Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Month of February

Welcome to the first February post, the Anglo Saxons used to call February Sōlmōnath  which translates as "Mud Month". It seems that February hasn't changed that much over the centuries . After another week of more wind and rain, the fields and paths are so muddy that we are starting to avoid them. Instead we head to the beaches instead, on this occasion passing this glorious gorse bush on the way.



 Could this be an example of a leaden sky? At least there was more light in the distance!


Mud, mud glorious mud, you can hear the squelch of paws, it's just as well this dog likes a wash!


This week was my first one on reduced hours. It was wonderful to be on the beach walking the dog and meeting neighbours doing the same thing, rather than driving to work. Then, after climbing the cliff, back home for breakfast and spending the morning making home-made bread and soup for lunch.


February is the best time to see the snowdrops and such a first welcome sign of spring. We went for a walk and snowdrop tea at the nearby village of Compton Valance. Back in the 1950's the farmer decided to plant snowdrops and daffodils along the side of the narrow road leading into the village, His family still live in the village and make sure that this wonderful sight is preserved for many others to enjoy. The tea and cakes on offer at the village hall were lovely too!




After a day of rain and very strong winds we awoke to blue skies, the waves were still crashing on the shore and as you walked along the beach your footprints were washed away by the next incoming wave....





Returning to ancient Britons I had to smile at this story in the press this week, that one of our local Dorset celebrities the Cerne Abbas Giant has been censored.The Houses of Parliament Strangers Bar had covered the offending article with a fig leaf  see here. This story went viral, and thanks to the Houses of Parliament this small local brewery has received lots of free publicity!

Image from Daily Telegraph

 There are 57 chalk hill carvings in Britain. The 180 ft (55 metre) carving of the  Cerne Abbas Giant was first mentioned in the 17th century, there have been some attempts over the centuries to censor him but all have failed.  It is well known locally as a symbol of fertility.

Thank you for all your welcome comments, what are the best and worse parts of February for you?
 Sarah x

50 comments:

  1. Definitely a mud month here but I don't mind, I have a mud removing routine now, it works like clockwork. Just happy to see the boys out scampering about. February is the last month of rest before allotment work starts again, that's something to enjoy! And one of the children has a birthday. It's tricky to know what to do at this time of year, but we usually have a good time. Gorgeous coastal photos, no doubt the waves are even wilder at the moment. The wind and rain are insane here. CJ xx

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  2. The wind and rain are insane here this evening too! Both children have separately asked us why the garden is so untidy, even in the short bursts of sunshine it is just too windy to do very much! Sarah x

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  3. It is definitely 'mud month' here we are having a terrific rainstorm at the moment, rain is pelting the windows quite frighteningly. When will this rough weather ever stop - it seems to have been going on forever. Lovely photos of the crashing sea - so dramatic. We paid a visit to our local lake this morning it was so choppy the ducks seemed to have trouble staying afloat! Have a good week Sarah.

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  4. I presume that the Cerne Abbas Giant made the MP's feel inadequate and they do say that truth hurts ;)

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  5. For us the mud month is October (in Finnish lokakuu, loka meaning mud and dirty slush, etc). An extraordinary carving. I bet the brewery would never be allowed to export to certain states in the US, for example.

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  6. Such beautiful waves and landscape. Have never seen that giant, but a horse. Unbelievable.

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  7. I enjoyed your photos as always and the little clip of Tavi. Poor Gabriel has not been allowed out into the field first because the snow was too deep and now because it's too muddy and I have no desire to give him a bath! That's funny about the censorship when the chalk hill craving is there for all to see.

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  8. February is all about Winter here. We are a bit North here so I presume till mid April we may have Winter weather. I don't mind Winter and snow is beautiful but I must say that when it stays too long I no do not enjoy it. I enjoyed the movie of your dog, he sure is energetic, he doesn't mind the mud. Looove seeing the cliffs! You live in such a lovely region of the world. Thanks for the great photos!

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  9. Definitely a mud month here too, frustrating as it has made for difficult walking conditions. How lovely to see all those snowdrops, such a wonderful sight. xx

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  10. I loved the story of the farmer and the snowdrops. I hope the place is forever protected and cherished
    Hilary

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  11. 'Mud month' is the only correct word for our February, rain and wind have not gone yet. So nice to go on a snowdrop tea in the village. Love all these snowdrop pictures, growing along the paths.

