Dec 162013
 


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This year we have bought a 10 foot Christmas tree and it looks so amazing, standing tall in the barn at Compton Abbas in Dorset.  It is adorned with glass snow flakes/stars and the fairy lights and tinsel give it a silvery glow….we love it!

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Let the decorating begin!…..Steve pictured here with our 10 foot Christmas Tree and some of his home made glass decorations.

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Steve’s beautiful fused glass star adorns the top of our Christmas Tree.

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Basil the Labrador loves our tree too!!…..too much as he started eating the branches!!

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Steve’s glass snow flakes cover the entire tree……

 


May 012013
 

How much do I love Dorset?  So very much and I will make the most of the gorgeous sunny weather we are having today, with a walk from Brynmor Acres down into Cerne Abbas, taking in part of the Wessex Ridge way and magnificent countryside views.  It’s around 9kms round trip, perfect distance before lunchtime.  Unfortunately Steve is still limping from an achilles tendon strain, so I’m on my own again!

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Leaving Brynmor Acres

Perfect conditions for a long walk with full sun and only a slight breeze…..beautiful.  Bring on the vitamin D!

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Back to Brynmor Acres, Cerne Abbas, Dorset

 

 

May 012013
 

Steve enjoyed a great Birthday lunch last weekend at the Greyhound Inn, Sidling St. Nicholas in Dorset.  It was gorgeous sunny day, but a little too cool to sit outside!

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The Greyhound Inn, Sidling St. Nicholas, Dorset

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Tubs, pots and hanging baskets with spring flowers are a lovely greeting at the Greyhound Inn, Sidling St. Nicholas

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Steve with Gina and Ken who were visiting from Florida, in the Conservatory at The Greyhound Inn, Sidling St. Nicholas, Dorset. I promise Ken was not asleep for the entire lunch!

 

We booked a table in The Conservatory which was lovely….we ate in this wonderful, bright and airy room when Steve’s mum Gina and husband Ken were visiting recently from Florida.  I love this place, it has a great atmosphere and the food is pretty good.  Advisable to book though as it can be quite busy, especially on the weekends.

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The Greyhound Inn Blue Vinny Wellington, a vegetarian delight!

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Buttery garlic french bread at the Greyhound Inn, Sidling St. Nicholas

I chose a scallop and bacon salad (scallops were cooked to perfection) and Steve had a Blue Vinny Wellington.  Tender vegetables were wrapped in philo pastry and served on a bed of Blue Vinny sauce.  He thought there could have been a little more blue cheese flavour in the sauce, but other than that, cooked and presented beautifully.  We ordered a side of lovely green veg and french garlic bread.

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The scallop and bacon salad at The Greyhound Inn was wonderful

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Water served with fresh orange and lime is fantastic

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Flowers on the tables and throughout the Greyhound are a beautiful, fresh touch

This is a great country pub in a pretty village, down the hill from Brynmor Acres.  If only they left there doors open on a Saturday afternoons as it would be great to walk down and back to Brynmor for a pint!

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The Greyhound has a great selection of real ales and are very well kept too.

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Happy Birthday Brownie Cake for Steve!

Apr 232013
 

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The sun is shining today, which has been rare lately, but I’m making the most of it.  I’m walking from Brynmor Acres to Sydling Saint Nicholas and back, just before lunch.  It is a spectacular walk with picture perfect vistas in every direction.  The hill back to Brynmor is a killer, but definitely worth the effort!

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looking back towards Sydling Saint Nicholas and fields beyond…..

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Nov 112012
 

Blue cheese is my favourite cheese, a close second is the well ripened Pont L’Eveque.  Steve secretly bought some of this luscious cheese for me for my Birthday while driving through Crewkerne the other day.  Wonderful treat…..thank you!!!

Dorset Blue Vinney Cheese.....a Birthday surprise!

Dorset Blue Vinny Cheese…..a Birthday surprise!

This traditional blue cheese is made near Sturminster Newton, in Dorset.  It was a rather common farmhouse cheese  for a few hundred years, but production of this favourite cheese of mine dried up in 1970 and it eventually became extinct.  Woodbridge Farm in Dorset revived this lovely old recipe in the 1980′s and lucky for me, it is now producing the cheese again.  Thank you Mike Davies from Woodbridge Farm!  Produced from the milk from his own herd of Friesian Cows.  I believe this cheese was Thomas Hardy’s favourite too!

It has a wonderful strong, long lingering taste and because it’s made from skimmed cow’s milk, it is lower in fat than the traditional Stilton cheese.  I love it served with some finely sliced onion or even better, a little quince jelly with crusty bread or a cracker…..along with a glass of red wine to cut the richness.  A marriage made in heaven in my opinion.

Friesian cows in Dorset make wonderful cheese

Friesian cows in Dorset make wonderful cheese

 

Nov 082012
 

After a days rest walking 20 miles (around 32kms) on the South West Coast Path, we decided today we would walk one of our favourite stretches of this Jurassic Coastline.

