blogging

Do - Compare Yourself To Mole

One of my favourite books ever is Wind in the Willows. When I was young, I had about five copies plus the audiobook and rather glorious animated version on VHS (yes, my youth was indeed that long ago).

There's a poignant passage in there where Mole returns to his little underground home after living with Rat for a while. He's had a lovely time being busy with his new life but, when he scents his house, he misses it and feels the need to return, to reconnect with himself.

That is my clunky way of trying to explain my absence from this blog for these past months. Life has simply got in the way but I've missed these pages and have returned.

So, expect some catch-up features as I bring you back up to speed with some of the highlights from this super busy period and attempt to chronicle some of the memories I don't want to be lost to the mists of time.

Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way! Why, it must be quite close by him at that moment, his old home that he had hurriedly forsaken and never sought again, that day when he first found the river! And now it was sending out its scouts and its messengers to capture him and bring him in.
— Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame


Wanderlust - Chesil Beach

So, on Friday 21st March, I found myself in the strange situation of being at a loose end. The loosest of loose ends in fact because I dropped My Mr to start his first marathon at 7.15am and then had hours to fill before either a) he finished or b) 3pm rolled around and I could check us into the little hideaway we'd booked for the weekend.

Happily, the weather took pity on me and my rather hopeless situation. The sun shone and as My Mr was walking along the coast path from Charmouth to Weymouth, I made up my mind to potter along the coast road, seeing him at checkpoints and indulging in a bit of beachside photography/reading/people watching.

And do you know what? It turns out being at a loose end along Chesil Beach is really rather stunning...

 Ok, so I should be honest and say my day cruising the coast road didn't start quite how I thought it might. I was driving  to Abbotsbury and saw a sign for 'The Hardy Monument'. Oh hurrah, I thought, Thomas Hardy, Dorset's famous writing son. So I pulled off and drove to  the monument. Impressive, I thought as I walked toward it in the sunshine. However, when I got to the little info board, it became clear I'd got my Hardys confused. This wasn't a monument to Thomas 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Hardy. No, this was a monument to Thomas 'Kiss Me Hardy' Hardy, the giver of Admiral Nelson's goodbye kiss at the Battle of Trafalgar. Quite a difference you'll agree but two Thomas Hardys from a little part of Dorset - who knew?

Ok, so I should be honest and say my day cruising the coast road didn't start quite how I thought it might. I was driving  to Abbotsbury and saw a sign for 'The Hardy Monument'. Oh hurrah, I thought, Thomas Hardy, Dorset's famous writing son. So I pulled off and drove to  the monument. Impressive, I thought as I walked toward it in the sunshine. However, when I got to the little info board, it became clear I'd got my Hardys confused. This wasn't a monument to Thomas 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Hardy. No, this was a monument to Thomas 'Kiss Me Hardy' Hardy, the giver of Admiral Nelson's goodbye kiss at the Battle of Trafalgar. Quite a difference you'll agree but two Thomas Hardys from a little part of Dorset - who knew?

 You'll be pleased to hear that I made my way to the beach quite safely. It was signposted as a beach and a seaside strand it turned out to be so the day got better. And with this view, it's safe to say that the day got much MUCH better...

You'll be pleased to hear that I made my way to the beach quite safely. It was signposted as a beach and a seaside strand it turned out to be so the day got better. And with this view, it's safe to say that the day got much MUCH better...

 I had forgotten how loud beaches were, even without people. The noise of the water and the movement of the shingle and the rush of the wind across my ears. It was all encompassing and utterly enlivening.

I had forgotten how loud beaches were, even without people. The noise of the water and the movement of the shingle and the rush of the wind across my ears. It was all encompassing and utterly enlivening.

 The coast path - My Mr's home for three days...

The coast path - My Mr's home for three days...

 I have absolutely no idea why this little obelisk was sat on the beach but it was great. Sun-bleached, spray-smoothed and clinging on to its little area of shingle like the most determined holidaymaker.

I have absolutely no idea why this little obelisk was sat on the beach but it was great. Sun-bleached, spray-smoothed and clinging on to its little area of shingle like the most determined holidaymaker.

