Tuesday, 20 June 2017

By the sea

The weather has been glorious the last week and it has made us abandon projects that we are working on and have some long-needed half-days out. It has really felt as if we have been on holiday!

The tide was out when we visited Charmouth beach, allowing us to take a long walk along the sands.

It was just as well Tavi had a hair cut at the beginning of the week. He loves being in the sea or running on the beach, no matter what time of year it is. Our daughter sometimes complains that when he returns from a walk that he smells very fishy!

Another day we visited Portland.  We went to the newly opened D Day Centre, which we were very impressed with. The slipway and harbour above would have been packed with American GI's before they left these shores to invade France in 1944, such a contrast to the tranquil scene now. The D Day Centre, although small, was packed with exhibits, most of which you could handle. All the American Army vehicles you could climb in and explore, including this tank. (We had Tavi with us so we didn't go in the tank, but did sit in some of the vehicles inside.)

It is always good to learn new facts. Outside the Centre is one of the Mulberry Harbours.  These two concrete blocks were part of a portable harbour that was used in World War II to facilitate the rapid offloading of cargo in 1944.  It is a fascinating story which can be read here.

Since the Mulberry Harbours returned from France they have been a local landmark in Portland Harbour. What I didn't realise however, was that six other  Phoenix Caissons returned to Portland after the War were moved to Holland, following terrible flooding in the North Sea in 1953. I was aware of the dreadful flooding in Canvey Island but wasn't aware of the loss of life at the same time in Holland. The caissons were towed over to Holland  (only 4 made it) and were used to form  a defence against further flooding. They are now part of the Watersnood Museum- the video (although in Dutch) is worth looking at if you are interested.

We decided to take Tavi on a old favourite walk on Portland and although the climb up the hill is steep the views are amazing especially when the sun is shining!

    I always wanted one of the beach huts overlooking the sea!

On other days it has been better to take longer walks in the evening. We sat admiring this view of the River Bride, as it heads out to sea, and were delighted to see a kingfisher fly across the river and head inland. It  appeared out of nowhere and flew so fast, it's plumage matching the amazing colour of the water. This is only the second time we have ever seen one, the last time was in Derbyshire about 15 years ago! I hope I don't have to wait that long to see another one.

 After a hot day at the Bridport Food Festival, an evening walk along the cliffs at West Bay was a great way to cool down. Maybe these images will make you feel refreshed too!

Did anyone attend any of the 120,000 street parties that took place in the UK last weekend?  They were inspired in memory of Jo Cox and were based on the Eden Project Communities Big Lunch project that has been running for about eight years.

Regular readers may remember following my suggestion and with lots of support and enthusiasm our road had a street party.  We had planned for rain or some sunshine but hadn't imagined it would be one of the hottest days of the year! Despite the heat, we managed between us to find enough garden umbrellas to give some shade, and it was lovely for all of us to come together and get to know each other better. Everyone thought it was so worthwhile and our plans are to repeat it again next year, I do recommend doing it too.

A street party wouldn't be complete without a cake this one was produced by our daughter as her contribution!
Hoping you are having a good week and I get around to visiting some blogs this week!

Sarah x

Monday, 12 June 2017

A sense of achievement

It is always good to celebrate an achievement.This year we were able to see first hand the amazing wooden boats that have recently been completed by the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis.

It was quite difficult taking pictures as it was very crowded. Many people wanted to come and admire and photograph these wonderful handmade wooden boats. In the crowds was quite an unusual press photographer!

My father in law was a carpenter, so we can really appreciate the work that has gone into these boats. There were 16  people on the August 2016 course and they managed between them to build 6 wooden boats, restore one and also make a paddle board. The launch was successful, but unfortunately we ran out of time and didn't watch it as we had to rush back to Bridport. It was a beautiful day and so it was just as well there was time at the start of our visit to admire the views. The weather has turned back to winter since then!

The huge echiums were almost as high as the famous Lyme Regis ammonite lamps

Another great achievement recently has been the re-opening of Bridport Museum after a Lottery grant of  £1.3 million. It looks similar on the outside apart from the new branding and brightly coloured benches

In the inside however it has changed from this ........

and this ....

to something that looks so much larger and brighter.

Having been involved in a very small way behind the scenes over the past few months I really do appreciate how much hard work goes into every tiny part of the displays.

Although I am biased if you are ever in this area a visit to the Museum is well worth while. We have been receiving so many positive comments it makes all the hard work so worth while. Have you achieved something recently, I would love to know.

