Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A walk around the garden in November

Just a quick walk around the garden showing pictures taken during the month of November. At the start of month there was still a bit of colour from the hydrangeas and autumn leaves.

Then all the magnolia leaves fell covering part of the lawn.

The leaves were gathered to put in bags to rot down and will be used in the garden as leaf mould when they evenually break down.

As we were clearing the leaves Twinkle decided we needed some supervision and found that the adandoned pigeon's nest in the tree was the best place to sit to observe.(She wouldn't have ventured up there if they had been around!) It looked very strange a cat sitting in a birds nest!

Some plants are still hanging around pretending it is summer- the geranuims we have had in the pots since May are still flowering so well that I haven't changed over to a winters display.

A penstomen still gives us a bit of colour.

The garden is now moving into it's winter phase as the plants die back everything looks rather sad and forlorn. At this time of year I spend more time inside and over the next month there is so much to do with Christmas just around the corner! How is your garden looking at the moment?

Following a tree update.......

The willow tree that I have been following all year that is a short wallk away from home, is now almost bare of leaves and has not suffered with the heavy rainfall we have had this week.

If would like to find more about tree following please visit Lucy at Loose and leafy
Wishing you all a good weekend ahead.
   Sarah x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A special graveyard on Portland

St Georges church located at the top of Portland looks grand compared with the surrounding stone built cottages and rocky landscape. It was completed in 1766 and was built by a local man who supplied the stone to Christopher Wren to build St Paul's Cathedral.

However, it is not the church that I have bought you here to see - but the grave yard which has over 1,500 graves. We discovered it a few years ago while on a walk and were amazed by the skilled cravings created by the local stone masons on the grave stones.

The gravestones tell the sad stories of the life and death of these islanders. Deaths caused from natural disasters and dangers of working on this island and living by the sea. Some examples include William Hansford who was killed in 1824 when the sea flooded the village of Chiswell, his leg was broken and unable to escape, his house fell on him.

Or a hero - Johann Carl Fredric Magdelinsky who was drowned while trying to save the lives of his fellow passengers, on the sinking ship, the Royal Adelaide in 1872.

To the Memory 
Who was killed by Lightning
While on duty in Her Majesties Service
On Portland Beach Nov 29th 1858
Leaving a widow and five children
To lament his loss
Aged 38 Years

 Or of Richard Bennett who had the misfortune to be severely injured at his work in a stone quarry, 
Or of Joseph Trevitt late assistant warder of Portland prison who was murdered by a convict.

On the other side of the graveyard wall are the spoils from the nearby stone quarry and in the far distance (a thin darker coloured line) is the sea. The graveyard may look very overgrown but this is because it is one of Dorset's Living Churchyard projects. These projects aim to provide a  natural habitat for the local wildlife and it is lovely to see wild flowers growing, although at this time of year it does look  rather messy.

The church has a booklet illustrating the most interesting 30 headstones. It was not open when we visited but this link shows the inside and more about the graveyard.. We went here a couple of weeks ago, hence the blue skies!. Funnily enough the week following our visit here Nina at Tabiboo and Annie from a breath of fresh air had stories about graveyards too!

Welcome to my new followers  Francesca from Fastifloreali, Trudie from Trudie's cottage and Allyniccy (I can't find a link for you- so please let me know if you have one.)

Wishing you a good week and hope we have a dry one!
Sarah x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Vintage browsing

I love looking in the vintage markets and charity shops locally - you never know what treasures you will find, and with stock changing frequently you have to keep popping in to look. The items for sale are so well displayed it's always a pleasure to browse.

The other day I came across this table and knew instantly that it would look great in our home, with a little make over!

I have painted furniture before but this time I decided to try the recipe for chalk paint that I have seen from Bec from Two worlds in Australia using plaster of paris. I managed to track some down in the " The Range" and chose the lightly set version.  See the recipe on her blog. It worked well - I just painted it directly on to the table and didn't bother to rub it down. The coat was thicker than normal paint and I didn't need too many coats, it also dried quite quickly.

What do you think of the transformation? I was very pleased with the result. The carving on the table stands out so well in the painted version. I am always dangerous once I have a paint brush in my hand as I suddenly find lots of other things to paint. This time I ended up painting a shelf, the utility cupboard doors and two other doors!

Do you notice the lovely wooden heart hanging on the wall? I won it last week in a give away from Petra De moeite waard.. It felt like Christmas had come early - just look at all the goodies I received. I feel very spoilt and the wooden heart goes so well in my refurbished corner. The homemade items are so lovely too, so thank you again Petra.

That wasn't the only give away I have won. I also won the book "Getting things done - how to achieve stress free productivity from Freda at Live simply by complete co-incindence we both won each others books - what are the chances of that happening! We are just about to launch a new computer system at work, so I think I need to learn some stress free ways of doing it! Thank you so much Freda.

As I finish this post the wind and rain are lashing outside and many places around here are flooded again! I hope no one is suffering in this horrible weather.
Sarah x

Monday, 19 November 2012

Just a walk on the beach

On Friday morning Daisy and I took a walk along the beach in the mist and drizzle, it was quite refreshing.

 We didn't have much company - just some birds,

and it certainly wasn't the weather for icecreams!

On Friday evening our daughter came home for the weekend. When asked what she would like to do, her answer - apart from some retail therapy was "Just a walk on the beach." (If you remember she is at Uni in Portsmouth, so the sea is close-by for her there too, but she does miss walking Daisy down by the sea.)

Fortunately, on Saturday morning the weather had improved from the day before, although the tide was further in.