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  12. Oh I hear you on the mud, so sick of mopping the floors! Interesting fact about the Anglo Saxon's, I think their name was very appropriate!

    Those snowdrops look so pretty

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  13. TAVI is in his element: MUD! hahahahahahahahhaahah how Westies LOVE the mud, don't they, Sarah! Oh it's good to hear you are enjoying the benefits of reduced work hours. I am so happy you get to have "down time" to take more walks and be at home to enjoy your surroundings. Our February is behaving more like late March and we had a "warm" weekend with just a light dusting of snow last night.

    May you have a delightful day! Good to see you! Anita

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  14. Mud month is very apt isn't it! The story made me giggle too x

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  15. Your pictures are a balm to my soul. I'm from the desert in New Mexico USA. It's brown here now with all the leaves gone for months from the trees in our yards. I have never liked the landscape very much. I crave green grass and living by the water. So I am enjoying going through you photos and reading about your life by the sea. One suggestion...more recipes. Love those. They are so different to Mexican food.

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    1. Hi Mia, Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you are enjoying the contrast with your landscape! I will add some more recipes once I am not working in a few months time. In the meantime you could visit http://thequincetree65.blogspot.co.uk/p/recipe-index.html for some great recipes! Sarah x

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  16. I also visited Compton Valence last week and marvelled at the snowdrops; I have a post about my visit that is nearly finished!

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    1. Hi Philip, Do you have a blog? I did look before and couldn't see one! Sarah x

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    2. Here is the address, Sarah: https://philipstrange.wordpress.com/

      The snowdrop post is not quite finished!

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  17. Mud month – I like that. It's pretty squelchy here too and I'm glad I have a brown dog..! Gorgeous photos, Sarah. The weather is wild, isn't it? The wind is howling down the chimneys and creaking our old house. According to the Met Office it's due to calm down tomorrow first thing. I like February as it's a short month and you can definitely notice the days lengthening. Sam x

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  18. What a fabulous walk! The snowdrops are incredibly beautiful aren't they!! It is mud month here right now, I sploshed past a few puddles on my walk today and I was mostly on the pavement! Our garden seems to be nothing but mud. It was obviously always thus! xx

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  19. I always love your sea pictures. We are trying to avoid the mud here too :o). Happy for you that you're enjoying reduced hours, you live in such a beautiful part of the world I can well imagine the appeal of being out and about instead of at work! xx

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  20. Mud mud mud. It's really getting me down. I can't go outside without sinking!

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  21. I am always tired in February. And my daily trudge to the train station is long!!! Tavi looks like he was having great fun. I always sigh when I see your beautiful sea photos. The snowdrops are gorgeous too!x

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  22. Have been trying to decide whether there's any point in going to see the sea in the dark. This post has clinched it. I'm off. Maybe the white of the waves will show?

    Esther Montgomery
    New Blog - http://estherandthetimemachine.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I am intending to go and see the sea in the dark after reading Rachel Carson's "A sense of Wonder." I will probably wait until it is a bit warmer and calmer! Sarah x

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    2. I did it! 10pm and have just returned. Went to the top of Chesil Beach in the dark which was un-nerving because I couldn't get a sense of the proportion of the waves - got frightened and came back down. (The tide was already out quite a way so I wasn't in danger.) And I went to Chesil Cove where the flood barrier is across the promenade and the waves were impressive. (Though not as big as at the top-of-beach stop - and no where near as big as they were earlier in the day . . . and no-where, no-where as big as some of the waves we've been seeing on the news.) I stood against the wall there until the force of everything sort of got overwhelming. Then I went up to Portland Heights thinking I'd see a white line along the beach - couldn't see anything except street lights, got cold, came back home. It was all a bit rushed but I do feel rather chuffed with my in-the-dark adventure.

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    3. Well done that must have been quite un-nerving standing on the Chesil beach in the dark! It is just as well those waves weren't as high earlier in the day! Glad you enjoyed your adventure! Sarah x

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  23. I never knew the origins of the naming of February - it's so apt! Tavi looks so sweet romping in the mud. He reminds me of Judith Kerr's 'Harry the Dirty Dog'. Lovely fresh air photos - I can almost smell it. The gorse and spring flowers are very uplifting, and that lovely coconut smell of gorse must've been good. Glad you're able to enjoy more time to yourself nowadays.
    Cathy x

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  24. Lovely post, Sarah. I can almost hear those waves crashing onto the shore. For me the worst of February is the heat as it's Summer here Down Under, and temperatures are usually high. As Summer wanes, the garden and trees look tired, but it's still lovely to be eating loads of stone fruit and salads.

