What was I doing on Saturday?

I met up with my eldest and family and had a couple of meals and had fun in an Escape Room. After we escaped!

Although this is not my photograph and therefore I do not own the copyright I am sure the Escape Plan guy won’t mind as this can be considered  an advert. He was keen on us passing on the word.

The Escape Room is located in SE London in Iliffe Yard.

We had great fun. We had been there previously for a Second World War prisoner themed escape and this one if anything was even more fun.

If you are interested in learning more here is a link – https://escapeplanltd.com/ Highly recommended.

I also took with me the socks I had made for my granddaughter (which I have shown you previously). socksand the hat I made for my daughter. hatMy camera really didn’t like this yarn. The colour is much more of a vibrant peacock blue. Imagine the above but brighter and a little darker. The above has been edited by me for colour but nothing I could do would get it the correct shade.

Here is another photograph of the hat standing up. hat in the roundIt is alpaca and merino wool, wonderfully soft.

The pattern for the hat came from Debbie Bliss and here is a closer look at the stitches. knitting stitchesThe hat was very popular and my daughter put it on immediately!


A day in Chichester

Chichester stationLast Autumn I spent a day in Chichester. At the time I had so much photography to share, with my garden and the Photo Challenge, that I didn’t find a space to share my outing, though I have shared a few of the photographs in other contexts.

In the morning when I arrived I wandered around the town and saw the market cross. market crossA most ornate structure.

Quite soon I decided that it was time for a drink and a bit of sustenance so I found a café. The ButteryThis is called ‘The Buttery’ and had architecture that made it a little different to your normal café.

Unfortunately they were short staffed that day and by the time I received my coffee and scone I was wondering whether to leave and try somewhere else. Coffee and a sconeBeyond the market cross there was a street with some market stalls marketand lots of bunting!

As you can see it was a rather overcast day, though luckily it stayed dry.

My main reason for coming to Chichester was to visit the cathedral so that is where I went next.

Here is a splendid statue of St Richard of Chichester outside the cathedral. statue of St Rchard of ChichesterInside there was a temporary art installation by the famous artist and sculptor, Ana Maria Pacheco. Art instalation

The installation was called “Shadows of the Wanderer” and images the story of Aeneas, who carried his father Anchises away from the ruins of Troy. However it is also designed to remind us of the struggles of refugees fleeing from so many trouble spots today.
The above photograph is not very good but I thought that I should include it to give you an idea of the total installation.
I was more interested in taking photographs of some of the individual figures.
This one I labelled “Scary”.  SculptureThis one “Beautiful” Sculptureand this one “Courage”. SculptureI then moved on to look around the rest of the cathedral.
Of course I had to go  and look at the Piper tapestry Piper tapestrythat I remembered so vividly from my first visit so many years ago.
Here is a closer look. Piper tapestry closer viewFurther back behind here there was another striking tapestry. anglo-german tapestryAn anglo-german creation.
There was a lot of stained glass in the cathedral but having limited time I just took some photographs of the Chagal window as I am so very fond of Chagal. Chagal windowThere was an interesting piece of roman mosaic that had been uncovered. Roman mosaicAnd to give you just a  glimpse of the cathedral as a whole. Long view back down cathedral
I liked this piece of ceiling. ceilingI had bought a snack to eat for lunch and I then went to the Bishop’s Gardens to eat it. Bishop's gardens
Taking this photograph of the Cathedral spire on the way. Cathedral spire seen through trees
 I have already  shared the photographs of bees that I took. Such as this one. bee on sedumBut I also was struck by this rudbeckia. rudbeckiaVery obviously autumn! with both the sedum and the rundbeckia.
By now the sun was beginning to come out and I managed to get another picture of the spire against a blue sky spire against blue skyas I went back to the main part of town. archwayI hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of what Chichester has to offer. It is my general intention to go back some time and explore further.


A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day five

My last full day in Dorset.

I had decided that after my day of walking to Hardy’s Cottage and back it would be wise to plan a less energetic day in case I was feeling tired.

