Tag Archives: Dorset

A Lovely Weekend In September

September Beech Wood, Rocking Dog

September Beech Wood

The weekend was full of lovely impromptu things. A wettish Saturday was spent travelling to Dorset with a friend. Somewhat fortuitously Di’s Sat-nav took us on a little bit of an unconventional journey. It meant that we couldn’t resist having a peek into Antiques Bazaar near Crewkerne. We both loved a circus trapeze bar and various pieces of quirky furniture. There were lots of toby jugs, but I managed to resist! I did however buy a large and pretty curtain which will more than likely form the backing for my future hollyhock quilt.

We travelled onto lovely Bridport, drank coffee, ate lunch, chatted, laughed and enjoyed dipping into lots of independent shops. Unfortunately with the weather being a trifle rainy and windswept there were not many of the usual street stalls. However, it was a really great day and certainly blew away the cobwebs!

Sunday dawned bright and sunny. Andyman, Real Live Rocking Dog and I decided on a spur of the moment Bath walk. We walked on Lansdown Hill, the site of a bloody civil war battle in 1643. The views were truly breathtaking. In the distance we could pick out the old and new Severn Bridge Crossings together with Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was tempting to stay sitting cherishing the views long after the picnic was finished.. but there was another four miles to muster.

The hawthorns and elders as we climbed, were covered with a profusion of berries. My mum would be saying “it’s a sign it’s going to be a hard, cold winter. It’s nature’s way of providing well for wildlife” We will have to wait and see!

At one point in the walk we had a lovely view down to the ribbon of water at Saltford. There were so many pretty sails, a gorgeous scene to ponder. We also chanced upon the sweet little church of St Martin at North Stoke. 12th century with older additions, I could easily imagine Jane Austen empire line, bonneted weddings. Unfortunately the church was locked. It apparently has a plaque inside honouring the 23 men and unknown number of farm horses who went from the village in WW1. The plaque was unveiled in 2008 by Britain’s last Tommy, Harry Patch, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of WW1. Just a year later at the age 111 Harry died, his funeral service being held at Wells Cathedral.

The last part of our walk took us through a beautiful wooded area. The last glowing embers of the Sunday sunshine penetrated the beech canopy. It was glorious and so atmospheric.

So the new week now begins….

A very Happy Birthday to our lovely boy Alex who is 29 today. He is working at the Paralympics in Rio, and we hope is having the time of his life. Very wonderfully we had a glimpse of him on C4 just after Jonnie Peacock’s 100m gold medal win.

Toby Jug Treasure, Rocking Dog

Toby Jug Treasure

Back At Albion, Rocking Dog

Back At Albion

Sunday Skies, Rocking Dog

Sunday Skies

Green Hill, Rocking Dog

Green Hill

Doggy Picnic Time, Rocking Dog

Doggy Picnic Time

Pretty Sails, Rocking Dog

Pretty Sails

Peaceful Place, Rocking Dog

Peaceful Place

Carved Cherubim, Rocking Dog

Carved Cherubim

Happy Birthday Alex!, Rocking Dog

Happy Birthday Alex!

A Showery But Lovely Weekend By The Sea

Anonymous Landscape Artist, Rocking Dog

Anonymous Landscape Artist

Friday, we decided to cut and run! We decided on a showery but lovely weekend by the sea. Why is it always so cossetingly attractive to keep returning to familiar well worn paths? Hence we found ourselves Bridport bound once again, eventually landing up at Highlands End, Eype with our darling Pod.

Real Live Rocking Dog became deliriously happy, well in a grumpy Fox Terrier sort of way when The Pod arrived on the driveway. He jumped in through its door and refused to budge! You almost sensed that he was thinking “Are we there yet?” before we’d even got on the road.

In due course we did arrive in beautiful lush and green Dorset and parked up with a sea view and drizzle. We ate in drizzle, drank a lovely bottle of red in drizzle, and chattered in drizzle…. but we really frankly did not drizzly care!

Saturday dawned bright, and got hotter by the hour. Breakfast for Real Live Rocking Dog when we are camping always means sausages and he couldn’t be happier!

One of the big attractions of being in Bridport is its lovely street market, so after RLR Dog had licked the last sausagey morsel from his lips, it was time for some alfresco retail. I bought a beautiful old sign “Quest Antiquities”, I simply loved the script. Further along we picked up some old wooden handled hoes to decorate the back fence. We passed the lovely Electric Palace theatre, which is so sweet. A few years ago Andyman and I enjoyed seeing The Proclaimers and Billy Bragg there (I’m ashamed to say we are Proclaimer groupies!) Outside the Arts Centre I spied The Flowerfield stall. Beautiful country flowers, lupins, scented sweet peas, poppies and other floral loveliness, all grown on a one acre patch in Ottery St Mary, Devon. I love the whole philosophy of the slow flower movement, sustainable flowers without all the flower miles. A beautiful website Claire, truly florally yummy! Onto West Street I bought mightily healthy cottage garden plants from Charlotte Pitman’s stall. Into the newly dug border they will go this week, and who knows I may be cutting flowers from my disorderly patch later this summer!

