Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category


Attempt at regular posting #1

August 2, 2009

I had planned to try to post here more often this month. At least every couple of days. However, that has proved to be harder than I thought as somehow all the time in the day gets magically used up with other things. And now it’s really late and I should go to bed. But in order to reassure myself that I haven’t been completely unsuccessful I thought I’d just post a quick picture from my weekend.

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I took this at a country park that I went to with a friend for her birthday.

There. Now I feel better for at least posting something. Maybe I can keep this up if I keep it short and simple! I hope you had a nice weekend!


Seafood festival

July 28, 2009

The seafood festival in Weymouth last weekend was a very wet affair, at least on the saturday when I was there.


Despite the weather there was a good turnout, and some crazy fools even swam across the harbour!


At our stand we were making basking shark pencil pots. Most of the kids seemed to enjoy it but the instructions were a bit complicated for some of the younger ones and that meant it took some of them a while and caused some frustration! A lot were really excited when they saw the pots and it was nice to see the creative streak coming through at such a young age. Almost everyone, including the parents, was surprised to learn we get basking sharks along the coast here, and it was great to see the look on some of the children’s faces when we told them that even with that huge mouth these sharks aren’t man-eaters and don’t even have teeth!


As well as the crafting for the children we had a lot of information about the ocean, and the problems of pollution in particular. One of the displays that seemed to have the most impact was photographs of balloons and plastic bags as a turtle would view them from underwater. These look uncannily like jellyfish, which are the favourite food of turtles and many other marine animals. The most common cause of death across all turtle species is starvation caused by eating plastic bags that have been mistaken for jellyfish so we are campaigning to reduce the plastic bag waste that is thrown away, ending up in the ocean. Charity balloon releases are another huge problem, because although people see it as raising money for a good cause, they often don’t realise that the vast majority of these balloons end up in the sea causing major hazards for marine life. So I guess the message is hold a raffle instead!

Another display that got a lot of comments was this “souvenir” stand (click to enlarge):


The packets are all filled with plastic rubbish collected from the local beach. There was so much it could even be put in packets of matching colour! I find it very sad that so many people still think it’s acceptable and normal to leave litter on beaches, or throw waste over the side of a fishing boat, especially when by their very nature beaches are mostly used by children and families.

Luckily there are plenty of people helping to make a difference through beach-cleans, campaigns and fundraising. If you’re feeling inspired why not join your nearest beach clean event? Or look at the Dorset Wildlife Trust and Marine Conservation Society  websites for other ways you can help.



July 6, 2009

Yesterday we had a lovely day out in Winchester so that I could get to the Handm@de craft fair being held at the Guildhall. It was a fantastic event, and I’m glad I set a limit before I went in as it could have been very easy to spend a lot of money!

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There was such a wide range of crafts represented, from jewellery to soaps to photographs to stuffed toys, and just about everything in between! I tried to buy some small items from as many stalls as possible to try to bring home a good selection and support a lot of artists! Here are some of my goodies…

Greeting gards from Joan Stewart and paperleaf, and postcards from Joe Hurry and Julia Davey.

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Very funky pup keyring from Laurie Redman

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Lovely ceramic buttons (I could have bought hundreds of these!) from Karen Turner and Penny Spooner

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I love owls. I especially love embroidered owls with cute little heart buttons and bead dangles! From meninafeliz

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These ladies had just about my favourite stall of the day, although there were so many I loved it’s hard to say that! But something about this table really draws you in, and the detailed little pieces like my owl were beautiful.

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Another thing I loved about the fair was that so many people were using moo cards as business cards! They are really cute and I think I’ll have to get myself some.

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After a good hour and a half wandering around the guildhall,we found a nice little pub with a lovely beer garden to sit in.

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Even better, they had a little outdoor pool room with a television so we could watch the amazing Wimbledon final.

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We ended up having to eat here because we couldn’t leave before the match was over! Nail-biting stuff.

Hope you had a lovely weekend too!


Today I have been mostly

April 23, 2009

Packing. And that does not make for fun pictures. Although I will try to remember to take photos of the flat when we’re all moved in and unpacked. Even though we’re only renting so I can’t decorate everything the way I would like.

In the mean time, here are some pictures from a lovely walk I had with Matt a couple of weeks ago. The first signs of spring were visible and the weather was finally brightening up.


