Dorset 2011 – A Few Things That Caught My Eye

Dorset really is lovely. As well as the countryside, here are a few other things that I enjoyed looking at.
A little stained glass window…
…some mulberries (which were delicious)…
…an adolescent seagull…
…a tandem mountain bike (one for Abigail & Paul?)…
…and an elderly Paddington.
With all the fish ‘n’ chips that are eaten, I bet these lorries run day and night (I recommend ‘Herbie’s Dino Bar‘, on the seafront in Lyme. Fish sourced from Lyme Bay and cooked to order).
Now is this a CAD monkey? Or a gentleman who’s well, a bit of a rake (but would you advertise?).
A fisherman at rest.

Exeter Quayside & Canal

My Pa and I bullied the rest of the family down to the quayside. The quay was built to service the wool trade. This is the lovely little customs house.
This little building looks rather Dutch doesn’t it?
All these little lockups are now chichi shops, except for a rather good coffee place.
It’s all been done rather well, with canoe hire
…and a cute little chain ferry. The only other one I know is in Stratford-upon-Avon, the one connecting St Hilda’s to Christchurch meadow is long gone.
We decided to take a boat trip up the canal.
Canal swing bridges are usually operated by someone walking along the bank. In this case a chap jumped from the boat each time.
He then swung on the the bridge itself, and jumped back into the boat. Wondering whether he’d fall in all added to the enjoyment of the trip.
Boater friends tell me that the Exeter Ship Canal is one of the oldest.
It’s certainly absolutely lovely.
Here is some gratuitous male flesh for Lorna’s delight & delectation.
I’d rather like a long trip down this canal. Any takers?

Exeter Cathedral

On a beautiful day we took a trip across the border to Exeter.
A visit to the cathedral enabled me to introduce my smallest nieces to one of my passions…
…stone carvings.
It’s a perfect game to play with little ones…
…to spot all the little animals and faces.
This dragon looks rather shy…
…this one has FANTASTIC teeth…
…this dog has fleas?
Thanks to my big sis we all spotted the ‘cheshire cat’ – can you?

Dorset 2011 – Abbotsbury Swannery

On the edge of The Fleet you find Abbotsbury Swannery.
It was established by the abbey as a food source – “Oh no! Not swan again!” (I found this figure rather creepy)
And yes, there are lots of swans.
This swan is being lazy – it’s not injured.
It’s not all swans, there are plenty of coots and ducks about.
Anna Pavlova visited as research for her role in ‘The Dying Swan’.
It must have been rather a bizarre visit.
I’d have loved to buy postcards of these pictures, but they didn’t have them of course. Why do places never have postcards of what I want?
I also enjoyed the landscaping…
…however, I think Sarah and the girls liked the tractor ride best! 🙂

Dorset 2011 – St Catherine’s Chapel

On a whim we stopped in Abbotsbury (a place of pilgrimage for P J Harvey fans). While Sarah and the girls went to the Children’s Farm, my Pa and I climbed up to St Catherine’s chapel (this meant that I missed miniature goat racing, but you can’t have it all).
[I’m not sure what the Benedictines would have thought about their tithe barn being full of marauding toddlers, but that’s another story.]
The chapel was built as a pilgrin chapel in the 15th century. It’s a striking nautical landmark, and ever since he first saw it from the sea he’s wanted to visit it.
Sadly, the day was very hazy, so the view wasn’t that great. It was lovely seeing the village nestled in the valley.
For a pilgrimage chapel, the climb isn’t that steep.
It’s a beautiful building…
…and it seems right that it stands alone.
The beautiful vaulting made my soul soar.
The atmosphere is wonderful…
…and I’m so glad that it’s still used for services.
I realise that this will sound a bit ‘up my own arse’, but it was very hard to leave.
Chesil Beach and The Fleet looked beautiful in the haze – how lovely must it be on a clear day?

Dorset 2011 – Cricket St Thomas

One the first evening we were on holiday I lost my phone. A very nice lady found it, and we arranged to meet at Cricket St Thomas. There used to a wildlife park there, but now there are some gardens which you access through a Warner Hotel (where rich old people go to die).
I was rather taken by this little bridge.
In amongst the flowers and the butterflies, there are some sculptures.
It’s rather ironic that they’re of children…
…when children…
…aren’t allowed to stay at Warner Hotels.
I assume that this signpost…
….and little train…
…are the relics of the wildlife park.
It’s still a nice place…
…to wander around…
…and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Although it is rather eerie. A sort of waiting room for death?
The only animals to be seen…
…were these wicker sculptures.

Dorset 2011 – Whitchurch Canonicorum

The extended clan is just back from a week in Dorset. We stayed in the little hamlet of Whitchurch Canonicorum.

It’s home to the church of St Candida and Holy Cross – The Cathedral of the Marshwood Vale.
If you ignore (for now) this very tempting footpath…
…and wander round the church, you’ll find St Candida (St Wite)…
…and a number of other…
….interesting faces…
…and a priest’s sundial.
The interior doesn’t disappoint.
There’s a magnificent pulpit…
…with fantastic steps…

…Saxon roses…
…knitted penguins…
…and a purple trilby.
The heart of the church is the shrine of St Wite, which still contains her bones.
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