I decided that I would go to the coast and had been trying to choose between Bridport and Lyme Regis but in the end I decided to go to Charmouth as it looked to be a smaller quieter place.

I caught the bus and had a pleasant ride through the Dorset countryside.

Then a gentle walk down to the beach. I went and had a look round the study centre and them ambled out onto the beach itself. Charmouth beach

I felt obliged to hunt for fossils though I didn’t really expect to find any as there seemed to be regular organised fossil hunts.

However I already have a couple of fossilised shells that I collected sometime in my late teens. Not sure from where.fossil shells

But I took a photograph of the grey crumbling cliffs. It looked as if a little stream ran down here. cliff

I also took some photographs of interesting rocks. (I often do this when I go to a beach). rockand evem more interesting rockand this pile someone had made. pile of rocks

Having clambered over the rocks at the far end of the beach I walked back to look for something to eat.  There was a cafe that sold some savoury items and I settled on a pasty which I ate sitting on the other side of the beach on the stones in front of the beach huts. other side of beach

As you can see from the photographs is was a very hot sunny day and I longed for a bit of shade but having decided that there wasn’t any I decided to buy an ice cream and catch the bus back to Dorchester.

Last week on what was the hottest June day for forty years I went to another beach that I must say I enjoyed a lot more. It is also a ‘Dorset’ beach though when I moved into the area it was in Hampshire.

It is my favourite ‘day trip’ beach. Highcliffe beach

To me it is quite ideal. There is a café

Photograph taken on an earlier visit

(though not a restaurant so I generally take some cheese and biscuits and a piece of fruit,) up on the cliffs set in the grounds of Highcliffe castle.

Highcliffe caste
Another earlier photograph

The trees and bushes create a pleasant backdrop to the beach which has sand, if you want to make castles, but also pebbles that you can sit on not to get your towel too sandy. The beach is ever so clean and so is the water.


And when you have had enough sun you can go up and find some shade and sit and look at the sea. seeing the see from shady spotIt is the addition of this shade that makes it so ideal.

I get there by catching the train to Hinton Admiral and I was pleased to find that about two thirds of the walk to the beach was also shady. I can’t stand too much sun now I am older.


A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day four

Stinsford church, Thorncombe Woods and Hardy’s Cottage.

Having had a bad migraine the evening before (maybe I was overdoing it after all!) I was pleased to find my head feeling much better as I set off.

I had a leaflet that I had printed off the internet leafletand I followed their walk to Hardy’s Cottage and back.

The walk started at Grey’s Bridge. Grey's bridgeThe instructions were then to take the second footpath on the right which was a bridal path. I did this, went under a busy road and eventually turned left as a little detour to see Stinsford church. Stinstead churchOn the wall outside the church near the door was this plaque containing a quotation form one of Thomas Hardy’s poems – The Darkling Thrush. Hardy quoteI especially like the font they had used!

There were a few features of note ins1de the church that I photographed.

The font. (Another meaning of the word!!)FontThis side chapel evoked a sense of peace and harmony.Side chapelThe stained glass windows were not exceptional except for this one that seemed more modern. (I am less keen on Victorian style stained windows.)Elijah windowIt was clear that this was Elijah and a closer look confirmed it. There was a dedication to Thomas Hardy underneath but the ivy which you can see in the above photograph rather obscured it.

There was a Madonna and Child: StatueThe niche may well be older than the statue.

I also liked the carving on the pillars.PillarsThis photograph will help tie it all together Broad viewas you can see the Elijah window, the statue, the pillars and the side chapel was to the left beyond the statue.

Of course I had to have a look for the graves of Thomas Hardy’s heart, Grave of Hardy's heartCecil Day Lewis Grave stoneand his wife. Grave stoneI enjoyed the poetry of C Day Lewis and Thomas Hardy but I have never read Hardy’s books as they seemed from reports to be rather depressing!

I then retraced my steps back to the original path and continued on my way. I came across this Farm equipmentwhen the path went through a farmyard. I thought it looked like something of an antique.

