Friday, 28 October 2016

Five On Friday - Exmoor Adventure

It is time to join Amy from Love Made My Home to bring you another Five On Friday.

We have been lucky enough to get away for half term week and visit one of our favourite places - beautiful Exmoor. We are staying at The Garden Lodge at The Langbury at Blue Anchor. You might remember we sometimes stay at The Langbury B and B, this time we are self-catering in the Lodge although my son who also loves this part of the world and decided to accompany us has chosen to stay in the B and B so that he can enjoy Nigel's wonderful breakfasts!

I have to say that the weather hasn't been the best, several days have been decidedly murky so photographing the scenery has been something of a challenge so please excuse the quality of the pictures.

One of the reasons I love Exmoor is its diverse scenery, from the beaches to the bleak and barren moor tops and everything in between. Hopefully the photos will give you a flavour of this.

1. The beach: We have enjoyed our walks along the beach despite the sometimes very cloudy and murky conditions. You can see from the last few photos that we did eventually get a clearer day.


2. Walk to Dunster Beach and The Hawn: The next beach along to the west of Blue Anchor is Dunster although the actual village of Dunster is about a mile inland. Dunster Beach is very uncommercialised although it does contain a little kiosk from which we were able to obtain a hot chocolate which went down very well. It also houses some holiday chalets which remind me very much of the 1950's. Behind the holiday chalets is The Hawn, this stretch of water is now land locked but used to be navigable. It is a good place to go birdwatching and I was pleased to get really close to a heron which you can see in one of the photos below.

3. Exmoor Safari: We booked to go on an Exmoor Safari way back in March and have been looking forward to this as it is something we haven't done before. We were picked up from Dunster carpark by Andrew in his Landrover Discovery for a 4 hour trip all over Exmoor. Unfortunately it was again a murky day especially on the top of the moor where visibility was very poor. We were hoping to get a good view of the red deer but apart from a distant herd we were out of luck. I did take a photo (see below) just for the record and hopefully you can just make out the stag with his hinds through the murk! However Andrew gave us a brilliant tour and was extremely informative about the area so although we didn't see all of the wildlife we had hoped for it was still a great day. One of the highlights for me was the off-road sections which were very exciting (if a bit of a roller-coaster ride). One of the off-road sections took us deep into Lorna Doone country looking down into the Doone Valley, we then drove past Oare Church where Lorna married John Ridd. All of this has given me the urge to read Lorna Doone again, the last time I read it was when I was a teenager (many years ago)!

The deer are in this photo somewhere!


4. Horner Woods: Yesterday was a better day with the hint of sun every now and again. On the safari we were told about the ancient woodland now owned by the National Trust so DH and myself decided to go for a walk in the woods. Horner Woods are beautiful, especially at this time of the year. Starting off in the village of Horner we gradually made our way up through the woods with the river tumbling down over boulders at our side.

5. Steam Trains: Blue Anchor is one of the stations on the preserved West Somerset Steam Railway and as you know my DH and son are mad steam train fans so photographing trains is always on the agenda for them. I surprised myself by taking a couple of photos too! I don't go out specifically to take train photos but these were taken as we were walking along the beach - I do quite like to see trains in the landscape setting.

I hope you haven't been too bored with all these photos, I can never decide what to leave out!
Have a great weekend and please go and visit Amy where you can link up to more Five On Friday posts.


Friday, 21 October 2016

A random selection

Time for Five On Friday again, as usual I am linking with Amy from Love Made My Home to bring you this post. Even though I thought I hadn't done a lot this week I was determined to get here and post after failing miserably last week to a) find time and b) get inspiration on what to post.

So what have I been up to in the last week:-

1.  Card Party: On Saturday I helped my friend Janice from Crafty Castle blog with a card party that she was holding at another friend's house. We had a wonderful bacon sandwich breakfast and then had a fun time packaging and pricing up all the cards and other bits and pieces before heading to the party which I am happy to say was a great success.

2.  My Birthday: Sunday was my birthday and I was thoroughly spoilt by my family and friends. The highlight of the day was being taken out for lunch by my DH and eldest son, we chose a location (The Hatchet at Lower Chute) that was recommended by a friend and we will definitely be visiting again. I was also taken out for another lunch by my youngest son on Monday as he was busy playing football on the Sunday - not sure how I managed to maintain at Slimming World this week!

3.  Cot Blanket: I was asked by a work colleague to make her a cot blanket for her baby son who is due in December. She chose the colours but left the design up to me - here it is finished and packaged up ready to gift. I am pleased to say she was delighted with it.