We followed mysterious paths through woodland most probably inhabited by faries and elves…


And stopped to admire the handiwork of the locals…


Before enjoying the view over the fields to the harbour.

We also had a recent visit to the RSPB reserve at Arne on a beautiful evening. I didn’t take many pictures but the changing light as we walked was lovely.



Wish us luck with the move! I’m sure it will go swimmingly, and I’ll be back with tales of our adventures in our (however temporary) new home soon!


River Cottage

March 29, 2009

Yesterday Matt and I visited River Cottage for their “Get Growing in Spring” event. This is the headquarters for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘s food and farming empire and is somewhere that I love to visit.

This is the view as you walk down to the farm. I think it looks so romantic, snuggled away in its little valley.


I love Hugh FW’s outlook on food, it should be as local, seasonal and organically grown as possible, and I’m glad that local food is becoming more widely available in farm shops, and even some supermarkets. I’ve always believed that even better than buying locally produced food is having a go at growing it yourself! That way you know exactly where it has come from and it tastes much better knowing that you put the time and effort in!


These beautiful rows of seedlings planted in drainpipes were an inspiration as to what can be grown if you have the space. Unfortunately, I don’t. At the moment my growing space is limited to a small plot in my parents’ garden, but I guess it’s a good idea to start small and just grow what you can!


There was a lot going on, with demonstrations and talks about growing veg and how to cook what you grow, sample allotment layouts and ideas of how to get the most from a tiny plot, and a chance to see some of the livestock on the farm, including the new lambs, who seemed to be the star attraction!


There was also a produce swap which was a great success. We took two jars of our homemade apple and date chutney and took home a jar of windfall pear and walnut chutney and a lovely looking cranberry jam.

We were lucky with the weather most of the day (except for a 2 minute hail storm which seemed to come from nowhere) so were able to enjoy a walk around the farm and nature trail in the sunshine. It was a really nice day out and I’d recommend a trip to a River Cottage event if you get the chance. There were also a lot of experts there to ask if you have any problems or just a niggling question about any aspect of growing veg or rearing livestock.


There was also a lot of information about a new scheme Hugh is setting up to find land for people who are interested in growing veg but don’t have the space. It’s definitely something I’m going to look into. It involves matching landowners who have the space but not the time or inclination to grow their own with people who would love to get growing but don’t have anywhere to do it. This is the Landshare website with more info if you’re interested (and live in the UK).




February 3, 2009

The last 2 days have seen a very rare thing in this part of the world. Actual snow! We had barely an inch, but thats better than nothing! (Which has been the average snowfall here for the last 10 years or so)


I know there must be many people in more northerly places who are sick of the sight of it, and having their lives disrupted by power cuts and being snowed in, so sorry to you guys! And those of you down under who’d probably love a bit of this weather at the moment!


I find it quite amusing how we can’t cope with snow in England. Everything sort of grinds to a halt. As I said, we only had about an inch of snow here, but that has been enough to close most of the schools in the area and put out warnings that people should only travel if it is really necessary. How do people live in areas that have several feet of snow every year? How does the transport network keep going? And phones? And power? We just couldn’t do it.

squirrel tracks


to the beach

January 27, 2009

At the weekend my boyfriend and I went to a lovely rocky beach that is one of my favourite places to go in the winter. The bay is a marine nature reserve and is a great place for snorkelling in warmer weather.


The beach is a perfect place to see the geology of the area, the different layers of rock are exposed in the cliff so you can look back through millions of years.


Because the layers are tilted at an angle here, you can walk out into the bay on ledges that are exposed at low tide with a gentle slope one side and a steep drop the other. These are full of children catching crabs and blennies in the summer, and you can lie on the ledges and peer over the edge with a snorkel mask on if you don’t want to actually swim!


The beach is a really good place to hunt for treasures. I love collecting pretty pebbles and shells and beach glass. Here are some of the things we found that I didn’t bring home…


Seaweed that looks like a tentacle…

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whelk eggs

Empty Dog Whelk egg cases…


Rock that looks like a map…


Kelp roots (again looking like some strange alien being)…

Then we found a wishing stone. I know that’s what it is because Kristy says so!

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We also found one with a solid circle of white instead of a ring but I’m not sure that counts. We threw it into the sea and made a wish anyway. Boyfriend said it looked like a fossilised pint of Guinness.

Guinness wishing stone

So that was our afternoon at the beach, and a lovely time was had by all. I hope you enjoyed the trip!