About 1130 I passed the Pine Lodge Tea Room which was noted on the map and instructions. It was an extremely hot and sunny day and I was feeling rather drained.

It appeared the they were shut but I went up to read what it said on the door. It appeared that they were open at midday for lunches but that seemed a long time to wait.

As I stood there the door was opened and a women asked me if she could get me a drink. I chose a sparkling elderflower which came with ice and she also filled up my water bottle. I suppose she saw the opportunity for a sale but it was still very kind of her.

Much refreshed I continued on my way until I reached Thorncombe Woods. Thornecombe Woods signHere I found Rushy Pond Rushy pondand these attractive and unusual seats. seatSo I sat for a while in the shade.

I then walked on, following the signs, until I could see Hardy’s Cottage. Hardy's cottage I wandered around and found this memorial put up by fans from the USA. Hardy memorialHere is a closer look at what it says. Text on Hardy memorialI also walked round to where I could see the back of the cottage that was surprisingly plain and almost windowless.Back of cottage

I was getting hungry by now and there was a sign to the Visitor’s Centre and Car Park so I followed it down what turned out to be a very long and sometimes quite steep path.

After a bowl of soup. I trudged back to the cottage to rejoin the route in the leaflet. I didn’t pay to go into the cottage as I tend to prefer grounds to interiors and I knew I would feel awkward in my walking boots.

The rest of the route was less picturesque and included electric fences and an Animal Care Centre. Luckily a couple of the girls there happened to know how to open the gate because I was struggling. It is surprising how many different sorts of gate you meet on a country walk.

I saw this house Kingston Maurward House which I now think is Kingston Maurward House and shortly afterward a rabbit! rabbit

On the whole the instructions were very clear and the sign-posting was excellent. However I was about to meet a problem on getting to section 13 (unlucky for some!). The signposting for The Old Manor was not at all clear and I ended up asking two different people if they knew of a nearby cattle grid: as the next significant point to find. Once there I had no more problems and when I saw these signposts signpostsI knew I had completed the circular part of my walk. part of map

Have you noticed this holiday is all about circles: walking all round Maiden Hill, walking the almost all way round bank of Maumbury Rings, Walking round the Giant’s Hill and now a circular walk that took in Hardy’s Cottage!

The way back was now straight forward and I went and collapsed gratefully back in my room at the guest house.

A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day three

Cerne Abbas

Tuesday was cloudy and not as hot as Monday but when you are going walking that is no bad thing.

I had been to Cerne Abbas Giant viewpoint on the way back from Weymouth last summer and shared a couple of pictures. The rather hard to see Giant. However this time I was aiming to visit the village and walk round the Giant’s Hill.

I left the Bay Tree shortly before nine to go to the bus stop. The bus was due at 0925 and since the English Senior bus passes are not valid before 0930, I hoped to pay for a short distance and then go for free but the bus driver was very kind and just let me use the pass.

When we got to Cerne Abbas I got my bearings then walked up Abbey Street to look at the church. The church was not outstandingly beautiful but it had a few features of interest, I especially liked this carved Madonna and Child and this amazing pulpit. There were also some interesting texts on the wall (This photograph is full size so if you are interested you can click on it and enlarge it till you can read the three texts between the arches.)and since this is a craft blog I had to photograph these kneelers made by local women. There were four kneelers but this composite picture allows you to see all the designs.

After this I moved on to look at the Abbey Guest House. Abbot’s porch and St Augustine’s well. Apparently it is iron rich (Chalybeate) water like at Glastonbury but unfortunately, unlike Glastonbury (at least many, many years ago when I was there), it is not drinkable. However it was a pleasant spot to sit for a few moments and contemplate.

Now it was time to walk up Giant’s Hill.

There is a fence round the Giant itself to preserve it. I wonder if once you could walk right up to it, like once you could clamber at will over Caerphilly castle, walk right up to the stones at Stonehenge, that stood in lonely splendour off the side of the road, or sit of an evening by Chalice Well in Glastonbury to drink the Chalybeate water, which is quite delicious! I have done all these things in my lifetime. The second time at Glastonbury, just two years after the previous time, the well was fenced in and you had to pay to go in during ‘opening hours’! I suppose it all makes sense and yet I find it sad.

