Happy Christmas

Thursday 25th December 2014

A very Happy Christmas, or Happy Holidays, whichever applies to you. We had a quiet day at home. Dad came over to lunch. Thankfully we managed not to eat too much! We did raise the odd glass though.

Happy Christmas!

A year ago today

Well, obviously it was Christmas. Here are Jez and Max opening their presents.

Jez has presents to open too


A bit of a damp day

Thursday 16th October 2014

The forecast was for heavy showers, so we wondered how we were going to fare when it came to walks. In the morning we went back to Langdon Hill and walked around in the opposite direction, taking the lower, slightly longer path.

Walking around Langdon Hill

We managed to avoid any rain for most of the walk, although it was a bit murky. When we walked along the higher path on Tuesday we had a problem with Max keep wanting to run off down the fairly steep slopes through the trees. Today on the lower path he ignored the trees completely – typical! I took a photo looking up through them, though, which I think works particularly well in black and white.

Trees on Langdon Hill

As we got back to the car it started to rain quite heavily, and by the time we were heading home it was tipping it down. I had planned to drive down to the hamlet at Eype, just along from West Bay, on the way home, but it was raining too heavily as we approached the turn. Then, by the time we were almost at West Bay it stopped, so I turned round and drove back there. I’m not sure I should have bothered. It was pretty bleak.

The beach at Eype

I did get a good photo of Jez on the beach though.

Jez on the beach at Eype

And this shot, looking west, includes the hut that served as the scene of the murder in the TV series Broadchurch.

The beach at Eype

But I’ll leave it to Chris to sum up what he thought of our visit to Eype.

Happy Holidays

In the afternoon we went into the town of Bridport, where we got well and truely rained on. I was hoping to find some small shops to wander around but, as with many high streets nowadays, there were very few small shops of any interest. In the end the only shop we ventured into was the pet shop, and that was to try and buy a new lead as one of our has broken.

We did find a poster in the carpark though, which shows the main locations used for filming Broadchurch.

Poster showing Broadchurch locations

I hope you can make that out.

In the evening we went back into Bridport to meet an old friend, Mandy, who used to be a fellow actor on Murder Weekends (something we used to do from 2000 – 2008. We had a lovely evening chatting with her and catching up on old times and old friends.

A year ago today

Max and I had a wet walk at Upton Country Park.

Max in the Woodland Walk

Incredible light for photography

Wednesday 15th October 2014 (Part 2)

After our walk on Stonebarrow Down we went back to the caravan, stopping to get some rolls on the way, and hadn’t been back long when the heavens opened. We had torrential rain from about 1pm, so after lunch Chris and I decided to sit and watch a DVD. At 3pm I noticed that the rain seemed to have stopped, and by 3.30pm it seemed to be brightening up, so I suggested we get the dogs out for their afternoon walk while we could. As we thought it might rain again we headed to the west beach at West Bay, which was nearest to us. The tide was in and the sea was rough, but the sun kept peeking out through the clouds, all of which made for some fairly dramatic photographs.

Stormy Weather

We went onto the beach and Max happily chased his cone around.


He wasn’t too keen on the larger waves though.

Run Max!

From the beach we went out to the end of the new Jurassic Pier. In the first set of photos I took West Bay and the cliffs were in the shade, with just the black sky behind them. But as I watched the sun moved along the cliffs from west to east, and so we waited. It was worth it.

This is the entrance to the old harbour from the Jurassic Pier.

Entrance to the old harbour from the Jurassic Pier

And this is a slightly wider view.

West Bay from the Jurassic Pier

Here are those famous cliffs lit by the sun.

Bathed in Sunlight

The harbour looked much better today in better light.

West Bay harbour

This shot is looking roughtly north across the harbour.

West Bay harbour

St John’s Church.

St John's Church, West Bay

And lastly, Chris and the dogs head back towards the caravan park, with the Riverside Restaurant lit by the sun in the background.

Riverside Restaurant and Fast Food outlets

We got back shortly before it started raining again!

I hope you’ve liked this afternoon’s photos: I was very pleased with them. There are a few more from today on my Flickr stream (see right).

Stonebarrow Down

Wednesday 15th October 2014 (Part 1)

Another 2 part day today. This first entry will be quite short though. In the morning we went for a walk on another part of the National Trust’s Golden Cap Estate, known as Stonebarrow Down. It was quite high and exposed – and windy! This was a view taken from towards the end of our circular walk looking across to Golden Cap.

Stonebarrow Down, Dorset

Here’s Chris and the dogs walking across the fields towards Monument Copse. It is called Monument Copse because there is a monument in there to a local squire who was killed in 1876.

Chris and the dogs head towards Westhay Farm

From there we walked on towards Westhay Farm, which was given to the National Trust in 1961 and was the first land they owned on the Golden Cap Estate. From there we had to turn back uphill. The National Trust has kindly put in steps, and you can see Chris trudging up them here. If he thought it was hard going, spare a thought for poor little Jez who, with her back and arthritis isn’t too good at stairs.

