Sunday, 29 September 2013

Things that have made me smile this week

 How have you been getting on this week?  I seem to have captured lots of things that made me smile this week so apologies in advance for a long post!

On Monday Twinkle had to go to the vets - they discovered she had a piece of grass as long as a tea spoon caught in her throat and she had to have it removed under anaesthetic.  Your feel so helpless when  pets are ill. It made me smile to see her fully recovered and back outside, she certainly didn't appreciate being kept inside all week!

On Tuesday I rushed into the garden before work to pick some Michaelmas daises, and discovered such beauty - the garden was covered in spider webs and I just had to capture some of them!

  That evening the light was so special too...

This looks like a watercolouring painting to me.

Later in the week I had a day to myself and took myself shopping and for once the shops seemed to be full of things I wanted to buy at a price I was willing to pay! It is usually the other way round with me, how about you?

This is Westbourne on the outskirts of Bournemouth. It has some very good charity shops and I managed to buy a cashmere jumper,  a wonderful green woolly scarf and a cardigan the colour of unripe blackberries.

We had a relaxing start to the weekend with some blackberrying....

My Grandfather used to make the most wonderful blackberry jam, which I never been able to recreate properly until now. I used Thea's Auntie Ruby 's recipe and it tasted just as good as I remember. (If you want the recipe see post Hearts and Bluebells and go down to my comment close to the bottom of the post.) Thank you Thea for giving me the recipe, it made me so happy.

 I  have finally got around to making this cornmeal bread recipe from Paula at Homemade life. The texture was lovely and it went well with the blackberry jam too!

It was quite windy on Saturday and there were lots of white horses (white caps on the waves.)  A walk by the sea was quite bracing - Daisy soon decided to sit down and refuse to move until we turned around! Westies can be so stubborn sometimes!

 I have also given our lounge a more cosy and autumn feel, adding flowers, leaves, pine cones, woollen cushion covers  ( I bought  these on my shopping trip).Twinkle soon discovered  I had put out the blanket - I'm not sure that was what I intended to use it for! 

 This afternoon after spending the morning finishing planting the spring bulbs and wallflowers we went down to the Fleet for a walk. As always it was breathtaking, the colours were just as you can see here. The broken boat had found a photogenic place to rest!

These are only a few of things that made me smile this week. I hope they make you smile too!  

Welcome to my new followers Vintage Jane,Goddess Iuan, ( if you have blogs please let me let me know so I can add links) and also hello to The Woolly dog.

Sarah x

Monday, 23 September 2013

Grey skies

We have had a weekend of grey skies....

but there is always something to look at out at sea as the light constantly changes.

The sea was very still and calm apart from the bow waves caused by passing boats.

 Many of the parks and council gardens now have "Friends groups" attached to them who promote public awareness and enjoyment of these special places, as well as fundraising and carrying out various projects. Back in July they held a music picnic and paint afternoon and created these two fantastic boards. Do you have any local parks which have similar groups?

These are some pictures from our archive from sunnier times! Sandsfoot castle was built in 1541 and was one of Henry VIII's device forts. Together with Portland castle opposite they protected the whole of Portland harbour from foreign invaders. The gardens around the castle were designed in 1931 and have been a popular with locals and holiday makers ever since. There is a small cafw with outside seating and it is always a great place to have a coffee and admire the view!

Hope you had a bright and happy weekend whatever the weather!

Thank you as always for all the lovely comments you have left me, and also so many birthday wishes for my daughter.  A big hello and welcome to my new followers Jessie's needle,Sihoutte Solider, Pam and Michael. I couldn't find any blogs attached to some names so if you have one please let me know.

Sarah x

Thursday, 19 September 2013

September gems

Despite the nights drawing in and the temperatures falling  September still has it's joys.....

The naturalistic garden at Knoll Gardens in Dorset is looking at it's best.

 Walks in the evening allow us to watch the sun set......

and the moon  rise over the sea.....

while watching and listening to the geese as they fly over head to find their evening meal.

Our favourite September joy  however has to be our daughter who turns twenty one today.

Happy Birthday Hay!