Anyway back to Cerne Abbas.

This photograph shows what may be all that is visible of the giant from the path.

I had not started walking up the hill till about 11 o’clock but in spite of talking it gently I was making good time and I decided to follow a route to take me all around the hill. Not the full figure of eight walk shown on the Village Map but enough to still get me back to the village for lunch. It was so pleasant up there in the sunshine that I wondered if I should have bought something in the shop and had a picnic but it was too late to go back and start again.

Luckily, unlike the walk my granddaughter and I had done to Hardy’s Monument the way was well sign-posted and I even found myself walking along a bridal path through the middle of a field of rape. (You know: those fields of yellow flowers you see so often these days!). The path was well trodden earth but very narrow and the plants flopped over from both sides in many places.

At the other side of the field the path, though narrow and steep, went through a wooded area and allowed me a view over Cerne Abbas from the other side of the hill. Because it was so narrow, I wondered if the path was really used for riding but thought this could be evidence that it was. Further on I found even more proof. Luckily I didn’t miss the sign that directed me to turn left back towards the village. I walked back through the cemetery and took this picture before I went through the gate.

There was a village café so I went in to get some lunch. I had intended to have soup for lunch but as I wasn’t especially keen on the soup on offer I ended up being seduced by the thought of pie, though I suppose it was the fact that it included ‘veg’ that really sold it to me. Vegetables often seem in short supply in restaurant meals. Here a generous helping of carrots.

The buses were very infrequent and I had a choice of a bus at 1410 or waiting for another couple of hours. I decided that I was already quite tired so it might be wiser to take the earlier bus. I got to the bus stop in good time and was amused by wheeling swallows while I waited. No photographs I am afraid they were moving much too quickly.



A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day two

Last summer when I went to Weymouth with my granddaughter, Sandra of Wild Daffodil and I had arranged to meet, however circumstance intervened, but now I was coming back to Dorset we had another try and this time succeeded.

Sandra very kindly offered to pick me up in her car and take me to somewhere that would be harder to get to by bus (I do not have a car myself) and I suggested Ringstead Beach. Ringstead beachI realised afterwards that I should have taken more photographs, including one of us together but we were so busy getting to know each other and swopping stories of our creative journeys that there wasn’t much time for photographs.

I thought that it would be a good idea to bring a gift in return for her transporting me and I made two of my Celtic Coasters specially for her  Two gift coastersand also offered her a choice of two of my new design. Four new coasters in two sizesAs well as the photograph of the beach I also took a picture of this surprisingly large pipe that channels the water of a stream onto the beach. Pipeand on the way back Sandra stopped the car so I could get a good view of the figure of King George III cut into the chalk on the hillside. Figure cut into the chalk

She kindly took me back to Dorchester where I stopped off for some lunch before deciding what to do for the rest of the day. It was really great to meet a fellow blogger and it is a shame we don’t live nearer each other as we seemed to get on well.

I did a little reconnoitering and acquired a couple of bus timetables when I finally found the Tourist Information Centre which had moved and was now in the Library! I also discovered the best place to catch said buses.

I had noticed a sign for Maumbury Rings which were actually within Dorchester itself; so seeking them out seemed a good way to spend the end of the afternoon.

Maumbury Rings goes back to Neolithic times when farmers often build Henges, probably for ceremonial purposes. The Romans turned it into an amphitheatre and it was also used as a camp during the Civil War.

It is even in use for social events today.

Again, like Maiden Castle I wanted to walk all the way round. (Not as far this time!) Maumbury rings(The above photograph was taken when I was half-way round.)

I climbed up on these steps to start to walk around the top of the bank. Way up to top of bankThere is a very wide gap at the entrance and when I reached the other end of the bank I realised that I could see no easy way down, so I decided that the best thing to do was to retrace my steps and come down where I had gone up.

