Tag Archives: England

5 Photos 5 Stories Day# 5

When I was a little girl the area around Exmouth dock was scruffy, full of fishing boats and a bit smelly. You walked across a bridge that always seemed to wobble, and it led to Shelly beach, at the mouth of the estuary. Shelly had a long row of wooden chalets, some little more than beach huts and some were permanent dwellings. I suppose they were a little worn out and shabby but I would have loved to live there, right beside the beach where I could tumble out and paddle whenever I wanted. Then some years ago progress arrived. The chalets were pulled down and I suppose there were less fishing boats than before.The dock became an expensive marina with posh boats, and the chalets were replaced by expensive apartments, I doubt the chalet owners could afford them. Exmouth dock was gentrified.
Exmouth dock

Shelly beach is now called Cockle Sands, there is still sand when the tide is out, but very few buckets and spades. I’m sure you’ve guessed that I preferred it before Progress came.

Jude at Travel Words has nominated me for the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ challenge, and I would like to nominate Cheryl Andrews, a writer and poet who reviews books and takes part in Wordless Wednesday, for my day five.

This would be an easy challenge for you  Cheryl, if you feel like taking it up, no worries if you don’t have time.

The challenge is to just  “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

The Challice Well Garden in Glastonbury

Surrounding one of the best known holy wells in Britain is the Challice Well garden, a tranquil place to soothe the soul.

Not often seen.
Not often seen.

On Good Friday my friend and I spent a peaceful couple of hours wandering there. Spring path

As far as plants are concerned I think I preferred my last visit which was in summer, but there was still plenty to see.

The garden is set on a gentle slope with Glastonbury Tor rising above, and as you walk upwards you eventually reach the well head. The waters have been know in the past as the Red Spring and the Blood Spring and legend tells that it represents the blood of Christ, springing from the ground when Joseph of Arimathea washed the cup used at the last supper. Others see the continuous spring of the life force.

The Lion's head
The Lion’s head

The Lion’s Head fountain is the only place where the water is safe to drink. Even so, just a few drops are recommended for healing, with the homeopathic approach. Even though I’ve tried it before, I still had a sip and it tastes very strongly of iron.


There are lots of little niches, some with seats, to quietly meditate.
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I hope this young man found peace.

The path to the meadow
The path to the meadow
The Holy Thorn
The Holy Thorn
Thorn buds
Thorn buds

Legend says tha Joseph of Arimathea visited Glastonbury with the Holy Grail and thrust his staff into Wearyall Hill, which then grew into the original thorn tree. The thorn is unusual because it flowers twice a year, at Christmas and again at Easter. Each year a sprig is sent to the Queen.
(source Wikipaedia)

The Vesica Pool

The Vesica Pool

The Vesica pool is shaped as a figure of eight, its seven bowls swirling down like a mountain stream.

A view up through the garden
A view up through the garden
Fritillary
Fritillary

Some bold colour outside of the shop.

The  garden is protected and maintained by the Challice Well Trust, set up by Wellesley Tudor-Pole is 1959 and is open daily throughout the year, should you wish to visit, it is 20 minutes walk from the centre of Glastonbury.

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My post is for Jo’s Monday Walk, if you click the link you will be able to join in and  find lots of interesting walks.

Distant Beaches

A few days ago I was reading a favourite blog friends post about beaches, and something seemed familiar.  I’ve seen photos of many wonderful places since I’ve been blogging, it’s great to see parts of the world I’ll probably never get to visit in reality. Australia is one of those places and Eurobodalla beach in particular, and yet I feel a connection. So when Meg posted images of Broulee beach I looked through my photos to try to find out why. har1 These rows where Dido and Daisy are paddling remind me of Meg’s beach har4har5As does this crisscrossing in the rock. har2and the view at Hartland is rather like Narooma!

And these are similar to Meg’s Smugglers Cove photos. har3 Craggy rocks with winkles. har8 Crops of determined little flowers har6Even surfers, but I expect they are colder than any near Meg. Pay a visit to Meg and see if you don’t agree with me, Hartland in North Devon has a lot in common with these beaches in New South Wales.  To find Hartland on a map of the UK, first find South Wales, then go due south.

Dartmoor Walls

 

Containing livestock
Containing livestock

Like many upland areas around the UK and the rest of the world, dry stone walls can be found all over Dartmoor. Some are hundreds of years old and have fallen into disrepair, others are well maintained and still functioning as they were intended.

Near Scorhill
Near Scorhill
The Two Bridges road
The Two Bridges road
North of Two Bridges, towards Wistman's Wood
North of Two Bridges, towards Wistman’s Wood

The name refers to the lack of any mortar used in the construction, although often nature takes its course and soil arrives and fills in the gaps.

