Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: beach

Mud and stuff

These are the last few photographs from my sister’s visit to Dorset, the weather ranges from wet and windy through misty and cold and on the last day – the sun came out. I thought I would try out the new WordPress slideshow option – quite nice.

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My #2 son arrived home on Friday for the weekend. I wanted to show him the fossils at Monmouth Beach so on Easter Sunday, we set out to visit Lyme Regis which was a VERY BAD IDEA. I drove us there at around 11.30am. We drove around and around but couldn’t find anywhere to park, Lyme Regis was full to bursting. We hadn’t reckoned on it being a) the first sunny day for a while and b) a holiday and c) lunchtime so we eventually gave up and headed for Charmouth instead. Same deal, only this time we ended up stuck in a traffic jam along a narrow lane leading down to the car park and the whole queue ended up having to reverse back down the lane to get out as there was no room to turn around at the bottom. Nightmare. So we came home :-(

We tried again the next day at 3.30 as it was Easter Monday and we figured most people would be setting off for home. It was still busy but much better and we had a great time walking along the beach with Milo. We found an area of rock on the beach known as the Ammonite Graveyard. (Click all images to enlarge)

It is quite astonishing and extends for a huge area of the beach.

This my son walking across it…

The cliffs along this stretch of beach are really unstable after the heavy rain we have had over the last few weeks and we could see water streaming off the clay and also watched large chunks of cliff falling onto the beach – which was a little disconcerting to say the least. I read in the local paper that 3 separate lots of children have had to rescued from the mud recently.

In the second image, if you click on it to enlarge it you can see an large ammonite lying amongst the rocks…

Of course all the muddy clay from the cliffs and the wet sandy rock pools were irresistible to Milo who had a whale of a time…

His day didn’t end quite so happily though, as soon as we arrived home he was dumped unceremoniously into the bath…

Have you ever seen a sorrier sight?

My son went back to London on Tuesday morning and Milo has been sulking ever since. He normally spends his days lying at my feet while I work but I am obviously a very poor substitute for his best friend, my son, and right now, he is lying downstairs on the sofa in the kitchen sighing and looks at me very dolefully when I walk in. Even a walk hasn’t cheered him up. Poor pooch.

Then and now…

I went for a walk on my favourite beach last night. I was delighted to find lots of the coastal plants in full bloom along the edge of the beach and on the cliff tops. I think the purple flowers are called ‘thrift’ but will have to check up on the others. 

I had lots of company on my walk – not of the human kind though.

The cliff tops are honeycombed with rabbit warrens and I saw dozens of them during my walk. It’s slightly disconcerting actually. The cliff edges are unstable enough without bunnies mining them! It was a lovely walk though, even though it was grey, the sun kept trying to break through and the sunbeams shining on the sea were gorgeous.

I went for a walk as I needed to get out – I had spent the entire day sewing this giant album I am making. I started by cutting 50 sheets of ivory Colorplan 270gsm paper (which is the same as Falkiners use in their photograph albums). Each sheet had to be measured and cut individually and then scored so I could fold over a 2cm section on one side. This helps to space the pages so that the album lies flat once photographs are placed into it. 

The next step was to sew the pages together which so far has taken me over a day and I am only about half of the way through. I normally just hold the text block in my hands to sew but as these pages are 40cm x 50cm, that’s just not possible. The sewing would be easier I think if I was using a sewing frame but as I don’t have one, I am just lying each new page on top of the previous one and holding them in place. It seems to be working so far….

I found this great web site the other day that invites people to post an image of themselves when they were a child and then to photograph themselves re-creating the childhood photograph. It’s called ‘Young Me, Now Me’ and some of the photographs are hilarious. I ‘borrowed’ these to show you what I mean. You must visit and see the rest of the photographs – or even post your own!

As you might have guessed, I couldn’t resist digging out a Young Me, Now Me combination. It’s not a direct recreation but with a bit of cropping and converting to B&W, it’s close enough…

It’s interesting to note I had bags under my eyes even when I was 8. Must have been all that reading after lights out under the bed covers with a torch! And my hairstyle hasn’t changed that much – just got longer. Which reminds me, I’m off to my hairdresser again on Wednesday. Last time I went, he was in a  wheelchair as he had broken his leg very badly and he did struggle to cut my hair – I’m amazed he even tried. It necessitated me lowering my chair until it was inches off the floor so that he could reach me – I felt like a little girl again, sitting on those miniature chairs we had in primary school.

Shall I be more adventurous this time….? Nah!



It’s windy out….

I love the colours of this book. I’ve always been a fan of lime green and navy blue and this Japanese Katazome-shi stencilled paper from Falkiners (where else) is very pretty indeed.