Here you can see that end seen from below. Bank at other endIt looks as if there may have been a second set of steps at one time and the sloping bit looks as if I might be okay to slide down! However it looked a lot steeper from above.

After this I found a seat in the shade and sat for a while. I couldn’t resist taking some photographs of a beautiful perfect daisy I could see beside the seat. Daisy


A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day one

Having had such a good time exploring Dorset from Weymouth with my granddaughter last summer, I felt there was more to see and so decided to spend a few days in Dorchester which would enable me more easily to visit places I had missed before.

So on Sunday 21st May I set off to catch the 1103 train from Southampton.

Having allowed plenty of extra time to catch the bus, which allowed plenty of time to catch the train, I ended up just managing to catch the earlier (by one hour) train which was a few minutes late! No photographs at this stage as with a heavy rucksack and suitcase, I was feeling rather tired. The suitcase was heavy because with the weather the way it was I had taken enough jumpers and T-shirts to cover my stay.

It is always pleasant taking the train through the New Forest and I was also enchanted to find myself, from Bournemouth onwards, passing through all the stations whose names had always sounded like a sort of litany when announced in a monotone over the station tannoy system.

Bournemouth, Branksome,           Parkstone, Poole,           Hamworthy, Holton Heath,           Wareham, Wool – I love the alliteration.

When I arrived in Dorchester having plenty of time before I could collect the key to my room in The Bay Tree guest House, I set about exploring the Brewery Square area of Dorchester: a new, mainly restaurant filled, section which reminded me of the new extended area of West Quay in Southampton. Brewery SquareI sat and admired the fountain, Fountainshad a cup of Coffee in Costa Coffee, then set off for the guest house. The Bay Tree guest house
After settling into my room, I went back to Brewery Square to get some lunch, then set off for Maiden Castle which is a large Iron Age hill fort about a mile and a half outside Dorchester. I set off up the path towards it from the Car Park but it is really not an easy thing to photograph being so large (the upper area being the size of 50 football pitches) and covered in grass. View of part of Maiden CastleAs my younger daughter put it:  “It’s where the people lived before the Romans moved them to Dorchester.”

It is managed by English Heritage and you can read more about it HERE
They have the benefit of aerial photography!

As I said it was hard to photograph but here is some idea of the banks and ditches that protected the entrance.Entrance to Maiden CastleAnd something of a wider view. Entrance to Maiden CastleThe banks were made of chalk and would have been white and shinning when first erected. In some places you could see the chalk where people’s feet had worn through the grass. ChalkNear the other end is the remains of a Romano-British temple. Remains of Romano- British priests houseThese are the remains of the walls of an  associated building thought to be the priest’s house.

And here is the outline of the temple:Remains of Romano-British templeAn inner room surrounded by a covered passage. Now mainly frequented by sheep.

Lots of people seemed to get as far as here and then retrace their steps but of course that was not good enough for me and I had to walk all the way round the edge.

Here are a couple of photographs I took as I walked back along the other side to give you an idea of how Maiden Castle sat in the land. Far side of Maiden Castleand nearer where I started. Far side of Maiden CastleAfter this I retraced my steps back to Dorchester and my room in the guest house and collapsed for a while before going out to find a snack.

I had taken some colouring and crochet to do in the evenings but I have to admit that during my time in Dorset, after being out on my feet for six or seven hours a day, in the evening I didn’t have the energy to do much other than read a book or watch TV.

Perhaps it is worth mentioning here that with Chronic Fatigue always in the background, I was very anxious not to allow myself to overdo it one day and end up totally prostrated the next and unable to do what I had planned.

So in all my outings, I took things at a gentle pace, walking at a speed that my body told me was okay, rather than that of which the government would approve! and whenever I started to feel more than a little tired, I would stop for a few minutes rest. This meant that I was able to visit all the places I had planned and had a wonderful time!

Beer and Buses

I have a few more posts ready to be created that I could have shared with you but I decided to share what I was doing last Saturday as I was pleasantly surprised that the photographs I had taken, mostly in a hurry, weren’t too bad.

