that the sun has returned again the garden has blossomed into life, we have had so much rain last month that everything was well watered and it shows!

Wrecks the dog enjoying the weather. He has to be walked morning or evening in this hot spell.....too hot in the day. The Sweet Cicely is looking much like Cow Parsley behind him.

Grannys Bonnets are on show at the moment but the roses are full of buds and in a week or two will be out.

The iris's are flowering in the pond and the froglets are beginning to leave the pond and make for cover in the hedge and walls......it's a good excuse not to mow the lawn. The garden is full of bees and insects especially on the Comfey flowers, and we have 4 adult slowworms and 4 young slowworms under the tin lid. The sparrows are dipping into the pond about a yard away from me as I enjoy lunch in the garden today.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Does anyone know what this about.....Hundreds of snails were in this crack in a tree in the woods at Dewlish in Dorset?
We thought maybe it was an "Eat All You Can" restaurant for Thrushes !
There was a small pile of empty shells at the base of the tree but this lot looked very cosy and I just wondered if anyone knows about this.

It doesn't look especialy blue in this picture and unfortunately I had to take this from the car, but believe me it was very blue, and very early in the season for the Bluebells to be so fully out.
We went up to Bulbarrow hill (off the grockle-beaten track ) That's 'tourists' if you are outside Dorset and then down to Ansty and Dewlish, where my Father-in-Law grew up.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Met this little fella whilst walking out near St Aldhelms chapel this afternoon. It's a rural fox, although in this picture it looks a bit industrial. It was sitting by a water tank which is just above a stone quarry which is still in operation. I think it may be used to the man that works there, I believe it may only be one man working there.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Dandelions,

Armed with a trowel I patrolled the garden looking for weeds to remove, I came to these dandelions and stopped.....I watched a bee foraging in the golden yellow flowers for several minutes and come out covered in pollen and nectar. I walked away and left them and hung up the trowel, let the bees enjoy....and me too, the lovely yellow sunshine blooms.I found this image whilst trawling the web and it made me think about what I should leave and what I should keep in the garden. in fact I think I will go round the garden today and see what wild flowers are growing there, and decide whether they are weed or flower!
I wonder what ice treat this pony will choose when he gets to the head of the queue! Near Moyles Court School on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday Dad and son doing a bit of map reading. We went up high on the Purbeck so that we could find places to look for on the OS map and then off for a walk. we LOVE maps and have about 150 of them! We do NOT have a Sat nav......and never will!

Monday, 26 March 2012

What a great weekend it's been. On Saturday I walked around Durleston Country park and down into Swanage, it was perfect weather. I watched a line of Guillimots bobbing around in the sea and got a good view of a Great Spotted Woodpecker as I walked through the woods down into Swanage.
Yesterday we walked one of our favourite little strolls at Turners Puddle and met these two horses and their drivers splashing through the ford.

They trotted off down the lane, it was a nice sound with the horses going through the water and no car noise to be heard at all.

Geocaching was a bit of fun when my daughter finally found an elusive one that she has been trying to find for a year!
Celandine and primroses are all over the place
To end the day, a hazy sunset over Spetisbury as we walked from Tarrant Keyneston Mill over the meadows.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Skinnydipping at Hilliers, Romsey !

Yesterday despite the slightly iffy weather we went with friends to Hilliers gardens at Romsey for the day. Lots of different daffodils around.....and not chewed off by snails like mine are at home!
It's a bit cold for skinnydipping in March but this young lady was very brazen about it! (Shame on you if you only read this post because you thought there would be real skinnydipping pictures!!!!)
This pretty house is within the grounds and being used as a wedding venue yesterday.
I loved this dragonfly sculpture and hoped the sun would come out and shine through the glass on the wings, but sadly it didn't.
It was a lovely day but I would like to see it again in summer when the garden is in full flower.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Weekend leave

My son who is in the Royal Marines has weekend leave so it was lovely to go for a walk today up by Creech Grange Arch on Purbeck. These ladies just watched us as we walked by.

The boys couldn't resist climbing the arch and admiring the view from the top.

Along the ridge the views just get better.

We had been to his base at Lympstone to a family day and watched a demonstration of drill, and some parents were dragged out to have a go!

We also watched the PT sessions, which made you tired just to watch, they went up and down the ropes at a fair crack. Visited the assault course and had lunch with our son. A nice day but also a very 'Alpha male' day!









Sunday, 12 February 2012

Wintery Dorset in which Wrecks goes skating!

Baffled dog! Wrecks really couldn't understand the ice and kept trying to drink it, as he would a puddle! We haven't had much snow, just a light dusting one morning.



Walks when you don't meet anyone else, they are all tucked up in the warm. Lots of birds in the hedgerows, tits, finches, blackbirds and thrushes.Yesterday a bracing walk around Swanage, people still on the beach and families having fun together. Browsing in the bookshops and dreaming in the craft shop....

A cup of tea and piece of shortbread in this cafe looking at the view from the warm, waving to people you know as they passed the window.