Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Dorset

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.

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Wedding bells…

I had a lovely weekend. I was invited to accompany a friend to his niece’s wedding and as I do like a good wedding, I dusted off my posh frock and my dancing shoes and accepted. I had promised to make the bride and groom a guest book for the the wedding guests to sign at the reception. This is what I came up with. The book spine is white leather and the cover image is printed onto Belgian linen ink jet bookcloth.

The wedding guest book

The wedding guest book

  • The book and its box
  • The book and its boxInside the book
  • The box

    The box

    The wedding was in a very beautiful and tiny church in Weymouth called St Anne’s. The service was really sweet as the vicar kept forgetting the groom’s name – not ideal, but luckily, he got it right at the crucial bits of the service. One of the readings was a Pam Ayres poem which brought the house down.

    Yes, I’ll Marry You

    Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
    And here’s the reason why;
    So I can push you out of bed
    When the baby starts to cry,
    And if we hear a knocking
    And it’s creepy and it’s late,
    I hand you the torch you see,
    And you investigate.

    Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
    You may not apprehend it,
    But when the tumble-drier goes
    It’s you that has to mend it,
    You have to face the neighbour
    Should our labrador attack him,
    And if a drunkard fondles me
    It’s you that has to whack him.

    Yes, I’ll marry you,
    You’re virile and you’re lean,
    My house is like a pigsty
    You can help to keep it clean.
    That sexy little dinner
    Which you served by candlelight,
    As I do chipolatas,
    You can cook it every night!

    It’s you who has to work the drill
    and put up curtain track,
    And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
    I do see great advantages,
    But none of them for you,
    And so before you see the light,
    I do, I do, I do!

    The vicar also included my ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ quotation (which I am reading at my god daughter’s wedding in October) in his sermon. It sounded good, so I am busy rehearsing for when I have to stand up in public and read it – gulp. It will be a bit ‘curly’ as my ex will be there too – a bit strange for me to be extolling the virtues of married love but – hey ho, has to be done.

    Lulworth Castle

    The wedding reception was held at Lulworth Castle, which is actually a mock castle. It was built as a hunting lodge in 1610 by Thomas Howard but it was destroyed in a fire in 1929 and left as a roofless ruin. In the 70’s a restoration was begun which was completed in 1998. It is fascinating, the ground floor has been renovated but the upper floors have not been replaced. It was re-roofed and the walls cleaned so as you stand inside you can see the full height of the building above you and see fireplaces, doors and windows which were in rooms far above you. One of the towers has a spiral staircase which takes you up onto the roof to see the spectacular views of the surrounding parkland to the sea as far as Poole harbour.

    During the afternoon, we went outside to watch a display of jousting which was great fun. Here are some photographs of the afternoon.

    Such a fun day – and the only sunny day of the whole weekend, so doubly blessed. I hope the weather is as kind at the wedding in October.

    I’ve spent the time since then re-writing my friend Claire’s web site and giving it a bit of a revamp. Last week, she discovered that her old website had been blocked by Google. It turned out that it had been hacked and big chunks of it had been overwritten with malicious code. When I had removed the code, it was easier to write her a new website than try and resurrect the old one. You can see the results and read what Claire has been up to here.

    claireheading

    I should have been busy this week making an album for my #2 son. He wanted me to make him one using all the photographs that he and his three friends took during their four months of travelling in South East Asia earlier this year. They are having great difficulty deciding on which photographs to include – they have managed to edit it down to 2000 so far, so I’m not holding my breath :-)

    travels

    Finally, news of Milo. After his ordeal at the kennels, I had to take him to the dog groomers. The only way to sort out the matted knots in his coat was to give him a severe haircut – he has been shorn naked! Poor thing looks like a demented poodle. Here are before and after pics. At least his hair will grow I suppose…

    Milo and his favourite toy

    P1010018

    Book swappage

    You may remember I was taking part in a Book Swap over at the Book Arts Forum. I made a book as a first effort, fully intending to have a second go at it but as is often the way with these things, time ran away with me and I had to use my original effort as I never got round to trying something different.

    So far, so familiar. As the theme of the swap was ‘My Home Town’, I did hit on the idea of filling the pages with images of Dorset (as you can imagine I have rather a lot). This started out as a good idea until I realised that as I had used Bockingford watercolour paper for the pages, the printed photographs wouldn’t stick to the pages terribly well, but having started, I had to finish! I think they are secure but the other problem was that the pages curled slightly and even after a day or so in my book press, they wouldn’t straighten and as time had run out, I had to send it to Rhonda as it was (with a letter of apology!)

    Here are photographs of some of the pages.

    It’s very intimidating making a book for other bookbinders to see ‘in the flesh’ as it were and even though this is the second swap I have taken part in – I still feel as if I could have done better…. having said that, I’m really looking forward to receiving my book from Crazy Daisy Girl :-)

    By the way, thanks very much indeed for the votes over at Kim’s competition. I didn’t win but happily I wasn’t vote-less which was very pleasing. You might like to check out the art work which won, a painting by Emmanuel Martinez called “Pain in the Eye’. Congratulations to the lucky winner!

    Now I’m off to continue with my latest project, a huge photograph album for a friend. She has two enormous beautifully made, very expensive albums which she has filled with photographs and I am going to try to make a third which matches the others. No pressure then……. :-)

    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.

    Travellers’ tales

    I’m taking part in a book swap over at the Book Arts Forum the theme of the book has to be ‘My Town’. The idea is to make a book that tells my swap partner something about where I live. I have been throwing various ideas around and this is my first effort. I’m going to play about with this over the next few weeks.

    It’s a bit too obvious, I think, so I’m going to try and see if I can think of another way to approach it…this is too much like a travel guide!

    Talking of which….(groan!) I was reading the Travel section of the Sunday Times yesterday and saw this.

    Is it just me or does this not seem right somehow? And the cheek of the thief to take the watch back! I was mugged once outside a busy supermarket in Antibes in France. A thief on a motor scooter grabbed my bag and drove off. I actually chased him (my ex said to me afterwards ‘What would you have done if you had caught him?’) I was so furious, adrenalin kept me going for several minutes but I then began to shake like a leaf. It was scary. This poor 73 year old must have been manhandled to get a watch off him – and then he gets into trouble. Seems all wrong to me.

    And talking of being manhandled, check this out. This is the metro in Tokyo where smiling white gloved concierges are employed to help people onto the trains or as the Sunday Times puts it ‘to ram every last ounce of humanity into groaning metro trains’. Has to be seen to be believed! Breathe in!