Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A slice of Country Life

I can't believe it's 4 days since I took these photographs and I have to ask myself, what has happened to those 4 days? It always seems to get like this as spring sprungs its springing. All of a sudden life becomes hectic again.

So, before it's too long after this set of photos were taken, a quick photo blog to outline a grand old day out in the glorious Dorset countryside. I'll start with this photo below. Fellow Dorset Blogger Snowgoosey, highlighted this house in May 2008. So this weekend while recovering from my £44k Indian meal, my current weekend companion and self discussed what to do on Saturday. The result was my first ever trip to Swanage, principally to find this house by the Station.

What a fabulous idea. Apparently the owners were denied putting a window into the gable end, so had one painted instead. Genius. It's the quirks of British life like this which I love, so the rest of this blog is just that, a celebration of what makes Britain Great. We're all too eager to knock this country, but I love it. Don't get me wrong, there are other countries which have bigger scenery, different culture, warmer weather, less traffic and so on, but pound for pound (not Kilo for Kilo) lets not forget this great old country punches well above it's weight and is still absolutely fabulous. Rant over. I hope you enjoy the photo's; my celebration of a wonderful day.

I'll start with a bit of wildlife, a Black Headed Gull in fine spring plumage enjoying the warmth of a sunny day in Swanage.

Mind you with a view like this, would I wish to be anywhere else ?

So after a sit in the sun, which was glorious to feel the warmth after this long winter, an ice cream and watching the world go by, I coerced my companion into a steam train ride to Corfe Castle. A bit of a festival was going on for Half Term. What is it about steam trains? They're just alive.

And of course these trains bring out the hibernating train spotters. They look like they're having a grand old time too waiting for the 3.30 from Corfe. The person on the right especially looks like they're about to break into an energetic song and dance routine at any minute!! Sadly we were heading the other way so I never got to see what happened next.

Towards Corfe Castle, which should really be Corfe Castle ruin, having been knocked about a bit by Cromwell and his advancing Roundheads. Images like this always remind me of my grandfather, he used to say to me as a child on his knee.... "mice" meaning mice had destroyed the building. A wonderfully eccentric man.

At Norton Halt a photo opportunity as the train "Marston" was uncoupled and moved to the back of the train to take us back to Swanage.

Norton had a few other delights, such as this modern take on the garden gnome theme in the station garden. Does any other country have this much eccentricity in it's blood? Click on the image to see who's there.

And at the opposite end of the station garden a very impressive array of bird feeders. Excellent, or would have been if there'd been any birds there.

So back to Swanage and a thought on such a glorious evening, head home via Kimmeridge Bay. Oh boy was I glad we did, the weather was perfik, and the advancing sunset over Portland was stunning. I could post the 86 sunset photos I took, but I'll spare you so much beauty, and just post a selectionette.

This is Clavell's Tower, which has just moved 100 feet to the left. It was in danger of falling into the sea, so the Landmark Trust who own and rent out this tower, moved it brick by brick inland. A fabulous job. I was chatting to a rather splendid gentleman in flowing dark coat, wild grey hair, deep Donald Sindoneske voice and vivid tartan trousers who happened to be staying in the tower. Living room is at the top, bedrooms at the bottom and a wet room in the basement. Methinks a stay here is on the cards, because from the tower is this view.......

How's that for an evening view while warming the slippers and Badger ale against the woodburning stove. Mind you, one can't park the car near this, so a 80 step sheer cliff walk is needed to get there. As the vivid tartan clad chap said, been he'd been here for a week and still needs to stop 3 times en route from the car to the front door, "I just pretend I'm watching the view if anyone asks" he said. Good man.

And so as the sun finally set behind Portland. And with the sound of Oystercatchers whistling across the shore providing an atmospheric backdrop to the scene, I'll leave you with an arty bird photo of one of the Oysties as it avoided the tide.

Well anyone can take a good photo..... it takes skill to be this bad !!


  1. What a wonderful mooch around Swanage. I spent many childhood holidays there and have also had some as an adult!!

    That bungalow with the "false" window is amazing and what ingenuity.

    I'm also a great fan of the UK :D

  2. Hi,
    Looks like you had a great time at Swanage- such a beautiful place. Nice photos too and I loved the sunset ones towards the end. Looks like a weird and wonderful place. Glad to know you had a good time there!

  3. Andrew, wonderful pictures. Himself inside and myself got quite a kick out of some of them. He says that those British are rebels with regard to the first picture of the house with the painted window. Brilliant!

  4. Glad you enjoyed a trip to Swanage, the steam train is great isn't it.Did you wander round towards the pier and see the other painted buildings?
    Those sunsets on the dorset coast are superb, like you, I always take too many pictures and they never look as good as it was at the time!

  5. Thanks all.

    So glad my visit to Swanage was enjoyed. It kept me going all week.

    Goosey, I didn't get to the pier, but last night saw photos of the buildings a friend had. Next Time.