I went with my daughter and family to the Isle of Wight for the first day of the “Isle of Wight Classic Buses, Beer (& Walks) Weekend”.

My son-in-law is a member of CAMRA’s National Executive and my daughter loves all sorts of buses and trams so it was an event to please everyone.

When we took the Red-Jet from Southampton the weather looked dark and cloudy but it had cheered up by the time we got to Newport.

There were several bus routes which (if you know the Isle of Wight) were all as one might expect centred around Newport. 0520-buses-at-newportI took a photograph of this red Routemaster bus that is the classic London bus 0520-red-london-busand a row of buses.0520-a-row-of-buses I also took some green ones. 0520-a-row-of-green-busesThe one on the left being the Green Line Routemaster bus I remember from my childhood.

I also photographed an open top bus. 0520-open-top-busWe rode on two open top buses. This was taken while sitting on the first one. 0520-on-top-of-a-busIt rained while we were on the second one but luckily the seats were dry when we got on!

When we had arrived in Ryde we had had our first beer. 0520-the-king-luddAnd later bought some fish and chips and sat to eat them looking at the sea and the great long pier. 0520-a-long-pierLater after our trip on the open top bus we had another beer. 0520-yar-bridge-innThis pub had music in the marquee (very loud!).

Unfortunately by the time we reached out third pub in Shanklin it was raining quite heavily.

Though I did take my camera out as we waited for our last bus to photograph a rainbow. 0520-rainbow-and-sky-onlyWhere is a cornfield when you need one!

A rainbow isn’t quite as romantic over houses. 0520-rainbow-with-houses

A week in Weymouth – part 2

On Wednesday I had planned a trip to the Hardy monument as it is not open earlier in the week. Open means a cafe and the chance to go to the top. Otherwise it stands there out in the open.

Recent experience in walking in the countryside to well known locations or popular routes led me to believe that the off-road walking route would be well signposted. I did however have an ordinance survey map (borrowed from the library – Yay!) and a Silva compass (lent by James because I had forgotten to think of bringing my own) as backup.

When we got off the bus the road route was signposted – 2 miles and there was a sign to the right as we walked through the village of Portesham pointing to a walking route. That was the last we saw of specific signs however.

Faced with a choice of two paths I was glad I had both map and compass. However life is tough if you are thirteen and Louisa informed me that she couldn’t stand still while I worked out the right direction as her legs would seize up and then plowed ahead on the lower path which had been my first choice.

Suffice it to say that it was the wrong path and from then on I muddled along, trying to follow the map while walking, jollying Louisa along as it was very hot (hotter than I had expected), reversing direction when it was obvious we had made the wrong choice, rejoicing when we caught a glimpse of the monument, so in the end the expected two miles was nearer three and the hour I estimated it would take became ninety minutes.

So the first thing we did on arrival (apart from a photograph) Hardy monumentwas an ice cream for Louisa and some coffee for me. The cafe was a sort of caravan style similar to an ice cream van with a window at the side

I wish I had taken a photograph here but I was too intent on reviving myself.

I was offered not a mug but a cafetiere of coffee, served on a tray with a cup and saucer and jug of milk. The cafetiere had a crochet cosy in bright colours that had been made by the lady serving the coffee. (We discussed the making of cosies when I gave back the tray.) There were two chairs and a table beside the ‘cafe’ and I sat there and drank my coffee.

Then Louisa and I found a picnic table and ate our lunch (again no photograph) after which we went and sat in the shade of the monument and Louisa picked up her crochet again. I got up after a while and took some views. View from belowBetter views were to be had from the top however.

The cost of climbing the one hundred and twenty steps to the top of the monument was very reasonable so Louisa and I, when we felt sufficiently revived, opted to go up.

I was pleased to find that Louisa after her earlier moaning was now very happy that we had come and enjoyed the view.

Here is a view over towards the Chesil bank which seemed to follow us wherever we went. View from aboveAnd further round the road that wound further inland. Road going inlandWe opted to be safe rather than sorry for the return trip and followed the road back towards Portesham: Road back to villagevery much a country route but no footpath so frequent recourse to climbing the verge.