Livestock everywhere on the South West Coast Path

Livestock everywhere on the South West Coast Path

We started off just as the sun was rising, a beautiful sight on a rather frosty clear morning.  I wasn’t expecting to see so many cows taking over the path!  They are quite harmless stupid creatures.  As long as you don’t disturb them or go near their calves, the are OK.

Frost covering a welcome seat on the way to Golden Cap

Frost covering a welcome seat on the way to Golden Cap

Feeling like mountain goats again, we made our way up some decent slopes to Golden Cap.  It was a stunning bright morning.

Signs on the way to Golden Cap

Signs on the way to Golden Cap

It was a very wet summer in England this year and the rainfall has continued into the Autumn, causing many landslides on the south coast due to the unstable, damp ground.

The top of Golden Cap in Dorset

The top of Golden Cap in Dorset

We made it to the highest point on the south coast, Golden Cap in Dorset.  Well worth the steep climbs for sure.  We added a rock to the pile that someone had started and headed down into Seatown.

Looking back towards Golden on our way to Seatown

Looking back towards Golden Cap on our way to Seatown

We love this part of the world.  The steep climbs and descents along this section of the South West Coast Path require some level of fitness otherwise one will find it quite demanding.

Seatown beachfront in Dorset

Seatown beachfront in Dorset

Seatown beach was our half way mark and after fuelling up with water and an energy bar (my home made muesli bars) we were off back up to Golden Cap and on to Charmouth.  Nine miles (14.5 kms) wasn’t a bad start to the day!

Walking down Stonebarrow Lane into Axmouth....whew!!

Walking down Stonebarrow Lane into Axmouth….whew!!

What a great relief to reach Stonebarrow Lane…..all down hill now from here into Axmouth and back to the cottage in Seaton.

 

 

 

Jul 262012
 

The Fox Inn is a lovely thatched pub, situated in the rural hamlet of Corscombe.  A stream runs through the village and in the summertime it’s lovely to sit outside with a cool beverage and watch the ducks mucking about  in the water.

The Fox Inn at Corscombe, Dorset.

The Fox Inn at Corscombe, Dorset.

I highly reccommend The Fox Inn at Corscombe if you are anywhere around this part of Dorset.  Whether it’s just for a quick pint or to sample their lovely Sunday lamb roast.

Jun 222012
 
The unspoilt Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic World Heritage Coast of Dorset.

The unspoilt Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic World Heritage Coast of Dorset.

My love of the Jurassic coast in Dorset and East Devon has taken Steve and I on some spectacular hikes along the Southwest Coast Path.  This area around Lulworth Cove is an extremely popular tourist destination, so towards the end of September in England was a good time for us to spend a couple of days hiking.

Chalk and limestone cliffs near West Lulworth are a geoligist's dream.

Chalk and limestone cliffs near West Lulworth are a geoligist’s dream.

We stayed in the small fishing village of West Lulworth in a B&B that was the closest cottage to the waters edge of Lulworth Cove, called the Boat House.  Views were amazing, we loved this place.

You couldn't get any closer than this to Lulworth Cove.  The Boat House was fantastic!

You couldn’t get any closer than this to Lulworth Cove. The Boat House was fantastic!

 

You couldn't get any closer than this to Lulworth Cove.  The Boat House was fantastic!

West Lulworth is full of character with some lovely old shops and cottages.

 

Lulworth Cove Inn, Dorset.

Lulworth Cove Inn, Dorset.

 

One of many lovely old cottages in the village.

One of many lovely old cottages in the village.

The weather was perfect when we arrived and the forecast for the next couple of days was excellent for walking.

Jenny Kirwan (me!) arriving at West Lulworth in perfect weather conditions

Jenny Kirwan (me!) arriving at West Lulworth in perfect weather conditions.

 

The Southwest Coast Path and Jurassic Coastline looking a picture of delight!

The Southwest Coast Path and Jurassic Coastline at St. Oswald’s Bay looking a picture of delight!

 

Walking towards Durdle Door from Lulworth Cove was pretty easy going.

Walking towards Durdle Door from Lulworth Cove was pretty easy going

 

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset.

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset.

Durdle Door no doubt would have to be one of the most photographed landmarks on the Jurassic Coast.  Over a period of time this arch will eventually collapse and leave a sea stack like those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.

Durdle Door near Lulworth Cove, Dorset

Durdle Door near Lulworth Cove, Dorset

The views around Durdle Door were breathtaking

The views around Durdle Door were breathtaking

Jenny Kirwan says, "Bring on the steep cliffs, I'm ready for it!!"

Jenny Kirwan says, “Bring on the steep cliffs, I’m ready for it!!”

 

Approaching West Lulworth (whew!!)

Approaching West Lulworth (whew!!)

What a magnificent sight it was to see this tiny village of West Lulworth again.  The cliffs after Durdle Door were undulating to say the least!  What a relief to finally make it back!  A quite few beverages at the near by Castle Inn was a wonderful reward!  The Real Ales and extensive list of Real Ciders at this 16th century thatched free house is sensational…….but that’s another blog!

"Yes please!"  A pint of Stowford Press Cider for me and a Real Ale for Steve went down well!

“Yes please!” A pint of Stowford Press Cider for me and a Real Ale for Steve went down well!