Sunday, 16 June 2013

Building up an appetite


I always find a good walk helps build up an appetite, especially if I am planning more than a snack at lunchtime. A while ago our lovely children gave us a joint voucher for a meal out. We decided to use it on Friday lunchtime and so a walk on a beach beforehand seemed  a good idea.

 Unfortunately the weather wasn't quite as I hoped. It was so cold that in the event we had only a short walk along the beach at Mudeford Quay and Avon beach. Our ears were still hurting ten minutes after we had returned to the car!


The meal was at the Kings Arms Hotel at Christchurch, about an hour and a half's drive from home. We had  a 3 course meal, which was designed to only use food produced locally and within a distance of 15 miles away.




It was delicious and we really enjoyed it. However, when we came to pay we couldn't found the voucher! I can occasionally be a bit absent minded and someone (me) had taken it out of my handbag and left it in the car! All was well after it had been recovered -which turned out to be fortunate as we then took a path that left us into Ducking Stool Lane where we discovered a ducking stool over the river.

Ducking stools were used in medieval times specifically to extract confessions out of women. It must have been a dreadful experience being immersed in the water until a confession was obtained. I had read about this happening for those accused of witchcraft and prostitution, but didn't realise it could also be used for bad tempered or nagging wives (it didn't mention absent minded ones -phew!)


Moving hastily on, we visited the "Red House Museum", which has free entry. It was originally built as a workhouse - where life would have been so hard for the occupants. Today it is a lovely setting showing the archaeology, social and domestic history of Christchurch. The garden was very beautiful and peaceful too as we had it to ourselves.


On the way home I noticed this display at Boscombe Chine Gardens and we just had to stop for a quick look. The borders were filled with alliums, lupins and foxgloves, it was an amazing sight. The park won an award last year for the best large park in the South and South East of England and it is easy to see why. Isn't it a glorious sight?


There were so many pictures  I wanted to show you, that I had to make collages in this post. When I first started using my blog I used Mosaic Maker, but after recommendations from Rosemary and Val I tried Pic Monkey and I prefer it, as it is easier to position the photos, both are free to use. So if you haven't tried them, do give them a go.

Thank you for all your lovely comments, they mean so much to me and welcome to my new follower Sharon.

Hope you had a good weekend whatever the weather!
Sarah x

44 comments:

  1. Yes there are still some very cool days aren't there! It does however all look lovely, thanks for sharing! :) x

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  2. This post is a feast for the eyes.Doesnt the old workhouse look beautiful? If only it could tell the story of its previous occupants.

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  3. What beautiful sunny photos. Looks like a wonderful day out. It's been ok this weekend in Wales quite overcast at times but still warm x

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  4. I was just thinking how nice the presentation of the photos was- thanks for the top tip! All the pictures looked lovely- how nice to see the sun! Christchurch is only about 35 mins away from me. Glad you had a lovely lunch out together. CT x

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    1. Until 13th July they also have an exhibition of photographs of Trees of the New Forest, which we enjoyed. The ones taken in the mist were so atmospheric.
      Sarah x

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  5. Sounds like a great day out and you took some lovely pictures. I much prefer picmonkey now too, it's much easier than the bighugelabs equivalent.

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  6. You've had a feast of a weekend - so many places within easy reach it seems. I'm glad you enjoyed it all.

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  7. What a wonderful day out Sarah. I'm lapping up those borders filled with flowers, my garden is a bit dull at the moment, only lavender still flowering, but some early poppies are about to make a show in my vege garden! S:)

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  8. So good the chill did not deter you from having a great time!
    Thank you for the tips about Pic Monkey. I once tried with Picasa, but found it too time consuming.
    Cheers,
    Merisi

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  9. I'm glad the weather picked up for the afternoon! The gardens look really lovely. I had better keep quiet about the ducking stool I think. Especially the bit about bad tempered and nagging wives.

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  10. Love the white collages of flowers and the glimpse of you. The weather looks gorgeous. Claire xo

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  11. What a special day Sarah,
    The ducking stool sounds terrifying I have read about them but have never seen one.

    You look so sunny and happy in your photo, it is lovely of you,
    The garden looked so pretty too.
    Thea xx

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  12. Some of the old customs certainly have been brutal. Looks like you had a very good trip despite the cool start.

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  13. What a lovely day out. My daughter lives in Burton so we often have meals out around Christchurch but I don't think we have been where you went (she probably has). I love Mudeford.
    Ruth x

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  14. Dear Sarah - the garden at the Red House Museum is a joy to see, and the white/cream border in the Boscombe Chine Gardens is stunning.
    I had a look at your superb photos of Scotland - you really have a great eye. The sunset one on Skye is simply amazing.

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  15. that was a lovely gift from your kids!
    such a gorgeous area, love the beach huts.
    x

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  16. It certainly seems that you went from cold/cloudy to sunny and lovely in your day! The restaurant's local focus sounds great. I'd never heard of a ducking chair, ouch. (It was nice to take non-traditional photos of our walk - there are many sunny days on Bondi beach and lots of people around but it was fun to show a different side) x

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  17. So glad you did not have to endure a dunking in the ducking stool, Sarah :-) Several days ago I bought a B'day card for my niece and lost it before I got home so had to scramble with supplies at home to make her one in time for her celebration. How do such muddles happen?

    Your beautiful blog encourages me to learn more about the techie part of blogging. Thanks for passing along what you have learned about Pic Monkey, which I have yet to explore.