Up close and covered with lichen and moss
Up close, covered with lichen and moss

I’ve always loved these old walls,  to run my hand across the granite is a journey back to the dawn of time on our planet, and to make contact with all the hands that have touched before me. Dartmoor’s dry stone walls may not be as grand as those built by the Incas in Peru and I don’t suppose they can be seen from space like the Great  Wall of China, but they are living, breathing masterpieces in their own way.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands has created the photos challenge of Wall this week, click to join in.

 

 

 

A Warren Walk

When I was child, if you lived in Exeter, to the east of the river Exe, your beach was Exmouth, to the west and it was Dawlish Warren.  Both beaches are around 10 miles from the city. Back then, in the dawn of time, most people didn’t have cars, but there was always the regular train or bus service, and there still is.

Summers were longer and warmer then, and the sunshine was, well, sunnier somehow.  Families would pack up their bags with sandwiches, homemade sausage rolls and cake, kids would take their buckets and spades. Sun lotion didn’t exist, so many would burn and peel a few days later, the lucky ones would just tan.  No-one thought anything of it, other than a touch of calamine lotion if it was sore.

Nowadays the Warren is a National nature Reserve and protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and along with the rest of the Exe estuary, a Wetland of International Importance. Last weekend I took advantage of a few dry hours and took my camera for a walk.

In winter Dartmoor ponies are kept on the Warren to help maintain the grassland, I’ve seen some in the past but not on this visit sadly. The wetlands are teeming with wildlife, mostly elusive except to the ears.

I walked on past and got a glimpse of the beach.

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dw8Before striding on eastwards towards the golf course and a view across the estuary to Exmouth.

dw9So, I’m on the crest of the dunes surrounded by beauty

dw10Maybe this will help explain where I was

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The wide area at the top is the sand spit right opposite Exmouth, but I pretty much stayed on the red path.

There are thousand of wildfowl and wading birds, I saw Oyster catchers, Wigeon, Brent Geese, and others that I don’t know the names of. The visitor centre had recorded far more that week than I was able to see because the tide was low, even though I walked around the curve of the sand spit to the bird hide.

The wind was getting up and the light was changing, so I headed back before the rain came in. So walking west, the beach was on my left. The big old terrace houses at Exmouth were clearly visible behind me

dw17and my path back to the car park

dw18

Looking inwards I could see the grassland again.

The Warren got its name because centuries ago, probably back to the middle ages, rabbits were raised there on a commercial scale, for both food and skin.

dw21

This is part of the holiday makers area, with amusements, cafes, a pub and several caravan parks nearby.The tide was right in, but there is sand under there! The bright beach huts are a fairly recent addition. In the 1970’s there were hundreds of traditional beach huts down here behind the beach.

dw22

I can’t remember them though, I was an east of the Exe girl and still am, you know how much I love Exmouth!

I hope you enjoyed my walk. It’s either one day late or six days early for Jo’s Monday Walk  but I’m never on time!

Everyone’s Journey is Different

Last week I took a four hour train journey home to Devon, longer and more complicated than it should have been because of railway work. I crossed platforms and hopped from train to train, and I couldn’t help wondering about other peoples journeys, where were they all going on a cold Sunday in January? Few people talk to strangers on trains (I talk to anyone as you know!), but one man, also travelling alone, suddenly laughed out loud so I smiled as our eyes met. He was doing a crossword and got an answer he’d been struggling with. The clue was ‘What islander has nothing behind him?’. The answer that he was amused by?’A Manx cat’. We laughed together, it was a nice encounter. The final leg of the trip was beautiful, but few people seemed to look out of the windows at the countryside as I do. One of the things about being a certain age is that to many people you become invisible, often annoying, but if you like to observe others as most writers do, it can be very useful. A lady opposite me was knitting, a bright pink little girls cardigan, and kept counting stitches, and to my right a young man watched a film on his laptop. Giggly teenage girls tried to paint each others fingernails but the movement of the train was making it difficult for them, and soft snores emanated from more than one passenger. Am I the only person who enjoys the beauty of the countryside? I did take out one techy toy, my phone, because I wanted to capture some of that beauty that we take for granted. Please forgive the image quality, fading light, reflections from the windows and a moving train don’t make for the best photos!

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And I was inspired to try a poem,

Train Landscape

Swiftly the southern line takes me

‘longside pastures and heading west

where pannies flood but folds of dry

give shelter to the Sunday flocks

Winter furrows retreat to hill crest

no conifer plantations lurk here

just naked deciduous petticoats

seeded by natures wise hand

A nonchalant deer raises its head

and a much used murmuration flies

on a thousand dark starling wings

sweet balm to my home going eyes

through Dorset and on to green Devon

I ride the train through my heartland