Truding up the hill

After we had reached the top we followed the path towards the carpark. The dogs were running around and I went to get a photo across to Charmouth (see below) when I realised we were on the edge of an inland cliff, which I believe is called Cain’s Folly. Needless to say the dogs were quickly put back on their leads.

Looking across Cain's Folly to Charmouth

We then headed back to the car and home for lunch before the forecast rain set in.

A year ago today

Max and I went for a walk on Canford Heath.

Max on the old Coach Road

A walk around ‘Broadchurch’

Tuesday 14th October 2014 (Part 2)

So we had our lunch and a short rest and then mid-afternoon we walked down to the harbour and beach at ‘Broadchurch’, aka West Bay. I took loads of photos – far too many to share here – so I’m going to select a few for you. As I said previously, if you want to see all of them then please click on my Flickr stream to the right of the page and it will take you to my Flickr account where you can look through them all.

This is a view across the original harbour.

The harbout, West Bay, Dorset

A different view across the harbour, together with the fishing boats.

West Bay Harbour

Time for a snack.

Snack time

The new pontoons at the harbour end of the new Jurassic Pier.

New ponttons under black skies

Beachside cottages.

Beachside cottages

The cottages from a slightly different angle.

Hiding behind the beach

Those famous cliffs.

The cliffs at West Bay, Dorset

The west beach.

West Bay

Heading back to the caravan.

Parkdean Caravan Park

And finally, this is where we were staying.

The caravan we stayed in

There will be more holiday adventures and photos tomorrow.

Langdon Wood and Seatown

Tuesday 14th October (Part 1)

Today was the first day of our holiday. It didn’t start that well: Max couldn’t settle and kept me awake for a large part of the night, plus the bed was extremely uncomfortable (which was a shame as the rest of the caravan was really nice). In the morning Max and I were joined by both Chris and Jez, so it was all a bit of a squash.

This bed isn't quite big enough for all of us

As you may guess from the ‘Part 1’ above, I am posting today’s photos over two entries due to the fact that there are so many photos. Even so I will only include a selection. You can see the remainder by clicking on any of the photos in the Flickr stream to the right and going on over to my Flickr account.

Before we left home I had looked out a couple of walks to do with the dogs, bearing in mind that Jez can’t walk too far and Max is still carrying his cruciate injury. The first of these was Langdon Wood, which is a wooded hill above the village of Chideok and forms part of the National Trust Golden Cap estate. After all the rain yesterday I was expecting it to be really wet, but the path was surprisingly dry. And we had the good fortune to get occasional glimpses of sunlight. Here are Chris and the dogs heading along the main path out of the car park.

Walking around Landgon Wood

A little bit further along, this was the view over Chideok.

Chideok from Langdon Wood

And the view out to sea.

View from Langdon Wood

I really liked the light for that one.

As we walked on around the hill we were treated to views over Golden Cap. That’s Lyme Regis you can see in the distance across the bay.

Golden Cap

I was right about the distance for the walk – it was just right for the dogs, although we did take the slightly shorter of two paths around the hill. After the rain Max was pretty dirty so on the way back to the caravan I turned off in Chideok and headed down to the little hamlet of Seatown, which basically seems to be a hamlet with a pub on the edge of the beach which charges far too much money to use their car park off-season.

Seatown, Dorset

Here’s Chris and the dogs on the beach.

Chris, Jez and Max at Seatown

This was the little stream that ran between the pub and the car park before flowing into the sea. I love the way the sky is reflected in in.

Seatown, Dorset

And lastly, one of the cottages close to the beach.

Cottage, Seatown, Dorset

After Seatown we went back to West Bay where we bought rolls for lunch. We then spent a relaxing couple of hours in the caravan before leaving for our afternoon walk which will follow in part 2.

A year ago today

We met some of doggie friends on Upton Heath. Sadly, Cindy, the lurcher on the far right, died a couple of weeks ago. Coincidentally, she was taken ill at the end of a holiday in West Bay.

We were joined by Janet with Oakley and Cindy

In which we go on a short break

Monday 13th October 2014

A few weeks ago I booked us a short, 4 day break in a caravan at West Bay in Dorset. Many of you won’t know where West Bay is, but it is the small port attached to the west Dorset town of Bridport, and in recent times is better known as Broadchurch from the TV detective series of the same name. Chris and the dogs had never stayed in a caravan before, so I was hoping that they were going to like it.

We were told check in was from 4pm so we were in no hurry. We packed during the morning and loaded the car after lunch – in the pouring rain. The rain continued throughout the hour-long drive down to West Bay. We arrived at 3pm and fortunately were able to check into the caravan early. By the time we had unpacked the rain had just about stopped, so we took the dogs for a walk down the beach. As you can see, it was a little bit bleak, but those cliffs in the background are easily recognisable if you watched the TV series.

It was a bit bleak on the beach at West Bay

As you can see, Chris wasn’t too sure about the weather, but the dogs were really happy to be there.

After a short walk it was back to the caravan, where Chris and the dogs settled down for the evening.

Comfy cosy in our caravan

Unfortunately rain is forecast for most of the week, but I’m hoping to get out and about with the camera.

A year ago today

My Sunday morning baking resulted in a batch of egg custard tarts.

Egg Custard Tarts