After a coffee, Andyman had endured enough retail therapy (or misery!) and decided to take Real Live Rocking Dog on a coastal walk to West Bay and over the cliffs to Eype. I meanwhile rediscovered Butterfly Boho who do a mix of good quality pre-owned clothes and a range of new linen pieces. Lovely. Back to the old, I headed to Old Albion, which is a treasure trove of eclectic pieces- fairground sideshows, old wash tubs, neon signs and other kitschness! I just think I may have found my dog friendly vintage flooring there….. now just where is my tape measure?!

The afternoon was spent with young blood. I popped into see Charlie, a schoolfriend of Sorrel’s who has created a truly vibrant home for her family in Bridport. She is able to create wonderful montages, tableau’s, shelves and walls with not a lot of money but with an imaginative and inventive brain. I loved her blackboard walls, but wondered whether I could get away with scribing “Reminder: flea & worming treatment” attractively in chalk! In with all this creativity and motherly love, Charlie is a trainee midwife, a good one i’m sure. Hugs, chat and tea drunk, it was time to bid adieu and to rejoin the exhausted man and his dog!

A less drizzly meal was eaten before heading onto the beach at Eype. I loved the anonymous pebble artwork. It reminded me of the numerous pebble piles that we spotted when we were at the top of Norway. The cliffs were beautiful with a gentle cloak of mauvey-pink Saxifrage, Red Campion, swathes of grasses and yellow flag Iris’s. Rabbits were enjoying the burgeoning vegetation and were far too quick for Real Live Rocking Dog’s attempts to “play”.

Snuggled up, it rained torrentially seemingly the whole night long. How I love the sound of rain splashing on a caravan roof. It reminds me of our childhood caravan sited at Brean. I remember the sleeping bags, the gas lights with net mantles and the rain noisily plopping whilst we were snugly tucked up.

So the first camping trip of the year now done, it is time to look to pastures new…. Dungeness, Lewes, Arundel, the Mumbles … but there again I can hear Dorset calling us back!

PS. Message for little Devon, hope you are feeling so much better x

Are We There Yet?, Rocking Dog

Are We There Yet?

Sail Away, Rocking Dog

Sail Away

Andyman's Best Friend, Rocking Dog

Andyman’s Best Friend

Bridport Market, Rocking Dog

Bridport Market

Plant Life, Rocking Dog

Plant Life

Butterfly Boho Linens, Rocking Dog

Butterfly Boho Linens

The Flowerfield, Rocking Dog

The Flowerfield

Electric Palace, Rocking Dog

Electric Palace

Old Albion, Rocking Dog

Old Albion

Charlie's Minimalist Life, Rocking Dog

Charlie’s Minimalist Life

Lovely Charlie Shelves, Rocking Dog

Lovely Charlie Shelves

Bristol Bound Boo Hoo!,  Rocking Dog

Bristol Bound Boo Hoo!

If You’re Fond Of Sand Dunes………

Fairground Fodder For Sale, Rocking Dog

Fairground Fodder For Sale

“If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, Quaint little villages here and there…” These are the lyrics from Groove Armada’s “At The River”. I heard it on the radio in 2009 and loved the track immediately, but unfortunately didn’t catch the groups name. So …I went into a branch of HMV and a poor sales chap had to endure me trying to hum and sing the song very badly. I came out of the shop empty handed and somewhat embarrassed. I expect the HMV guy needed counselling for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!

Indeed at the weekend we did go in search of sand dunes and salty air, heading to Dorset and the Chesil Beach. We were chasing the sun, but it was rather elusive, therefore walks were cold and windswept. The Chesil Beach is 29km long and forms part of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Close to where we parked our “Pod” was the area where bombs were dropped and tested in preparation for the Dambusters Raid. On an evening walk around the Fleet lagoon we witnessed weatherworn rusted boat sheds, an indestructible WW2 look out tower and interesting flotsam and jetsam.

Saturday we shared time between Bridport and Dorchester. As ever the street market in Bridport was bustling and lovely. I always marvel at the ginormous cakes in “Bella’s” and love a visit to Old Albion who do a SPECTACULAR range of gorgeous old eclectic things. I especially adore all their original fairground pieces. They also have some gorgeous Fox Terriers in various formats, china, plush pile, playing cards and the most adorable Kennel sign. Alas none of the doggy stuff is for sale- they are such spoilsports those lovely Albion Folk!

We nipped into Bridport on our way home for the monthly Vintage Market– (last Sunday in month April-September). I was very restrained!

The salty air was appreciated, as was the hot chocolate and dry socks. Real Live Rocking Dog had a great time, and I am convinced he can start smelling the sea when we reach Chard. Andyman is not the least bit convinced!

Sleeping Quarters, Rocking Dog

Sleeping Quarters

WW2 Survivor, Rocking Dog

WW2 Survivor

Bella's Big Buns!, Rocking Dog

Bella’s Big Buns!

Windswept RLRD, Rocking Dog

Windswept RLRD

Not For Sale, Rocking Dog

Not For Sale

Homes Needed, Rocking Dog

Homes Needed

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