4. Next on my hook: I have just started work on my next charity blanket for the Sunshine International Blankets of Love. This is number 11 of 12 that I aim to complete and give to the residents in a local residential care home at Christmas. I am making this using the Harlequin stitch which I haven't used before but am quite pleased with how it is working out.

5.  Autumn colours: I couldn't think what to use for my 5th entry this week but suddenly thought about the beautiful trees on the corner of our close so quickly walked up the road this morning to snap them. I love this time of the year and these trees are always a delight.

Well that is it for this week, I hope you all have a great weekend and for those of you that have children or work in schools have a wonderful half term holiday.

Please do go and pay Amy a visit where you will find link ups to more Five On Friday posts.

Friday, 7 October 2016

A mixed bag

Another week that has whizzed by and it is time for Five On Friday again. As usual I am linking with Amy from Love Made My Home.

This week has mainly consisted of me working - I swapped my work days around this week and worked on Monday instead of my usual Thursday. It is surprising how just doing that throws out my routine. 

1.  However the swap was for a good reason, it was to allow us to go to the theatre in Southampton yesterday to see Mamma Mia. What a fantastic time we had, the show is absolutely brilliant - this was such a feel good production and the music arrangements were spot on and so like the original Abba versions.

2.  So, what has been happening on the crafting front this week?  Well the answer is not a lot. Some sock knitting and crocheting a jellyfish is about it.

Here is the progress on my sock:

I have just finished the gusset and am now starting on the foot. However I will have to put this on one side for a bit as I have a crochet cot blanket to complete in the next couple of weeks for a work colleague so I need to crack on with that. 

Unfortunately I didn't get to take a photo of the crochet jellyfish I made - also for a work colleague. It was the same design as the one shown below but in cloud blue and royal blue.

3.  I have started using a planner to try and be more organised and make the most of my days. These seem to be big at the moment and people seem to decorate them in the most elaborate ways. At the moment I just have a few stickers and some washi tape and my lovely fine liner pens to use and this is very early days on my planning journey. I really just want to keep track of what I am doing with my days, what books I have read, what craft projects I am working on/completed etc. We will see how this goes.

4.  Reading: I have just finished an excellent book this week. It is The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley. This is the second in the Seven Sister's series and I am eagerly awaiting the third which is due out in November. This was a long book but one where you really get swept along by the storytelling. This book was mainly set in Norway which is a country I have visited and somehow that seemed to give the book extra meaning for me. Below you will find an extract written by the author as to how she came to be inspired to write this series.

I was originally inspired to write the series in 2013, as I looked up at the Pleiades star cluster one night, at home here in North Norfolk. Known as the Seven Sisters, I was intrigued by the mythology behind the stars and decided to bring these sisters into our modern world. If you look up at the night sky, the Seven Sisters can be seen from virtually anywhere in the world; they shine from dusk until dawn and their stories have been told by countless different cultures for millennia. You’ll notice that you might only see six stars, as the seventh star is the famous lost Pleaid 

The series begins as Maia D’Apli├Ęse and her five sisters gather in their childhood home of Atlantis – a beautiful castle on the shores of Lake Geneva – after the death of their adoptive father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt. Discovering that he has mysteriously already been buried at sea, each sister is handed a tantalising clue about her true heritage. 

This clue takes Maia on a journey to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she begins to piece together the truth about her ancestry, and learns about the passionate Izabela Bonifacio, who lived during Rio’s Belle Epoque, 1927. 

The Seven Sisters continues with Ally’s story, ‘The Storm Sister’. Her journey will lead her to the magnificent fjords and stunning scenery of Norway, accompanied by the haunting music of Edvard Grieg

I have just moved on to read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. Early days yet but it looks promising.

5.  Walking: We don't seem to be fitting in as many walks as I would like, partly because when we have time the weather doesn't seem to co-operate and life seems to have been very busy just lately. We did manage to fit in a walk last Friday so I will show you a few photos from that. This was the Longparish Riverdance walk which we have done several times but the scenery does change with the seasons, there are signs of Autumn everywhere now and it won't be long before we get the glorious Autumn colours which I love. This walk criss-crosses the River Test and its tributaries many times and there is always something interesting to see - it was good to see the Red Admiral butterfly still around this late in the year. We also saw a Comma butterfly but he/she wasn't hanging around to have a camera lens pointed at it!

Well that is my five for this week. I hope you have enjoyed them. Please do go and visit Amy's blog where you will find links to lots more 'five' posts.

Love Made My Home