I had been expecting to meet up with a blogging friend on Thursday but personal circumstance meant that that was not possible so a re-think was necessary.

The weather forecast suggested rain so a return trip to Abbotsbury to visit St Catherine’s Chapel seemed a good option. And as it turned out we were glad of the shelter the chapel offered. Inside chapelLouisa was charmed by the large number of doves and pigeons inside the chapel. You can see two either side of the window both on nests. One seemed to have chicks and the other was obviously incubating hers.

I took a photograph of the roof from inside Chapel ceilingand then later of the turrets on the roof outside. TurretsAnd some views of the surrounding coutryside from the front of the chapel.

Here is one of the road snaking up the hill. View to the leftAnd here is the village of Abbotsbury. View of villageYou can see it was a misty moisty day!

I am loving Dorset, it is all very pretty.

Friday being the last day, a gentler pace seemed appropriate and so the main events were an afternoon boat trip and a meal out in the evening.

No photographs of the meal though it was very good but the boat we travelled on is in the front of this photograph Boatand here is one taken of the other side of the harbour Harbour the side where our appartment was, just one street behind.

Here is the Nothe Fort at the end of the harbour. Nothe fortWe then travelled along the Jurassic coast. I took a few photographs, as much as one can in a rocking boat, but although they are interesting as a record not many are worth showing.

Here is one where you can see something of the jurassic layersJurassic coastand here near the half way point where the dipping jurassic gives way to the creataceous. Cretaceous coastSaturday we were picked up and I had expected a quick trip home and a collapse but my daughter had decided to come too and we were offered the chance to go wherever we wished.

Having missed out on the Cerne Giant we made for the viewing point and took some photographs.

Here is the best I could do of the giant himself. The giantI was a little disappointed that he did not stand out more clearly.

Here we are myself, daughter and grandaughter with the giant in the background. Family photo

The weather looked a bit threatening but we decided we would go and take a look at Maiden Castle. We were still dithering as to whether to get out of the car and walk round the ramparts when the heavens opened and the thunder and lightening put paid to any such idea.

So we spent the rest of the day at the Dorset County museum and very interesting it was too.

Before I end I thought I would share our crochet with you. Yes I did do some crochet though not while out as I was trying to design a scarf pattern.

I had some yarn I had won in a giveaway. 0398-yarnAnd I decided to use the little extra ball to experiment to see if it was enough for a scarf.

I was thinking pineapple bookmark, 0105-pineapplebookmarksand angel bookmark 0374-3angelbookmarksas inspiration and I even found a picture of a scarf on the internet that seemed to combine these ideas and so, with much undoing and redoing I produced this. 07-02-my-patternLouisa on the other hand worked away doggedly at her scarf. I started her off with a couple of rows and then she did the rest. 07-01-louisas-scarfAlmost two feet and I was pleased to see that her confidence has grown to the point where if she found she had the wrong number of stitches at the end of a row she would undo and redo till it was correct.

A week in Weymouth – part 1

First I have to say that I have discovered that it is so much harder to think about taking photographs when you are responsible for a granddaughter. So the following will not be my normal steady progression of photographs, more an ‘as and when’ record.

I took a couple of photographs of the apartment we stayed in but decided that the best way to share that with you was to give a link to the page on the web where you can find the details. There is even a virtual tour of the rooms if anyone is interested.

There was a bus strike going on at the time which wasn’t ideal and when we turned up to catch a bus to Abbotsbury on the Sunday we found that it was not running. I therefore decided to take the bus to Portland to see the study centre and the Chesil Bank.

We missed the best bus stop and were surprised to find the bus heading down, way past the study centre to the main part of Portland. When we got off we were maybe as much as a mile from where we wanted to be.

It was an overcast windy day and Louisa soon complained of being cold so I gave her my ‘keep you cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold shirt’. Here you can see her wearing it. Louisa in my shirtI found the wind quite strong but warm.

She moaned and moaned all the way, until we found what I took to be a more sheltered spot from the quantity of grass growing there and stopped for our picnic. PicnicPictures of her eating a tomato were unfortunately not too good!

