Monday, 29 September 2014

Around the world blog hop

Last week I received an email from Carolyn inviting me to join in with the
  Around the world blog hop
One of the greatest benefits for me of blogging, has been to connect and make friends, with so many people around the world. I would love to visit so many countries, but as I don't have lots of time off work or money, it is a great way to see other parts of the world.

 I have followed Carolyn's wonderful blog for many years we have so many things in common....a love of the sea and flowers. Our children too, are of a similar age..She lives on the beautiful island of Waiheke, which is a short ferry ride off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. 

In the depths of winter it is always wonderful to visit her and brighten those cold dark days, by seeing her summer flowers and feeling the warmth of her summer days. As our spring bulbs are appearing in the garden she is getting ready to pick olives from her trees.

Carolyn is also very talented and produces gorgeous Mohair bears. If you haven't visited her before you can find her at

As part of the blog hop. I have to answer some questions:-

Why do I write about what I do?

I orginally set up my blog to share my love of the sea. I set it up quite suddenly when one of my favourite blogs went off line and I realised that while I had been perfectly content to just read other blogs I had not given anything back. The previous few years we had been going through some difficult times as my Dad's health deteriorated. Visiting blogs had given me a few minutes to relax and switch off during those difficult times and make me smile and laugh and take those worries away!

 What are your earliest memories of the sea? Mine was visiting my Granny who lived overlooking the river estuary in Fowey in Cornwall.  The smell of sea weed still takes me back there instantly. The blog soon included my other interests of gardening, cooking and creating a simpler life and I discovered so many others that shared these interests too.

Our garden

Chocolate brownies

What are you working on right now?

We are just in the process of moving so that is taking all our spare time at the moment! We are moving from a house to a bungalow. The garden too is very different it contains more vegetable beds than flowers. I have been collecting lots of inspiration on pinterest. Although the bungalow doesn't need any major work we shall enjoy adding our own imprint to it.

Taking of gardening do you like our new plant ? We always like to try growing different things!

 This one is a good climber,  happy to be grown inside or out, but demands regular feeds!!!

I now want to introduce you to another blogger, Anne is from British Columbia her blog is She always amazes me with her enthusiasm, inspiration and great self-taught DIY skills and how she has transformed her home and garden on a budget. I have already told her I will be re-reading her posts after we have moved into our new home to identify what improvements we can make. My DIY skills, however, are way behind Anne's!

For details of how to make the potting bench, mini greenhouse and shed, follow this link:-

If you have time do visit Carolyn or Anne. Thank you as always for visiting me.
 Have fun blogging!
Sarah x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

All change ......

As we move into a new season, our lives too are about to take a different direction! Regular readers will remember back in the summer we put our house up for sale. We have lived in our current house over 20 years and had forgotten that moving house is never straight forward! We sold our house in 4 days then the buyers pulled out after a week. Amazingly it was resold again within a few hours.

 After a few hiccups on the buying side we finally exchanged contracts this week and and are heading 20 miles west, still by the sea in Dorset, to West Bay.

West Bay - on the right in the far distance the Isle of Portland can be seen this is opposite Weymouth  where we currently live.

As I have occasionally taken you there on this blog it won't be unfamiliar. This beautiful video made by Watershed PR is only 2 minutes long taking us one summer day, from sunrise to sunset.  It will give you some idea of the beautiful surrounding area.

West Bay is a pretty harbour village a few miles south of the town of Bridport. The honeycombe cliffs and beaches provide a spectacular backdrop to the sea. The harbour dates back to 13th century and it became a major ship building centre during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the industry has long gone and fishing and tourists are the main activities.

Over the last couple of years the number of visitors have increased as this is also the location for the popular TV drama series Broadchurch. Has this television programme been shown aboard too?

 My dream has always been to live closer to the sea and in a weeks time we will be moving to a home with a distant sea view, it feels hard to believe! If only Daisy could have been there with us too.

Boats bobbing in the harbour and little huts that sell fish and chips and ice-cream.

The mouth of River Brit looking peaceful in the sunset

 We have also helped our son move from Exeter to Bristol. He has started an exciting new job and moved into a lovely flat with his girlfriend. It is just around the corner from where my grandmother lived as a child! Our daughter, who will also be moving with us, will be starting a new job too. So many changes all at once! In my first post this year I mentioned new horizons and featured the cliffs of West Bay, never realising at the time that would be where we would end up. It's funny how things turn out isn't it!

