Friday 25 November 2022

A visit to Corfe Castle

I said I'd post about our trip to Corfe Castle on Monday but I ended up injuring myself in the morning while walking the dog. I always walk Missy before I go to work ,at about 6:30. It was really dark and we walked down one road where some of the street lights were out. As we walked past a tree I didn't see the raised tree roots and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. Missy was whimpering loudly and my face was hurting and there was more blood than I would have liked. We abandoned our walk and went straight home so I could stop the bleeding and get cleaned up. It took some time to calm Missy down from her fright. Over the next few days I started to realise I had other injuries including my hands, wrists and knees. So I have been resting and have made good use of the time to catch up on my reading. 

On the Sunday of our weekend away we wanted to visit Corfe Castle. Corfe Castle is both a village and the name of the castle that sits on top of a hill overlooking the village. The castle is a magnificent ruin with the oldest parts dating back to the 11th century. The castle was built following the Norman invasion of 1066 and unlike most castles from this time was partially built of stone which means it was of high status. We had hoped that Sunday would be dry but the rain clouds started gathering as we drove to the castle. We were well prepared with waterproof clothing and so we set out to enjoy our visit.

We visited the castle on the 30th October so they had pumpkins for people to take home and carve for the following day. As you can see the path up to the castle is quite steep and the stones were very slippery after the rain that started just after I took this photo. You can't see it in the photo, but a zip wire had been set up from the castle to the path. This was for intrepid teddy bears and other cuddly toys to show their bravery. As the day wore on more and more children were arriving with the toys. I've marked the zipwire in the picture below.

As we walked up the hill the view was very good and you could watch the rain rolling in.

The rain produced a pretty rainbow, the end of which seemed to be rather close. One young girl wanted her dad to help her go and look for the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Although the castle was a ruin there was plenty to see and the National Trust who now own it had put up a lot of information boards to help people understand the layout. With the rain it was quite dangerous in places due to wet stone and mud.

John and I often tend to wander around on our own and so I surprised John when we met up by taking his photo. He'd found a deep alcove to the left of the photo to shelter from the last shower.

At one corner of the castle I found this dragon having a rest. He just wanted to nap so I left to and went in search of John as I needed some coffee.

We made our way down from the castle, stopping to watch a couple of teddy bears descend on the zipwire. We walked around the village and then found the café where we settled for a coffee and a cream tea. It was lunch time but the café had hardly any staff and so weren't serving lunches. A cream tea proved a good substitute. It was still raining when we returned to our car and so we decided to cancel our next stop and drive straight home. We had an enjoyable and restful weekend and it seemed a good idea to drive home in the light since it was now raining heavily.

Our next weekend away is in a couple of weeks time, when I will visit my favourite quilt shop. I don't really need anything but it is always fun to visit.

i have done some sewing but I'll post about that soon. I need to take Missy for a walk before it gets dark and I have some cooking I want to do.

Take care


Sunday 20 November 2022

What happened to November?

This month has rushed past at breakneck speed and I seem to have missed it. The month started well with a visit to Dorset but then deteriorated as I succumbed to a cold and flu.  Unfortunately my immune system hadn't had chance to recover following covid so I'm not surprised. Just about everyone I interact with seems to be, or has been unwell. I even lost interest in sewing or reading and I'm completely out of touch with the blogs I follow. Anyway I need to stop moaning about the problems and tell you what I have managed to do over the last few weeks.

John and I took a weekend away to Dorset the last weekend of October. The weekend was much needed since October had seen the start of new student groups and all the extra work that entails. We had picked Dorset as our destination as it isn't too long a journey from home and we hadn't visited the area for a good number of years. We stayed in a smart bed and breakfast In Swanage, which is a small seaside town. We drove down on Friday evening and by the time we arrived it was dark. We settled into our room and  quickly checked out the information about places to eat. We wanted fish and chips and we wanted to eat them on the beach. We were lucky that it wasn't raining and was also warm so having found the best place in town for fish and chips we found a place facing the sea and ate our meal watching the tide coming in. Some folks were doing the same and others were taking their dogs for an evening stroll. There were few visible stars and little light pollution looking this way. The visible lights were from further round the bay.

Looking the other way you could see the lights from the town. I preferred the other view.

As we walked along the beach there was a lot of evidence of grand sand castles that had been created by children who were on a half term holiday that week.

After a tasty breakfast which included scrambled egg and salmon we set out towards Poole. We had visited here once before, many years ago, when a friend got married. Back in history Poole became an important port with the introduction of the wool trade. In the 18th century Poole was one of Britain's busiest ports. In the second world war it was one of the main starting points for the Normandy landings. It has a large natural harbour and a commercial port. We enjoyed walking along the quay and watching the boats. By this point we had walked away from the area with coffee shops and people so it was much quieter.

We had a quick look round the town but one shopping centre is very much like another and so after coffee and some food we headed back to the car. There was a nature reserve we wanted to visit which has a couple of trails we could follow.  To walk, watch some birds and enjoy being together was very pleasant after the hustle and bustle of work. There were pigs and sheep on the reserve and they were fun to watch. This little group of pigs were having a great time foraging

The holly was pretty with its bright red berries.

I loved the colour of this one, sorry I can't remember the name.

There were also a lot of rose hips. I can remember being given rose hip syrup as a child, I suppose that was to ensure we had enough vitamins.

I didn't get any pictures of the birds as they were all too far away. John has his scope we him so we enjoyed watching them from a distance. As we walked back towards the the car park we looked over the fields to see the sheep grazing.

Before we left we enjoyed a cup of tea at the café and browsed the shop. I bought a couple of little bits for Christmas. Back at the car park I noticed these fungi

and this one was very big

It was evening as we drove back to Swanage and as I parked the car this was the sky.

Red sky at night, shepherds delight', so we were hopeful that the following day would be sunny as we were going to visit Corfe castle. We walked into town and enjoyed a tasty burger in a pub restaurant before an early night. I'll tell you about Corfe tomorrow as our evening meal is now cooked and I'm very hungry. 

Take care