Monday, 5 October 2015

One year later

This week marks the first anniversary of moving into our new home, it does seem so long ago now since we moved! We had lived in our previous home for 22 years and I thought that it would be such an ordeal to leave there, especially as it was where the children had grown up. However, we have loved being here so much and wish we had moved a long time ago! So if you are at a similar crossroads I would recommend a change!

This month Coast magazine have an article about moving to Bridport and West Bay. They highlight so clearly why this area is so special with it's stunning coast, countryside, rolling hills and sleepy villages and vibrant art and music events.We were told when we moved here that there was so much going on that you could go to something different every day.That does seem to be the case and consequently the time I have for blogging has reduced!

We have enjoyed seeing so much more wildlife. The garden has been full all summer with visiting bees, butterflies, moths and crickets and it has been a pleasure to garden without so many snails and slugs. The days of collecting over one hundred slugs off the lawn before breakfast are now a distant memory!

The highlights, however, have been listening to the skylarks from just outside the back door and while washing up one evening, witnessing a barn owl hunting. Currently we have seen house martins and other emigrating birds stopping off before their long journey south.

The market town of Bridport has many independent shops selling local food and drink and it has allowed us to reduce our spend in the supermarket and have local tastier food.

Luckily the house was in good order so we have been able to spend plenty of time out in the garden.

It has been fantastic to have the greenhouse, it has made such a difference getting seeds to germinate and we have been eating our own tomatoes for a few months now.

We are always discovering new walks some with spectacular views like these.

And this view makes me smile and brightens my day whatever the weather,when we take the car out.

I would like to thank you all for your wonderful comments and friendship and visits over the last year too, and sharing some of my high lights.

Sarah x

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Autumn days

 Autumn what does it mean to you? As I get older I am beginning to appreciate it's beauty and bounty rather than seeing it as the start of dark and cold days.

We recently revisited Mottisfont, this time with my brother and his dog Emma. Mottisfont is a National Trust property and is well known for it's famous rose garden. Although dogs are not allowed in the walled garden there are still lovely walks within the grounds.

The water in the Test river is just so clear. This is a photograph of the weed and as we wandered along the riverbank we saw many trout swimming by.

There were still some roses in bloom and we couldn't resist taking it in turns to hold the dogs and have a look at the flowers in the walled garden and look in the potting shed......

The following day at Bridport Farmer's market I saw this fantastic display from The Flowerfield, there was just no way I couldn't come away without a bunch. Freda recently noticed that strangers smiled at her more when she had a bunch of flowers in her hands. It worked for me too!

On our journey to Bristol to see our son and his girlfriend, driving through the Somerset countryside, we passed orchards with trees heavily laden with apples. On our return we revisited East Lambrook Manor gardens to find out the name of the plant we had previously admired. (The plant was ozothamnus rosmarinfolius 'Silver Jubilee'  The gardens here were also full of autumn fruit and colour.

 And when the autumn sun appears we are making the most of it, by being outside in the garden or walking in the countryside or by the sea.

 Finding fungus in the fields 

Enjoying the still green rolling countryside and the views.......

 and then down to a calm sea ....

   and taking a last view of the beach huts that will soon be disappearing until next summer. 

           What are you doing to make the most of the season?

                                                                          Sarah x

Thursday, 24 September 2015


The island of Capri just off the main Amalfi coast line is a popular destination. It was orginally colonised by the Greeks. Caesar Augustus visited the island in 29BC and was so enchanted to find a dry twig in flower that he bartered the neighbouring fertile island of Ischia. (I wonder what plant it was that he saw). There is no natural source of water in Capri amd even today they still have to import all the drinking water by tankers from the mainland.

In the 18th century Capri became a tourist destination and was very popular with artists, poets and writers. Today, the island still attracts the rich and famous and there are very expensive hotels and designer shops, well above our budget!

We took a boat trip around the island. The limestone rocks were so beautiful against the blue shimmering sea and there were some wonderful plants growing on the ledges high above us. Our boat took us through the hole on the right, above. The top of the boat almost scrapping the roof of the hole!

I took a chair lift to the top of the island. It was beautiful to be whisked peacefully above the noise and bustle  to smell the pine trees below my feet and listen to the bird song before reaching this stunning vista...

We went on an organised day trip that included lunch, I did notice on trip adviser that many visitors to the island complain about being overcharged, so if you do visit here, beware!

I saw these wonderful tiles on some outside steps in Capri aren't they fantastic? Thank you for all your comments on the last few posts about Italy. Although our holiday was back in June it has been fun to remember it in these posts with you. Bad Penny from The Hen House is off soon to stay in the same hotel as us in Sorrento and I hope she has a great time there too.
Sarah x 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Views along the Amalfi coast

The views along the 28 miles of Amalfi coastline are spectacular. The dramatic road hugs the edge of the mountain with sheer drops down to the stunning blue sea below. Amazing vistas are seen around the corner of each hair-pin bend (see the winding road below.) I'm glad I wasn't driving (see link here.) What is the most hair raising journey you have been on?

We arrived in Amalafi on a Sunday morning and decided to wander away from the crowds and headed up narrow lanes and steps to explore the town. As we were taking some photographs of the view an elderly Italian lady dressed in black who was returning from church beckoned us to follow her. 

She took us up higher and higher and the views just got better and better.........

She also showed us another way down, it was such a special moment for us and we shall not forget her kindness and being so friendly.

Our next stop was Ravello. The gardens of Villa Cimbrone had been highly recommended by Lucent Imagery and we were not disappointed. The views were again superb and the sea so blue!

The Villa Cimbrone was orginally an old farmhouse and in the early 20th century it was transformed into a palace by a English politican Lord Grimpthorne. Part of the gardens were designed by Vita Sackville-West.

The location, gardens and house reminded me so much of the book "Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim" which is about four English women hiring a castle in Italy for a month, wouldn't such a location as this be wonderful place to stay for so long!

We always enjoy holidays where we are able to see as much as we can, so I'm afraid there is another post in this series - next time Capri! (Last post if you missed it was about Vesuvius and Pompeii.)
Sarah x


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