 This image makes me realise what you miss by living in a town. Sky. You miss the huge and soaring skyscapes when you're surrounded by buildings. There was just so much blue above me and around me. Huge huge skies that went on forever until they touched the sea on the distant horizon. 

This image makes me realise what you miss by living in a town. Sky. You miss the huge and soaring skyscapes when you're surrounded by buildings. There was just so much blue above me and around me. Huge huge skies that went on forever until they touched the sea on the distant horizon. 

 And here he comes! My Mr toiling across the shingle and slip-sliding on the ever-shifting pebbles. It was great to see him looking perky.

And here he comes! My Mr toiling across the shingle and slip-sliding on the ever-shifting pebbles. It was great to see him looking perky.

 After seeing My Mr on Cogden Beach, I drove along to Abbotsbury (home of the swannery but with my irrational bird hatred, there was no way that was on my agenda)) and parked up at checkpoint two. I loved the boardwalk, disappearing up the bank of the beach.

After seeing My Mr on Cogden Beach, I drove along to Abbotsbury (home of the swannery but with my irrational bird hatred, there was no way that was on my agenda)) and parked up at checkpoint two. I loved the boardwalk, disappearing up the bank of the beach.

 Swannery? No thank you, I'll stick to my spot in the sun.

Swannery? No thank you, I'll stick to my spot in the sun.

 Yippeee! It was a great day (despite my monumental mistake early on) and My Mr finished marathon one of three safely, happily and sans blisters. 

Yippeee! It was a great day (despite my monumental mistake early on) and My Mr finished marathon one of three safely, happily and sans blisters. 


Do - Makelight Workshop

Last Saturday was one of those rather perfect days. You know, the ones that you dream about when you're stuck in some kind of work or family based nightmarish experience. Oh, you think, oh for a day of great company, creative joy, relaxed learning and freedom from the grind of obligation.

Well, if you're even the tiniest bit interested in photography, pretty things and blogging then may I just tell you that Emily Quinton's Makelight Workshops are just what you need. Emily (yes, Emily of the oh-so lovely Instagram feed) is a great teacher and a perfect host for these inspirational days. There was learning, laughter, chat and camaraderie aplenty as well as meeting up with friends from Makelight 1 which was back in September 2013 and getting to know new bloggers with different interests. I floated home on a cloud of happiness, exhausted but uplifted and full of new ideas.

Please Emily, can I have some more?

 Emily had bought along loads of props for us to play with - this was a real highlight! Having all of these beautiful pieces to style was such a inspiration.

Emily had bought along loads of props for us to play with - this was a real highlight! Having all of these beautiful pieces to style was such a inspiration.

 Love love love the delicate petals here.

Love love love the delicate petals here.

 We had a 'bring and share' lunch that was a real treat - it was full of the most delicious dishes. A great experience that made the day feel like a meeting with old friends.

We had a 'bring and share' lunch that was a real treat - it was full of the most delicious dishes. A great experience that made the day feel like a meeting with old friends.

 I'm really pleased with this photo - the colours seem to work and those mini eggs just look so tempting!

I'm really pleased with this photo - the colours seem to work and those mini eggs just look so tempting!

 I baked this! It's a gluten-free lemon loaf.

I baked this! It's a gluten-free lemon loaf.

 More of those beautifully coloured petals...

More of those beautifully coloured petals...

 Again, more lovely things to style and photograph. It was like an adults playground in the studio!

Again, more lovely things to style and photograph. It was like an adults playground in the studio!

 Another of my cakes. This time, we have a gluten-free banana, chocolate & walnut loaf.

Another of my cakes. This time, we have a gluten-free banana, chocolate & walnut loaf.

 So much to make me smile in one image - fabric backdrop, painted tins, flowers, stripy straws. This image sums up Makelight for me - lots of lovely elements coming together to make something special.

So much to make me smile in one image - fabric backdrop, painted tins, flowers, stripy straws. This image sums up Makelight for me - lots of lovely elements coming together to make something special.