Over the last few years we have started to declutter our home and we thought we had done quite well until we started packing! The boxes seem to be piling up at an enormous rate. I must return to the packing. Bye for now.

Sarah x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sea shanties, hats and fish!

It was a beautiful Friday evening down by the harbour in Weymouth. As we arrived we immediately spotted a tall ship in the distance and followed the sound of music to its berth.

The magnificent three mast scooner Le Marité was visiting from Normandy. We watched the sailors folding up these front sails. It seemed such a long way up and it must be quite a terrifying experience doing it in rough seas.

Weymouth sea shanty group the Dorset Wrecks were on board adding to the atmosphere. This was   the open event for a Waterfest over the weekend, which was celebrating the maritime history of the town.

Unfortunately we didn't see any more of the Waterfest as we already had another event in our diaries- Bridport Hat Festival ! Regular visitors may remember this event from last year  it is when  everyone even dogs wear hats around the town!

It was so much fun we had to join in again this year and also encouraged our daughter and boyfriend to come with us too!

 As always there were some wonderful creations........

 These were some of my favourites ones- there was so much detail in the wildlife one on the top left. The one that copied the ceramic poppies currently surrounding the Tower of London was a brilliant representation.


Our hats were quite ordinary in comparsion - maybe next year we will have more time to be creative! I bought mine in a charity shop for £3.75 a few weeks ago, I think I need to visit Ascot in it now!

 The highlight, the mass hatted photo is always an incredible sight -  so many hats!

We ended the weekend with a walk and evening picnic down the Fleet. It is always such a peaceful location.

  As we watched the tide flowing in, two local fishermen returned to shore with a boat full of mullet.

 Sarah x

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Briantspuddle a unique Dorset village

Firstly thank you so much to everyone who left a comment on my last post.Your comments have helped so much, and our hearts have been uplifted by the huge response.

We have been avoiding our  favourite walks and following an article in a magazine we decided to visit Briantspuddle, a village close-by. Although we have been here before many years ago I didn't know all about it's history. Do you also find that however long you live somewhere there is always something new to discover?

The name Debenham is well known today for it's department stores and the shop can trace it's origins all the way back to 1778. In 1914 Ernest Debenham bought 3,500 acres in Briantspuddle . His vision was to bring together both the production and selling of products direct from the farm, cutting out the middle man. It is strange to see this idea one hundred years later gaining in popularity again.

The farm buildings and estate cottages were built in the Arts and Craft Style and each cottage had a bathroom, an inside lavatory and a quarter acre garden and a pig pen! As you see the buildings look so attractive. The estate workers must have been so lucky to have such a beautiful home.The major building programme started after the First World War and provided employment and homes which were both in short supply at this time. The cottages still have large back garden,we didn't however notice any pigs! It was lovely to see the grass had been cut in the traditional way and left to dry.

During the 1914 War Ernest appointed his sister Alice as farm manager and she went on to become a co-founder of the Soil Association, which promotes and certifies the growing of organic food. We have always cared passionately about the environment and supporting local producers and were very surprised to discover that this village had been involved in such pioneering agriculture experiments.

There are many signs of autumn appearing all around too! 

Our walk took us to the banks of the River Piddle (many of the villages in this location include this river in  their name  Affpuddle, Turnerspuddle, Tolpuddle, Puddletown!  The views across the meadows were equally good.

Back in the village we discovered this "Dead Woman's Stone". It was believed to mark a medieval suicide stone dating back to the 14th century.   It was rediscovered by some Canadian soldiers on a nearby moor in the 2nd World War and it has now been relocated here.

The village has no church but has a very unusual war memorial which was designed by the printmaker and sculpture artist Eric Gill (1882-1940), who also followed the Art and Crafts Movement. It records the seven men who died in the First World War as well as a further six from the Second World War. It was built from the locally provided Portland stone.

The village hall held an exhibition documenting the history of the village unfortunately it ended the day before we visited here, but this information sheet gives more detailed information and pictures. 

 I apologise for my lack of comments and visits lately, there is lots going on here at the moment. Thank you for still popping by to visit me.

Sarah x


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