Sunday, 2 May 2010


The caravan is to earn its keep this year so we have spent the last fortnight preparing it for a summer season of paying guests. It’s not all been hard work though, we have been out and about between the rain and generally just enjoying Dorset.

We always enjoy Lulworth Cove and today was warm and sunny. We were both surprised by the balmy weather.

On the way down to the cove we passed a house with this out the front. Most houses these days have a lavatory and some houses have a conservatory but this house had a bucketry.

The air was still and the sun shone and the coat came of. Still it was warm so I peeled of my jumper as well. Not to be outdone by the kids in the water I treated myself to a seaside paddle. In March? It was very cold but very, very enjoyable!

We decided to have an overnight stop at Oxford on our way down to Weymouth. I wanted to visit the Ashmolean museum but sods law decreed that it was closed on Mondays. Never mind, we had a wander round Christchurch College which is very beautiful.

The statue of a past Dean of Christchurch – Cyril Jackson met us at one point and I was mesmerised by the eyes. Wife suggested it was one of those human statues covered in paint but I dare not touch his knee in case he winked at me.

This is the fellows dining hall and if it seems familiar it maybe because it was used for the shooting of scenes in J.K. Rowling Harry Potter films.

A collection of Christchurch plate was displayed in a glass case and I was quite taken by this splendid chalice & patten. It is inlaid with pearls and is quite a pretty piece.

Out on the streets we passed a traditional albeit posh sweet shop and I had to take a couple of pics even if it was for the colours.

Closer to home I had parked the car and looking up I spotted this startling creation through an upstairs window.

I followed the path round and climbed some stairs and was invited into a shop by a very pleasant young woman. I asked if I might be allowed to take a picture of the dress and she very kindly took it from the window and allowed me to take a photo.

“One good turn deserves another” she exclaimed and asked if I could give her a plug. Here she is:

“Dusk till Dawn”
Dress hire for the special occasion – hire or buy.
Student Prom Nights 10% off.
01234 712200

Out on the street I found this lovely old Bentley parked up. It just looked so right in the setting of an old Georgian market square.

Travelled back home the long way through Tyringham estate and stopped to take this picture of Tyringham Hall. Can’t you just smell the port and cigars?

Quite recently visited one of our favourite places – St. Ives. Straddling the River Great Ouse this small, picturesque Cambridgeshire market town is closely associated with Oliver Cromwell who came to live here in 1631. Today “the farmer” stands watch over the shoppers on the market square.

Just a short walk and this lovely old bridge spans the river. The small building on the bridge is a tiny chapel.

On the way home we stopped of at Brampton. I have a keen interest in the diarist Samuel Pepys and I wanted to see the house he grew up in as a child. After a few wrong turns we eventually found it.

Pepys spent a very happy childhood here playing in the surrounding fields and woodland and delighted recording in his diary how he had spent many happy hours “playing with my little bow and arrow”.

Spring has definitely arrived and a slow stroll down to the river at Newton Blossomville in the sunshine was a pleasure. Like floral sunbursts the clumps of huge marsh marigolds shone like gold against their green foliage and the delicately pretty Ladys Smock nodded in approval.

The trees had not yet put on leaf so I was ably to stand on the bridge and get a distant shot of Brafield House at the top of the hill as it looks out over the river valley.

And swivelling round another shot upstream.

We had a day out at Canons Ashby last week. It’s a National Trust place with a lot of work going on but there was still a lot to see. Work is in progress in the gardens but parts of the grounds were awash with spring flowers.

In the orchard underneath the old fruit trees were delicate red fritillaries and something neither of us has ever seen – white ones.

The side view of the house was best and this is it.

In the kitchen we found this. Now that’s what I call a range!

Our poor old country is going through difficult times indeed and spotting this suggests that Bedfordshire County Council are having to cut back on transport costs and use alternative means of transport for their library services.

Pip-pip chaps!

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