Sarah x

Sunday, 15 September 2013

First class accommodation at Selsey

Would you like to see where we stayed in Selsey? It was a very special place so mind your head as you join us!

This was the view from the window- we couldn't get much closer to the sea, unless we camped on the beach!

We only had one meal out, on the first night, as nothing could beat this view!

But the view and close proximity to the beach is not the best part of our accommodation. It has two very special and unusual features.

Do you remember reading my post last year here about my dream to live in a railway carriage well last week it came true, as you can see.........

 Isn't it just fantastic? I found it on the internet and instantly fell in love with it! I have been looking  forward to our holiday here since February.

 Although we didn't need to use the wood burner it was still a lovely place to sit in the evening with a glass of wine and candle light, listening to the waves......

.......  and then when it was completely dark retreating to the cosy lounge to read or listen to some music. (The acoustics in the carriage were really good.)

 I thought of the carriage's former life on the London Brighton and South Coast railway line, maybe taking excited families down to the sea side for the day. It is a fitting way for them to spend their retirement, don't you think?

The beach wall was quite busy with beach users, dog walkers, ramblers, cyclists and runners going by. It was amazing how many looked or stopped at the sight of the carriages through the window, and also stopped for a chat. My brother and sister-in-law came down to spend the day with us too and thought it was an amazing place to stay. It was nice to have such a good time with them, as they too have had a difficult year.

As I have mentioned in my previous  railway carriage post after the 1st World War, railways were being amalgamated and there were many carriages surplus to requirements. At the same time there was a shortage of houses and the carriages were often given to soldiers to live in.

We were amazed how many houses we saw in Selsey that had been converted from railway carriages. We had fun spotting them all week and must have counted about 20 - above is just a small section!

Sesley has had 2 famous sons :-

Sir Patrick Moore the famous astronomer, broadcaster and author, who sadly died this year, lived in Selsey. The night sky there was so clear I wish I knew the name of all the stars.

The second was Eric Coates, this view towards Bognor so inspired him that in 1930 he wrote " By the sleepy lagoon". This became the BBC's well-known signature tune for "Desert island Discs"

We didn't need a desert island, we found our paradise here at Seabank!

Since returning home autumn seems have arrived too, there has been quite a nip in the air in the early mornings. 
This weekend we have had an enjoyable time visiting 3 Eco homes which have been opened under the Heritage open days , did anyone else visit any interesting buildings this weekend? We saw many great ideas and were given lots of advice on how to live more substantially, which has given us food for thought. 

Wishing you a happy week.
Sarah x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A holiday by the sea in West Sussex

We have just spent a week's holiday by the sea in West Sussex. The weather was amazing - so warm and we were located right beside the beach. Returning home I am already missing the sound of the waves crashing on the beach......

The beach was almost empty compared with what we are used to down in Weymouth.

We stayed in Selsey which is 8 miles (12km) south of Chichester.  It is a small seaside town with a high street full of local shops that are not part of national chains. Even the local parade of shops close to our accommodation still had it's own butcher, baker and greengrocers, which was lovely to see and use. Do you still have these type of shops where you live?

                   We did not venture far - one day we took a tiny ferry across Furzefield creek.....

and walked up to Smugglers Lane and along a peaceful country road until we reached the village of Bosham.

 The road floods at high tide and then the only traffic jams are caused by swans or ducks.....

Many of the old houses buildings are built using local materials of flint, so different to Dorset

We also had a lovely walk along the Chichester canal which was very peaceful with just moorhens, coots and butterflies for company.

At the end of Selsey beach is Pagham nature reserve.

Fisherman still operate from the beaches at Selsey and Pagham. The crab and lobster caught by 
Selsey fisherman is very popular.

 Daisy enjoyed her break too.

Selsey has had it's own lifeboat, since 1861. It also has a small RNLI museum where we met one of the wonderful volunteers who had been a lifeboat man when he was younger. It was fascinating hearing his tales of the lifeboats and some of the incredible rescues that had been made. I admire all of those who risk their lives to save others.

I saw a few sunrises too - these pictures are among my favourites!

The best part for us was the accommodation we stayed in which was very usual, but that will have to wait until next time!

Sarah x


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