I Want to Dance

If I danced whenever I want to, many more people would know I’m even crazier than they thought. Just a few days ago I was lamenting my inability to sing or play a musical instrument, she said ‘I bet you can dance Gilly’. She was right, I love dance in all it’s forms, but the very best kind is spontaneous.



when you’re moved by the beat

right there on the street

come on feel the heat

now get up on your feet

and dance with a perfect stranger

Riverside Millstone Benches

I think that Jude is doing one last bench series post, a swansong before she begins her garden photography challenge for 2016. December’s theme is ‘anything you like’, so I’m posting these photos from July that didn’t quite fit before.

quay bench1quay bench2

The area around Trews weir on the Exe has a rich industrial history, with cotton, wool and paper mills back in the sixteenth century. I haven’t been able to find out if these millstones are actually original or reproductions but they are perfectly positioned where a mill once operated.

The Otter in August

A few miles east of my beloved Exe, lies the river Otter, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and an important resting place for migratory birds. The estuary is at Budleigh Salterton, another favourite place and the start of my stroll on the evening of August 3rd. Keeping the cricket field on your left, go through the kissing gate and the path is parallel to the river.

The sea is behind to us on the right just out of this photo.

You can just about make it out beside the red cliff.

The tide is on its way in.

Someone’s been busy!

Wading bird heaven, it’s a pity I’m too hopeless to capture them!

The path ahead.

With plenty of sloes in the hedge.
and a wonderful canopy of oak.

On the left side of the path, a ditch full of life is the boundary between the path and the marshy field.


I’ve always called this White Bridge, I’m not sure if that’s the actual name, but when my children were little it was the turning point of the walk for us. If you cross here, and turn right, back towards the sea, you will reach the south west coast path. I’ve walked a little bit of it there, but it’s a knee killer! Better to keep going, about two miles to the village of Otterton with it’s lovely mill and a nice pub. I remember starting at Budleigh one evening many years ago, walking the two and a half miles and having a nice pub meal. The problem was just because we set off on a sunny evening didn’t mean we’d return on one. We had to walk back in the dark. Beyond White Bridge the path is grass and uneven earth. There are no houses or lights to be seen and every so often a cow or three would loom out of the darkness over the fence. Our return walk was a lot faster than the pootle out!


This time we turned back.



Enjoyed the flora.


Aha, gotcha.


I knew there had to be birds somewhere. Otters have returned to the Otter, I think the dogs could smell them, they got excited a few times. Much as I’d like to see one I’d rather the dogs weren’t with me, if they chased after one they wouldn’t come off too well.


The light was changing quite quickly.


The estuary curves around the end of the pebble beach, beneath the red sandstone cliffs.


It’s nice when walks are circular, but here I like having the outwards and inward views of beautiful Devon. This is a walk I never tire of. all year round.
I’m sharing this with Jo but I think I’ve probably missed the boat, heyho never mind, there’s always another Monday. Happy walking wherever you are.

Maasai Cricket Warriors Against FGM ~ Warning: this post comes with a Sensitive Subject Sticker

Tish has written very powerfully on a subject close to my heart . If you don’t know the truth about FGM please read, and even if you think you do, please read. If you can share on Facebook, Twitter or re-blog – from Tish’s original please do. If young Maasai men can spread the word so can we.
Thank you Tish.

Tish Farrell


‘The eye that leaves the village sees further’ Maasai wisdom

Photo courtesty of https://www.justgiving.com/MaasaiCricketWarriors/


It’s already been shown in Hollywood, but today in London sees the release of Warriors, a documentary by Barney Douglas. From next week there will be star showings across the UK, so if you have a chance to see it, do. You will see a glimpse of real, magnificent, originally-minded Africa, and not only that, 45% of the film’s proceeds will go towards one of the best community causes I can think of – changing attitudes to a rite that these young Maasai men say must go – female genital mutilation, aka female circumcision or FGM.

The stars of the film are a team of cricket playing Maasai warriors. They’ve been playing since 2009, and their ambition was to play at Lords, which they did this summer. They are a fine sight to behold…

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