I was sitting with a view over Portland harbour and watched the various activities on the water. View from PortlandWe had climbed to the top of the Chesil Bank, though not for long as the going was tough on the pebbles and it was much too windy for Louisa. So much for my idea of exploring and looking for fossils. (I must go back sometime and explore the Chesil Bank for myself!)

Louisa’s aversion to the thought of the Chesil Bank was quite a joke between us for the rest of the week!

Here is a photograph I took, before we finished our picnic, of other people walking along the top. Chesil BankAfter our picnic we proceeded to the study centre and indulged ourselves with a hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows (Louisa also had a toasted teacake) before looking at the exhibits.

No more photographs on my part as trying to jolly along a moaning granddaughter had rather exhausted me.

The next day we tried again for the bus to Abbotsbury and were in luck.

This is probably the day where I managed to take the most photographs.

The prime reason for going to Abbotsbury was to visit the Swannery but there was also St. Catherines chapel nearby St Catherine's Chapeland I thought we might visit it before we returned to Weymouth.

Unfortunately a thirteen year old’s body clock is different to mine and about three o’clock when I was just recovering from a post lunch slump Louisa was finally tired and wanted to go and catch the bus.

We did go back on Thursday and that will be in part two.

We had a pleasant walk to the swannery and of course I had to take my usual path photograph PathAnd a swan one Swan preeningI would have liked to take a swan with a long arched neck but it seemed to be preening time.

However we did pass a lake with quite a number of swans. SwansNot all preening.

There were enclosures where families of swans had some space to themselves. Family of cygnetsOf course all the cyngnets were at least a few months old by now. Three cygnetsThey feed the swans at 1200 and 1600 and anyone who wants can help. So of course Louisa was keen to do so. Louisa feeding swansThough not all the swans were there, there was quite a crush. Swans en masseSome clever ones had made their way to where to food had been brought in wheel barrows before being dispensed. Unfortunately I was intent on watching Louisa and didn’t take a photograph of them.

After this we had our picnic near the entrance to the maze. Another picnicCarrot and lettuce added to the tomato/cucumber and fruit today!

Then we tried the maze.

For maze afficionados there are several closed paths within the maze so neither the left-hand or right-hand rule work. (Louisa and I took one each.) However we found our way to the centre of the maze eventually, but no photographs, and then wandered further afield around what is quite a large site discovering how to trap ducks!

On our way back we passed a tent advertising “Wessex Bird of Prey Rescue” but none of my photographs of the rather subdued birds were worth sharing.

We then stopped at the cafe near the entrance and had a delicious ice cream. I had ‘lemon delight’ and Louisa ‘salted caramel’. Not sure I fancy the idea of salted caramel but it was Louisa’s flavour of choice this holiday.

Before we left I just had to take a quick photograph of a red admiral on a nearby buddleia. ButterflyI underestimated the time to get back to the bus stop so we just missed the bus and had an hour to wait. Louisa busied herself with her crochet while I just sat and relaxed.

I did see some geese however that came really close.Abbotsbury GeeseI’m sure that one is looking at us and maybe the one on the right out of the corner of it’s eye.

Just before the bus came I decided to take a view down the street as the cottages were so attractive. Abbotsbury cottages

Tuesday looked to be the hottest day of the week, though Wednesday was almost as hot, so it seemed a good day to try the beach.

Although the beach was very crowded it seemed more spacious and less oppressive than the one at Muddeford that I showed you before.

I took my camera but anxiety about getting sand in it and anxiety about Louisa away in the water meant that I took very few photographs.

Just a couple of the sea. Weymouth beachand Weymouth beachand neither is Louisa. There were a lot of people between me and the sea so it was hard to see her when I was looking after our stuff and she was in the water.

(And I did get in a couple of swims!)

There was a point when the seagulls were continually whirling overhead and I tried to get a few photographs.

This one is just to give you the idea. SeagullsThey were too far away and too fast to get a decent photograph.

The rest of our holiday, maybe next week.