Tag Archives: England

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An English Market Town

Do you have towns that you regularly drive by and just don’t get round to stopping? I have several, and on Saturday I did get round to this one! Bridport, in Dorset (my second favourite county) is just 40 miles from home. I bypass it nearly every month on the drive to see my daughter, often wondering what it’s like. This time I got to visit because my friend and I had a table at a craft fair there, for the first time.
Bridport is known for its thriving arts and hosts the prestigious Bridport Prize for writing each year, I’d like to be good and brave enough to enter one day. The craft fair took place in the Arts Centre, where Dee, the manager fell for my hand made cards, thanks Dee :-)
Saturday is market day and this particular one was also the annual carnival, so the little town was positively bursting at the seams, buzzing and vibrant, with tourists mingling with locals and market traders.
I love markets and dashed around like a headless chicken, wanting to buy, see as much as possible and soak up the atmosphere. All the time I was aware that my friend was on her own and possibly busy while I went walkabout, snapping away with my phone camera and wishing I had my big girls Canon. Never mind, here are some of the things I saw.

I managed to resist buying anything! The book stall was most tempting – of course, but I’ve forbidden myself from buying any more until I’ve reduced my unread pile. And stuff? well I mustn’t take anything home unless I’m prepared to take something to the charity shop. What I did get though was bread, glorious locally made with green olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese and the most heavenly texture. I wish I’d bought more. I won’t be bypassing Bridport on a Saturday again.
Hope you enjoyed my visit!

Sidmouth’s 60th Folk Festival . . .

. . . was last week, and I spent two evenings there enjoying the street entertainment and the lovely relaxed atmosphere.
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As always there were lots of crazy characters around.


Good food, I remembered my favourite from last year, so joined the queue again.
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For falafel and goodness salad stuffed pitta with grilled halloumi on top.
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There was folk dance around the town, and beside the sea.


and the girls from Fosbrook accompanied their dancers on violin.
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A nice drop of special Annings cider!
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The fabulous samba band Street Heat, chilled outside the Anchor before their performance on the sea front.
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I burnt a few calories dancing to the beat. You can check them out here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2UI5jWqxBw
As if this wasn’t delightful enough, I also had a lush salted honeycomb ice cream
Jo Bryant if you come to the south west next year come in early august :-)

Nature and coast

When I think of texture I think close up and one the places I like taking close up photos is the seashore. I lovely pootling around a beach in winter hunting for treasure that has been delivered by the tide or has waited for millennia for my lens. So this weeks photo challenge was easy, simple photos from nature.

Perhaps you have some textures to share? Visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/texture/ to join in.

Some Local Zigzagery

There’s no need to look very far to find zigzags, most towns and cities will have architectural features that meet this weeks photo challenge.
Apart from some natural zigzags, mine are all photos taken in Exeter Cathedral and surrounds.

You can join this weeks challenge here, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/zigzag/

As blue as can be!

Early Beer

On a sunny Sunday at Beer in East Devon, it pays to be around bright and early to enjoy the peaceful beach. With blue skies and the crunch of the waves on the pebbles and just a few people it’s a perfect spot.

Looking east
Looking east
A shimmering horizon
A shimmering horizon


The stuff of coastal folk

As blue as can be!
As blue as can be!

Busying up, it's 10 am and there must be 10 people on the beach!
Busying up, it’s 10 am and there must be 10 people on the beach!

Looking West, Branscombe is around the corner, I don’t think you can walk it at beach level, but you can always climb up to the South West Coast Path.
I hope you liked an early peep at Beer?

An Officer and a Gentleman

Britannia Royal Naval College, the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, sits high on a hill overlooking Dartmouth in England. Royal Naval officer training has taken place in Dartmouth since 1863, but the buildings we see today were only finished in 1905, previous students lived in two wooden hulks moored in the River Dart. The foundation stone for the current building was laid down by King Edward V11 in March 1902. Sir Aston Webb designed the shore-based college at Dartmouth, which was built by Higgs and Hill and practically completed in 1905. The first term of cadets entered at the R.N. College Osborne were transferred to Dartmouth in September 1905.

King George V and King George V1 were naval cadets at Dartmouth, as were the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. It is said that the Duke of Edinburgh met the then Princess Elizabeth at Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst as part of his training with all three of Britain’s Armed Forces. Sheikh Mubarak Ali Yousuf Suoud Al-Sabah, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait, attended the Royal Navy Young Officer Course at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2002.

BRNC is widely considered one of the most prestigious officer training establishments in the world, their website says that they are

Delivering learning that is inspiring, challenging and relevant to meet Fleet operational capability. It has been at the forefront of the education and development of world-class Naval Officers in Dartmouth since 1863.

Fourteen years ago my son joined the Navy and since then he has risen the ranks as a submariner to Chief Petty Officer. On Thursday I went to see him ‘Pass out’ as Sub-Lieutenant at Dartmouth. A very proud day as you can imagine. Here is a slide show of the day.

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The top of the Oast house in the distance

Another English Country Garden

The garden at Sissinghurst, in Kent was created in the 1930’s by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson. Now a National Trust property, it is looked after by a large team of gardeners and is divided into ‘rooms’, each with a different style, planting scheme colour theme. Here are some photos, I have masses of flower shots but for now I’ll show you general views of the garden.

This style of planter was new to me, very effective
This style of planter was new to me, very effective
An abundance of blooms in every direction
An abundance of blooms in every direction
A rosy corner
A rosy corner
The boat house in the background
The boat house in the background
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
A nice feature
A nice feature
The tower, up we go!
The tower, up we go!
And here is the view from the top.
And here is the view from the top.
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
A view of the garden 'rooms'.
A view of the garden ‘rooms’.

Sissinghurst was beautiful, it totally lived up to my expectations. There were a good few plants I’ve rarely or never seen, and many dark purple flowers which are my favourites. It was the last day of my holiday and I was suffering from garden burn out, they were all running into one, but I hope you like this little glimpse.

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Making Entrances

Have you missed me a little?  I guess not, but since last weekend when Christine and Stuart were over from Dadirri, I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve taken around a thousand photos and these are the first few I will show you.

Entrances, doors and thresholds, they always fascinate me and I know I’m not alone. The gallery has pictures from Kent and Sussex, mainly National Trust properties, I hope you enjoy them, click for a bigger view.

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A Birthday Poem

Today is the day, but as always I plan to have a birthday month, so I spent yesterday walking beside the river Bovey. This is the result.

Rushing Slowly

I contemplate the transience of the River Bovey.

Every molecule of water that flows past my feet

has a destiny, whether it is to evaporate,

to splash onto the shingle that scratches at my soles,

sink into the peaty soil

or connect with the vastness of the sea.

Every leaf, green, frosted or baked dry by the sun

will crumble, flake along the route

or wash up intact on a beach,

ten or ten thousand miles away.

Every little stick tumbles and rolls

between east and west river bank,

to be claimed by a golden retriever

or gathered by a green consumer

to give home a few minutes of warmth.

From its source between Chagford and Shapley commons,

the Bovey glides, swirls and gushes to merge with the Teign

and rush headlong to the sea.

We are as the smallest drops, the most delicate leaves,

chasing through our three score and ten.

Transient beings, swimming, floating,

crashing against the shore of life,

relentlessly struggling to connect

with the vastness of our race.