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  25. It's very muddy here. Our lawn is squelchy and so are the allotment beds. If we walk across the fields we get stuck in mud as there are a lot of natural springs around. I always feel a bit down in January and February as I have a few family anniversaries around now, but I love to see the snowdrops, they are a sign of hope and that it will soon be spring.

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  26. Lovely to see your photos and learn a bit of history. February is usually a very dry hot month in Canberra (Australia) where I live, but we have had double our monthly rainfall in January, and everything is looking very green....so how would you know what happens these days!

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  27. I see, spring is coming also in Britain! We have such a lot of rain and storm the last days, can not go in the garden. I wish you a nice week.

    Sigrun

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  28. Muddy here in Suffolk too! Loved the video of Tavi, what a mucky pup.. our Rosie doesn't like water so we struggle to get her in the bath so thankfully she avoids too much mud :o) How silly that the Houses of Parliament find the Cerne Abbas Giant offensive.. they offend me and many people does that mean we can censor them!! :D

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  29. I love the Tavi video. I always give silent thanks when I see a bank of snowdrops, daffodils, or flowering trees to the unknown person who planted them. How nice, in your case, to know who is responsible for that gorgeous blanket of snowdrops.

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  30. I love spring but the muddy trails make it a little less appealing - particularly when you have a dog!! That being said, I can't wait!!!!

    Love your little bits of English history :)

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  31. Excellent pictures - especially the flowers and the cliff against a pearly sky.
    And thank you for pointing out the Cerne Abbas story, I'd missed that one...
    All the best :)

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  32. February here is gray and brown and it makes my soul hunger for Spring. Your photography is beautiful, walking along the beach sounds like heaven. Thanks for allowing me to tag a long. Connie.

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  33. I'm so pleased you're enjoying your reduced hours. There's a lot of mud up here too - but no snowdrops yet! I love the chalk hill carving, they always seem very exotic to me - I think I've only ever seen a couple. Juliex

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  34. Dear Sarah,

    It must be great to have reduced hours and to be able to spend more time enjoying walks with Tavi along the beach. The snowdrops are sweet and always a great sign that Spring is not far away.
    Travelling down in the train to Dartmouth in 2007 to attend a wedding I remember seeing some of the lovely chalk drawings on the hills.
    Hope you are enjoying the week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  35. Hi Sarah, I'm really enjoying your photos of the crashing waves, they are spectacular! Glad to hear you are enjoying your reduced hours, what a dream come true! Can't wait to hear what it is you're going to be doing...I'm still a little under the weather hence my lack of blog posts which I hope to remedy soon. Happy week for you. Sharon x

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  36. Those photos is always a great pleasure to look at.A beautiful area, the ocean, a generous land. Being able to enjoy all that beauty, it's a blessing thing!
    Happy weekend!
    Olympia

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  37. Love all the spring flowers Sarah. So pretty! Crossing my fingers for a dry and sunny weekend. May the mud disappear :-)!

    Madelief x

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  38. I am now your follower. I have to see every photo of the sea that you post here. Love, Angela!! :)

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  39. I love those photos of the stormy sea, Sarah. Wow. Here it is almost spring like, but hopefully winter has not left us completely.
    Amalia
    xo

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  40. It is always good to see your selection of photo's.
    Goodness the sea is so powerful isn't it.

    Of course this year February is one day longer - it's leap year.

    Before that enjoy Valentines Weekend

    All the best Jan

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  41. The sea looks wonderful! Great pictures!

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  42. So beautiful photos from you...the sea, the flowers, wow!
    Best wishes for a lovely Valentine´s Day!
    Titti

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  43. Thank goodness no one has succeeded in censoring the chalk man. I always remember in Bhutan the shocked expression on some tourists'faces when they they saw the universal symbol of happiness - visible everywhere - testicles with an erect penis!

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  44. A photocopied fig leaf? How funny! They were probably all feeling a bit inadequate.

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