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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Greetings

I have just been for a short walk along a road near here to take these photos - these early daffodils seemed to me to epitomise the hope which Christmas brings.
The sun was shining and although it was chilly I enjoyed these few moments on my own.
Happiness comes in many forms and for me this was one of them - on my own, in a place which I love, noticing Nature at work evein alongside a busy road!
I had earlier been listening to carols on Classic Fm and the last few lines of this one resonated with me which is why I wish you all Peace as well as happiness and hope this Christmas.  See you in the New Year!
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Counting down the days!

I'm counting the days - only 7 left to go.  No that is not a typing error I mean Thursday 22nd December.  Why?  I hear you ask.  Well that will be the Winter Equinox this year - the shortest day and longest night of the year.  After that the days will begin to lengthen and the mornings and evenings to become lighter.  Now that is something worth celebrating!  The above photo was taken this morning at 8.00 am - how thankful I am that I no longer have to leave the house to go to work at that time.

Same view at 4.00 pm today!

Winter Solstice is  a largely forgotten celebration coming as Christmas preparations are taking place, which all too often focus is on the commercial aspect of the festival.  The Solstice is however, the complete antithesis of the commercialised Christmas celebrations. Also known as ‘Yule’, the Solstice is generally celebrated on the 21st of December, (although the astronomical date changes from year to year – this year the actual Solstice takes place on the 22nd). It is the traditional time to celebrate the truly important things in life:  family,  children, home and looking forward to a good year to come. Surely this can tie in nicely with the Christian celebration which after all takes many of  its traditions from the pagan festival.  Yule is a time that honours love and new birth, as well as the collective unity of man. Just as Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, Yule celebrates the birth of the Sun God - child of the Goddess in the Pagan belief system. It is however primarily the celebration of the rebirth of the Sun and I can't see why, whatever your religious persuasion, this cannot be a time for celebration especially for us living in the northern hemisphere where the lack of sunlight at this time of year is so depressing.  It seems to me that religion is not a one size fits all sort of thing and I don't see why we shouldn't pick and mix taking those aspects of other religions which appeal to us as individuals and incorporating them with our own religious beliefs.  I am sure there will be some who throw up their hands in horror at my suggestion but I am going to celebrate the shortest day and Christmas!!

Thank you all for you kind comments on previous posts - all much appreciated.  I now have an appointment for 25th January when I will discover the results of my scan.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Me again!

Once again I must begin by thanking you all for your kind thoughts and comments - all much appreciated.

I had my scan done on Wednesday but needless to say no results were given and I now have to wait to see the opthalmologist at the hospital in Yeovil again for her to tell me what if anything has been found and who knows when that might be.  I am glad to say that the problem is not as bad as it was and most days I am OK now.  I am also glad to say my virus has pretty much gone now and I am feeling like my usual self and not so tired or depressed.  End of health bulletin!!

I have been lurking round blogland occasionally and reading a post here and there but I have realised just how much time I had been giving to blogging and am resolved to cut back on both posting and reading and commenting. According to Blogger I follow over 100 blogs and I have 169 followers - now in real life I wouldn't/couldn't correspond regularly with that number of people and so I think I must reduce it all a bit otherwise nothing else gets done. 

I haven't been taking many photographs lately and have nothing exciting to show you but these are from a walk I did with a friend on 18 November. It was the first real walk I had done since the start of my cold 4 weeks earlier and boy was I glad when we reached the pub where we had left our cars and we went inside for a pub lunch and a nice sit down!  Those sheep in photo 2 saw my friend opening the map and I think they thought it might be a feed bag as they made a bee line for us only to be disappointed when they discovered we had nothing to eat!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Thank you

 I don't know how to thank you all so much for your very kind and supportive comments and especially to those of you who e-mailed me with your good wishes.  It is true that it is when you have problems that you find out who your friends are!  Thank you all so very much - I am deeply touched.