Sorry for the lack of posts and commenting I keep thinking life will become quieter but that just isn't happening at the moment!
Sarah x

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Through the Garden Gate May 2017

 The changes in the garden are so rapid at this time of year that you almost need a weekly rather than a monthly visit through the garden gate. Take this view for instance it has changed from this at the beginning of the month......

to this......

So many plants have had their 5 minutes of fame and faded away for another year such as these alliums.

Regular readers may remember that I am trying to capture the garden from a similar location each month, so these are the typical views I have captured.

Things aren't always perfect in the garden  - our poor lupins have been decimated by green fly, we don't like spraying with chemicals, trying to wash it off with a fine spray just didn't work. We have had to resort to cutting the lupins all down in the hope it won't spread to other plants. Does anyone have any tips? We noticed blue tits feeding off some white fly on the parsley but they weren't so interested in the green fly on the lupins!

The vegetable garden is full of salad crops and the broad beans are looking good at the moment.
Favourite plants of the month include the contrasting orange marigolds and purple chive flowers, the blue geranium Brookside and the yellow geum.

Despite a busy month ahead I have signed up for going 30 days wild challenge in June, if you want to join in  see this link to the Wildlife Trusts challenge.

What is your favourite plant or disaster this month in the garden?

If you would like to join in with Through the garden gate each month please let me know in the comments below and I will add your site. Those participating this month so far are :-

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A new arrival

We have a new arrival in the house - please meet Jackson.

He is a very handsome tom cat who is five years old. We weren't planning to have another cat so soon after we had lost Twinkle.  While looking on the Cats Protection League web site our daughter was astonished to see a picture of Jackson, who needed a new home. (She already knew him, as he had lived in one of the locations she visited in her job and she would often come home and mention him.) It was therefore difficult not to take him into our home....

He is very friendly and especially enjoys sleeping, eating and being groomed. It has taken a while for Tavi and Jackson to get used to each other.  It does feel as if they are getting there - we did find them both asleep on the same bed today!

Jackson has just started going outside and he is enjoying exploring the new territory!  He hasn't been used to large fields and lots of catmint plants before. Jackson is the third rescue cat that we have had and he has settled in much more quickly than our previous cats. Have you taken in any rescue animals?

I am very busy at the moment so have to apologise for spending less time on the internet at the moment.
 Wishing you a lovely and sunny weekend.
Sarah x

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Views of the sea

As promised some sea views this time, but I couldn't get away from including some wild flowers as they are in abundance around here at the moment!

On our almost daily walk in this direction down to the sea, the red valerian is framing the view.

We frequently meet other local dogs that are enjoying the beach too!

Sunset at West Bay

Early evening light at Eype, before heading down to a barbecue on the beach.

We recently discovered this viewpoint looking along the Chesil Beach towards Portland, it clearly shows the inland water of the Fleet.. This week we had the pleasure of meeting one of my favourite gardening blogging friends, Sigrun and her partner from Hillside Garden who were staying in Portland. It was just a shame that when they visited us, the weather here was cold and grey.
It was lovely to show them our garden, their English was so good and Sigrun is so knowledgeable about English gardens, as she has visited so many over the years. Sigrun would love some more English blogging friends so if you haven't met her do pop over to her website and say hello. It's not a problem if you leave comments in English and you can easily translate her posts.

Another fellow blogger Philip Strange, alerted me in last week's comments that the fields around Stonebarrow were full of wild flowers. As the sun was shining on Saturday and we needed to take the dog on a long walk we ended up heading in that direction. Do you notice that yellow field above, it was a like a beacon encouraging us to head in that direction. As we got closer we could see it was full of buttercups......

On our walk we also discovered our first foxglove in flower, caught our first glimpse of swallows and saw our first blue butterfly. so thank you Philip for suggesting this location, aren't blogging friends great?

The re- opening of Bridport Museum is only a couple of weeks off and the town is currently celebrating a Season of Heritage. We were so lucky that the sun shone over the weekend and we had an amazing parade when puppets aided by humans marched through the Town.  The puppets were made by a local artist and she was assisted by many local schoolchildren. There were some fantastic creations that included local historical buildings, boats, seagulls and fishes and tractors. The 12 foot 'Spirit of Bridport' towered over us, isn't she wonderful?

It is always good to join in with others and share in events, is anyone else taking part in the Great Get Together with the Big Lunch in June?  There are already 105,000 events taking place in the UK this year. I originally saw this idea at the Eden Project many years ago and this year we are getting together with our neighbours and having a street party! It is not to late to do something in your area too, for more details see The Great get together with the Big Lunch 2017.

 Wishing you a Happy and healthy week. Thank you for all your comments, I do appreciate them.
 Until next time.
Sarah x


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