    Thanks, too, for posting much of beauty and interest around you! I enjoyed my visit with you :-)
    x,
    Gracie

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  18. Lovely lovely photo's! Ah, those terrifying medieval ways, a ducking chair. Well, you did have a good time, despite the cold weather. Groetjes, Gerda

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  19. So glad you found your voucher. I usually leave them at home. The garden looks beautiful especially the white border.

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  20. What a lovely post- great pictures and the mosaics look great- I use Picmonkey too- It's great to play around with.

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  21. PICMONKEY IS MY FRIEND! I use it weekly to make my banners! Oh Sarah, I hope you know how much I love coming to see your tours. The ocean, your discoveries, DAISY, all of your gifts lift me up. That meal you had....oh dear, what a delicious encounter! Keep enjoying and sharing!

    Thank you for coming to visit me in my home. Have a lovely day! Anita

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  22. The beautiful photos stand in stark contrast to the horror of the ducking chair and the workhouse. I hadn't realized until recently, after reading the Call the Midwife books, what a truly awful place the workhouses were. It's nice to see that particular workhouse has been transformed intoa place of beauty.

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  23. Hello Sarah, Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos from your lovely trip. I used PicMonkey too. The winds were certainly blowing full force at the beach.. I always enjoy your sea side photos. The Flower gardens were very lovely. Enjoyed seeing your photo too.. "Ducking Stool" I had Never heard of such a thing. How very cruel.. I am glad I did not fall into any of those area either.. LOL

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  24. The collages look really good-but then I expect your beautiful photos make all the difference. I love the gardens, it's a great time of year I think. I'm hoping to get a few visits in locally to the National Garden Schemes Open Gardens this year.

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  25. The food looks delicious. What happens to one when on a ducking stool? That's really curious. That reminds me, I should stop nagging...

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  26. Hi Sarah,

    Such a lovely gift your children gave you! I love presents like that as well. It's so good to do things together. We saw The Great Gatsby last Friday. It was good to be doing something nice together again! Happy to hear you and your husband had a good time too. The garden of the museum looks very pretty with all those flowers. Is that you in the middle?! You look lovely!

    Wishing you a happy week!

    Madelief x

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Great Gatsby together. Yes that is me the middle!
      Sarah x

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  27. I love the Alium and Lupin display. What a great idea for the garden next year...

    Leanne xx

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  28. I'm glad you had such a lovely day. The gardens look beautiful; I adore alliums, lupins and foxgloves. There seems to be no trace of the fear that both the workhouse and the ducking stool must have created - they're both in lovely locations today. My husband used to live in an old house called Ducking Stool Cottage, we always wondered about the stories associated with it.

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  29. Hello Sarah,
    What an amazing place to visit. A gorgeous garden. What a yummy looking lunch there. Thanks for your visit too.

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  30. Hi Sarah,

    How neat that your children gave you vouchers for a meal out and glad, you and your husband had a wonderful day out. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful photos and such gorgeous gardens.
    Also good to see the lovely photo of you, and love all the pretty colours of your clothes and flowers.
    Happy new week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  31. ~ Ever so pleased you had a lovely time, 'on' the children, Sarah! We smile when the tables turn and our children 'treat' us for a change!! Not often, but nice when it happens! hehe...You look lovely on the picture too! Interesting about that 'ducking ' stool! Patrick always says in times of old I would have been burnt at the stake, for being soo, 'Witchy! Can't for the life of me think what he means...haha...Have a happy week, Sarah! we have our news on Dean and the world champs!! YES! he is selected! yippeee! Maria x

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  32. What a lovely day out. I remember reading about ducking stools. They were used to extract a confession that a woman was a witch. If she drowned she was innocent. if she survived it meant burning at the stake. Bit of a lose/lose situation then! xx

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  33. The OH's gran used to have a beach-hut at Mudeford and in her lounge she had a photo of her grandchildren outside the hut. We now have it after she passed away. I have never visited but you may well have pushed me into going! What a fabulous garden you visited and a meal thrown in - sounds like a good day!
    June

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  34. Hello Sarah

    Glad you found the voucher, I have done such when I am being too careful. Lunch looks delicious and the photos, particularly the lupins are spectacular.
    Helenxx

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  35. Very interesting post, I'd never heard of ducking stools or seen one. I wonder how many there still are.

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  36. I certainly am glad you did not get dunked...LOL.You know how it is with us bad housewives...LOL.It was a beautiful outing even if it did get cold.I love all the photos .They are gorgeoius.Thank you for sharing your adventure.
    Happy Days to you,
    Marie Antoinette

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  37. Hi dear Sarah,
    sounds, that you had a wonderful and eventfully day out and what a lovely gift from your childrens. Gorgeous garden photos...
    Bine x

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  38. I always love going on walks by the sea with you particularly because of the names like Mudeford Quay.

    I use PicMonkey and pay the yearly rate. I'm not sure it has that much more with the paid version, but I do like it. I also showed my students Photovizi and they liked it.

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  39. Beautiful, beautiful garden shots Sarah ... such pretty flowers!

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  40. That garden, those flowers and a walk - just gorgeous.

    Nina x

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  41. what a difference sunshine makes to pictures rather than grey days

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  42. I am catching up after our trips. I liked your post in May on France with all the pretty photos. Your photos on Queen Anne’s Lace are stunning. I told my husband that I am missing England as I have not been back since 2002 and we must try to go there next year. I don’t think there is any other place where flowers are as lovely as in England. Thanks for visiting my blog while I was away.

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