As you can see from the photographs it is still very sunny here in Dorset. We have had a really long spell of clear sunny days – a bit chilly perhaps but it’s so wonderful to see the sun. It encourages me to take long walks on the beach. I went a couple of evenings ago and watched the sun go down – so lovely, here are some shots I took.

It wasn’t the best sunset I have ever seen at Hive Beach but it was quite nice. Here are a couple of shots I took a couple of years ago. It was earlier in the year and there were a couple of nights when the sunsets were breathtaking. These photographs don’t really do justice to the colours in the sky but do give you an idea how stunning it was.

Today, I went for a walk along the cliff tops. Although the sun was shining there was a freezing easterly wind blowing which was at our backs on the way out but in our faces on the way back. I thought my ears were about to drop off. Here’s a shot of how rough the sea was as we set off on our walk.

Luckily, at the end of the walk, we stopped for lunch at the Hive Beach Cafe and devoured a bowl of wonderful Spicy Seafood Soup with a huge chunk of granary bread. It was delicious and I guess, quite a healthy lunch, which was good as the purpose of all this walking is to try and lose some weight before the holiday season kicks in. So I resisted the temptations of scones, Dorset Apple cake and other yumminesses on display – but it was very hard for someone who has no will power whatsoever. Luckily, my skinny friend has loads (which must be why she is thin) and I was shamed into resistance. On a nice day, (ie warm) everyone sits outside and enjoys the view and the sunshine but today everyone was packed inside keeping out of the icy wind, so we had to share a table with a couple who tucked into ham, egg and chips, followed by a huge slab of carrot cake with a lime frosting – so you can see how I suffered.

Not much else to report really. I received this in an email the other day. It reminded me of the days when I used to have cats, the days before they decided they preferred my next door neighbour to me and moved in there…..

and there is another one….

How true.

Mothers’ Day advice

I don’t have a new book to show you today as I was out all day yesterday. I had a very self indulgent day and went shopping in Exeter. It was really nice because I didn’t want anything in particular, so I could just browse and I ended buying a few nice things. Usually when I go shopping, I have one thing in mind that I need and I get increasingly frustrated at not being able to find it and end up coming home without whatever it is. I have chronicled here many sorry tales of hunting for shoes, boots, dresses – all of which I’m certain were in the shops until I started looking for them…..

The shops were full of Mothers’ Day gifts, cards and flowers (we celebrate it in March in the UK) and I was very smug as for once, I actually remembered to post my card to my mum in plenty of time – usually I carry it around in my handbag for days on end and only get round to posting it at the last minute.


I started writing this at 5.30am. I went out to dinner last night to one of my favourite restaurants, the Riverside which is in West Bay (shown in the photographs above) and had a fantastic meal. The Riverside is (mainly) a fish restaurant. Here’s what I ate. Clams in garlic, ginger and chilli followed by fillets of brill in a sorrel sauce with crispy spinach and then warm pancakes with passionfruit ice cream. I then made the BIG mistake of having not one, but two cups of strong coffee. As I don’t usually drink much coffee, it has kept me awake all night – and when I say all night I mean it, I haven’t been to sleep yet!! So I have been finding things to write about which are suitable for the day before Mothers’ Day. I have some suggestions for my sons (and anyone else in need of MD advice)

1 If you are thinking of sending a Mothers’ Day photograph, here’s how not to do it ….

2 These are good gifts for mothers everywhere….

3 This is a very BAD gift….


So, now you know.

And as it’s Mothers’ Day, here are some pics of my little angels….



Doesn’t time fly?

Talking of which, it is now 7.30am so I going back to bed to see if I can catch up on a couple of hours sleep…

A very sunny day


I ran a little workshop last Friday and a few of my old calligraphy group came over and I showed them how to make a ribbon book. It all went very well and they went home clutching their own book that they had made – and one of them bought one of my books (the blue ‘Wave’ book) as well to give as a gift to some friends, so a successful day all round. This is the book I made to demonstrate the process.

Today, the sun is still shining. It’s chilly but such a treat to see these clear blue skies. I went for a walk on the beach with the intention of taking some photographs to use as book covers. I quickly realised that I had left the memory card in the card reader when I was taking the photographs of the book (above). I managed to take a couple of shots which saved onto the in-built camera memory and then in desperation, I used my phone camera. I have to report that I got some really good shots using my phone, which was very surprising!

Here is a gallery of some of the shots I took. If you click on each thumbnail you can see a larger version of each photograph.


The cliffs along the beach are eroding at an alarming rate. The severe winter weather has caused numerous landslides which must be very disconcerting for the caravans parked near to the cliffs and which are now looking scarily close to the edge. Even the big white houses which have stunning sea views and which I used to lust after, are looking at risk. One is a hotel and one, I believe, belongs to the singer Billy Bragg. It makes my flooding worries look rather minor. At least my house isn’t going to end up falling off a cliff….