Just after my last post I went down with a horrid cold virus when I completely lost my voice - some might say that was a good thing but I have enough difficulty communicating with my husband, who is deaf, at the best of times and you can imagine how frustrating it was not to be able to raise more than a whisper!  My voice soon returned but then I was coughing day and night for over a week and it all seems to be taking forever to go and has left me feeling tired and a bit sorry for myself - not helped by the weather here in our neck of the woods where it has been grey and dismal with plenty of heavy showers!  The clocks going back an hour recently means that it is now dark enough to need the lights on soon after 4.00 which doesn't help lift the spirits either.  I want to curl up and hibernate till it's all over and the Spring is here and I feel better.

I now have an appointment for my scan to be done on 30th November and had planned to stay away till I had something to tell you - I am feeling something of a fraud now though as the eye problem seems to have improved somewhat although of course I still don't know what caused the sudden deterioration in my sight and hopefully will know more after the scan.  

I wonder if Kate at Harmony and Rosie who commented that perhaps it was "bloggers eye" might have something as I have realised just how much time I had been spending on the computer reading and posting and it is strange that the problem is much improved - might it be due to my leaving the blogosphere for a while?!  I will be back - you won't get off that lightly ! - but I will stay away for a bit longer as I don't want you to catch my low mood nor to undo any good that the rest may or may not have done for my sight.

The above photos are 1)  of the lovely walk we did one Sunday at the end of the Indian summer round Milborne Port   2)  and 3) of the walk we did on the Quantocks just before I went down with my virus.

See you all again in a few weeks and once more my heartfelt thanks for your concern and support.

Friday, 14 October 2011


I am deeply touched by the number of good wishes I have received following my last post.  I knew I had a good few blogger friends but hadn't realised quite how many of you there were!  Thank you all so much.  I managed to read all your comments by leaning close in to the screen and closing the left eye!!

Just to update you on the situation - I spent nearly an hour at the optometrist's on Tuesday afternoon undergoing a barrage of different tests and it seemed likely that the problem was a cataract and an appointment was made for me to see the consultant at the hospital.  That was 5.00 pm Tuesday evening and on Wednesday mid-day I received a phone call to offer me an appointment for 9.00 am this morning (who says the NHS is rubbish and the waits interminable?!)  Today I had further tests and the opthalmologist says that although there are cataracts (yes in the plural!) they are not causing the problem and she could find nothing to account for it so now I am awaiting a further appointment for a retinal scan to be done at Dorchester hospital.  We must wait and see what that shows.  In the meantime I can still drive as I can see but just not the fine detail - phew!

I am fine and we went for a lovely walk on the Quantocks yesterday with our neighbours - the views were amazing (would have been even better if I had been able to see clearly!).  I am still finding using the computer hard work - typing is fine as I don't need to look for that though the proof reading might be another story.  I will look forward to catching up with you all again soon.

Thank you again for all your good wishes.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

In the pink? Sadly No!

Am going to be taking a break from blogging as I have a problem with my sight.  I noticed very recently that my sight was blurred in my left eye and in spite of an eye test last week and new glasses I still cannot see clearly - it's very frustrating and makes me feel in some way disconnected as things are not as they should be!

A visit to the doctor this morning has resulted in an appointment being made to see the eye specialist (probably in a couple of weeks' time) and a further eye test this afternoon as the doctor doesn't have the necessary equipment to check out what is happening himself.  Mention was made of cataract though he couldn't actually see anything like that.  

Since I cannot see properly - good job I am a touch typist eh? - it seems best to give it up for the moment.  It's all so frustrating as I was in the pink just a couple of weeks ago and now I am unable to read, to see the television clearly and the computer is blurred too! The good news is that I am NOT diabetic - this was seemingly a possible cause but apparently all is well in that department!

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago for a post which never got written so I will use them now.  Hope to be back with you all soon.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Wish you were Here!

Last week realising that our diaries were unusually free of commitments we decided to take an on the spur of the moment holiday.  So where did we go?