We walked along the beach to the pleasure pier which is close to Weymouth latest attraction the     Weymouth Sea life tower.

From the pleasure pier you cam watch the boats coming in and going out of the harbour.

There are still a few leaves remaining on the the harbour.

This fisherman was coming back into the harbour and saw me taking pictures. I hope he had a successful trip. I wonder how long the seagull had been hitching a lift!

We then retraced our steps admiring the buildings and architecture along the Esplanade.(The Royal Hotel pictured here was built in 1897.)

It's lovely having the children home but weekends always fly by and then the house feels empty again , roll on Christmas!

Hoping everyone has a good week and welcome aboard to my new followers  Dolly mixture from Just a little less, Babsi from Country Lovers and Kay from Deep in the Cornish countryside .Thank you for joining me and also thank you to everyone for your comments, I do enjoy reading them.

Sarah x

Thursday, 15 November 2012

In a Cornish fishing village

When we went down to Devon back in September we visited the Cornish fishing village of Polperro.  My Granny used to live close-by in Fowey, but I'm sure I never came here as a child.

The roads are quite narrow and cars are not allowed in the village, which makes a pleasant change. It must be quite a tourist attraction in the summer, but for a cloudy day in September it wasn't too busy.

Fishing still takes place, but on a much smaller scale than in the past. We watched this fishing boat heading back to harbour.

Many of the houses are built on the sides of the hills. We met the local post woman as we were walking along a stretch on the coast path close to the houses, and we stopped to chat.  Her post round can be quite a challenge some days!  It reminded me of the books by Tessa Hainsworth who lives further down the coast, who left a hectic life in London and writes about her new life as a  post woman in Cornwall. Has anyone read any of her books? I would recommend them.

I couldn't resist this picture of two furry friends looking out the window!

The cottages are so pretty, we also we visited the local smuggling and fishing museum. There were many wonderful photographs of the village around the turn of the century, including one of a post woman delivering letters!  The fishermen used to wear Knit- frocks and there were some wonderful examples of different knitting patterns with wonderful names. I wish I could remember them! Each family had a distinctive pattern so that if any man was lost at sea they could easily identify them.

We then made our way home stopping at Whitsand bay, where we had the whole beach to ourselves. Daisy had a good run on the beach, as this is one beach that allows dogs on all year round.

It was a spectacular spot.

Where is your favourite beach? I think this one must be in my top 5.

Sarah x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Old Railway carriges


I love dreaming of staying in quirky or unusual places and included in my list is beach huts, house boats, gyspy caravans, and old railway carriages.

I first saw this railway carriage to rent many years ago with Under the Thatch and it sparked my initial interest in them. What a fantastic location on the Welsh coast! It used to be so popular that it was fully booked up for at least a year in advance.

Going to the seaside either on holiday or on a day trip became popular in the Victorian era, partly as with the growth of the railways the seaside was more accessible. At the beginning of the 20th century the Brighton Railway company sold off some railway carriages for £10 and these were purchased and see this picture here of how one was taken to its final location close to the beach. They became some of the first beach chalets!
When soldiers returned from the First World War there was a national shortage of housing and at the same time small railway companies were amalgamated resulting in a surplus of railway carriages. These carriages provided desperately needed accommodation.  Land was cheap and there were no planning laws and so many of the carriages ended up in locations close to the sea. This  link shows a postcard  of the bedroom of one of these carriages in the 1920's. Buying two or more railway carriages and building a bungalow around them was a cheap way of having a home.

There are still over 5,000 railway carriages in use in Britain and it is thought that at least 400 of these are over 100 years old. Here is a sample of a few that you can stay in (not all of them are Victorian) - this first one being in West Dorset close to the sea - click on the links below the captions for more pictures and details.

Railway cottage Eype

Railway carriage Holste Arms, Burnham Market, Norfolk

Railway carriage in Shropshire near Ironbridge

1950's styled carriage in Scotland by the loch - what a view

 Are you aware of any converted railway carriages where you live? Have you ever stayed anywhere unusual? If you have I would love to hear about it. We have stayed in a converted pig sty and also a sheep barn - I'll leave those for another time!

Now finally to the GIVEAWAY ..........

Congratulations to the winner of " The wonderful weekend book by Elspeth Thompson" - the  lucky winner selector from the random number selector was  Freda from live simply-simply live. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. If you  all haven't had enough of railway carriages Elspeth's blog describes the journey of renovating her two Victorian railway carriages.

Welcome to my new follower Fran from Bonnie of Clyde she is renovating a barge and appeared as a new follower after I had written this post and before I had posted it, how's that for timing!

I'm now off to carry on dreaming of a holiday in one of these carriages!

Postscript -my dream came true almost a year later we stayed a weeks holiday in a railway carriage and it was better than I dreamed off - see here.

Sarah x

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Autumn inside and out

I like to enjoy the best of autumn both in and outside the home.

The view out of our front window is always so colourful at this time of year from the Liquidambar tree that we planted many years ago.

As the leaves fall they leave a red blanket on the ground that looks good for a few weeks until we clear up all the leaves, as the tree grows larger the job each year takes longer!

It's time to bring out the blankets and throws too, that provide the extra warmth.

                                           The last of the garden flowers are bought in

Also a few branches to remind us in the evenings, of the colours outside when it is too dark to see them.

Welcome to my latest follower Lazy Daisy Jones thank you for joining me. I  hope you all you enjoy a cosy autumn weekend (or  fresh spring weekend). I'll be out in the garden clearing the leaves weather permitting! If you would like to join in with my Giveaway you still have time- the closing day is Sunday

                                                           Sarah x


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