Up early and boosted,plus a flu injection. A very good way to start my day. A slightly unusual location of a football club with the bonus of watching 15 or so very small footballers taking practice shots and fitness stretches ready for a big match. I had forgotten the earnestness that 10 year old boys dedicate to their favourite sport. A little blog with gratitude for research and the NHS.
A deliberately late blog today because we were off on a rug buying adventure and I knew that there would be some gorgeous colours to share. Rug shopping can also be a great experience for the nose if you shop in the right places. Really a rug department that only sells natural fibres is the absolute best. Liberty of London has the best smelling rug department that I know. There are smells gathered there that have travelled from all over the world. Closer to home, currently, is the rug department of Trago Mills. Possibly the most eccentric shopping experience Britain has to offer. Never the less their rug department is a close second to Liberty for fragrance and choice of rug.
We were seeking a rug the colour of a winter sea. It has been a quest for the last few months.
Not feeling particularly hopeful amongst all these gorgeous but unsealike colours we dug through a pile of rugs from India and found this gorgeous chap.
Sea-like in both colour and texture and made of jute and cotton and, as we discovered, a perfect place for excitable dogs.
Just a little blog today about the joys of an early morning start, and another unexpected morning joy.
Starting the day early with a cup of coffee, the sunrise and a natter with swimming friends at Tranquility Bay. Even though this was officially a dog walk and not a ‘ bobbing’ session.
They were not averse to some morning basking. It is going to be a beautiful day.
My day got a little more complex soon after this when I took the car, an automatic, to have some body work done and the courtesy car had one of these!
Both feet doing something while I drive is quite a novelty.A bit of driving round early morning, empty car parks soon put my driving skills back into the manual world. And the word novelty allows me to add a small serving of another fairly unique experience of the past weekend.
I suppose Covid has altered the way hotels can serve breakfast. My inner child was properly thrilled to have a one person serving of breakfast cereal. A treat that only occured very rarely when I was an actual child and pretty rarely when I had actual children.
This past weekend was the culmination of two and a half months of Covid Cultural Catch Up. From September through to mid November we’ve done a curious mix of things that have been postponed and rebooked during the periods of lockdown and other sociatal restrictions. We should have been in Studland Bay in November 2020. Things have been rescheduled quite randomly but serendipity made our rebooked visit to Studland more interesting because on this occasion we could hook up with family members not seen for years. An unexpected treat.
I am always a sucker for a row of beach huts. The ones above at Knoll Beach were not really very photogenic, neither so pristine that they were perfect or so decrepit that they were wistfully vintage. Awkwardly they were just a bit shambolic, Fixed up with a variety of measures to help them withstand the storms of winter. Not being a proper photographer is wonderfully freeing. To get this image I have shamelessly ramped up the saturations and then selectively desaturated anything that wasn’t a warm yellow/orange. Giving this row of beachside huts a uniformity they dont really have.
All this is really a preamble before I admit that I didn’t research the area of Studland Bay or Swanage at all before we arrived there on Saturday. Not my normal behaviour at all. So we arrived with no plans beyond having some good beach walks and to eat fish wherever possible. I know that in an area of such outstanding natural beauty and fascinating history my lack of pre-visit research is a heinous crime, but sometimes a beach( and some fish) is all you need!
Oh the beach is so seductive, sand like soft brown sugar and so many shells and rocks to look at.
In reality we never strayed far from the beach. Driftwood here is bleached and white, not something we normally see on our local Devon or Cornwall coast.
White leaves also stand out on the autumn leaf-fall on the edges of the beach.
A global direction board on the beach reminded us of how far away some of our loved ones are.
Thankfully there was always coffee and baked goods to raise the spirits and recharge our beach walking legs…
This sign set the tone for todays blog.
Dunes gently resting is such a comforting thought , I sought out some gentle images so as not to disturb the dunes. Just a bit of a long exposure to make them a little more ethereal and sleepy.
And some gentle lapping of waves as a soundtrack.
Shell and stone yin and yang for harmony.
Time to reflect on a weekend well spent.
Yesterday the Queen missed the Remembrance Day event at the Cenotaph in London, because she had a sprained back. By coincidence Hugo also has a sprained back and has also had to call off important public duties. Giving him plenty of time to muck about in brackish water set to run into the sea at Knoll Beach near the chain ferry to Sandbanks.
Old chains from the ferries are used to mark the sides of the road, a sure sign that this ferry rarely carries innebriated foot passengers. Unlike the chain ferry nearer to home where some passengers are so topped up with alcohol they often cross the river several times as they sleep off their potion of choice.
These chains could do some serious damage to people suffering from alcohol induced tangle foot. It’s a shame Plymouth and Torpoint can’t use their old chains as a landscape feature.
Rusty brown has inadvertantly become the colour theme of this blog. Yesterday I mostly took photos on my proper camera but the wi-fi where we are staying is so flaky I can’t transfer the images to my phone. This means blogs of Dorset can continue into next week and I can end this blog with some rusty bracken which was captured with a phone.
This greetings card has a flavour of our Sunday morning.
Our view this morning is timeless, this view was a favourite of the author, Enid Blyton who chose this hotel for her holidays in the 1930’s and 40’s. She always chose the room next door. Have a good and gentle Sunday.
Our winter swimming- hut had been attacked by vandals overnight. This is the only piece of their graffiti that is reproducible. Strangely prophetic, as,unknown to me, there was a surprise morning party planned to follow the swim. We also regularly eat cake and drink tea in this particular hut. This morning Facebook memories reminded me that 3 years ago I was in South Korea and a quick visit to my photo archive brought up a piece of actual street art that featured tea and cakes.
South Korea also provided us with actual tea and cakes, of course!
And coffee and cakes.
And indeed coffee and breakfast.
Which has nicely removed this blog away from the nasty homophobic, racist, mysogynist, violent graffiti that we were confronted with yesterday, by focusing on the one sentence that offended no-one. Note to the writers of the graffiti, the teachers and word nerds in our swimming group were not impressed with your grammar or punctuation. The artists among us thought your anatomical drawings were pretty rudimental.
Goodness me, another late blog for the best of reasons!
November is my birthday month so I always get a boost of love and gifts in one of the darkest months.
November 2019 was pretty stormy and in November most normal human beings knew little of what the next 4 months would do to the whole of the worlds population. At a more granular level we certainly thought life would evolve and change at a fairly normal pace. In November 2019 we got our kicks on my birthday walking on stormy beaches Then a pandemic happened and strange and unsettling things changed our lives forever. Wind on two years and we get our kicks swimming in stormy seas in November and any other month. What started as an alternative to swimming in swimming pools during lockdown has become at least a twice a week habit. Winter swimming in particular is addictive and hugely rewarding, the buzz after a winter swim is hard to explain.
Todays swim was pretty rough and bouncy but enormously energising.
And then the bobbers had a surprise in store, and this is the reason for the late blog. After our 9:30 swim we had an 11:00 birthday party. The sugar and carb rush of party food on top of the post swimming high is an extraordinary feeling. We may never give this sea swimming malarkey up and with 14 of us in our group now there will always be the occasional party!
Sunrise over Plymouth Sound on Armistice Day. Both my great uncle and grandfather sailed to war several times from Devonport Naval Dockyard. My great uncle as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in World War 1 and my grandfather in a submarine in World War II. It is funny to think of them as young men spending their last nights ashore on Union Street. A nearby street famed world-wide for night life. Certainly a world away from their rural upbringings in Essex and Cambridgeshire or in the case of my recently migrated Great Uncle, rural Ontario. I hope their heads were not too sore as they sailed past Drakes Island.