The Mediterranean?

The Amalfi Coast?

If I tell you we needed no passports or visas, no dilema over what to pack, that there were no foreign currency requirements and that we spent no time at the airport waiting in a queue, that our self catering accommodation was a real home from home perhaps you will guess that we didn't actually leave home at all!

We did however shop in colourful local markets

Eat delicious lunches!

Visit delightful gardens

Enjoy several great walks...

And perhaps the highlight of our week was a ride on the bus!  Not just any old bus you understand but the X53 which runs along the Jurassic Coast and through some of the most stunning scenery along what is a World Heritage site and linking Exeter with Poole.  We had been meaning to travel some of this route for ages and somehow never got round to it so on Thursday we set off for West Bay through the countryside on a lovely summer morning (Yes I know it was Autumn but here it was summer!)

Having parked the car we had a wander round West Bay whilst we waited for the bus - our bus passes at the ready! (There are many advantages to being elderly and the free bus pass is one of them!)

We had decided to travel to Beer - a little town on the South Devon coast - and from there to walk to Branscombe on a circular route which would bring us back to Beer in time for the return journey.

Rather like Wells the street in Beer has a stream running along either side but in Beer's case it is lined with pretty flowers although you do need to look where you are going!  After a cup of coffee we set off up the hill on our walk to Branscombe Mouth.  The distance in miles is not far but it was an up hill and down dale sort of walk which made it seem further.

After clambering down a steep flight of steps through the woodland we finally arrived at our destination where we had lunch - a sandwich and a drink at the cafe on the beach.  

 Then of course we had to climb again on our homeward route this time inland.  I don't have many photos of the return walk probably because I was concentrating on actually making it to the top as I found it really hard going!

We did of course make it back to Beer and this was the final straight!  We had a welcome cup of tea in a pretty cafe and rested our feet before having a wander down to the beach - we had made good time and had an hour or so to wait for the bus which runs every two hours.

Although it felt like a summer's day the days are getting shorter and the sun was going down by now and we wandered back up the street to the bus stop which had a welcome bench on which we could sit.

The journey back to West Bay was good and the scenery in the evening light was lovely.

This is Seaton.  We got home just after dark (about 7.30 now) after a fabulous day out and feeling very happy after our walk and all that fresh air.

Sherborne for shopping at the market - see photo at beginning as well.  The flower displays everywhere are still very summery.

And in the afternoon a visit to Kilver Court Gardens which were lovely

Yesterday we did our longest walk yet but I will save those pictures for another time.  As you will see we had a wonderful holiday at next to no cost (I think the most expensive thing was the entry fees to Kilver Court and they were reduced for Seniors!)  Cost to the environment = negligible.  Enjoyment factor = enormous!  

Today at yoga the watchword was Santosha which means contentment and as I lay there at the end of the class relaxing with a soft warm breeze coming in through the open French doors I was, I really was content - content to be living in such a fabulous part of the world, content to have stored up some wonderful memories of a lovely week, content to be me and at that particular moment I wouldn't have wished to be anywhere else!  Just as well as this evening whilst I wasn't looking the grey clouds rolled in and it was dark before 7.00 - the weather man tells us we will not see such high temperatures now till next April or May so I will be glad to have my memories to feed off during the colder months.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Desirable residence?

Charming lodge with original features set in beautiful countryside.

 Two main rooms - probably 8 x 8 feet and 12 x 8 feet - plus tiny kitchen - needs updating!

 Bathroom/kitchen requiring modernisation.

Roof (what roof?) needs repair but look at that sky!  It wasn't for sale but oh how I wanted it!!!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Out and About

It seems ages since my last post - my feet don't seem to have touched the ground lately so apologies for not having visited as many blogs as I would wish nor leaving as many comments as I like to.  I did post a quick post earlier in the week but changed my mind about it as it had been done in a rush so appologies to those of you who found it on your dashboards only to find it gone!!

The day after my last post I spent the day in Salisbury with friends - plenty of gossiping but no photos I am afraid!
 Then on Friday 16th a friend arrived to stay till Monday and we were busy exercising our tongues most of the time but we did also go out and about and on Saturday we were here at Montacute.  Luckily we dodged the showers and were inside the house when it rained.  I loved the bark on this amazing old tree - could it be used in a knitting pattern perhaps?!

 See the sun did shine some of the time.  Having finished here we had a cup of tea in the village and then went to Ham Hill to see the views although as it was by then a bit cloudy we didn't stay long and got back to the car just as the heavens opened.

On Sunday it poured with rain all morning but on Sunday afternoon we went to Barrington Court and again luck was with us as we were able to enjoy the gardens and were in the house when it rained!

Cyclamen seem to be doing well this year and I have seen loads of them recently - I love them growing naturally under the trees like this don't you?

We finished our tour with tea in the restaurant overlooking the garden and then had a poke about the craft shops in the old barns - there was a new (or new to me) patchwork shop there which had loads of lovely books and I bought some ribbon with Love, Live, Laugh woven into it and another with Follow your Dreams.  I shall use them in my crazy patchwork (if I ever get enough spare moments to do any crafting!)

 Then on Wednesday we did another walk again from Sherborne but this time in a different direction - north towards Sandford Orcas.  Again the path was along grassy lanes...

under the trees...


and along an old drovers' road.  I imagined the drovers with their flocks or herds making their way along here in all weathers and could almost hear their footsteps.

Much of our route was sheltered and quite warm and there were a lot of flowers here and there including this clump of Michaelmas Daisies which the butterflies were enjoying.

Sometimes it was cloudy but..

sometimes the sun came out too.

After the heavy rain we had had the path was often muddy!

But we were wearing our walking boots so we managed to pick our way through the puddles.

Here you might be able to make out Glastonbury Tor in the distance if you can enlarge the photo?

If berries are a sign of a hard winter then I guess we are in for one of those!

We stopped for tea as before but this time we were within earshot of a B road so it wasn't quite as fabulous as the previous week's tea break but enjoyable all the same.

On the home straight now - wind blowing in my hair and making it more like a demented poodle than usual but how lovely it felt!

Not much further and we were back to the car tired but feeling very righteous and pleased with ourselves after another great walk in the beautiful countryside - this time just under 5 miles I think

Next day I said to my husband "I don't think I could do another  5 mile walk today even though the weather is good could you?"  and he replied "Maybe not but we could do the short one round Milborne Port"!  So we set off after lunch on a short walk round the nearby village this time in Somerset rather than Dorset.  The county boundary is a wiggly line round here and we had travelled from Somerset into Dorset and back into Somerset to get here.  Here is the church.

This used to be the pump house (and to think I had always thought it was just a bus shelter!) and alongside it the well now beside the busy A30.

This used to be the school.

This part of the village was all buil tbetween 1818 and 1822 and is called Newtown!  Many pretty thatched cottages but no more photos as there were too many parked cars for a decent view!

These two little dears were enjoying themselves in their little enclosure and wanted to know if I had anything to eat - which of course I didn't although a little further up the lane we passed a table with boxes of apples of various types and a notice saying "Help yourself" - sorry piggies!  Everywhere I am able to help myself to apples round here as it has been a good year for apples this year and everyone who has a tree has more than they know what to do with!

 Yesterday I did some much needed housework, washing and ironing and a trip to the shops to replenish the stores as today I knew I would be out all day doing a scrapbooking day!

If I take as long to do all my family photos I will be 100 before I am half way through but it was an enjoyable day and I can now breathe a sigh of relief as the diary for next week is comparatively empty!!  

What did I see outside the village hall in Broadwindsor where we were to do our scrapbooking but another box of apples with a notice to take what you wanted so tonight we had apple sponge for pudding!

Hope to have a bit more time to visit you all next week but don't hold your breath as life often has other plans I find!!  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.